Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Vol. II, No. Two


Coach Legacy Colorblock Bag (Macy’s, $458)

Hi Belle,

This Coach bag caught my eye today.  I think it’s beautiful, but it’s at the top of my price range. I’m hesitant to make the investment because I’m not sure how it would transition into fall/winter. You’ve mentioned that you recommend grey/tan bags for year-round, but how might you style this? Does the pop of yellow ruin the versatility?

Cheers, Claire

Tis true, I do recommend grey and tan for seasonal versatility.  However, while this bag is awesome, it’s the kind of bag that you add to a wardrobe full of basic bags.  It’s a fun bag, a style bag, not a versatile, all-season bag.

Part of the reason is the yellow, but I would overlook that if the color was a darker grey (yellow and grey is so hot right now).  The pale, almost-white, grey just isn’t right for colder weather.

If I were you, here is what I would do.  Let’s say you have $450 to spend. You clearly love this bag (and what is not to love?), so invest in the smaller clutch version at $168 in the same great color combo.  

Then, purchase a basic bag in the $200-$250 price range.  I like this Foley + Corrinna satchel.  Or if you just want to buy one bag, I like the new handbags from Michael Kors.  This woven tote in taupe is fantastic and this tan-colored leather bag is also to die for.

Dear Belle,

I can’t afford regular manicures of pedicures (Staff Asst. salary, and all), but I have really tough cuticles. Can you recommend a product or technique for removing them?


I really like Deborah Lippman Intensive Nail Treatment ($20).  I have tough cuticles on my toes, and this really cuts right through them and makes them easy to remove.  It’s a bit pricey, but you only need a little bit, so it lasts for awhile.

As for technique, this tutorial is probably closest to what I use, since I do my own nails.  Though, it recommends an emery board to push down cuticles and I prefer and orange stick.  I also own this manicure kit, and it really is a great thing to have if you do your own nails.

Hi Belle!

I have a heels question… and I realize that this may sound silly, but please bear with me. I have recently started dating a guy who is only a couple of inches taller than me. While I don’t mind wearing high heels around him (and he doesn’t mind either), I would like the option of a lower heel to wear when we’re out to dinner, etc. so that I’m not towering over him in my 5″ heels.

The problem with some kitten heels and low heels is that they look a bit matronly… and that’s certainly not the look I’m going for. Can you suggest a low (2 inchish?) heel for the 20/30-something crowd that’s still sexy and fun?
Thanks in advance — your input is always appreciated!


Vince Camuto Goldie Pump ($89) // Ann Taylor Belinda Sandals ($99) // Kate Spade Stacie Kittens ($149) // Zara Studded Slingback ($40-limited sizes)

I once dated a man who was three inches taller than I am, it was fine until I put on 5″ heels or he decided to slouch.  Kitten heels were the best solution for me, but you’re right, many styles you see are matronly. 

The styles above are all 2.5″ or under.  I like the brightly colored pairs.  I also think the use of mixed leathers on the second pair and studs on the Zara pair make them more fun than traditional slingback kittens. 

If you get tired of kittens, you can also try a low wedge. Elie Tahari made a super cute red patent leather buckle sandal for summer that was a wedge.  (It also came in nude.

I also own these Cole Haan Air Talia wedges in nude and red patent.  They’re super comfortable, but you do need to have the toe-box stretched before you wear them if you have high arches or a high instep.  They’re a great casual or summer work shoe.

Leave a Reply to Beth · cancel comment


  1. LT says:

    To Belle or the Hive —-

    Can those pink heels be worn in the fall/winter? Suede always seems like a cool-weather material, but the color seems more summer…..thoughts?

    July 30, 2012/Reply
  2. Boardroom Belles says:

    For a classic grey bag try the Pippa from Modalu in Shark
    At 300$ a pop it doesn't break the bank.

    July 30, 2012/Reply
  3. Molly says:

    Tory Burch makes nice low wedges as well, both in peep toe and closed toe. A lot of them are even (mostly) logo free. I too am a member of the “Loves 4″ stilettos but the boyfriend is only 5'8″ club”

    July 30, 2012/Reply
  4. JD says:

    I love the woven tote, but how do you clean it? I have a very similar one (ivory hobo from the Sak) and, because I loved it and used it all the time, it got super dirty and has proven almost impossible to clean. I know now I should have sealed it prior to use, but how do you clean after the fact?

    July 30, 2012/Reply
  5. gingerr says:

    I think that's good advice about the bag. A large expensive bag is impressive, but they end up looking dated faster. Small leather clutches/wallets are impressive, but not so noticable that you can't bring them out season after season.

    I do think Coach is on the right track with the more structured bags. There has been an active market on eBay for their vintage styles and it seems like they're bringing some of those more tailored lines back into their newer offerings.

    July 30, 2012/Reply
  6. Claire says:

    Thanks for answering my question about the bag, Belle! I think I knew instinctively it wouldn't be a versatile enough to be worth that kind of money, I just needed someone to tell me. I'm loving the Foley + Corinna bag, I'll definitely check that out.

    July 31, 2012/Reply
  7. Beth says:

    My boyfriend is an inch shorter than I am. I prefer flats or low heels, but he encourages me to wear stilettos. I say wear what makes you feel confident and sexy and to hell with the convention that a woman must always be shorter than her man. ­čśë

    July 31, 2012/Reply
  8. saramel says:

    A little late commenting but if you have a Sally Beauty Supply nearby, or don't mind shopping for it online, pick up Blue Cross remover. A large bottle is dirt cheap and it will last forever. That stuff sloughs off cuticles and calluses better than any other. It's no wonder that it's used at most nail salons. The formua is watery, so dip a Q-Tip and slather it on and your cuticles will disappear with a simple push of the stick. Paint it on calluses and buff away with a pumice stone. It's a miracle worker on my toe's cuticles.

    August 3, 2012/Reply