Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Roundup Vol. 8

Hi Belle,

I’ve been peeking in on your blog for about a year, and for a working gal (banker) yours is the best out there! My question is, I often notice you post items that are only available in London or the EU. I’ve never shopped from a foreign, online retailer for clothes.  Do you shop at these stores?  Are the shipping price and time worth it?  Just curious, and for some reason too nervous to try…


Alyson, CA

Yes. I have shopped at the overseas stores.  I often shop on eBay Australia and UK, and I’ve shopped at a couple of the UK boutiques.  

The cost of shipping is definitely a barrier.  I have to be absolutely sure that this is the dress/purse/blouse that I want before I fork over $25 for shipping.  So I save it for the items that are so awesome that they just draw you in and become all that you can think about.

I would recommend trying it once.  Maybe it’s not for you, but I know several women who shop overseas with regularity.  They swear by it as a way to buy items that are unique and chic.

Also, remember to factor in exchange rates.  Dollar vs. Pound is terrible right now, as is Dollar vs. Euro.  But the US Dollar is very comparable to the Aussie dollar.


What is the worst fashion faux pas?


Getting stuck in a rut.  Every day I see women who have been wearing the same haircut/hair color, wearing the same makeup, and dressing the same way for decades.  Having classic style and just sticking with what you were wearing at 25 are two different things.

Personally, I’ve had the same haircut for 18-24 months, and I am going crazy.  It’s all I can do not to let Teri take the scissor to it.  What style would I prefer?

This one.  But as my Mother and my hairdresser (I think they’ve made some kind of pact.) keep reminding me, I don’t have the bone structure for that.  Too bad.

So how do you decide if you’re in a rut?  Simple, look at pictures from the last two years and if there are no noticeable changes in your appearance, make an effort to try something new.

Maybe you buy a blouse you wouldn’t otherwise try.  Maybe you ask for a different hair color. Maybe you start winging out your eyeliner or wearing a different shade of lipstick.  A few small changes can make a big difference.

Hi Belle,

I love the clutches and weekend bags you post on your site. However, I’m curious to know whether there are any feminine briefcases out there that are durable for campaigning or if sticking to a large tote is sufficient. I’ve been using my Longchamp tote almost to the point of breaking. Any advice?


I think the age of the briefcase (at least for women) has passed.  It’s very Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.  I find that totes are much more versatile, but there are many brands besides Longchamp.

Polyvore Set Found Here.

For a simple document carrier, I love the coral Kate Spade at left.  You’ll be shocked at how much you can fit in a Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.B bag.  And the Foley + Corinna Jet Set tote (bottom right) is like a bottomless pit when full.  Luckily, it also folds in half for those days when you don’t need to carry so much.



  1. Dr. jean Grey says:

    Great bag reccs. I'm desperate to find something to carry my 15inch laptop in though. I've used a leather tote, but need something new. The current one is badly worn. I've been thinking about taking a field trip to the Coach store to view the men's business bags. So many mens bags are made to carry a large laptop, but women's bags are not. The only decent ones I've seen are Kate Spade. Am I missing something? I want something that's beautiful, but it has to be functional. I take my laptop everywhere and do not want a “computer bag.”

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  2. Meg says:

    Great timing on this post. I was actually just deciding that I had been in a hairstyle rut, wearing my hair long and straight for the past two years, and have already scheduled my hair appointment to do something fun. I actually was drooling over that hair picture of Kelly on her blog earlier this morning and it is one of my favorite all time cuts! I'd never be able to convince myself to go that short (I sported a bad bowl but in my early tweens and have yet to recover from the trauma), but it has certainly given me some ideas for what to look for in a mid-length cut. Thanks for reminding me to shake things up and try something new every once in a while.

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    DJG-I saw a woman carrying her laptop in a Rebecca Minkoff Diaper bag the other day. Worked great.

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  4. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    Belle-Whoa. That's an interesting idea! Thank you!!

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  5. Alex says:

    I travel for work just about every week and I keep my 15in laptop in this lether bag from Piel. I got it about a month ago and can't believe I ever used anything else:
    It's great quality, and it holds everything I need.

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  6. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    I actually saw the MK red bag today at the store. Would you believe it fits my laptop? I was tempted, but didn't pull the trigger and get it. Great pick regardless!! The light brown textured MK bag was really pretty, too.

    May 17, 2011/Reply