State of the Blog: Comments Away

One of my favorite blogs, Crazy Days and Nights, sometimes opens up the comment sessions for reader discussions.  So I thought that I might try something similar on Capitol Hill Style.

The most difficult part of writing this blog is compiling enough ideas to generate fifteen posts per week worth of fresh content.  Sometimes I’ll have an epiphany and come up with something that’s informative, creative or inspiring, but for the most part, I spend my days combing the Interwebs for ideas. 

So I thought that today, I might give you ladies the floor.  What topics would you like to see covered on CHS? Which features do you like/dislike?  What kind of coverage would you like to see more of/less of?

I really want this to be an open forum, so please, speak freely.  However, the first comment I see about tenuous grasp on the basics of English grammar might cause me to fly into a rage.  So let’s consider that topic of limits.  Other than that, comment away!





  1. Rachel says:

    I think the biggest addition you can make to this site is a better way to access older posts. For example, I was looking for a good gold nail polish recently. I remembered that you had done a post on a good one. But I didn't have a good way of finding it. The only way I could do it was got back in the entries until I found a post with the appropriate tag and click on it. An earlier comment suggested a sidebar with all of the tags, which would be immensely helpful. But what would be even better is a search function. Also, I think it would be great to be able to reply to specific comments with a reply button.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Rachel says:

    I think the biggest addition you can make to this site is a better way to access older posts. For example, I was looking for a good gold nail polish recently. I remembered that you had done a post on a good one. But I didn't have a good way of finding it. The only way I could do it was got back in the entries until I found a post with the appropriate tag and click on it. An earlier comment suggested a sidebar with all of the tags, which would be immensely helpful. But what would be even better is a search function. Also, I think it would be great to be able to reply to specific comments with a reply button.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  3. Stacey says:

    I have a major problem, to which only city dwellers can relate. Here is the problem: walking to work wearing flats with pants I intend to wear heels with at the office. The pant leg dragging on the ground is gross/hazerdous/unprofessional and rolling them up doesn't work (the fall down in an instant) and looks terrible also. I can't be the only person having this problem…what do we do? Help us!!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  4. cursivea says:

    I'd like to start by thanking you for the wealth of information your blog provides. I'm a semester intern and I will definitely be sharing this blog with future generations of interns. I wish I'd known about this site before I came to DC… Would have saved me some fashion-induced stress!

    My ideas are small, but here they are:
    – At the beginning of each semester (August, January, May/June) do an DC Fashion Crash Course for all incoming interns. Hopefully new interns will be able to stock their wardrobe with some simple fashions. (Maybe formatted at a Top 5/10 items an intern needs to have in DC)
    – Hairstyles. Plain and simple… How do I make my ponytail or bun look semi-fashionable for The Hill?

    Only two ideas, but hopefully they are helpful! Keep up the amazing work!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  5. Stephanie says:

    I would like to see more content on color. I know so many women—professional women, in particular—who live in a rut of black, navy and charcoal. They either don't know how to wear color, or they think it will come across as unprofessional somehow if they do wear color. I think more coverage on how to incorporate color into a wardrobe might help a lot of women out!

    I also love it when you post entire outfits, like when you create an attainably-priced version of something from the Sartorialist, or when you create an outfit for a specific occasion. I like to see how other people put clothes together—it gives me ideas for new ways to combine what I've already got in my closet, or tips for something I could add to my wardrobe that would take an outfit from standard to stand-out.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  6. emily says:

    I really like it when you put together outfits and show how one doesn't have to wear a suit to look professional. I also like the different price points you show. I enjoy the funny personal stories you include, too. Fun website! Thanks.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  7. VW says:

    How about posts showing ways mix & match outfits. Along the lines of how to use the same few items different ways, so we can all get the most out of our measly paychecks!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  8. Ali says:

    My coworkers and I love when you do the “ask Belle” posts.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  9. a says:

    What happened to the intern idea?

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  10. Rachel says:

    With Fall underway, I'd like to see some posts about adapting spring and summer wardrobes to fit the cooler months. I'm sure many of your readers are in my boat and don't necessarily have the budget to buy a whole new wardrobe for each season. What are the best ways to reuse items to create new weather-appropriate looks?

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  11. TA says:

    First, I love your blog. I check it regularly to read it and I try to incorporate it into my daily life. A lot of your entries are very practical and useful. I have your website bookmarked on my computer.

    I know you do a 10th Commandment segment on your blog, which usually feature a item at different price points. I was thinking you could perhaps extend that to a full wardrobe/outfit, which would include: either a top/blouse, suit (if applicable), pants/skirt, jewelry, handbag, and shoes. I would love to see your perspective on an “it” look for the day.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  12. VA says:

    I'm another vote for the “head-to-toe outfit” posts. I have a lot of the pieces that you mention as staples, and it's nice to see different ways of putting them together.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  13. Faye says:

    How about chic office appropriate bike wear? I recently started biking to work and and I'm slowly realizing none of my skirts really allow for this. Or tips for helmet hair…

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  14. The Slapdash Sewist says:

    I found your blog by googling for DC street style photos, but I think with how much you work you don't have time to do anything like that! I enjoy all of your posts–though I don't think you should stress yourself about posting so often. Your readers will still be there.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  15. cia says:

    Personally, I absolutely adore faux pas posts and your own personal stories/experiences. But I enjoy all of it, really!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  16. inspiration says:

    Maybe some 'inspired by' posts – a lot of us look to tv/movie characters (Betty Draper, Elle Woods, Blair Waldorf or Pepper Potts, anyone?) for fashion inspiration. It could be fun to take some of the looks done by popular characters and do head to toe outfits inspired by them.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  17. KLo says:

    I love the ideas above! And I know that you do a lot of posting with accessories, but I'd love to see more about how to mix them with outfits. I am accessories-challenged, and rarely am able to follow the rule of taking one thing off before I leave the house.

    Also, I love color, and am not color-challenged. That said, most fashion bloggers are, but you are not. Please please please continue to show outfits with unique color combinations. I am so tired of seeing women in grey, navy, black, white and French blue.

    And keep it up!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  18. D says:

    First I wanted to say thanks for everything you post…I always get excited when my Google Reader next button brings me to Cap Hill Style!

    The posts where you give advice on what to wear and/or put together an outfit for a specific event (black tie, Gold Cup, wedding, Vegas) are SO helpful. Coming from a part of New England where appropriate dress is whatever's on sale at LL Bean, I'm often lost as to what to wear to DC events, and your advice is always spot on.

    I also enjoy all the head to toe outfits you put together.

    More snark! Love the snark.

    I would love an answer to Stacey's question above about wearing flats with longer pants, or in general, what to wear on your feet when you commute.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  19. Melissa says:

    I really like the Ask Belle posts, too. I think I like anything that contains an anecdote, which puts more pressure on you to write, but maybe less pressure to scour the internet to find things to post.

    I also love the BPGP posts. They've helped me several times with trying out new products.

    I'm less interested in fashion and more interested in beauty, so my opinions may be skewed, but my favorites are when you discuss hair or beauty products (BPGP), or ways to conquer a particular problem (Ask Belle).

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  20. Emily says:

    Thanks, Belle, for all of your style help! I love reading your blog.

    I think it would be great to do a “Fashion Bloopers” post of egregious DC style missteps.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  21. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVE the ideas above, particularly the adapting your spring/summer wardrobe to the cooler seasons, the “inspired by” and the worst dressed idea.

    And I'll reiterate what everyone else has said: this blog is a LIFESAVER, and you have a very keen wit that always brightens my day.

    The only I can add is maybe there could be additional information on how to really save money on clothes – I'm an LC, and with rent and utilities I can't afford a lot of the “Unpaid Intern” suggestions in the 10th Commandment. Good old government salary. Just a thought.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  22. N says:

    I, too, love the blog!

    I know with your busy schedule you don't have time to find street style icons on your own, but maybe you could solicit photos from your readers of outfits we are particularly proud of, or send out your interns to find you material?

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  23. K says:

    Would love to see weekly posts with cheap finds, maybe each week you could feature a different article of clothing or shoes or accessories for under $100. Similar to the 10th Commandment, but with more than three pieces. Or like the other poster have suggested, whole outfits where the pieces are all under $100.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  24. K says:

    Belle – you're doing a great job here! Keep up the good work.

    I have to second the first comment about the flats/heels/pants drag dilemma. I HATE wearing flats all day – but I just won't sacrifice my feet and walk to work in heels. In the warm months I solve the pants drag problem by wearing skirts basically every day – but come winter even the thickest tights can't always combat the cold and I inevitably end up wearing pants with flats, and feeling totally frumpy.

    Second – I know many of us are strapped for time and consider a full nights' sleep a luxury we can seldom afford so with that in mind, I'd like to see a post about streamlining your AM routine. I personally have super flat/fine hair (in the process of growing out) and making it look presentable in the morning takes forever – blowouts/velcro rollers, etc – so the majority of the time it ends up in a ponytail, ick! I'm sure you can relate to this on some level – would love to hear what you think!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  25. Amanda says:

    How about tips on packing for business trips? Tips on closet organization? How about laundry or stain removal tips? How about what to wear if you are going to be interviewed on TV? I love the elected official, staffer, intern options, and I think your happy hour ensembles are beautiful and creative. I have also used many of your tried and tested beauty products based on your reviews and trust you implicitly. When there are so many mascaras, eye make-up removers, curling irons etc to choose from, where do you begin? CHS! Thank you!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  26. Alice says:

    Why don't you have your interns post more? I haven't seen them in ages. I love your posts, but sometimes it's nice to have a perspective from someone with a different background/style/body type.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  27. BJ says:

    Belle, I echo the sentiments of all the posters and for those who read but don't comment: I LOVE CAPITOL HILL STYLE!!!!! You are very much appreciated, dependable, and most of all authentic! I haven't read another fashion blog that is as authentic as you are, and authenticity is essential to gaining a reader's trust.

    My co-worker introduced us a few months back. Since that time, I've added your blog to my favorites bar along which includes links to my banking institution, the weather channel, google, and facebook…all the daily must check websites.

    Once hooked, I scoured your site for items to create a basic wardrobe to help me eliminate that feeling of never having anything to wear. I found the wardrobe checklist for interns to be quite helpful, and created a check-off list based on the items you suggested (I love you for making that list). I have been having some difficulty with finding and selecting the right skirt-suit (J. Crew is a bit expensive and they have sold out of the color/style I fixated on) and basic black dress (in the right fabric).

    In the process of building a basic wardrobe, my boyfriend has become familiar with your website as well. He asked me to find similar posts for men. So, I've scoured your site flagging posts for men, which he has come to love. And on the occassion that he gives me a lift to work, he swears that every fashionable woman we cross in the Capitol Hill area is “my blog lady”, bka “Belle”.

    At any rate, I think suiting is especially hard for women to find in good material and style (that isn't manly or too girly) I'd like to see more takes on suiting for women. The structured, basic black dress has been really hard to find. I've come to realize that owning good wardobe basics is difficult and not many people have good basics, so I'd love to see and hear more information on basic pieces.

    In the theme of the wardrobe essentials, I'd like to see something similar for underwear. A good underwear wardrobe is essential to aid your mission of ending VPL, and a tutorial would be helpful and entertaining.

    Oh, one more thing: I'd love to see a side bar link to tags used in your posts…

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  28. KP says:

    I just bought Style Checklist by Lloyd Boston and it is great. I would like the occasional style book review.

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  29. Lauren says:

    I second a post on the pants/walk to work comment!! I have ruined many pairs of shoes/pants trying to figure out a solution.

    I would also like to see tips on looking stylish while having to commute and carry nine million things. I constantly feel frumpy as I have to pull out my metro card, dig for my blackberry, swap my shoes all while carrying a laptop, gym bag, and purse.

    Thanks for all that you do!!

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  30. Sara says:

    I think I saw this in Glamour where readers send in outfits they think need tweaking and ask for an expert eye– I think you'd be good at giving practical suggestions to readers frustrated by how to accessorize/layer/etc. specific looks.

    Also one thing I struggle with (and I know you cover this sometimes but I still struggle) is the shoes+tights+dress/skirt combo. I feel like I always wind up looking like I'm mixing seasons in an inappropriate way– especially with anything beyond basic flats that look OK with tights. And I don't care for boots (on me, not other people) so I think this is part of my problem…

    Beyond that– thanks for the daily dose of fashion inspiration 🙂

    October 26, 2010/Reply
  31. Rachel says:

    I think the biggest addition you can make to this site is a better way to access older posts. For example, I was looking for a good gold nail polish recently. I remembered that you had done a post on a good one. But I didn't have a good way of finding it. The only way I could do it was got back in the entries until I found a post with the appropriate tag and click on it. An earlier comment suggested a sidebar with all of the tags, which would be immensely helpful. But what would be even better is a search function. Also, I think it would be great to be able to reply to specific comments with a reply button.

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  32. Emma says:

    I LOVE your blog, but I am an early teacher childhood special ed teacher and most of the time your professional clothes just don't make sense. They're great when I have intake meetings, people observing in the classroom, IEP meetings conferences. I absolutely love when you do your picks for the season and more casual, lower price-point clothing (lets face it, I love to dress nice for work, but I hate wearing expensive clothes to work). Could you do some posts on weekend wear? I have a feeling much of what is appropriate for others to wear on weekends would be great for me at work, and I am just fresh out of ideas these days.


    October 27, 2010/Reply
  33. jenny says:

    for the ladies looking for a solution to the long pants with flats commuting problem i suggest zakkerz.

    i found them when i was living (and commuting) in new york. they are great!

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  34. C says:

    This is just a thought to fulfill a need I have now–what about post-election trip attire. For example, I am going to need a swimsuit for said trip and I have no idea where to find one at this time of year.

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  35. Jill says:

    I love the blog. Always informative and inspirational. One question occurred to me recently after a post on various shades of green — I have trouble knowing which “unusual” shades I can wear. Wonder if others have the same challenge. Maybe we need to bring back having our colors done (fall, winter, spring, summer)?

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  36. Rory says:

    My favorites are the BGP and accessories posts. I know this has nothing to with fashion, but I'd like to see something like a “survival guide” for interns. Things like where to find housing, how to stay safe, etc. Stuff that would be helpful before you get into intern orientation! There's just so much information online, it's hard to say what's correct and what's not.

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  37. N says:

    Hi Belle,

    I love your blog! I think pictures of complete ensembles would be really helpful. For example, I remember reading your 2 our of 3 rule for matching tights to either a skirt or shoes, but I get confused when I try to match tights, especially navy ones, with shoes that aren't the same color!

    October 27, 2010/Reply
  38. AJinDC says:

    Hi Belle! Love the posts!

    (Opening the BIG can of worms…) I would like to see some posts for “plus-sized” women (i.e. how to be stylish, professional, and still show off the figure). That would be great.

    October 28, 2010/Reply
  39. Garethforshort says:

    Would love to see more menswear posts.

    October 28, 2010/Reply
  40. KRF says:

    Thanks for creating a platform for us to share ideas on CHS and keep up the great work! There are a number strong ideas posted. After reading through, the top 3 for me would be 1) addressing a reader “challenge” each week. For example, Stacy's post about long pant length and commuting into work in flats and then changing into heels (I experience this problem on a regular basis and my tailor is ready to throttle me for ruining my hems!), 2) K's post about continuing to share “looks for less”,and 3) I think you do a great job of reviewing products and would love to see more.

    Also, I appreciate your honesty about challenges related to skin, hair, and body and often can relate! In terms of beauty products, I wanted to share a dermatologist tip that has stuck with me over the years. A number of products, even Aveeno, which I used to swear by–contain perfumes and dyes. Even products that claim to be “natural” still contain rosemary, sage, lavender, etc. which may cause the skin to have a reaction. My dermatologist recommended the “dermalogica” line and it has done wonders for my skin. Its pricey but a little goes a long way.

    October 29, 2010/Reply
  41. Melissa says:

    As a recent(ish) transplant to DC, I'd love to see a post on trusted (and hopefully, affordable) tailors.

    I'm not campaigning this year (thank goodness) but I do travel with the boss a lot, and consequently, found the PCT posts to be enormously helpful. Dressing professionally when your day involves a flight with the boss, long drive with the boss, formal luncheon, casual site visit, roundtable convo, etc without ever looking out of place is no easy feat! More suggestions on travel attire would be great.

    I've spent most of my professional career in California so this may be unique to a handful of us, but any guidance on staying stylish in cold, wet winter weather would be appreciated. I still can't figure out how to do tights…what colors/styles actually look good and are adequately warm? They always leave me feeling like a little girl or a frumpy old lady.

    And like all the other comments – want to offer my thanks for the wonderful work you do. It always brightens my day, in addition to being such a helpful resource.

    November 1, 2010/Reply
  42. Sarah says:

    Eye wear — and I'm not saying sunglasses, but just regular eye glasses. I am about due for a new pair and I cannot find any blog or other source of fashion advice glasses. To me they can amount to a bit of an investment (if you're looking in the ~$200 range) and I want a pair that, when people see me where them, saw “wow those are awesome!” not “no contacts today — are you hungover?” Styles and DC boutique recommendations would be awesome!

    November 3, 2010/Reply