Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Roundup, Vol. 3

Before we commence with the questions, I wanted to share some news with you.  The online retailer Tobi has kindly created a coupon code for Capitol Hill Style readers.  Simple click on the box in the right hand sidebar to visit the site, and when you make your purchase use the special code Capitol20.  You’ll save twenty-percent on all purchases.  

Tobi sells some of the best brands in retail: Nanette Lepore, Alice + Olivia, and many more.  Belle’s first purchase?  

Love Quotes Italian Linen Scarf (Tobi, $75)

I wear my ivory scarf three times per week, at least, and it’s looking a little ragged.  I was going to replace it in April, but at 20-percent-off, I figured why wait?  So click on the box at left and use code Capitol20 to start shopping.

Dear Belle,

I just recently moved here from nyc to work on the hill and have been reading your blog to try to figure out the style of the hill.  I’ve seen a lot of girls walking around with tank top style dresses with button downs underneath. I have NEVER seen anyone in ny do this.  Just wondering what your opinion was on it and if there are acceptable dresses/shirts to do this with and others that are not.


Wearing a blouse under a sheath or tank style dress is a great way to create a new outfit from existing pieces, if you style it correctly.  If you don’t, you’ll wind up looking like a middle-aged school marm or a schoolgirl.  Neither is what you want.

To avoid the school marm look, I would never wear a pointed collar button down shirt under a dress.  It’s a bit too staid and severe.  For something softer, I suggest you try a sheer or chiffon blouse.  Maybe something with a tie-neck or a ruffled collar.  You could also choose something with a puffed sleeve.  I would suggest something like this.

Polyvore Set Found Here.


I confess to both reading and loving your blog – despite being a man, and despite not working on the Hill.

I do, however, work in a comparable environment – a state legislature.  I know you focus almost exclusively on the women in your audience, but  I did see a recent post on men’s shoes, so I was hoping you might indulge me with a follow-up male-targeted post – on scruff.

Like many Hill staffers, (and many of my state legislative co-workers), I’m in my 20s. I hate shaving. And I look better when I “forget” to shave, anyway. But then again, I work in a state legislature – and especially when they’re in session, I have to be professional. How much scruff can I get away with? Any at all? Does in-vs-out of session matter? Perhaps you could include some celebrity photo examples, as well?


I’m always a little confused as to why I have male readers, but thanks for stopping by.  As for the scruff issue that you speak of, most of the male staffers that I know shave less frequently during recess.  Some don’t even shave at all.  
I wouldn’t recommend going more than a single day without shaving during session.  Out of session, I think taking a break is fine, but make sure to keep the scruff looking tight.  One of my former co-workers, couldn’t grow a beard to save his life.  After four days, it started to look like he suffered from mange.  It was neither attractive, nor professional.  
And even if you decide to take a break from shaving your face, you shouldn’t let your neck get overgrown.  It’s the difference to being scruffy ala Brad Pitt and hairy ala Joaquin Phoenix.


I’m thinking about buying a VIP ticket to the District Sample Sale.  Is it really worth $60 more than the general admission ticket?

Happy Shopper

The VIP ticket includes a great goodie bag that never disappoints, and getting in an hour early gives you first pick of the choice items.  Plus, if you get all your shopping done before the general admission ticket holders, you can spend the rest of the night chatting, sipping champagne and eating hors d’oeuvres.  It’s very nice.  But even if you decide to go with the general admission ticket or you get stuck with one (the VIP tix go fast), the sample sale ticket always pays for itself in savings in a purchase or two.  And with great stores like this selling their wares, how can you resist?


I loved Susan Downey’s earrings at the Oscar’s.  Do you know who made them?  I heard it was Angelina Jolie, but I’m not sure.  What kind of stone are they?


The earrings and matching ring were designed by Angelina Jolie for luxury brand Robert Procop.  They’re currently not available in stores, but when they are, I expect they’ll be $$$. 

If you want to look for something similar, I believe the stone is imperial topaz.



  1. VA says:

    Belle, can we get some links for the top question? Those earrings are begging to come live at my house.

    March 3, 2011/Reply
  2. Lola says:


    Can you post a Polyvore to the second question? Thanks!

    March 3, 2011/Reply
  3. mascara_queen says:

    Here it is

    March 3, 2011/Reply
  4. ~M says:

    Dear S,
    My husband has pretty sensitive skin and hates shaving, however, as he says he gets much more affection when he's clean-shaven. After suffering for over a decade, I decided to do something about it and bought him the Lavender Trial kit from The Art of Shaving: It was only $25 and made a HUGE difference. Once it runs out (which will be in a long time) I'm going to get him the full-size kit.

    Hope it helps.

    March 3, 2011/Reply
  5. whattokeep says:

    Thanks for the coupon, Belle. The Velvet Sintia Gauzy Whisper Pencil Skirt in Blue Nile is now mine! Yay!

    March 3, 2011/Reply
  6. Jessica says:

    Recent discovery: the promo code only applies for full price items, not sale. Makes sense, but I was still momentarily taken back when my discount was as big as I thought it was going to be!

    March 4, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:


    That's good to know. They didn't mention it. But it does make sense.

    March 4, 2011/Reply
  8. M says:

    Belle, I love everything in this post! I originally had the Soshanna Firecracker dress in a Polyvore set for yesterday's post on my (new) blog, Particularly Practically Pretty. I ended up switching it out for a different dress, but I absolutely love the outfit you put together. You can see the set I ended up posting at: particularlypracticallypretty(dot)blogspot(dot)com

    Have a great weeend!

    March 5, 2011/Reply