I have a question for your Ask Belle segment. I usually accompany my husband to pro sporting events when he’s networking with the bosses. I am always a little uncertain what to wear when sitting in the Owner’s suite or court side. The other wives are usually wearing high heels, designer bags, and talk about the country club. Since, I am in grad school and my budget is more J.Crew and sometimes Tory Burch. I liked your March Madness outfit. Since, it’s the season of baseball, what is an appropriate outfit for the suite, but still casual enough to walk among the masses and not feel out of place?
Thanks for your help! Sara
I know that the first reaction in situations like these is to try to keep up, but don’t. You need to develop a look that works for you and that you feel confident wearing it. Trying to match others is exactly how you end up with a wardrobe of mish-mashed items that don’t reflect a personal sense of style. So while this crowd may have an aesthetic that works for them, you need to develop one that works for you. And since you like Tory and J.CREW I would suggest something feminine and classic but casual.
For the summer, I’d look at a sailor-striped dress, a breezy white sundress or a colorful sheath from Tory or Milly. You could also try a breezy skirt in a bright color and a fitted crewneck tee if you want to dress more casually. Just make sure to do your hair, take extra time with your makeup and choose your accessories wisely. I would also suggest some cool, flat, metallic sandals instead of heels. Sometimes it’s nice not to follow the leader.
If I were you, I would invest in two or three summer dresses and two pairs of sandals to get me through these events. Then I would hit the sale accessories at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. You’d be surprised how many cute, chunky bracelets and cocktail rings you can find in the sale bin. Well made? No. But good enough for summer.
Growing up in Oregon, the only pair of sandals I own are Tevas. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I get the sense that that’s bad. Do you have some suggestions for cute sandals that are under-$150 and won’t give my granola instinct electro-shock?
Tevas are fine…for camping. Whitewater rafting. Light hiking. But they are not appropriate for any non-wilderness occasion. So, no Tevas at the office, no Tevas at church and no Tevas with a sundress at a mid-price restaurant. Please…I’m begging you. If you’re looking for a simple, low-maintenance sandal for everyday wear, I would suggest any of these three.
The first pair are lightly spangled, but neutral enough to be versatile. They also come up high enough on the foot that they’ll be comfortable, and they won’t make that terrible flip-flopping noise. (Hoofbeats, I hear hoofbeats!) If the sparkle is too much, look for something similar in a cognac or tan leather.
The second pair has a bit of an earthy, 70s vibe with the macrame shield. The twists and the light color keep the sandal looking modern, boho-chic instead of outdated. These would be great with breezy dresses and shorts.
The final pair is about as close to a pair of Tevas as you can get without adding Velcro. They should stay securely on your foot, match anything in your wardrobe, and they might even be appropriate for casual Friday, depending on your work environment and the state of your pedicure!
Seriously ladies, even if you don’t like polish, you need to keep your feet looking tight if you’re going to be wearing sandals. Nothing is less attractive on a woman than scaly ankles, calloused heels and overgrown cuticles. Showing off your sandals, also means showing off your feet.
The Blogroll on the left is looking a little outdated. Can you tell us about some of the blogs you like to read?
Right now, I really enjoy Mizhattan, 9-to-5 Chic, The Coveteur, Minkette.com, and Textbook. The last one is a style blog by Twitter and Lucky Mag phenom John Jannuzzi that mixes literature and fashion.
Truthfully, I read a lot of blogs, but I have what could best be described as blog ADD. If I can’t rely on a daily post, I lose interest in your blog pretty quick. So this list changes regularly.
As for magazines, I usually stick to light reads like Glamour, Lucky and Real Simple. I love Elle, Vogue and W, but these magazines have to be consumed more so than read. So I usually pack up five or six of them for long plane rides.
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Look at seychelles flats/sandals- I have several pairs and love them – they're right at my price point ($70-90 full price and often go on sale at Zappos) and are super cute and well made (read: comfortable).
In what world is Tory Burch and J.Crew a grad school wardrobe? As recent law school grad….that makes me jealous!
I have to second your shout out to REAL SIMPLE. It has become by Bible for keeping day-to-day life in check!
I'd say the J.Crew/Tory Birch graduate student is going to look just right in the executive box with the older wives.
It's my feeling that if you are mingling with image conscious types, particularly in a semi-business setting, your best approach is to be authentic within your means. They haven't all been able to deck out like that forever, they know what it's like to be young and starting out.
Ladies like that will spot a fake bag or knock-off in a heartbeat. So don't even go there.
Stick with what you can afford and keep it real. That doesn't mean appear in your LL Bean-wear, get dressed up so you fit in. Make sure your hair and nails are great looking.