+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Basketweave Skirt


Skirt: Basketweave Pencil Skirt with Metallic Detail (Spiegel, $69)

From Left, Earrings: Juliet Mini-Pearl Studs ($16) Ring: Blue Nile Cultured Pearl Ring ($33) Bag: Edie Purse ($238) Shoe: Jones of NY Helkie Pumps ($99) Belt: Max Mara Ande Belt ($91) Top: Elizabeth and James Chantal Blouse ($265)

From Right, Earrings: Aldo Agriesti Stud ($15) Clutch: BCBG Sequin Clutch ($88) Shoe: LK Bennett Shilo Pumps ($285) Belt: BCBG Rhinestone Medallion Belt ($68) Top: 3.1 Philip Lim Peplum Blouse ($375)

Polyvore Set Here.

For the Office.  While I try to make these sets colorful whenever possible (be not afraid of color!), sometimes it’s nice to rely on a simple palette of black, grey and white.  It’s timeless, chic and requires absolutely zero thought.  It’s perfect for early mornings or harried mornings following late nights.  And if you needed to, you could easily add a black or grey blazer to this outfit.

The star of this outfit is not the skirt, it is that incredible bow belt.  Philip Lim (?) had a similar belt last year and it was almost $500, so I am thrilled to see a just-under-$100 version.  That structured bow is so chic, and given how many skirts, dresses and blazers I can wear this belt over, I am definitely buying it.  If I like it, I may also buy it in nude.

Like the belt but need a less expensive version?  Ann Taylor has a $44 belt that has the same modern shape in a medium width.

I chose the snakeskin and suede t-straps because a) they’re lovely and b) they pull the color palette together.  I love the inexpensive pearl ring and tiny pearl earrings.  There’s just something about the way pearl studs light your face when you’re wearing an ivory blouse or scarf.

For the hair, I would wear it down.  I’d put jumbo hot rollers in mine to get bouncy, curled-under ends.  But if yours looks better very straight or wavy, go with that.  For the makeup, I would wear a pop of pink blush and a raspberry lip gloss to add color to your face and prevent the ivory blouse from washing you out.  I might also add a whisper of bronzer on the cheekbones and temples.

For the Theater.  If you head to the Kennedy Center for a play or the opera, you’ll see people wearing cocktail attire, business attire and casual attire.  There seems to be no set dress code for these events, so I like to fall somewhere between cocktail and business attire so that I am neither under dressed nor overdressed.

I paired the skirt with a to-die-for Philip Lim peplum blouse. (This Delia’s version is short-sleeve but under-$20, Alice + Olivia has a $198 long-sleeve version.)   If you added the belt and shoes from the first look, to this outfit, you could easily wear it to the office.  But adding glitzier accessories–an embellished belt, a sequin envelope clutch, a metallic shoe and pewter earrings–lifts it to sub-cocktail attire.

The pumps in this set are by British designer L.K. Bennett who has taken the world by storm thanks to a young duchess named Kate.  They are simple, a work-appropriate height and I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about them.  If you’re looking for a state side seller, Nordstrom has them in nude and black patent.

For the hair, I would wear it in a curled, twisted updo to soften the look.  For the makeup, I’d also wear winged eyeliner with grey shadow and a red lip.



  1. LS says:

    I know it's seem silly to ask this now, but in a few months, it'll be freezing! Can either of these outfits be worn with tights? Black?

    August 30, 2012/Reply
  2. cginnyc says:

    i love this skirt. For the second outfit, would you wear the belt directly on the skirt or over the peplum blouse? With the former, the belt could be hidden by the peplum but with the latter option, it might clash with the peplum. Which look is okay?

    August 30, 2012/Reply
  3. Leigh says:

    The link for the Alice and Olivia top doesn't work.

    August 30, 2012/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    LS: Either could be worn with tights if you switched out for black shoes.

    cginnyc: Above the peplum. It should work with the peplum by placing the bottom of the belt at the seam of the peplum.

    Leigh: It's fixed.

    August 30, 2012/Reply
  5. Mel says:

    Ohh, could you do a post on how to dress/ act for the theater? I have now gone to the Shakespeare Theater Co. twice and each time I really struggled on what I should wear.

    August 30, 2012/Reply