Ask Belle Roundup Vol. II, No. Eight
Sep 17, 2012
Belle –I just looked at my fall / winter closet and realized that everything is dark – brown and black – ick! Can you suggest a few staple pieces that are colorful and bright? I’m looking at more the Hill Staffer price point.Thank you so much!Caroline
There are very few pieces of clothing that you can wear only in summer (white cotton dresses, white shoes, pastels, etc.). For the most part, you can mix your summertime brights and bolds into your cold weather wardrobe without issue. Just layer the brightly hued pieces with neutrals and knits. But if you are looking for a few suggestions, here you go.
From Left to Right, TopShop Peplum Top ($48) // Splendid Fine Knit Sweater ($63) // Darling Parks Dress ($93) // Tippi Sweater ($79) // H&M Blazer (in store only, $32) // Mango Fitted Wool Dress ($99)
My preference for fall colors starts with jewel tones: emerald, amethyst, sapphire, ruby etc. Then, I move into muted earth tones: rust, oatmeal, sage, mauve. Then, I pick up the trendier colors: mustard, oxblood, teal. Just identify the color you like, and then go searching for it. And if you already have a lot of black and brown, look for pieces that will utilize what you already own to make outfits.
I actually ordered the same pair of boots as you (Ciao Bella Tabby/Tad) in cognac a bit ago, and am glad to see that I have someone to ask: how do you keep them in good shape for years? Do you have a waterproofing system or everyday care regimen that you might recommend for those, and other leather, boots?
I take all of my new shoes to the cobbler before I wear them. He treats and waterproofs them for me. If you want to do it at home, Frye makes a leather protecting spray that you can buy for under-$10. You also need to remember to get the shoes treated once or twice per season, and shined regularly. I don’t know why so many women think that men are the only ones who have to shine their shoes, but that is completely false.
My older brother is getting married in October, and while my day-of-dress is all set, I’m in the market for a dress for the rehearsal dinner. It should probably be “nice date night,” not too casual but not black tie. Ideally, I’d like a long-sleeved (or 3/4, or short, just not sleeveless) dress, above the knee, and no more than $100-150. I’m open as far as fit and color are concerned, though it’s the bride’s night so maybe something a bit more understated. Oh and, I’m twenty-two, if that at all affects the style hunter-gatherer process… Can you help?!
Badgley Mischka Sequin Jersey Sheath ($132) // Adrianna Papell Lace and Mesh Sheath ($138) (plus size $160) // Adrianna Papell Pleated Illusion Sheath ($158) (similar plus size dress $99)// Pisarro Nights Sequin Cowlneck ($188) (similar dress in plus size $260)
I think the best place to look for dresses in that style and price range is probably Nordstrom. Adrianna Papell and other brands they carry make a lot of sleeved cocktail dresses, whereas most other retailers equate cocktail with sleeveless and strapless.
I especially liked the peacock lace Adrianna Papell in the middle and the Pisarro nights dress in sequined mocha. If you want to keep things modest with sleeves, I think it’s good to incorporate lace and sheer illusion so that you don’t wind up looking matronly. And if you want to add some sequins for good measure, I certainly won’t hold it against you.
Ask Belle is a fashion advice column that runs every Monday afternoon. Have a question for Belle? Send it to capitolhillstyle (at) gmail (dot) com.