Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup June 25th

Hey Belle!  Seeing as we hit the first official day of summer today (really, 98 degrees, really?), I was wondering if you had any summer survival tips or products to help us get through the summer months.  This is my first DC summer, and while I am from the South, nothing really prepares you for walking to the Metro every day in a skirt in blistering heat.  (Heeellloooo chaffing!)

Thank you so much!

Sincerely, 98 Degrees – But Not The Band

I’ve written many times about maintaining personal hygiene in the hot and humid D.C. weather.  This post best describes what I believe are the summertime essentials for such uncomfortable conditions.  But last week, I walked home from work (almost two miles), in 98-degree heat, and when I walked in the door, I was amazed by how perfect my makeup still looked.  The products below make up my summer foundation.

From Left: NARS Oil-Free Pro Prime ($32), NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($24), Clinique BB Creme with SPF 30 ($37), Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder ($30)

NARS makes the best primers.  The.Best.Hands.Down.  I use both their oil-free Pro Prime with SPF and their eyeshadow base, and my makeup never moves a millimeter.  I purchased this BB Cream several months ago, and while it doesn’t pack all the power of a traditional BB cream, it is a tinted moisturizer on steroids.  And even on a hot and humid day, it never wilted a bit.  Lastly, I apply a dusting of translucent setting powder to keep everything matte.  On more humid days, I’ll keep the compact in my purse so that I can reapply in the evenings.   

I was really impressed by how this assemblage or products stood up to our recent heat wave.  Hopefully, these concoctions will keep me looking fresh until things cool down in October. 

Hi Belle,

I’ve actually commented about this before on your blog, but one of my pet peeves is when skirts and dresses still have the slit in the back sewn together with thread.  I saw two women this morning with this problem, but I didn’t know how to tell them, and I wanted to check with you about what I might have said.  I would much rather have someone tell me if I had forgotten to remove the thread, but is there a tactful way to tell someone they will need to take scissors to the bathroom with them and fix their outfit? 


The “X” threads that hold seams together are complete superficial, but some women either don’t notice them or don’t know that they’re supposed to be removed.  I think that if you see a woman whose back vent is still sewn together, the appropriate thing to do is tap her on the shoulder and politely (without judgment) say, “Pardon me, but it looks like you forgot to cut the strings on the back of your skirt.”  I don’t see it as any different than telling someone that they have a small tear or stain on their clothing.  It’s common courtesy to let someone know.

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  1. Emily says:

    I forgot to undo the “X” on my skirt once and an older lady said “That's such a pretty skirt. It must be new, you've still got the thread attached!'. I wasn't offended at all and I appreciated her telling me.

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  2. cginnyc says:

    Emily – that's a great response! Filing away for future

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  3. HH says:

    Anti-chafing suggestion: pick up some Body Glide anti-chafing balm at a running store, Amazon, drugstore, etc. As a runner, I've used this stuff for years, but I've also used it on my feet when I'm not running. (Admittedly, I haven't used it on my inner legs while wearing a work skirt, but I think it would be fine if it were carefully applied.)

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  4. Kara says:

    Another makeup savior for the hot and steamy DC summer – Clinique's Stay-Matte foundation. I just started using and my makeup doesn't budge all day. Full coverage but not too heavy, I'm in love!

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  5. Ali says:

    i love the clinique bb cream, but i find it way too thick, even with warming it up in my hands. i cut it with my moisturizer for a lighter feel!

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  6. Erin says:

    Since Belle didn't really address the chafing part of the first question – I recommend wearing bike shorts under your skirts. I like a 3″ or 4″ compression short; UnderArmour makes my favorite ones by you can get decent ones from C9 by Champion at Target, and the Jockey Slipshort is good too. It keeps you cooler and prevents chafing. Also, try BodyGlide (available at sporting goods stores), which looks like a stick deodorant; you apply it anywhere you get blisters or chafing and it works like a charm.

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  7. gingerr says:

    I like that B&B cream too. It's a good mosturizer, which sadly I need even in the summer.

    Emily's line for X threads is the best.

    Kind words aside, If I'm not in a place where I can remedy whatever problem someone else has spotted I'd just as soon not hear about it. Co-workers and people inside near a ladies room – tell them.

    Last week someone got on at Union Station in a top that was inside out. Those commuters from WV get up early so I decided she'd probably been sleepy when getting dressed. I let it be, she'll see it when she gets to work and can duck into the ladies room and fix it.

    June 25, 2012/Reply
  8. Ellie says:

    Funny analogy you make Belle; I think it's much ruder to tell someone they have a stain or tear in their clothing. Those seem much more judgy. My rule is always if the person can do something about it that day at work, let them know. If they can't, let it slide.

    June 26, 2012/Reply
  9. EmZ says:

    To prevent/remedy chafing issues, check out Monistat's Chafing Relief Powder Gel ( Fragrance-free, not greasy, and doesn't stain. I use just a pea size amount or so if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of walking on a hot and humid day.

    June 26, 2012/Reply
  10. K says:

    I second and third the nomination for body glide. I discovered it for running, but when I stop wearing tights, I slather on BG on my inner thighs to reduce the chub-rub and associated chafing. It works like a charm. stash another stick in your desk, so the walk home doesn't hurt too (since you can rub down the BG from your inner thighs if you are walking to/from a lot of meetings during the day). BG is available at running stores and on Don't bother paying extra for the pink “women's” version, regular one works great.

    Gold Bond Powder has a friction stick too at that I haven't tried yet, but is less than half the price of Body Glide.

    June 26, 2012/Reply
  11. Spiritmom says:

    wrong answer on telling someone they have a stain or tear on their clothing. Miss manners says if they can do something about it (such as the x thread, or if you can bring yourself to do it, something in their teeth) then say something. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut!!

    July 6, 2012/Reply