Do you ever have one of those weeks where you just want to change everything? When you suddenly feel the desperate urge to muck out closets, make life plans and just cleanse the detritus from your life with a soap made from God’s own fury?
No? It’s just me?
Well, so be it.
Anyway, I’ve been having one of those weeks. Months. Whatever. And it’s gotten me thinking about where I want to take Capitol Hill Style.
When I started this blog, I had four pageviews per day and three of them were my Mother. Now, it’s delightfully surprising how many of you come here every day/every other day/once a week to read my musings on professional fashion. And I couldn’t be happier with or more grateful for this turn of events. But where do I see the blog in six months or a year?
To keep growing the site and keep things fresh, I sometimes ask you for content ideas. Occasionally, I follow up. But more often than not, I either don’t find the time or the ideas, even the good ones, don’t fit into the vision/schedule of this site.
I greatly appreciate all of the comments you ladies (and gentlemen) have left here over the years giving me ideas about how to make CHS better. To put it in “Hill Speak,” I’m getting a feel for the needs of my constituency. So I’d like to ask a few questions this time:
1) What is your favorite thing on the blog? Which posts do you find most helpful?
2) Which posts do you like the least?
3) Is there anything that I used to write about or a feature that CHS used to have (closet makeovers, Resale Salon, etc.) that you miss?
4) Do you have any suggestions on how to make the site better suit the needs of working women?
Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’ll be going through them this weekend.
I love the fact that you help intelligent professional women be stylish at work in a way that does not diminish our professionalism! I have also enjoyed some of the posts that you have about business etiquette. There are too many people in DC who think that women in the workplace come in two models 1. that ditzy 21 year old intern whose pumps are too high, skirts too short, and blouses too low cut, (you know the girl you would ask out on a date but not trust with anythin in the office beyond copier duty); or the responisble intelligent professional woman who dresses like her grandma (the one you want to promote, but not date). Your blog breaks through this dichotomy.
My favourite posts are:
One of the reasons I adore your blog is for the polyvore sets you put together. I understand that you do not post pictures of yourself in the clothing because your blog is anonymous, and after reading other fashion blogs, I prefer it. I find the absence of personal photographs keeps it more about the clothing/concepts rather than how the person looks in these outfits. I think the absence of the pictures gives the site a cleaner, more visually appealing look.
Thank you for all the work you've put, and continue to put into this blog 🙂 it's one of my favourite things to read each day.
I still find the original 10th Commandment posts with the three options (lawmaker, staffer, intern) to be the most helpful. I also like when you pick an affordable piece and show two ways to wear it. It's great for getting my brain flowing on how to wear new trendy items, and also just how to remix what I already have in my closet. I check the blog every day for these posts.
One idea I have, which might not be feasible given that you have a full-time job, is to do your own mini-makeovers of Hill staffers or other DC professionals. Maybe people could volunteer, and you could take one of their typical work outfits and either jazz it up with fun accessories or given them a complete redo. Obviously this couldn't be an everyday thing — maybe once a week, or even once a month — but it would be a fun thing to do.
1) My favorite things are your discuss columns. I love reading the comments/your commentary on life. Oh and I love Ask Belle too!
2) I'm not a huge fan of the beauty posts, if only because they tempt me to spend money on new products that I'm not sure will work for me particularly. The Happy Hour posts are interesting too, but I don't have the patience to actually make a cocktail that nice.
3) Your old faux-pas were funny to read!
4) I love how you update three times a day. I really look forward to reading your posts! Lately everything's been great. It must be hard to creatively take the blog in a new direction so I can only wish you the best in that respect…the only suggestion I would have is to maybe incorporate every 10th Commandment into a Two Ways set? Thanks again!
S from La says:
I miss the resale salon. But I like everything you post! I especially enjoy the hair tutorials and I appreciate how you mix an intellectual post about office life/hill life/professionalism in with all the regular fashion reading. It is very helpful and refreshing! Carry on Belle! Whatever new direction you choose to take, we will love it. CHS makes my day.
I love your three/two ways posts and look forward to them every week! While I just like your style generally, I find these so helpful because you actually are styling thing for DC's conservative work environment. While I enjoy sites like Refinery29, the outfits they suggest for work for often laughable. I would love another round of packing posts–maybe one for a spring city getaway and one for a summer weekend at the beach? Then one for a longer trip–one week–away? I'm embarrassed at how many times I've looked up your weekend packing list from last fall, but it changed the way I pack…even if I now pack ten lip glosses to combat the urge to pack an extra five tops! Basically I think more of what you're doing, making fashion work for busy young professional women in DC, is the way to go 🙂
I also miss the resale salon, but honestly, I abolutely LOVE your blog. From the 10th Commandment to the real-life suggestions on how to spruce up your resume to new ways to fix your hair, I love it all. I come here almost daily, waiting for my boss to go into session just so I can take a peek at CapHillStyle for the day! Keep up the great work you do, Belle. We all truly appreciate it!!
I loved the “Save or Splurge” product posts that you and Miss M used to do – especially at a time when everyone is trying to (sensibly) get the most bang for their beauty budget.
I would love to see a post (or series of posts) about unique places in DC to shop. I mostly shop online, but sometimes it's fun to go into a real boutique to find the perfect dress or the perfect gift for someone.
And finally, I just think it would be hugely cool if you got the blog to a place where you felt comfortable showing us real pictures of you in the outfits you recommend.
I adore your site – it's probably my favorite and the one I look most forward to reading each day. 10th Commandment really gives me great ideas of new items I should incorporate, either as a closet staple, or a new trend. Two and Three Ways help justify the cost of some items. You typically choose items that are fairly reasonable, but even using your cost per wear theory, it's still just not in the cards to drop $150 on a pair of shoes/pants/blouse. I get the quality isn't as nice when I buy something from Gap or Target, but sometimes it's the only option I can live with.
I will say that even though your Happy Hour posts can be interesting, those are the ones I scan over at most or skip altogether. I'm not much of a drinker to begin with, and if that occasion comes up, it's typically out at a restaurant and I have no need for a drink recipe.
Given that someone else has already mentioned it, I love the idea of you doing makeovers, though I understand that a big 'policy' on your site seems to be about remaining anonymous. I've often wanted to see your own 'OOTD' pictures, but dont' know if that's in the cards for you to put yourself out there more publicly?
Again, love your commentary, suggestions, and straight-forward advice, I hope your readers' comments help you find a new spark!
First – love the product reviews! I appreciate your honesty…you try a lot of products that I'm too nervous to splurge on without knowing if they will even be effective.
Something I've enjoyed recently has been the “how-to” columns…last weeks hair up-dos, the unique spring color pairings. Perhaps with new trends, home fashion/beauty fixes, etc that could be something you continue?
I love your blog!
I found the blog while searching for information on how to wear camel and cognac boots, and I suppose most of the fashion information I seek out online is to answer the question “How do I wear ________?” I love the two ways posts, and all other posts with suggestions on actually putting outfits together. I love seeing a suggested outfit and realizing that I have most of the tiems in my closet already but hadn't thought to wear them in that way. Or realizing that I could buy one item and have numerous new looks. I also like general style “rules” and suggestions for avoiding the problems. The “2 out of 3” tights rule changed my life (despite the controversy). I've also appreciated the recent updo posts. My least favorite posts are probably skin care routine posts just because it is so person-specific and I tend to not dedicate quite so much time or money to that aspect of my life.
I love this blog! I like that you style for actual working women, instead of the trendy nonsense I see in fashion magazines. (Oh, Glamour, a pink shorts suit is NEVER going to be “work-appropriate”!) I also appreciate “Two Ways” and seeing ways to add some fun and sass to my work wardrobe – I can't go too wacky at my government job, but a little flair here or there is great.
The Happy Hour feature in fun in theory, but I generally don't have the time to make the fussy cocktails, and the dresses are always super spendy.
Another frustration, and I know this has come up a lot, is that many women simply cannot afford many of the clothes that you feature. I'm sorry, but in today's times a $500 skirt or $200 pair of shoes is just not going to happen for 99% of working women, even when you factor in the “cost per wear” concept. Most of those posts I just sort of giggle and scroll past, or try to find an equivalent at a discount retailer (or consignment shop).
One suggestion I would make would be to factor in different body types when creating features. Many of the Two Ways outfits are styled for tall women (I think Belle has mentioned that she is tall, but I could be wrong). If I tried to dress like Belle, I would look like a tree stump mated with a leprechaun, and my leprestump baby self was dumped on the doorstep of a convent. So I'd love to see outfits that would work for me at 5'2″.
Maybe do a Body Type Two Ways – one for a petite woman, and another for a tall one? Or one hourglass, one apple-shaped?, instead of one version of an outfit for one kind of event and another for work. Does that make sense?
How about some lifestyle posts? Here are some ideas: recipes tailored to cooking for one (ie: me when I lived in DC), date night or easy apps for a wine night with girl friends, restaurant reviews (ie: best places to go for restaurant week), travel tips, organization hints, fun weekend activities etc. If this isn't your area of expertise than it may be a good opportunity to outsource some of the writing and research to friends or emerging DC bloggers. It may alleviate the workload a bit too!
My favorites are the two ways and the advice posts. Least favorites are the 10 commandments and the Friday cocktail posts. I'd love to see more hair and make-up beauty tips! Not necessarily more product reviews, which I do enjoy, but just trends and how-to's. I also think it would be great if you could keep lists of things you recommend somewhere on the blog. I know you have the sartorialist page, but often I find myself wondering about more random things like “what's the purse cleaner she recommended” or “what were those things she recommended to change your hem length” but it's kind of awkward to find those things through the search function.
This is a great blog! It's the fashion/beauty/style blog I read most frequently, since you write for real women with the kind of lifestyle and job I have. Thanks for devoting your time to it.
I found your blog just before I was moving to D.C. to intern in the spring and had no clue how or what was considered to be business professional for women in the spring in D.C, especially as an intern. Your blog was so helpful, my life was saved by your intern post.
I have since continued to read it as I think it is a great, witty blog with lots of opinions and a good sense of reality. While some of the pieces are out of my price range, and I imagine yours and other readers, you manage to give great fashion advice for the budget savvy professional. Your creative pairings and advice have helped me build my professional wardrobe.
My favorite posts are the 10 commandments and the Two Way posts, because I need all the help I can get. I also enjoy your Dear Belle, sections because many times the questions address a fashion issue beyond the specific question.
I absolutely love your blog however, it would be great if posts were categorized by Title in addition to the archive so that readers could search Discussion Posts, Two Way Posts etc.
Things I love:
– Wear it 2 ways (especially how you show how to wear things for two different types of events/circumstances)
– 10th commandment
– Posts where you are honest and candid about personal struggles or discuss career questions – it really makes me feel more connected to this blog
Things I hope you change:
– I wish there were more affordable outfit posts.
– I always skip over the Happy Hour posts
– Adding to KC's idea above – how about a regular post of how to take something already in your closet (like a basic button-down dress shirt) and dress it up, accessorize, modernize it, etc into a fresh outfit?
Keep up the great work!
I love where you put entire outfits together and include accessories and hair and makeup ideas. I have a hard time putting a whole look together. I find pieces of clothing and accessories that I love but just can't come up with a total look on my own. Reading your site really helps me with this and gives me ideas I would have never though of by myself.
I think for entertainment value, it would be great to have more posts like today's with a “what not to wear” theme. I sometimes don't realize I have things like this in my closet and it is a real wake up call!
I also like how you incorporate items from every budget.
A suggestion would be to give size appropriate advice (hello petite!!) and I would guess plus size. Maybe show how to change up a piece of an outfit for those various body types.
Also, a big thank you for this site. I feel like I work in an office where no one cares about what they look like. In fact, most women here gossip about you if you wear anything nicer than a tshirt and jeans on a Friday. It is refreshing to see that professional style still matters to some people.
I love the descriptions for the two ways. Actually, I love all the posts where you write: reviews, questions, etc, much more than just the shopping finds! I know that writing is harder, especially when lacking motivation, but its your wit and commentary that make this blog so much more awesome than most fashion blogs!
Joanna F. says:
Absolutely love the blog. I'd love to see more DC-area reviews. I liked how you gave us a sneak peak into your salon catastrophe a few weeks ago because I know I will not be going there any time soon for my next batch of highlights.
-Cocktail recipes. Unless a blogger has made and refined a recipe multiple times, I don't make it.
-Posts about acne/skincare. I feel like all beauty/fashion bloggers have awesome skin, and I most decidedly do not. It's refreshing to know that I'm not alone, and I find the comments on these posts particularly helpful.
-More Sizes. After losing 25 pounds this year, I'm down to a 14, but even that sizes me out of a majority of the items featured. And at 5'8, short skirts and regular length pants just won't do.
-Even more varied price points. As a public interest lawyer, my personal “buy” points for clothing are usually: Suits <$200, Skirts & Pants <$60, Tops <$40, Sweaters <$60, Shoes <$80. Yes, there are exceptions for certain investment pieces, but for the most part, I stick to this range and just stalk sales. I would be curious if other readers have similar mental price points for wardrobe items…
I thought of another thing I love–seeing previously-endorsed items in subsequent “two ways” posts. I bought the Old Navy chambray shirt after you featured it once (and self-tailored it to fit better), and I've enjoyed seeing it pop up now and again in new outfits.
I love the 10th Commandment and Two-Ways posts. One thing I remember you discussing a while back was your 100-piece rule for your closet. I think someone mentioned above that more organizational tips would be great. Perhaps a post on organizing your closet? (or an updated post?) I also love your packing posts, so maybe more posts with life tips that relate to fashion?
Thank you, Belle, for the hard work you put into creating this site…it's absolutely my favorite blog and you have revolutionized the way I dress (praise the Lord)!
My favorite posts–and the ones I most often attempt to recreate–are the 2 ways posts. I think featuring outfits is generally more helpful than featuring single pieces, but that may be just this fashion-cautious girl's opinion. I also really enjoy the hair tutorials…those have been an awesome new addition!
The only posts I'm not that into are the happy hour posts.
Anne Shirley says:
Love Wear it Two Ways. Instead of the cocktail posts, or in addition, I'd like a weekend evening look. I know sometimes these figure into wear it two ways, but although I'm good at getting dressed for work, I'm remedial at fun times.
I'd also love to see a discussion around current events in fashion for this environment, like maybe featuring some if the best dressed at the State Dinners and what makes the look work.
A little more:
I know this is mainly about what to wear to work. However, since it is coming up on travel season, it would be great to see some suggestions for travel. What would you wear on a plane? What would you pack for a cruise? What would you wear to the beach – swimsuits, coverups, and shoes would be a huge help – ?
I think it might also be a good idea to post pics of well dressed women you see around DC. I see pics like this all the time on Pinterest – just ordinary women in really great outfits. It is very inspiring. It is also nice to see how people dress to their body types and accessorize their outfits.
More differentiation between styles to work for specific body types
Focus on cost: My household does well, but even your unpaid intern pieces regularly cause me to raise an eyebrow. If I were unpaid and on my parents dime or loans, I can't imagine spending $75 on a trendy frock versus a classic basic.
I love that you often repost items from previous 2 ways – this helps to remind me that you can incorporate pieces into many different outfits. The 2 ways are really my favorite, and they always make their way to my pinterest board. I enjoy the Ask Belle posts and the advice posts as well. The hair tutorials you have done recently have been helpful. I think you have been doing a great job, but I'm happy you are reinvigorating your interests!
I'd love to see ideas about dressing appropriately for the office in the hot and humid summer months that are about to descend upon us. I understand that you want to remain anonymous, but perhaps you could do “What I wore to work today” posts thru your polyvore page – posting the pieces and detailing the outfit the way you do in the 2 ways so we can get an idea of how you dress yourself for a regular day at work.
I'd also love to know what to wear to on an average day to the office that isn't especially formal – but isn't a casual Friday either.
Thank you for all the hard work and effort you put in to this blog and for keeping up with your 3 posts a day. I look forward to them all!
1) Hard to pick favourites, but I like Ask Belle and all of your fashion and beauty advice. I've loved your recent hairstyle posts.
2) Happy Hour – I sometimes drink cocktails but never make them, so this isn't too interesting to me.
4) Just keep doing what you're doing! My only wish would be for more fashion ideas and advice for those of us who work in offices with formal dress codes (suits every day).
I'm a DC professional. I only have a marginal interest in fashion. But, I pop over here constantly throughout the day, because sometimes I'm desperate just to stop and look at something pretty.
CHS shows me pretty things while keeping my wandering mind in a professional mode. In that way, it has been a wonderful injection of beauty into my daily grind. Thanks for doing it. I know it takes a lot of work. It really is a service to a community, and it is itself a community, and I really appreciate it.
2 ways/3 ways is the best. The Hill Life discussions have been great fun. I like Happy Hour, mostly because its an excuse to show us fabulous and implausible gowns. I too appreciate it when you keep the budgets low when giving actual wardrobe advice. Many of the beauty products are orders of magnitude too expensive for me, but I suspect I'm not the target audience. Otherwise, keep doing what you like and enjoy it. I hope it's as fun for you as it is for us!
) What is your favorite thing on the blog? Which posts do you find most helpful? – Two ways is incredibly helpful.
2) Which posts do you like the least? – skin care product reviews
3) Is there anything that I used to write about or a feature that CHS used to have (closet makeovers, Resale Salon, etc.) that you miss? – No
4) Do you have any suggestions on how to make the site better suit the needs of working women? – I love it when you do the topic discussion forums, I think professional women like the opportunity to think about the issue/debate/comment, etc.
I really appreciate the skincare advice – I bought EradiKate last week after your BPGP and am really enjoying it.
Seconding someone else's comment, I would love to see some advice for clothes and outfits for the hot, humid DC summers. I know you've done similar posts for keeping hair and makeup looking fresh in the heat, but I'd appreciate some help with clothes!
1)I don't live in DC and I will rarely need to dress business professional for my intended career (clincal side of health care) One of my favorite things and style pinnacles is women who dress like women and I feel like this blog really embodies that. I love a woman who looks pretty and put together and isn't ashamed of the fact that she spent a long time on her hair or her skin care routine takes 10-15 minutes. Being feminine and powerful and successful is awesome. (rah rah rah) I think this is why I like this blog so much even though it isn't that applicable to my professional life (or lack thereof). I love the product reviews, the how tos, the discussions, and the q&a, especially those related to faux pas. (we all make them)
2)Like most other posters, I too could pass on the Happy Hour posts. Too lazy/tired/cheap to make a fabulous cocktail on Friday afternoon. I will settle for PJs and a glass of wine.
Keep up the good work! I recommend this blog to everyone I know.
-BCGP and beauty routine posts
-Save or Splurge
Sharon S. says:
When I first started reading a few months ago I think you had a consignment section where people could offer up old-but-good-condition clothes to others. Either that page disappeared or I simply can't find it anymore but I liked that feature! I love the two-ways and the discussions on broader career/dc musings.
Hey! I'd like to see you address certain body types on certain days of the week. As a petite girl who is busty and hippy (but not overweight), I'd actually like to see you be more specific than “petite”. Maybe one day a week would be tips on wearing trends OR buying quality investment pieces for those who are…tall and large-framed, petite and curvy, petite and large-framed, petite and slender, etc.
I'd also like to see more CLOTHES and maybe just a tiny bit less text. More guides on wearing and pairing certain pieces (what to wear a blazer with, what to wear walking shorts with, etc.), more guides on how to fill your closet (investment pieces v. trendy buys), and how to keep it fresh on the weekends. I find I always have a fairly good idea of what to wear to work (the D.C. uniform), but crazily enough after all of these years in gov't relations, I've forgotten what my out-of-office fashion sense is. Others might benefit from your delving into creating a personal style – and how that translates to an office outfit (how to add southwestern accents to a suit without looking like you went native) versus a weekend outfit (wear your navajo maxi skirt with these tops to infuse style without going overboard).
I realize a girl should know what she likes by my age (29), but I don't. And I'd love some help identifying not only my style, but how to moderate my personal style with trends and classics – all while flattering my figure and not wasting precious shopping dollars.
Thanks for your site!! It's great and I'm a huge fan!
I LOVE your blog. And your writing style in general. Hilarious and so honest.
My absolute favorite thing is two/three ways. Also love your little tutorials on hair how tos, cleaning makeup brushes, tights, etc. The little things that all women should know but far too few actually do.
It looks like I'm alone here, but I really enjoy the Happy Hour posts! I haven't made any of the cocktails, but I definitely look foward to whatever creative drink you've got up there paired with a fabulous dress! I don't care that I can't afford the pieces ususally…I mostly just enjoy fantasizing about sipping one of these drinks while wearing something that costs about as much as a year of student loan payments.
Again, I'm probably alone but the thing I could live without is expanding the professional issues/life issues discussions. I think the amount you have going right now is perfect. I feel like Corporette has so much of that going on, and this is a nice departure from that.
First, I want to echo what other posters have said and thank you for all your work on this blog. I read it daily!
Things I love:
– two ways posts
– how tos
Things I'm meh about:
– happy hour posts
I would love to see a few more posts on how to dress casually and how to build up that side of my wardrobe.
Erin H says:
I love the 10th Commandment posts where you offer options in different price points. I'm also really enjoying the hair tutorials these days. I love all of your beauty tutorials, so please keep them coming! And finally, I love your taste in accessories — you always pick things that are beautiful and eye-catching, but still work-appropriate.
That said, I really don't mind when you feature items outside of my personal price range — I just go look for something similar that I can afford (and that works for my body). I come here for inspiration, not an itemized shopping list!
One idea for expanding your blog would be to feature posts on building a wardrobe. For people who are new to DC (or the working world in general), or even for those who recently got a pay increase and can start spending more money on clothes, I think a series on prioritizing would be great. What pieces would you buy first if you were starting from scratch? What would you spend vs. splurge on? (Based on earlier comments, I think you may have done something similar before I started reading. If that's the case, please change this from a suggestion to a “bring it back, please!”)
I also want to second some ideas I saw above: 1) I love Shannon's idea for a “Body Type Two Ways.” I'm 5'0″ and a bit curvy, and I agree that some of the outfit ideas on this site tend to skew towards tall/skinny women. I'm much better than I used to be about recognizing which styles will work for my body and which wont (or how to adjust trends), but I'm still not 100% there on that, and it would be great to see some variance in the body types featured. 2) Another great idea that was already suggested is discussing how/where to shop in DC. I, too, do most of my shopping online or at the usual chains, but it would be great to know places in DC to go for more unique items (beyond the Nordstroms that you list in Sartorialist).
Erin H says:
One more thing I forgot to write:
I would love to see some of your classic tips aggregated (even going through the comments on this post I learned about new ones!). Maybe a link at the top of the site to “top posts”, or a monthly/every other month post where you just list the top posts for that time period. I realize that it would be incredibly labor-intensive to backlog your posts, so what I'm going to say next is probably not possible, but: food blogs often have links at the top to all of their recipes, sorted by category and keyword. It would be so cool if your archives were organized like that!
In general, I find your blog so helpful!
First, I have to agree with so many, and say that I love your blog. It's by far the best source I've found for workplace appropriate fashion, and I really look forward to reading your posts everyday.
My favorite posts are the two ways — I love how detailed you are in putting together the outfits — and 10 commandments. My least favorite are the happy hour posts, which are fun in theory but offer very little practical help. Maybe they should be pared down to once a month.
I'd love to see two things: 1) I think that it would be very helpful if you'd talk more about setting budgets for clothes, e.g. where to spend your money and where to save it. I don't mind spending a $300 or $400 on a really nice bag that's going to last me for a while and make my outfits, or $500 on a suit that I can wear for years, but for the rest of my clothing, I'd like some more discussion. Is a great tie neck blouse a basic that I'm not going to regret spending $90 on? How much is appropriate for a cardigan? When should I hit up H&M? 2) I'd like to see a little more body-type discussion. Pear shaped, apple shaped, etc. I think my butt's too big, and while bright pencil skirts are really cute and I love the outfits you put together with them, they seem like a nightmare for someone like me. How can I do color blocking, or is that a trend I should forego?
But even without those changes, you can count on me being a loyal reader as long as you're posting. Thanks for all your hard work!
I love the two/three ways and Ask Belle posts. I don't really dislike anything that you post and I miss the resale salon.
I wouldn't mind seeing more hair/make-up tips for work. I like that you've started talking about what hair works best with different outfits – I just seem to be stuck wearing my hair the same way all the time.
Mostly, I'm happy with the blog in it's present state.
I love your blog, especially all of the “wear it 2 ways” posts. Its really helpful when trying to look stylish in the office. One thing I find difficult, however, is that the “wear it 2 ways” posts always integrate tons of different other pieces. While the outfits always look great, I always find myself making notes to “need to buy a bracelet like this” and “need to buy a scarf like that”. The list of things I “need” to buy has gotten pretty long.
What I would LOVE to see is how to make different outfits (for both work and play) from one wardrobe. For instance, translate your whole wardrobe (as well as you can) into polyvore and create outfits just from those items. I would love to learn how to mix and match things I already have into new outfits, or suggestions of 1 “statement piece” or “basic piece” that can be used over and over and over again.
Also, a “what I am wearing today” post could be great as well. We all know you have wonderful fashion sense, but we would like to see what you really are wearing (without an actual picture, of course!)
First off, thanks so much for maintaining such a wonderful blog! You've turned me (as well as many of my friends) on to so many things I would not have otherwise known about–Ebates, Birchbox, and many more clothes and beauty purchases than I care to mention!
I love your 10th Commandment posts & your product reviews. I usually skip over your Happy Hour posts. I'd love to see more posts that review local restaurants, boutiques, salons, etc. I always appreciate your honesty in all of your reviews. Best of luck 🙂
Oh- and I forgot to mention that I love the Happy Hour posts. I don't actually drink (not often, anyway, and then mostly wine) and the dresses are usually expensive, but I think that it's a lovely way to end the week. I actually really like the fantasy quality of most of the dresses – it's nice to think about having that lifestyle, even though I'm sure that I never will (by choice – I didn't go into education to ge rich).
Your two ways posts are my favorite. I also like when you test & review beauty products, as I fully trust that you tested them & weren't paid to promote them. I learned a lot when you posted your beauty routines, but that's a one time thing.
I'd like it if you could cover the topic of accessorizing. Sadly, I have issues in this department & it doesn't seem to matter how wonderful my outfit is!
I feel like Belle has already addressed why she doesn't blog about particular sizes/fit issues – because she's not a professional stylist and her experience is in dressing herself, not someone very petite or plus-size, and there are other blogs focused solely on dressing for a certain size/shape.
Belle, maybe instead of trying to be all things to all people size-wise on CHS, you could have a section of links to the blogs that you think are already doing this well?
It seems that whenever you mention tailoring, you seem to preface it with a disclaimer — as if you know everyone hates it but you feel you have to say it. So I just want to say I LOVE when you talk about how clothes should fit and how to tailor them to get there! I have learned a lot about proper fit from Jeanne at Extra Petite, even though I am straight-sized — I'd love to see you talk about, or include some posts about, fit and tailoring that go into that level of detail but for all / different / straight-size body types.
Things I love:
-two ways (and I miss the extra outfit from three ways)
-hair tutorials (I think more options for other hair lengths would be great)
-beauty reviews (more splurge or save posts)
I could do without:
I would love to see:
-A weekend edition instead of the happy hour posts (great idea, Anne)
-Some guidelines on girl cute vs. guy cute would be incredibly helpful. I always have anxiety dressing for a date.
-Travel outfits! I'm going to Seattle this summer and I know their style is really different so maybe style ideas for other cities?
-Turning basics into something chic. Khaki pants are a staple for many American women, but they normally look so frumpy. Is there any way to make them fashionable?
-A post on handbags – maybe even a two ways? I know I should invest in a good bag, but I don't carry one to work so I'm worried I won't get enough use out of it to justify the money. I'm not familiar with the best brands either so the one time I almost bit
the bullet on a marc jacob bag, the negative reviews at Nordstroms about quality scared me off.
-more info on 100 pieces of clothing
-color pairing ideas. I love the orange post from last year. I have a bunch of lavender/lilac that I don't know what to do with.
Lastly, please don't take this comment the wrong way, but I think the main thing the blog needs is organization. You've done hundreds (if not more) of fantastic posts but they get sucked into a black hole. As I recall you like to cook, so imagine something like the archives at smitten kitchen or simply recipes. I know this type of change would require a ton of work, but I really think it would make a huge difference. I'm willing to help any way I can!
You are the b-e-s-t. Seriously, where would we be without you.
I read a lot of blogs, and I always, always click on your posts first. Yours is the most practical, most relevant, and funniest fashion blog that I read.
I love the tenth commandment, 2 ways, and Ask Belle features. I appreciate that you keep this blog DC-focused.
I could do without the happy hour posts, and although I know that acne is a specific problem for you, I think there's an overload on acne product reviews.
I would like to know more about shopping habits, or tips on shopping and budgeting for clothes. Do you shop mostly online or in store? How often do you have to tailor what you buy? How many purses are too many?! (kidding) I saw another commenter mentioned your 100-piece rule – I would love to know more about that. I am such an impulse shopper and then end up with too many trendy, colorful pieces.
I really enjoy your site-very nice work to date! I have tried many other fashion blogs, but often find that they are too trendy to incorporate into my wardrobe. I love your 2 ways posts, especially when the featured item is more affordable.
I tend to be less interested in the happy hour posts because I rarely have reason to wear cocktail dresses, and also tend to pass over the beauty product posts.
I would love to see you incorporate more looks that would work in a casual office setting. At my workplace, jeans are only allowed on Fridays, but if I were to wear a skirt or jacket on other days, people would think that I had a job interview. More options in between would be very appreciated!!
Thanks so much for all of your great posts!
I love Ask Belle, and the Two Ways posts. You clearly have a gift for putting outfits/colors together, and I get so many new ideas from looking at those posts. I disagree with those who have suggested expanding into lifestyle/going out, etc. I love that your blog is focused only on fashion and beauty (for the D.C. woman!), and has three meaty posts a day. I'd hate to see the content diluted by too much expansion. I do find that the “Hill staffer” pieces are often beyond my budget and that of most other Hill staffers I know (and I've been working on the Hill for several years). Still, it's more about the piece in general I think, and we can all look for a similar skirt or what have you at a more realistic price point. The only posts I regularly skip are the Happy Hour posts.
Belle, I love this blog. It is the only fashion blog I read and 99/100 I come away thinking, “God, I wish I dressed like that every day!”
– save or splurge
– beauty product reviews, particularly make-up
– what not to wear
-Happy hour. Love the idea but actually don't really read the post, which is a shame because your writing is so fun and well done.
– My favorite post of all time was when you showed how to pack for a business trip for 5 days. I followed your tips and used half a suitcase. It was awesome! In that spirit, I'd like to learn more about this 100 item wardrobe. I have way too many clothes given the tiny number of proper outfits I feel I can make out of the lot. How do I trim the clothing fat without feeling like I have nothing original to wear?
Thank you for all of your hard work. I love this blog. And thank you for not giving in (fully) to sponsors. I hope you do make some cash off all this work but I appreciate not being assaulted by “sponsored by…” posts every time I come here.
I absolutely love everything about the blog and check it multiple times a day and use it as inspiration for when I don't know what to wear to work the next day or what to pack. It is so helpful that our style (and most rantings) is so similar.
As many people said, the 2/3 ways are my favorite. What I would love to see more of would be to see some more (and you do have a bunch) affordable options in those. I always love everything but cringe at the prices periodically. I do periodic designer splurges but not that many!
Thanks for all the time you put into this blog!
I love your blog, and have been reading daily for a LONG time- I'll agree with everyone that the Happy Hour posts are not really necessary. I am a huge fan of your discussion blogs, because I think you're an intelligent and enlightened woman, and your readers fit the same bill. The comments are interesting and informative. All of your fashion posts are great, and I'll echo that they sit in a high price range for my budget. If you could do a feature on some great places to go out/eat/shop in DC as a series, that would be wonderful. I know you've repeatedly recommended some services such as your delivery groceries and your lingerie store, but a whole slew of recs would make me a very happy reader!
Capitol Hill Style is one of the few blogs I follow that I read every post. I really haven't found that many lifestyle/career/fashion blogs that I feel address where I am at in my life. Especially the last few months several of your posts have touched on conversations that I have been having with girlfriends, such as the hair tutorials, moving from heals to flats, dealing with acne in 20-30s, dressing in a conservative work environment but still keeping your sense of style. I appreciate the different price points you offer, I am at the point in my life though where I do not have any issues spending $500 on shoes or $200 on a skirt since those are the pieces I'm in 40+ hours per week. Amongst my peers and seeing it in myself, making a point of curating our wardrobes and having quality over quantity seems to be the focus and I feel like your posts reflect that while keeping things are trendy in a variety of price points. I just recently transitioned from a private sector job to working in the public sector, and I went back and read your archives before I started and used it as reference in my first few months. Your blog is really ones of the few that I go back to regularly reference.
I am really enjoying the hair tutorials you have posted recently, the Two Ways, Ask Belle, The Hill Life, and Discuss are immediate reads for me. I don't care as much for Happy Hour or the coverage of the Red Carpets that you do but I still always enjoy your commentary. I do not ever see myself moving to DC to follow my interest in policy, I am learning how to navigate Colorado, but I enjoy the insight into Hill life.
You've talked about your perspective on technology/social media in our lives/work and I would be curious to hear more on that particularly as far as using it for personal and career branding.
Overall though I really love your blog! Your voice reminds me a lot of my own girlfriends and itâ€™s always a fun and refreshing read.
Erin H says:
I would just like to chime back in and echo what someone posted about organizing your archives. I'm sure you've already answered a lot of these questions in your typical smart and funny way, but people don't know that because they didn't see the article that day, or they weren't reading the blog yet. I've noticed that you do tag your posts, so even something as simple as having a list of all the tags in a prominent place would be huge (with links to the articles listed in each, just what you get when you click on a tag at the end of a post now).
Thanks so much for this blog!
I love the two ways posts. I like seeing a full outfit and I love how you offer a work option and a more casual option.
Honestly, I think your site is great as-is. I feel like most fashion bloggers are 'professional bloggers' and as such are completely removed from the kind of lives that most of us lead. I need to dress like a responsible adult at work, and I want to buy clothes that are going to last. There isn't a lot of fashion inspiration out there that fits that bill–which is why I love your site.
The only thing I'd like to see is perhaps sometimes some less expensive options. I know that part of your focus is on building a wardrobe (long-term), and I definitely appreciate the value of buying high quality…but sometimes a girl needs a cheap fix! I like your elected official/hill staffer/unpaid intern posts for that.
All in all, though, your site is great. Definitely my favourite style blog.
I love your blog as-is and your three posts a day are perfectly spread out for work breaks. My favorite posts are two ways. I also can't afford most of the items and have a much different body type than you but I still mine them for ideas. For example, today's pointed out how to do the contrasting colors with the shoes and the earrings while still looking professional. Even if I looked just like you, it's unlikely I'd run out and buy the exact same outfit you profiled.
I also appreciate that you give sensible advice on work clothing. That's surprisingly hard to find for those of us not in a creative field. Either suits just aren't interesting enough or else have to be tarted up. Other faves are the discussion posts and the beauty tips. I love to hear a former beauty queen's tips and tricks.
As for additions, I love the lifestyle posts others suggested. Perhaps you could put outfit ideas together for different body types. For instance, formal night for a plus-sized woman or daytime wedding for an apple. That might satisfy some of the desire for real-life makeovers.
I wanted to second the “what am I wearing today?” post idea. Not that your outfits look much different than the ones you put in your Two Ways posts, but it would still be neat to see. More DC lifestyle posts would be great too! This is only my second year in DC and I plan to stay here for a little while. I'd like to hear your opinion on restaurants, sights, events, etc.
I actually really enjoy your beauty posts – esp. the ones on skincare. I'm a college student but I suffer from many of the same skin ailments that you do.
I also agree with limiting the Happy Hour posts to once a month. It's not that I find them boring, I just think that the post would be better if it was converted to an Evening Look post for the weekend.
Please add more Hill Life posts/career advice! I've found your advice useful for my Hill internship and also at my job now in an ultra-conservative office.
Thanks so much for all that you do!
I've been a long time fan of this blog for a long time but this is my first post! I can't remember what brought me here but I believe it was acne related (yuck) anyways I've been a fan ever since.
1) Favorite – Two ways, 10th Commandment, Professional Advice, Discuss
2) Least Favorite – hair and skin product review, cocktails, and while I think you get very excited for the once a year glamor events — I skim over everything Oscar or Golden Globe related.
3) Suggested Updates – I'd love to know what your favorite brands are, who are your go-to retailers that you buy the same pieces from year after year. A lot of my go-to retailers have been falling flat recently and I'd like to change it up. Also, I think it would be cool to get your perspective on the style of well known professional women in DC. Take a couple of the younger Representatives, Senators, or Administration staff and do a discussion of their style. Give us little guys something to aspire too. Finally, now that you are no longer on the hill, I would love to get your perspective of lobbying/consulting life. How is it different than the hill? What are the pros and cons to both? As a young professional that would really help me in my future career goal setting.
Thanks for having such awesome style and sharing it with the world.
My favorite features are “Two Ways and “Tenth Commandment”. No surprises there.
In terms of future content, I would love to see more posts about weather-wear. I struggle with buying jackets. Tips on what to look for would be great. Perhaps something like your belt buyers guide, but for coats? And commuting shoes! Why are they so hard? I also enjoy the faux pas features. I will admit I have caught myself unknowingly doing some of the things on the lists!
Belle, you made reference to this a few months ago, but some posts perhaps in the two ways or something like it, that cover “girl cute” versus “guy cute” outfits. I feel like no matter how many times I go shopping determine to find something appropriate for Friday/Saturday nights, I always end up with clothes that work better for the Sunday de-brief brunch.
Also, I always love any posts that share career advice/reference how your career choices got you to where you're at. I'd gladly welcome more of those!
I wish there was a way for you to archive all the posts where you recommend certain products. That would make it easier to search archives for those of use who may not buy a product immediately, but do remember seeing it on here previously.
I love your blog, thank you so much for writing it! You probably don't see me in your page view counts because I usually read via google reader. 🙂
I love the 10th commandment and 2 ways posts. I would love to see more fashion advice posts, even just very basic things about choosing colors, building/refershing your wardrobe, etc.
To echo many of the senitments that have already been expressed here, I also really love your blog, Belle. I check it multiple times a day looking for your new posts and it is often a bright spot in my boring worday. My favorite posts by far are the two/three ways. What I think is the most valuable is your gifted ability to style and accessorize outfits. I love learning about how/why you chose things and how/why they go together because this is what I struggle with. I can easily pick out a cute shirt or dress, but I often don't know exactly how to wear it and that's where your posts are extremely helpful. I am also not bothered when you show things that are outside my price range because I am using your posts as a guide. I also love it when you share other tidbits…like that your necklace and neckline should complement each other, or advice on what kind of makeup or hair to wear with an outfit. As a few other commenters have posted, I also would love to learn more about jewelry and how to properly accessorize.
Aside from these, I like the Hill Life posts and I find learning about the trajectory of your career to be very interesting and helpful. I also love your posts offering career advice. Frankly, I don't care for the more controversial Discuss posts. I realize I am in the minority here, but while I find the comments thoughtful, I will admit that I read elsewhere for those kinds of discussions. The ones centered around conversations we might have with grilfriends are great, but the ones expressing political opinions, etc., I usually skip.
As others have mentioned, I skip the happy hour posts, but would love to see that translated into an outfit you can wear one night over the weekend, instead. Like someone else mentioned, lately I have been turning to my closet for something to wear on a Saturday night and I find the most exciting top I have to be a white button down. I would love some advice about classy outfits for a Saturday night out.
I would also love more DC specific reviews. Good restaurants, hair salons, nail salons, fitness classes, places to shop in the area, etc. And now that wedding season is almost upon us, I would also love to see good suggestions for what to wear to a wedding/shower/etc…perhaps you could show how to style a dress for a shower and for casual friday, for example.
Please keep up the good work! I know it must be hugely time-consuming, but I hope you continue to find it rewarding!
You have a gift for blogging, and you are the only blogger I feel connected to on a more personal level. Your writing style, outfits, and practical advice continue to shape us as readers and I am so thankful!
I love all of your outfit posts (esp. 2/3 ways), even though they don't really apply to me (I'm 23 year old midwesterner in a creative field), but I still like to mix in classic, professional pieces such as pencil skirts, blazers, etc. My favorite posts are Discuss because it encourages the readers to get involved in the conversation. The readership at CHS is a group of women I really respect and look forward to reading the comments, instead of turning a comments section into a minefield of unintelligible hate. You present on issues that always seem to resonate with me and I enjoy discussing with my friends or colleagues. I love happy hour posts because it is a dose of “pretty” to end my day on Friday. I often need cocktail looks for work and play so I love getting some inspiration from those posts.
I'll echo some other commenters and say I'd like to see more lifestyle posts, especially packing and organization. I'd also love a segment about building an accessory collection from the ground up. I'd have no personal interest in any dining/DC centric pieces because I'm a thousand miles away and I think it might detract from the overall feel of CHS.
Thanks again for all of your hard work. You redeemed my faith in bloggers!
Just wanted to chime in and say that your blog is GREAT! It's really helped me make the transition from Florida to DC last year–temperatures might be similar in the summer, but workplace fashion is worlds apart, and I had no clue what would be considered appropriate in the kinds of places I want to work. Florida workplace wear seems to divide itself along a “questionable amount of skin” coed receptionist look versus “55 and given up” sad older woman look. So I had no idea about a happy, professional middle.
1. Beauty & hair products and techniques/tutorials. I am clueless about these, and I don't trust magazines–they have an advertising agenda. Usually I skim right past beauty product and appliance recommendations, because they seem to just be this week's expensive piece of vanity crap. But on your site, I know you're telling the truth about their usefulness, and not just buying expensive things to fill a hole. And you seem to need the same kind of things I do (30-ish, fine hair, skin that needs love, etc.).
2. Stories and advice, from how to act at work to past fashion mistakes. They really personalize the blog and make it seem caring. I'll admit a little mental hand-holding from this site helped me when I was a newcomer last year. 🙂
3. Must-have sets–what belts you need, what flats you need, etc. For those of us just putting together a wardrobe, seeing what are the basic needs in each category is really helpful, especially updated as trends and seasons come and go. It's hard sometimes to get a bead on this when everything in the fashion world is presented as a “must-have”. Your taste is trustworthy.
4. I love the cocktails. So much of your blog is wonderfully practical, affordable advice, which is what most of us need. But it never hurts to throw in a bit of Bond-esque luxury here and there, and drink recipes are a great way to do that. I don't look as much at the expensive clothes; as another reader said, those are above even my pushing-it price points. But I love mixing the cocktails, please keep them coming
1. Award show dresses. It just feels like the same thing other fashion blogs do on those nights. One of the reasons I love this blog is it seems to be fashion advice for women who are tying to have a career doing something besides looking pretty. The movie-star-gazing feels like a disruption of that. How about profiling beautiful, fashion-forward women in positions of real power? Those are my role models and who I would like to dress more like, not Cameron Diaz.
2. The 10 Commandments can be a bit depressing, when one can see the obvious drop in quality from “Elected Official” to “Intern”. Do I really want to add “get elected to something” as a bucket-list item, just so I can afford the Hermes scarf and not the Topshop one? ;D
3. Truly expensive clothes (ex. more than $150 for a dress, more than $60 for a skirt). My price break points are similar to other commenters. It's awesome to have advice for special events, you truly excel at keeping that reasonable as well as dignified. But I'll probably never drop $200 on a dress that I'll wear to a few cocktail hours, even if I made twice what I do now. I just have a problem with the idea–it doesn't strike me as luxurious, it strikes me as a waste of money. I'd rather buy a $100 dress and have more bills to spend on the drinks!
Would Be Great:
1. Styling a piece that most of us already have in our closet. Shopping for new things is awesome, but so is realizing you can follow a trend with something you already own.
2. Recommendations for diverse kinds of places to shop in DMV–high end is obvious, where are the cool little places? I'd like to give my money to not-chains if possible. And occasional tidbits about salons, restaurants, nights out you've enjoyed are always awesome.
3. Advice on how to wear select vintage to the workplace, including accessories. I'm not trying to look like Peggy Olsen, but I've inherited some pretties, and I'd like to see if they can be introduced into a semi-conservative workplace.
4. DC style icons. Interview some of the lovely younger working women I see walking around–their favorite pieces, shops, DC fashion tips!
5. I know you're teetering on the 30-ish line, and congratulations! The Thirties are light-years more awesome, in every way, than the Twenties. I hope that, as this transition occurs, you have the inspiration to age your advice accordingly. So freaking many fashion sites seem to let women drop off the face of the earth when they hit 30, with the exception of “dam the flow of time” advice. It's totally important to help younger women make the appropriate fashion transitions out of college, you're fighting the good fight there. But everyday working women who are 30-40 get ignored by fashionistas a lot, which sucks–we're supposed to be redefining the decade for ourselves and the women to come after. 30-something women have money, confidence, and standing in the world–a little fashion and beauty advice to make the decade our own would be amazing.
6. Intern-to Entry-Level makeovers. It would be awesome to have occasional makeovers that celebrate local young women making a career leap!
I love your blog, please keep up the amazing work. Thank you for asking your readers their opinions. You rock!
The blog is amazing already but your willingness to always ask for ideas and suggestions can only continue to make it better.
-2 ways to wear one piece
-the hill life/professional advice
-Questions from readers
-save or splurge
– specific beauty product reviews: i get the impression that your hair, skin, and body are the complete opposite of mine and a few products your recommended did not work for me at all. i'd rather see posts with general beauty trends for the season (summer nail polishes) or tutorials (smokey eyes or updos for work).
– happy hour posts: the dress and cocktail combos are usually interesting but i'd never make the cocktails on my own. maybe you could direct us to places in dc that have great cocktails and then let us know what type of outfit would be appropriate to wear to said establishment.
– posts on other accessories professional women need like business card cases, cell phone cases, passport holders, makeup bags
– i know you probably don't want to show your face, but maybe you could show us your outfits. take them out of the closet, lay them on a bed or table, and take a picture. we know you obviously don't own all the outfits on your pinterest board, so it would be nice to see how you make outfits out of the pieces you actually do own.
Hey Belle! I love CHS, and I am definitely here 3 times a day almost every day of the week. And I absolutely adore the Laura Mercier primer I won – thank you!! My answers mimic several others:
1) 2 Ways, 10th Commandment, SOME of the discussions, the how-tos for professionalism (I'm a suburban almost-lawyer, but it translates wonderfully)
2) The drinks, BUT I don't drink. And I would enjoy a “here's a great restaurant” or “where are the best blue crabs” or “here's how you should spend your weekend” type idea … maybe once a month? I know it'd be a lot more work.
3) I loved closet makeover and Resale Salon – and think both are great options.
4) My only improvements would be to suggest that you pair with different body types sometimes to suggest how to dress different body types (since you say that your body is the one you know how to dress best, and I understand!), and I would also love more stylish when casual looks. But if you're looking for different body types, I'm a busty apple shape, and I usually dress my body really well, and in a way that accentuates my best parts and hides the not-so-great parts. I'd be very willing to help out – I'm sure a lot of us would give suggestions!
I love reading the blog, Belle, but lately it seems like one big ad for Clarasonic and Birchbox. I know you say you don't get paid, but it's getting a bit much. Loved the hair style tips, though.
I love this blog. I find it uplifting and a great reminder of the professional image I want to cast. I do not live in DC. I work in professional services and find this all very relevant. I appreciated the ideas for new hairstyles beyond the ponytail!
I would love to see more on the essentials everyone should have in their wardrobe. Adding a new feature where once a week you address a wardrobe essential, what is key to look for, etc that would help.
I've read various comments and questions about how to dress various body shapes. Overall information on how to dress for your body shape would be really helpful.
As a former beauty queen, there are secrets that I'm sure you know on how to look your best in a last minute situation. Any tips like that to pass along would be great.
Love the options that are practical (e.g. flats – and not succombing to pain of heels) and with a variety of price points. I also love when you teach us things (e.g. what is neutral, how to jazz up a look by belting something). While some of these things are common sense to you, it's educational to me.
I'd love to learn more about what YOUR favorite blogs and sources of inspiration are. What do you monitor regularly to see what sales are offered? What are your favorite websites for buying clothes?
Thank you for for what you do. Truly impressive that you have a full time job and do this.
Your blog rocks as is. The one thing I love is its breadth. If there is something I'm less of a fan of (cocktail hour), no big deal. I love product reviews (skin/beauty) and any way that you highlight need to have shopping items – LOVE the 10 commandments/2 ways. From your advice just this year, I've purchased JCrew's sweatpants from the cold/sick outfit, Birchbox, Clarasonic Mia, Eradikate, baking soda mask (I use as acne treatment), Africian soap (less enthused), and now I'm trying to avoid SLS products. You've been spot-on nearly 99% of the time. I'd like to note that although I often don't purchase the same item you've highlighted for the 10 commandments etc, I've definitely been inspired by them.
I love this site! I would love to read more beauty product reviews, skin care reviews, jewelry and accessory posts, and packing/traveling posts. Like many of the previous commenters, I don't get as excited by the Happy Hour posts.
First, to reiterate other comments, thank you for offering unique, smart and creative content for us to read on a daily basis. It's always exciting to see Capitol Hill Style light up my Google Reader feed.
My suggestion is in reference to blog post searches. The Google search bar and results for the site, located in the right column of the screen, offer quick results. However, their utility is limited in light of the fact that they're squeezed into a small space. Would there be any way to modify the search feature to expand to a full page, with larger photos? I mention this as you clearly have a loyal, daily readership, and with that, may come the desire for readers to search prior posts with greater ease.
Also, have you considered including your other social media connections under the “Follow Belle” section? Perhaps Pinterest and Polyvore? This would also maximize the potential for new readership, as I think you mentioned on Twitter recently that a number of your new readers check out your stuff through Pinterest.
I find it most excellent that you include discussions related to manners, conduct and dress codes. They not only offer readers the opportunity to engage in discussion, but also reiterate the importance of such “intangibles” in this town. Also wonderful are the “Two Ways.” Posts related to cocktails are certainly creative, but don't get me quite as excited as your other features. And trust me, its fun to get excited with your posts.
Have you ever given thought to posts related to the other side of the Hill, such as State or the Pentagon? I understand this might not be preferred or feasible, but the other side of the Mall could sure use Belle's influence also. Also, I'd love to hear more about your hobbies, such as going our to the firing range. I understand if it doesn't quite fit into your website's “brand,” but when you mention “Guns and Ammo,” I certainly want to learn more.
All the best to Belle and her readers!
Belle, Capitol Hill Style is my favorite blog, and I check it multiple times a day — clearly what you are doing now works for me! You have definitely changed the way I dress for work as well. I have been working more blazers into my outfits, instead of always relying on my old standby, the Jackie cardigan (which, incidentally, I don't think holds up as well in the wash as it should for $60).
Minor improvements I might suggest: more organization or a better search function, so old posts can be located; and a weekend post instead of the happy hour post (which I could do without). Otherwise, I love just about everything you write and post!
Regarding various commenters' requests for more size-specific posts (e.g., petite and curvy), I would adhere to the general adage that you should stick to writing about what you know. Extra Petite and Girl With Curves, as well as other blogs do a great job covering the petite and curvy demographics.
Anyway, thank you for bringing us your fabulous blog!
I think you did one post on your own closet once (with how it's divided between seasonal items and staples). I found that very interesting, because honestly, as a new season rolls around I always find something that I absolutely have to have regardless of how it fits into my wardrobe. That's why I absolutely love your “Two Ways” posts, but I always stop to wonder how many of those other items women do (or should) already have in their closets other than the one featured.
All that being said, I was thinking if you could do a post (or posts) similar to the one where you packed for a three day trip on a limited number on items, but maybe for a work week. I think being able to see which items actually have reuse value as opposed to those that would be restricted to only certain outfits would be valuable not just for me. (For example the coral colored shoes you posted this afternoon are gorgeous, but I would have a hard time finding room for them in my wardrobe without an idea of multiple ways of styling them. Purchasing them would not seem worth it if I can only wear them with one or two outfits during one season.)
Belle, I LOVE your blog! I can't imagine the time you have to put into it to make it so fulfilling for so many viewers. It fills my short breaks at a wonderful job with the color, design, fashion, and femininity that are lacking in the grey sea of cubicles. I read every single thing except for cocktails. I love the 10th Commandment with the three price points. I love two ways. I love your random thoughts, including personal struggles, because it keeps me things in perspective. I love when you post no-nos that help us recognize when a style has past and items need to be retired. I love when you show how to mix hard-to-pair colors. I love it when I can afford the items you post and when they're still available online. I find myself reading the skincare items and just bought a Clarisonic Mia!
Something that I struggle with that I don't see many posts about is how to keep clothing – particularly shirts and sweaters – in good shape. I feel like my cardigans fall apart immediately. I get pills on my sweaters under the arms every time. Can I save them? Am I doing something wrong?
You are incredible! Thank you for creating this oasis for me and so many others!
I agree with Christine (pg 3)—keep yourself anonymous!
Yours is the only blog that I read regularly; wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for the hard work that you do!
I love your blog–this is the only fashion related blog I read regularly. My favorite posts are 2 ways, ask belle, splurge/spend, and your professional advise sections. While I don't have the money to spend much on clothing, reading the blog has definitely kept me more aware of trends, and putting together different articles of clothing. I especially appreciate your comments on fashion faux pas/ask belle advise as it has definitely allowed me to realize things I should probably not do…
people are hating on the friday cocktail, but I love it because its a break from the practicality-beautiful whimsical dresses and delicious looking cocktails are great friday things. I would love it if you could do more weekend picks for going on a date or going out to a nice place with friends.
Regardless, I love your writing style and sense of humor–thanks for making my days a bit more interesting!
Hey Belle! Do you think you could do a post on bathing suits for younger women, such as college students, given that spring break is approaching?
Love the “two ways” posts. Don't love the elected/staffer/intern posts. Would love to see the closet makeovers return, and even lessons learned from those. Your advice is best when it's direct and demonstrable – you have a great eye and I enjoy your writing style. Your commentary to accompany the “how to style” posts along with the pictures really help me understand what you're saying about color and style. Incorporating the “real world” experience from closet remakes in that same format would be awesome.
I've been reading for years, and always look forward to Two/Three Ways, Hill Life, and Ask Belle. I also think your price points are fair, contrary to many readers–some things are trendy, some aren't, but that's the nature of a fashion blog. (And I'm currently unemployed, but still think investing is worth it! I just go for a quarter a wear.)
I reallllly wish the search features were better. I usually resort to Google to find an old post, but especially for interview/packing/skincare posts that I often want to refer to, it would be great if they were compiled or something.
Also, I adore the happy hour posts! We need more whimsy in this city. Not every post has to be deadly practical.
I just started reading your blog about a week ago, but have enjoyed going back through a few of the archives. I love your tips for interesting outfits that are also appropriate for a work setting.
I really like the “Elected Official/Hill Staffer/Unpaid Intern” feature â€“ itâ€™s really nice to see how something can be reinterpreted at different levels, especially when itâ€™s something on which I want to splurge. However, based on an admittedly quick Google search, Iâ€™m a â€œHill Stafferâ€ equivalent in my industry but usually think the â€œHill Stafferâ€ items are still a little out of my range for most pieces.
I also like the â€œTwo Waysâ€ pieces and the hair tutorials â€“ good info for professional women.
The Happy Hour feature, I skip, as I can find fun drink recipes on other sites with more options, usually sites that are specific to recipes/drinks. I also donâ€™t care for the Beauty products review; again, thatâ€™s not what Iâ€™m looking for when visiting your blog.
I generally love the outfits you put together, but I do wonder how theyâ€™d look on a real person vs. laid out on a page. For example, I tried a yellow cardigan based on a recent look of yours, and I thought yellow looked hideous with my pale coloring. I think the trend of bloggers photographing themselves is getting really old, so Iâ€™m not sure how youâ€™d address this.
Finally, you mentioned in a recent post that you have about 75 items in your wardrobe (if I remember correctly). Iâ€™d LOVE to see all of those pieces and how you mix them together, or even just what you think a good â€œstarterâ€ wardrobe would consist of, for a good variety.
The 2 ways/10th Commandment is great, but these posts are getting quite a bit longer than they were not so long ago. I find myself skimming past the details of which hairstyles and makeup would go with the outfits. I especially enjoy your take on workplace etiquette and issues. Overall the blog is great. I definitely appreciate that you post regularly and you're not lazy about the content either. Some bloggers, even Anh on 9to5chic which I found via Capitol Hill Style at totally love, are starting to give the impression that they're losing interest. I would say to you Belle, to just watch the length of your posts. Congratulations on your success.
Belle, thank you for the time and effort you put into creating this blog for the women of DC. Sometimes when I see people commuting in woolly slippers (twice this past month!) or crocs with a pinstripe suit (unfortunately not a joke), I take a deep breath and think of your insistence on professional attire and that makes me happy.
I agree with most of the above – preference for fashion posts over beauty posts, glossing over happy hour posts – but I do have one specific request. Could you please do a post or a series on wardrobe transition from your 20s to your 30s? I believe you did a single post on this in the past year where you featured some more adult pieces to which you aspire, and I'd love to see more of that. I have found myself over the past year looking in my closet and occasionally thinking, 'I really wore that to work last year?' My closet should probably be culled a bit to rid it of clothing that doesn't convey the professional, confident woman I would like to project in my early 30s, and your advice would be most appreciated. Many thanks.
Before I discovered Cap Hill Style:
I owned and wore with everything:
*One black belt
*Sensible black shoes
*One black purse
After discovering Cap Hill Style:
I own ( and wear with everything):
*red, neutral and animal print shoes
*red, blue, animal print, tan skinny and wide belts
*a cream purse
*a whole bunch of accessories
You've helped me to think about fashion differently and realize I am capable of being fashionable with a little thought. I would love to see more on how to style what is already in my closet differently. I love two ways – how can do I do it with what I already have.
I love the ask Belle – perhaps a weekly feature?
I would love the option of signing up getting your blog emailed to me. Not sure why, I obsessively check your blog 5 times a day – but would save some of the postings.
Love a suggestion another reader made of having a link for product recommendations in the navigation – so we can go in there and see them all in one place.
I appreciate you sharing tips like your cost-per-wear and your numbers for purchases. It has helped me to think differently about how I spend on my clothing and increase some of my numbers.
I would love to hear how you began to build your wardrobe, lessons learned, mistakes made, etc.
Love, love, love this blog. I've gone from it being to a guilty pleasure to a pleasure I openly share with friends and coworkers. Many thanks to you for taking the time and sharing your thoughts.
I really enjoy reading your blog. Like many readers, my favorite posts are your “one item, two/three ways.” I even sent my mother here to see one set and she's now a daily reader, too! What I most enjoy are the featured outfits, professional advice/ask Belle and your product recommendations. Even though I have a different body type and skin type, I still find your reviews and suggestions helpful. And as far as price points go, I'd prefer you pick whatever inspires you–we can copy it at a cheaper price if needed. I like the focus of your blog being professional, but it would be nice to see some nice-casual/business casual outfits for inspiration. Dressing up isn't too hard for me, but casual outfits are my Achilles' heel…
I echo the readers who say your blog is special because it's anonymous. I think it keeps things focused on the topic/pieces at hand. It gets repetitive and boring to look at fashion blogs that are screen after screen of blogger photo shoots.
The main thing I would change is: make the blog more searchable–feature post tags near the top of your homepage, better/more detailed tagging, perhaps a “follow Belle” or “pin Belle” buttons rather than links, maybe tweak the blog layout and theme a bit to draw in more readers. I know that's mostly boring admin work, but I'm sure a lot of us readers would be happy to pitch in!
I hope that, as your blog changes and evolves, you're able to keep your strong, unique voice. So far you've struck a great balance, and product features are authentic. I don't mind the ads on your site, because I know you use those products and services. It wouldn't bother me if you increased those some, since you spend so much time on the blog and deserve to make a decent living off of it if you so choose. But it really turns me off of food and fashion blogs when every post is full of “c/o”s or a long “ad-itorial.”
I always read the 10th Commandment and Two/Three ways. Those posts help me think about what I should be looking for when I go shopping.
I always skip the Happy Hour post.
I'd be interested in seeing your closest services come back and especially seeing before and after for people who's closets you work with.
In general, I'd like to see less criticizing what people wear. You can tell me to wear comfortable flats to commute in without mocking the people who wear tennis shoes.
I appreciate how you tag posts, but could you also have a list of all your tags on the front page of the blog so it's easier to search past posts?
Keep up the great work, Belle! Yours if my favorite style blog; I really appreciate your frank point of view.
1. I'll echo everyone here by proclaiming my love of the two-ways posts. Sometimes I'm on the fence about trendy items specifically because I'm unsure about ways to wear them. These posts are so helpful, and I especially like the detail you provide in terms of accessories, hair, and makeup. Ask Belle is also great; you've answered a couple of my questions, and I was so thankful for your input!
2. I tend to skip the cocktail posts; the recipes are always delicious-looking, but I don't drink cocktails often enough to make any complex drinks. (Give me a beer!!)
3. I miss seeing your faux pas sightings; they were so amusing and I liked your specific reasoning behind why certain styles/accessories/products are not flattering. More people need to be educated on the horrors of Vera Bradley.
4. The only thing I can think of that I'd love to see more of are the two-ways posts. They are absolutely my favorite and always helpful. I know putting together those Polyvores must be time consuming, though!
Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog; I'll be a reader as long as you keep writing!
My favorite posts are the 2/3 Ways posts. It is really helpful to me to see how to style certain pieces. I have to echo what many of the other commenters have said though – many of the pieces are way too expensive for me. I would like to see more posts about DC life/work in general, product reviews, and how to style basic pieces that I already own.
Have to say I love the blog!
My favorites are the 3 price point posts and also the 'wear it two ways' posts. I tend to adore the “ask Belle” posts as well.
As for the ones I skim more than absorb, I tend to gloss over the cocktail ones pretty fast and I usually avoid the product ones too. Not because of any endorsement things, I'm just not that into products in general.
I love your feel for conservative-office-place-appropriate-yet-fashion-forward and I love that angle.
Keep up the great work!
– if one wanted to get a professional makeup application done for a special night out, where would one go that doesn't cost a fortune and what is the proper etiquette? thinking something more sophisticated than plopping down at a makeup counter at the mall
– when should you give up the ghost a piece of clothing (or bag or shoes) that has been repaired several times?
– what are some (10-20) basic items every career-minded woman needs in her closet? especially items that are worth spending money on – like a burberry trench? a great handbag in each black and brown?
I like the 10th Commandment and Two Ways posts. I really dislike the posts that end up being rants about things that feel entirely unrelated to the blog. I nearly stopped reading after you wrote 9 paragraphs about how much you hate people who push the automatic door button when they don't “need” it. Stick with your niche, which you inhabit so well.
Oh, one more thing – would you ever consider having a few guest posts about maternity clothes that are work-appropriate? While I know you would do a lovely job putting together good ideas, it would be really helpful to also have input from someone who has been pregnant and can speak more specifically to pieces that work well during the different trimesters, which maternity wardrobe staples are worth paying for higher quality and which ones aren't, etc.
1) What is your favorite thing on the blog? Which posts do you find most helpful?
I'm new to the Blog (just started following from a friend a month or two ago). I LOVE the 10th Commandment posts, and how you show how to wear the item in different ways. I also love the three price points posts (Elected official, staffer, unpaid intern). I work in state politics, but I find that the fashions are appropriate for my office, price level and the “look” that we need to have here. Also–beauty tutorials are awesome–I've been wearing a sock bun for a week now, and I will never do the “flaccid ponytail” (hilarious!) again.
2) Which posts do you like the least?
Probably the Happy Hour posts. I have nothing against happy hour, it just seems like I would forget to look here if I was going to make a cocktail.
3) Is there anything that I used to write about or a feature that CHS used to have (closet makeovers, Resale Salon, etc.) that you miss?
I'm so new here that I don't know.
4) Do you have any suggestions on how to make the site better suit the needs of working women?
I found the cost per wear idea really helpful. Perhaps you could feature some more ideas for the higher cost-per-wear items. For example–the white blazer you featured today. If I could come up with maybe 5 different looks for it, it would justify my spending $100+ on a blazer. If it's something like a blouse, or printed skirt that I might only wear a few times a season, I would be less inclined to spend the prices featured. Also, ideas of transitioning key pieces from winter to summer would be awesome as well. Overall, I think you are doing an awesome job. I check this blog almost daily!
I used to really like when you could link to your polyvore site and see the ensembles you created. A lot of them I really liked and would accumulate pieces bit by bit by checking back and referencing them.
Also, with my job, I wear suits, but do to the physical nature of the job (I'm a sommelier – so lots of running up and down stairs to the cellar for wine, reaching, lifting, etc), skirts are not practical, so I wear suits with pants. I would love to see some posts on how to make that look stay fresh and stylish and feminine.
I commented on your response post, but I just wanted to add:
-including hair and makeup recommendations with Two Ways is great. I have a pixie cut, so I don't pay much as much attention to the hair styles, but I like that you seem to advocate thinking about your entire look, as opposed to just the outfit.
-many comments mentioned the price points of the items you suggest – could you do a post explaining the price points of the items on your blog? Perhaps a State of the Blog post? I know you're constrained by what is available on Polyvore, but what else goes into your decision to post a piece? (Or a piece at a particular price.)
-along the same lines: I thought your Cost Per Wear post was great, as was your post about how you make a list of items you plan to buy that season and set a budget. Keep up the advice on how to balance budget needs with fashion!
Again, I wanted to reiterate how much I like your blog and how appreciative I am that you spend so much time on it.
This week I had the overwhelming urge to throw away all my stuff and paint my whole house white. I was talked out of it. But now I think I've talked myself back in…
I love your blog. I think the thing that makes you unique is the way you blend commentary on new trends with a firm grip on what's actually professional for work. I'm in a creative field, so I can get away with being a little more daring, but there has been many a day where reading your blog has encouraged (admonished? :)) me to step up my act a bit to make sure I look polished.
I also appreciate how consistently you post.
Although I'm not sure if it fits within the parameters of your blog or your interests, I would be most keen to have options for larger sizes and different body shapes.