The Workday Reading: April 24, 2017



1) This profile of publishing pioneer Nan Talese was so engrossing. (Vanity Fair)

2) The origami neckline on this work sheath is superb–a solid buy at under-$100.

3) Has the changing face of feminism left the #girlboss behind? (Buzzfeed)

4) Need tops? A ruffle detail shell, a tie-front poplin blouse, a plus-size eyelet detail top.

5) 20 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life. (Because I’m Addicted)

6) Mango has the best blazers, this structured one and this ruffled sleeve one are great.

7) Women don’t brag about themselves enough, so how do they get ahead? (TNP)

8) For spring, I love these low Bandolino wedges and these Marc Fisher pumps.

9) How to train your mind to remember anything. (CNN)

10) This aerosol spray sets your nail polish in seconds. Gamechanger.


What I’m Drooling Over. The cookbook for NYC hotspot Jack’s Wife Freda.

What I’m Excited About. The mood board for my new site design (finally, can’t wait).

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The Workday Reading: April 21, 2017



1) A drugstore brand punk’d several beauty bloggers with pretty packaging. (The Cut)

2) This slouchy H&M tote looks much more expensive than it is.

3) White House aides grapple with their newfound celebrity. (Politico)

4) Outnet has these cute Sam Edelman sandals and this fresh work dress for under-$100.

5) Unicorn Frappuccino: Made of sugar, Instagram likes, and barista tears. (Kotaku)

6) From the Nordstrom Sale: a jacquard sweater, a fit-and-flare dress, these kitten heels.

7) Six Habits of Financially Smart Women. (The Everygirl)

8) Essie Topless & Barefoot is the most popular nail polish on Pinterest.

9) How to get divorced in Silicon Valley. (The Guardian)

10) Suck at poaching eggs? This silicon device will save your eggs benedict.

11) Dangerous words we only use to describe women. (Elite Daily)


What I’m Excited For/Dreading. Carmen Sandiego on Netflix. (Please don’t ruin my childhood.)

Who I Want to Have Dinner With. The Manager of the Times Square Olive Garden.

What I’m Definitely Buying. This coffee mug. Or in my case, tea cup.

[image found here]

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

Hi Abra,

First of all, congratulations on passing the bar!  Secondly, I need some advice on a dress I recently purchased from MM LaFleur.  It’s the Sarah dress in black.  I love it and feel amazingly confident and powerful for my upcoming presentation.  But, I’m at a loss on how to pair a blazer with it.  I’ve tried sweaters, but they look too informal, and I even tried one of MM LaFleur’s jardigans.  I don’t want to have bare arms during the presentation, but I don’t want to ruin the fabulous dress either.

Help please, M

When you’re looking for a blazer to pair with a dress, it’s best if they have complementary necklines.  In this case, the high crewneck of the Sarah dress, would work best with a round-collared jacket.  I own this fringe-tweed jacket from Nordstrom, and I highly recommend it.  The higher neckline, the melange of blue, white, and black, it all works well with the black dress.  For something less expensive, try this Ann Taylor tweed jacket.

Looking for some other options?  I also considered this lantern sleeve jacket from boohoo, this white jacket with a peplum, and this long Ming Wang jacket.


Long time follower of your blog, here!  I’m looking for a pair of boyshorts to go under dresses for the summer.  Bonus points if they are “shapewear light,” meaning they suck in my post-partum belly but don’t constrict, so I can wear them with a tee shirt dress all day and feel comfortable. 


I typically wear Hanky Panky’s Eve thong underwear under dresses.  They’re seamless, comfortable, and no-show.

For something with some shapewear in it, there are a couple of options.  Yummie and Spanx both make thongs with high-waists to give you a slight slimming effect, as does a UK brand called Smoothees.  For something more affordable, H&M makes a light-shaping thong to slim the tummy.

I missed the reader’s original request for boyshorts.  I read the question too quickly, and thought she was merely looking for underwear under summer dresses.  I prefer thongs, because VPL is the bane of my jersey-dress dependent summer wardrobe, but ask for boyshorts, and boyshorts you shall receive.  Several very kind readers recommended the Jockey Skimmies in the comments.  I like the Yummie brand because they provide light shapewear that doesn’t feel like a cage; they also make a shaping boyshort. 

Hi Belle,

For medical reasons, I need to keep my right upper arm out of the sun for the next year.  I’ve got two weddings in June that will both be outdoors – one in Northern California near San Francisco and one by a lake in Montana between Missoula and Kalispell.  We are going to both in one trip so I’d prefer to pack just one dress. No black. Also, I can’t imagine spending more than $150 on a dress.  Suggestions?

Thanks! ALP

First off, let me say that if you’re headed to that region of Montana, you’re going to want to pack a warm shawl or a jacket.  Once the sun goes down, your summer nights get decidedly chilly.

Now to your real question, it is difficult to find a long sleeve dress that isn’t black.  I am loving this Aqua bell sleeve dress; very on trend in pale pink. This London dress is blush with a cool lace print to it.  This cobalt dress from Ralph Lauren is really bright, with the right accessories it would be lovely.  I also like this faux wrap in raspberry with a small cut-out detail.

Good afternoon!
I’m looking for a replacement for Hourglass Primer. I love the primer, but the price makes me cringe every time I run out. Any recommendations?
Thanks, SP

If you must use the Hourglass, I recommend buying the bigger $75 size.  Ounce for ounce, it’s a better deal than the smaller tubes.  But if you’re really looking to save money…The Interwebs informs me that the NYX Angel Veil is the closest drugstore alternative.

The Workday Reading: April 19, 2017



1) Don’t apologize for a delayed response to an email. (Science of Us)

2) Target’s new bags include this great hobo and this ladylike satchel in millenial pink.

3) Why your financial goals/strategies should fit on an index card. (Refinery29)

4) This Tahari ruched sleeve blazer is amazing. This Kasper dotted topper is also great.

5) 10 career hacks from ambitious women. (The American Genius)

6) Best Dresses at Dillard’s: a grey work sheath, a bright pink v-neck, a white summer frock.

7) What I bought after my breakup. (Racked)

8) Sam Edelman’s sleek Hazel pump comes in 22 colors and patterns.

9) Tips for dealing with aggressive people in the office.(Fortune)

10) Has anyone tried the Dyson hairdryer?  My Harry Josh is awesome, but I’m curious.

11) The case for being grumpy at work (basically my life philosophy). (Quartz)


What I’m Listening To. The S-Town Podcast from the creators of Serial and This American Life.

What I’m Buying. This $10 hair trimmer to keep my bikini line in swimsuit shape when I travel.

Advice I Didn’t Know I Needed. How to keep distressed jeans from ripping more.

Because ‘It’s a Famine of Beauty.’ Just have a look at this Reem Acra gown.

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Pick Six: Heavy Metals

I love metallics.  Gold, silver, rose gold, I’ll take all of the above, please.

Metallics function both as a neutral and an accent color.  They go with everything and give any outfit a boost.  From pale sparkles to modern foil, there’s a metallic look for any wardrobe.  Here are some of the very best pieces in metallics of all shades to bring brilliance and shine to your spring attire.



Metallic scarves are a fun way to bring shine and shimmer to an outfit.  Lightweight metallic scarves are a great option for keeping warm in a chilly office.  I also keep a metallic scarf in my carry-on bag.

This striped metallic linen-blend scarf from BR has a wonderful mix of gold, ivory, and grey.  I also like this soft gold Calvin Klein scarf with a subtle print.  This silver scarf from Anthropologie has a chic dark pewter color to it.

Metallic flats are a wardrobe staple.  I wear them to commute.  I wear them with casual dresses.  I wear them around the office prior to putting on my heels.  I wear them on planes.  Basically, I wear them everywhere, because they go with everything.


London Rebel Bow Back Flats ($46)


Yosi Samra Vannah Flat ($113)


Teacup Laser-Cut Flat ($125)


For years, I rocked a pale gold wallet.  It went with everything.  I could carry it solo as a clutch, or pair it with any one of my many colored purses, and it always looked great.  Then, it wore out, and I got the bright idea to replace it with a red wallet.  Mistake.  The red totally clashes.  Now, I’m on the hunt for another metallic wallet.


This pale gold Lodis wallet is the answer to my prayers.  It looks like a clutch.  It has great internal storage.  And it’s a very reasonable priced $55.  (I’ll just keep cash in the checkbook slot, since I never carry one.)

If this isn’t tickling your fancy, I also like this Calvin Klein wallet that comes in rose gold and fetching metallic taupe.  I also like this Kate Spade wallet.  But if you’re looking for a steal, both this small square tasseled wallet and this Mossimo flat wallet are under-$20.



I love metallic eye shadow.  I wear Stila’s Oasis every day, and since they are discontinuing it, I have to scoop it up from eBay.  I’m also a huge fan of baremineral’s bronze eyeliner; it has the same depth as basic brown, but with a hint of shimmer.  And if I really want to spice it up, I love Touch in Sol mettalist liquid eyeshadow.  For a similar look for less, Maybelline’s Color Tattoo collection has a great selection of metallic shadows in every shade from gold to pink to purple. (image found here)


Some days, I flip through a fashion magazine and find myself asking, “When did sneakers get cool again?”  For years, it was nothing but ballet flats, and now, metallic sneakers are all the rage.  I bought the Lacoste rose gold pair below just so I wouldn’t get left behind (though I’m still figuring out how to wear them).


For something really bold, Forever21 has these all rose gold kicks.  While these simple Keds have a more subtle look to them.  Or if it’s silver you’re after, you can grab those Lacoste sneakers or these slick pewter mesh running shoes.


Lastly, if your talking about metallics, you have to talk about jewelry.  But I don’t want to discuss necklaces, earrings, or rings–that’s another post–instead, I want to talk about hair accessories.  I have the basic updo licked, but sometimes I want to give my simple chignon a little boost.  A cute hair clip or hair pin can adda little something extra to any hairstyle.


Madewell Ponytail Clip ($12)


London B Hair Clip ($9)


Maple Leaf Hair Clip ($72)