Ask Belle Roundup Vol. II, No. Three
Aug 6, 2012
Hello Belle,I don’t know about you, but I love Kate Middleton’s style. It’s classic, yet stylish and her “everyday” outfits never appear over the top. Most recently, I saw a photo of her at one of the Olympic games. She was wearing a bright blue Stella McCartney dress paired with a simple navy blazer.However, I’m having difficulty trying to find a similar dress. I was looking for something with the same sleeves and to be work appropriate, knee length. I’d prefer not to go over $50, seeing as the blazer is a bit pricey, but I could do $80, if necessary. If you time, would you mind helping in my search?Thank you. Megan
Since you’re shopping in a lower price point, at the end of the summer season, you may need to choose a dress that is close but not nearly identical. The dress on the left has the defined waist and the bright color of the Stella McCartney original but lacks the sleeves and the neckline. The dress on the right has the neckline and the sleeves but not a muted color and a shift shape.
I have a decent wardrobe with most of the “staple” wardrobe items; however, most of my clothing was purchased on a budget and is not of the best quality. I would like to slowly add more quality pieces to my wardrobe while weeding out the budget items.
I still have a limited budget, but I would like to add a couple of high-quality pieces for the Fall. Ideally, I’d like to spend $200 or less.
Do you have any recommendations for Fall clothing/shoes/accessories within this budget? (I plan to ask for the J. Crew suit you recommended for Christmas).
This is a great question.
My advice to you, since you do not have a lot of money to spend, is to identify the two or three pieces in your wardrobe that you wear most frequently. Do you wear your navy pencil skirt all the time? Does your black cardigan rarely leave your shoulders? Have those peep-toe pumps melded to your feet? Once you know which pieces you wear the most, you’ll know which pieces you should upgrade.
Upgrade the pieces that get the most wear first to get the most bang for your buck. Then, once your key pieces are replaced with better quality, more stylish alternatives, identify the one or two pieces that you’d really like to have–like a fitted pencil dress or a silk blouse.
It might take a couple of years to upgrade your wardrobe this way, but if you choose pieces that are well-made and take care of them, one day you’ll look in your closet and love everything you own. Slow and steady wins the race.
My younger sister will begin her residency interviews this fall and, evidently, it’s an all day production that involves touring the hospital. She is wearing navy suiting (J.Crew 120’s) and needs a nude shoe – a very comfortable nude shoe that can go the distance. I was thinking a low wedge might be nice (she prefers to wear a pant suit) but we’re both having trouble locating one. A low nude heel or kitten heel would work too.
If the interviews are in the fall, I don’t know that nude is your best color option. I occasionally wear nude shoes with skirts into October, but with pants, the looks is a bit jarring. I think a chocolate brown, a medium or dark grey or a navy would all be more appropriate, seasonal choices. Back when I was still wearing pants suits (a skirt is just much more flattering on me), I wore chocolate brown pumps with navy.
A few quick points, all of these shoes are pointed-toe. They lengthen the leg line and look better with trousers. Also, I put up these navy pumps because you asked for kittens, but frankly, they’re a bit matronly. I prefer, this patent leather Jones of New York pair, it’s a good basic 3″ heel. And lastly, if you find a pair that you like, that don’t pinch, buy a pair of Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts. They really help.