+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Basic Striped Tee

Shirt: Splendid Striped Tee (ShopBop, $88)

From Left, Necklace: Long Multi-Stone Necklace ($105) Purse: Marc Jacobs Small Crossbody Bag ($255) Shirt: Banana Republic White Button Down ($70) Shoes: Dolce Vita Lucca Flat ($80) Pants: DvF Black Trousers ($201)

From Right, Scarf: Love Quotes ($88) Earrings: Pearl Studs ($34) Bag: Grey Tonal Satchel ($69) Shoes:Dolce Vita Lucca Flat ($80) Jeans: AG Ballad Slim Boot Cut Jeans ($164)

For Casual Friday.  This might be the second (?) time that I’ve featured some version of this outfit on the blog, but it’s a Belle staple, so here again, is the striped top over the button down shirt.  I like it because it feels a bit more casual but still look professional.  And I like how the long necklace plays with the horizontal stripes to bring the whole look together.

These are just a basic black trouser, so no need to spend $201 on a pair.  But you do need a pair that fits you well and is a good mid-weight wool not cotton twill.  Twill is fine, but your go to work pants, in my view, should be a year-round wool trouser.  

No, you’re not seeing double.  The shoes on the left are the same as the shoes on the right, just in a different color.  Sometimes a good basic, like a pointed toe flat, is harder to find than it should be so this one is doing double duty.  I prefer pointed toe with trousers to round toe, a reader mentioned that in the comments once, and she was completely right.  Pointed toe is better with trousers because it lengthens the leg and makes you look taller.

Again, this is a much smaller bag than usual.  Maybe it’s the New Year, but I just don’t feel like carrying as much baggage (emotional and literal) as usual.  If it’s not big enough for your essentials, don’t fret.  Marc Jacobs makes a larger Petal to the Metal bag in the same smoky-grey color.

As for the hair, I like an updo when I wear a real collared shirt.  It can be loose or tight, low or high, dealer’s choice.  On the topic of makeup, I like a strong, pink cheek when I wear black and white and grey together.  It keeps you from looking dour.  I’d also wear a sheer berry lip and lots of mascara.

For the Airplane.  If I said it once, I’ve said 7,824 times: Every woman needs an ivory scarf.  Here, I layered said miracle scarf over my slightly slouchy tee to enhance the relaxed style.  And because when you’re on an airplane, being chilled to the bone, a scarf will save your life.

In addition to the scarf, we have pearl earrings.  Because when I wear my ivory scarf, I love how it compliments the color of my pearl earrings and makes my face look kind of angelic (yeah, I said it, don’t look at me like that.)  It seems like such a small thing, but you’ll be surprise how it just lifts the look.  These are nice pearls, but I own the pearl studs from J.Crew, and I’ve been very happy with them.  (You can no longer find them online, but some stores have them.  The online shop may have them again in the future.)

As for the shoes and the bag, I just was in the mood for red flats and though these would look nice.  They’re slightly distressed, so probably better for a casual look.  And the bag, well, it’s textured grey finish has me considering whether I want to order one for myself.  Especially since I get free shipping from the UK if I spend $75.  I love that these UK retailers are finally embracing the US market.  

Since you’ll be on the plane, hair and makeup should be as natural as possible.  I always put on makeup when I fly.  Always.  I learned that lesson the hard way in ’06 when I got bumped up to first class unexpectedly and seated next to a hot, single guy.  Of course, it was the one, effing time that I didn’t wear makeup.  You should have seen the look on his face when I emerged from the bathroom freshly painted.  Oh, then, he wanted to chat up a storm.  Superficial asshole.  I may not be as attractive without makeup, but it’s not like there was an arm growing out of my forehead or something.


    leave a comment

  1. Nina says:

    Is BR your go-to place for white button downs? Do they fit us small busted ladies nicely? I have one from Gap and it is just okay. maybe I need to go a step up in Gap Inc's retail food chain?

    January 5, 2012/Reply
  2. Helena says:

    Belle, you've converted me to pointed-toe flats. I was resisting, then I tried some on because I liked the material and they instantly polished my basic work trousers-and-sweater look. Not to mention, gave the illusion of height to my stature (ha!). Thanks!

    January 5, 2012/Reply
  3. Sheena says:

    The side story about the hot guy in first class is hilarious. I love that pearl earrings has a miraculous way of taking a basic look and turning it into something classy.

    January 5, 2012/Reply
  4. K says:

    Brooks Brothers outlets always have pearl studs that are cheap ($20ish) but don't really look cheap ­čśë

    January 5, 2012/Reply
  5. e says:

    i just bought that grey bag after lusting after it all day since you posted it.

    January 6, 2012/Reply