Capitol Hill Style

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: August 26



Tahari Rupert Riding Boot ($149)

If I need shoes, the first place I look now is DSW.  Their selection is so much better than the other discount sites out there.  Because even on a great sale site, I just don’t find the size selection that I find at DSW.

Boots. This pair from Tahari have no buckles or belts or buttons, but they do have a cool, woven texture on the shaft.  They’re basic without being boring.  These basic Tommy Hilfiger riding boots have a small metal accent and come in your choice of three colors.  Have wide calves?  These high-heeled tall boots are awesome.

Prefer booties?  I love both this tan Ciri bootie and this charcoal-grey Betsey Johnson pair.

Pumps. These Joe’s Jeans Lauren pumps are incredible and cost under-$80.  I also like these kitten heels in cognac or black.  But my favorite pair are probably these $79 ankle straps from Charles David in tan or black.

Flats. I like these affordable cheetah-print loafers.  These Audrey Brooke cognac flats are under-$50, they also come in black.  They also have these Steve Madden red, patent flats.

Monday, August 25, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Help for a Purse Addiction


Dear Belle,

I have a confession: I am a purse addict.  I love bags.  Love.  

Where are your favorite places to buy handbags that cost less than $150, $100?  I’m always looking for a new source.


Ah, purses.  I love them too.  So many lovely bags, so little time.  Amirite?

My two favorite shop for stylish bags that don’t break the bank is Asos.  They have a wide selection and the prices are quite good for the quality that you’re getting.


Asos Perforated Leather Bag ($125)

I like this tote with a perforated leather panel.  I also like this tan stylish bowler bag with a front pocket, it also comes in oxblood.  This slouchy hobo bag is also a great choice.  This cognac top-handle satchel is a classic.  But my favorite bag is this black satchel with sophisticated details and a slightly unique shape.

Want clutches?  This pony skin clutch bag is lovely.  This stitched leather clutch in pale mauve is great (also in black).  And I like this modern, asymmetrical fold over clutch.

Monday, August 25, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Good Tights and How to Wear Them



I have a relatively high-level job and find pants my go-to staple in the autumn and winter primarily because I abhor shaving my legs when the weather gets too dry. However, I have recently come to accept that 1) pants, no matter how nice, always feel rather “Friday casual” to me. Do you have any tricks for incorporating tights into a professional ensemble? How does one wear booties (no severe heels for me) without feeling like they’re harkening back to the 80s? Basically, what types of dress shoes/tights/dresses go well for autumn and winter?

Thanks, Faye

To quote Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57, “Always bet on black.”  If you want to incorporate tights into a professional wardrobe, an opaque, black tight is the only way to go.

I can recommend three different brands.  The first are Spanx.  The weave is thick, the fit is good and they wear well even with repeated washing.  The second are Donna Karan 70 denier tights.  They’re super thick and wear like iron.  For an inexpensive option, Dorothy Perkins sells two pairs of 60 denier tights for $11 and a pair of 100 denier tights for $14.

Plus-size? Try this pair from JCPenney or these Merona tights from Target (also in misses).

Once you choose a pair of dark tights, I believe in something that I call the two out of three rule.  Your tights should either be the same color as your shoes and/or the same color as your dress.  It’s just a cleaner, sleeker, more professional look.

I wear my tights with pencil skirts (this Halogen skirt is a favorite).  I also like them with sleek sheath dress.  This Cynthia Steffe half-sleeve sheath is my current obsession.  And if you want something a little flirtier, try a fit and flare style skirt.

I think the best thing you can do is keep it simple.  The sleeker the better.

Monday, August 25, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Slim-Fitting Trousers


Hi Belle,

After trying many different styles of trousers for work, I keep coming back to a “skinny” pant, but I have such a hard time finding professional (read: not jeans) skinny pants that are full length and not ankle length. I’ve been able to put off finding a pair since it’s summer, but with fall approaching I’m looking to expand my options. Can you recommend a pair of full-length skinny trousers? I’d love a pair under $80.

Thanks! Robin

It is difficult to find slim-fitting pants that are longer than ankle length.  I find the slightly longer ones to be more professional.  It’s just a couple of inches of fabric, but it makes a difference.


Moto LOFT Bi-Stretch Skinny Pants ($70)

I recently purchased these.  I bought them one size bigger to get a flattering rear view, then I had the pockets sewn shut and the legs taken in a bit.  The alteration was $35 and now they fit like a glove.

These Banana Republic Sloan pants look ankle-length on the model, but I tried them on in the store, and they were a bit longer.  so they’re worth a shot.  The NY&Co. Crosby Street pant is also a good option, esp. at $29.  WHBM also has a ponte pant that has a slim-fitting leg that doesn’t look too tight.

Petite? The LOFT and BR pants above come in your size.  Plus-size? These Jones New York pants are a good place to start.  I also like these ankle-length pants from Land’s End.


Monday, August 25, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: August 25


I’m done buying summer clothes.  With Labor Day just around the corner, there’s no point.  This week, the morning post will feature retailers who sell under-$150 items and their best pieces for fall.  First up, Zara.


Zara Boatneck Tube Dress ($80)

Dresses. This dress is a versatile piece for day-to-night.  Add a white blazer for work, then switch it out for a chunky necklace and chic sandals for happy hour.  This cable-knit sweater dress is also a nice choice.  I adore this bold-pink, textured dress with short sleeves.

Tops. This black-and-white mixed fabric blouse is the perfect mix of masculine and feminine.  This combined rib top with banded sleeves is very cool.  I also love the brushstroke print on this funnel-neck top.

Pants. Yes, pants.  These pale pink trousers are awesome.

Handbags. This bucket-shaped tote is awesome.  I also love this Bordeaux-colored city bag.  And do not miss this bowling bag with knotted handles in a soft pink or a basic black.

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Updated for 2014