+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Kirna Zabete for Target Blouse


Top: Kirna Zabete for Target Arty Dot Top ($27)

From Left, Earrings: Glass Pearl Studs ($25) Bag: Brahmin Convertible Bag ($235) Ring: Robert Lee Morris Circle Ring ($55) Tights: Commando Tights ($34) Boots: Sam Edelman Empire Boot ($270) Blazer: Super 120s Blazer ($230) Skirt: Super 120s Skirt ($230)

From Right, Earrings: House of Harlow Sunburst Studs ($55) Bag: OMG Bag from Lo & Sons ($275) Boots: Nine West Subscribe Boots ($159) Scarf: N Peal Cashmere Scarf ($79) Pants: Vince Ponte Leggings ($225) Sweater: Uniqlo Tunic Sweater ($32)

Polyvore Set Here.

For the Office.  Choosing a blouse to wear with your suit jacket should be simple, but that doesn’t mean we always get it right.  In my opinion, turtlenecks, high-fitting crewnecks and basic button up blouses are not the best suit jacket pairings.  Tie neck blouses like this one, v-neck sweaters and scoopneck tops have a more flattering neckline when worn with one and two button blazers.

A black suit with a black and white print blouse is one of the easiest pairings you will find.  I have a black and white polka dot blouse (similar to this one) that I often wear with my suit.  It’s just an easy outfit for harried, early mornings.

Black tights and black boots/black pumps are to winter what bare legs are to summer.  If you work in an especially cold office, the boots will keep your calves warm and a pair of fleece-lined tights will also help.  If $34 is more than you are willing to spend on tights, the Hue brand is a good alternative.

I like this simple satchel in a deep eggplant to lend a little color to the outfit (similar bag here for $67).  I also added a pair of simple pearl studs and a cocktail ring.

For the hair, I would wear it off of my shoulders in a French twist or a low bun.  For the makeup, I would wear a kiss of purple on the lips and a plum blush.

For the Airplane.  Last week, I received an oddly confrontational email from a new reader who was deeply upset that I thought I “had the right” to tell people what to wear on an airplane.  After all, as she put it, “If my pjs are hurting your eyes, just look the other way.”

First off, pajamas are for sleeping, at home, in your bed and nowhere else.  The only people who should be allowed to wear pajamas on an airplane are children under the age of seven.  Secondly, pajamas in public are lazy, the fashion equivalent of wearing a neon sign that says, “I do not care.”  And all of this fuss is unnecessary since you can avoid looking like you just rolled out of bed and be comfortable.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

Heavier than the standard legging, these ponte pants from Vince are comfortable, warm and sturdy.  (A cheaper pair can be found at Wet Seal.)  If you prefer to avoid the waist band and wear leggings, my favorite are the heavy weight leggings from Splendid.

Here, I paired the leggings with a v-neck blouse and a v-neck tunic sweater.  The blouse adds a bit of chic and dresses up the look, while the long sweater covers the rear view.  (You could also wear a sweater dress.)  I would have recommended a long cardigan, but TSA will make you take that off, and then you’ll be cold and exposed in the security line.

Tall boots like these and a good pair of socks provide salvation for cold feet.  And I added a scarf in case you get cold on the plane.  (Seriously, who doesn’t get cold on the plane?)

You can be warm, comfortable and stylish with minimal effort.  Especially if you take a minute to style your hair–dry shampoo and a simple sock bun are great for early flights–and put on a little makeup.  On the plane, I like tinted moisturizer and touch of cream blush with lots of chapstick.



  1. Catherine says:

    Ok. Your posting time is way off for some reason again. So weird.

    But I agree with you about the airport stuff.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  2. Mel says:

    I agree with you on the PJs on the plane business. It isn't that hard to put together a decent looking outfit that it comfortable, and you tend to be rewarded if you manage it (I've always been treated better by the gate agents when I dressed better).

    Also, it reminds me of a interview on NPR with Anna Post where she talked about how society values comfort over looking decent and respectful.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  3. Kelly says:

    Belle (or any other readers), is there a cheaper version that you know of a durable legging like the Splendid version? I've been looking for leggings that aren't see through.. they are hard to come by. Thanks!

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  4. KC says:

    Does anyone know of good leggings for tall people?

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  5. mac says:

    Be careful not to put any bobby pins in your sock bun. I once had my bun “assaulted” by TSA because my one and only bobby pin tripped the machine.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  6. JK says:

    Belle, how would you style the tie with the vneck on top? I have two tops just like this target one and have never even thought of wearing them with a normal sweater– I usually wear them with suit jackets or cardis. Would you tie the tie and pull it out of the sweater to hang down lower? Make it a pretty tight bow at the top? Thanks!

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  7. BN says:

    Belle, once again you pair the skirt with a heeled boot. Can we wear pencil skirts and other professional skirts with flat boots (like the one you have for the airplane look)?

    If we can only buy one pair of boots this season, will we get more use out of a heeled one or a flat one?


    October 9, 2012/Reply
  8. Jo says:

    I agree with the PJs… but leggings aren't pants.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  9. CE says:

    PJs should not be worn on planes, period. That said, I wouldn't wear that blouse either, but only because most of my flights are 12+ hours and trying to sleep in a tie-neck polyester blouse would be just awful. I'd wear a cotton tissue tee (and a sports bra) instead and call it a day. For a quick trip though, this looks cute and comfortable, and Mel is totally right – the gate agent won't give you that elusive upgrade if you look like a slob (and do you really want to arrive at your destination city in pajamas?). You can be just about as comfortable in adult clothes.

    mac's right about the sock bun, too – I actually usually just put my hair in a ponytail and then finish the bun once I'm done with the TSA pat-down.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  10. TXAttyJen says:

    The featured Vince ponte leggings are on sale on Rue La La today – only sizes 6 and 8 left, but the price is 50% off.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  11. Kathleen says:

    Belle, so glad to see you show leggings for an airplane look. I have a really long trip, 37+ hours including layovers, coming up and I have been trying to figure out what to wear that looks appropriate but would be comfortable for that amount of travel.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  12. Belle says:

    Jo: The ponte pants have a waistband and a zipper, they're pants, no different than knit skinny jeans.

    If you go the leggings route, I'd recommend a sweater dress, so the leggings are being worn as an alternative to tights.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  13. Ms. C says:

    “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” -Karl Lagerfeld.

    P.S. Thanks TXAttyJen for the Rue La La tip! Just purchased.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  14. Arie says:

    I agree, PJs should not be worn out unless you are under 7 or returning from an operation.
    For flying I have worn a comfy sweater dress, leggings and flat boots. Comfy and warm

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  15. gg says:

    I think there's something about the way that most of the air travel posts on this blog are worded that can really rub people the wrong way. In particular, people who travel often or go on long trips. The judgment coming from a person who's never flown more than 4 or 5 hours is a bit difficult to endure.

    I have worn PJs/yoga pants etc. on a plane before (granted on red eyes). I usually change into them once I get on the plane and see plenty of other passengers doing the same. Sometimes I change before I get off; other times I just head to the lounge take a shower and then put on my regular clothes.

    Given how uncomfortable air travel can be these days, I think the key is to make it as comfortable for yourself as possible so you can be in good shape when it matters (that is when you get off the plane and head off to do whatever it is that caused you to deal with flying in the first place).

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  16. xyz says:

    I think there's something about the way that most of the air travel posts on this blog are worded that can really rub people the wrong way. In particular, people who travel often or go on long trips. The judgment coming from a person who's never flown more than 4 or 5 hours is a bit difficult to endure.

    I have worn PJs/yoga pants etc. on a plane before (granted on red eyes). I usually change into them once I get on the plane and see plenty of other passengers doing the same. Sometimes I change before I get off; other times I just head to the lounge take a shower and then put on my regular clothes.

    Given how uncomfortable air travel can be these days, I think the key is to make it as comfortable for yourself as possible so you can be in good shape when it matters (that is when you get off the plane and head off to do whatever it is that caused you to deal with flying in the first place).

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  17. Anna says:

    xyz, there's a difference between changing into comfier clothes once you get on the plane and getting to the airport looking like you just rolled out of bed. That said, I don't think I would feel comfortable walking around an airplane with a bunch of strangers in my pj's. Yoga pants or maaaaaybe cute sweats would be a different story.

    My faves are lululemon Wonder Unders leggings. They're insanely comfortable and smooth out all the lumps and bumps (though they should obviously be worn with something that's going to completely cover your butt and a little more). I thought I was crazy plunking down that much money for leggings, but they're sooooo worth it.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  18. Sara says:

    I guess “gg” couldn't decide which username she wanted to use for her latest negative comment.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  19. W says:

    You should tell her that if your blog post hurts her eyes, she can look the other way!

    On another note…these colors are kind of plain. Drabness is my one frustration over winter clothes. Your thoughts on how to avoid that are welcomed!

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  20. gg says:

    No I just couldn't get it to post for some reason and then it showed up 20 minutes after I tried as xyz even though it was posted first.

    I don't think that's really a negative comment so much as a reasonable disagreement in what's supposed to be a discussion.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  21. Allison says:

    If people don't like what is said about airplane clothing on this blog, then perhaps they should follow the advice of the cranky new reader and “look the other way.” Usually such defensiveness means a person is embarrassed by their behavior. Otherwise, they wouldn't care what others think. If you want to wear leggings/PJs/yoga pants/scrubs on a flight, that's your prerogative just as it's Belle's prerogative to say she thinks it's a sloppy look. I happen to agree and I travel by air at least twice a month and it is not unusual for me to have 10+ hour travel days. I fail to see what is so uncomfortable about wearing a normal pair of pants, skirt or dress on a plane, but that's just me.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  22. gg says:

    @ Anna: I get your point about it seeming strange, but but it's usually not all that uncomfortable on a red eye because most people are sleeping. Also, airlines offer PJs as a perk in first and business on some flights so almost everybody is wearing the same ones which can be hilarious but makes it more acceptable. Even on long-haul day flights I see people change pretty frequently or come in yoga pants or other waistband-less pants.

    I guess what I'm getting at is I think these “rules” for flying are a bit too prescriptive and maybe not perfectly informed. For example, another thing that jumps out is the knee boots on a plane. Bodies swell in flight; I just can't imagine those being comfortable (plus they would be a pain to put on and take off both for security and if you didn't want to keep them on during the flightt).

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  23. gg says:

    @ Alison: shouldn't it also be okay to disagree w/o arousing defensiveness?

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  24. BB says:

    @BN re: flat boots with suits.

    Short answer: It really depends on your body type, your office dress code, and your experience level.

    My long-and-lean sister looks great wearing cognac knee-high flat riding boots with a suit. But the boots in question are sleek, and polished, and she sort of looks like a Ralph Lauren model anyways.

    I was not blessed with her genes. I am short and curvy. I do not look as graceful wearing boots with suits/pencil skirts. I stick to more casual, a-line skirts with my flat boots, and wear heeled boots with my suits.

    Of course, suits+boots is not the most formal combination. If your office dress code is formal business attire, you need to wear pumps (and yes, probably stockings or a stocking equivalent, at least in the winter months, but let's not start that battle again).

    I also wouldn't wear flat boots with a suit if I was in my first few years in the workforce, because sometimes erring on the casual side makes you look young (as in intern young), and in some offices, you may be passed over for promotions/additional responsibilities because you are perceived as young or immature. Fair? No. But difficult to prove, and it does happen.

    There are many downsides to being over 30 (or 40, or 50, etc)–wrinkles, hangovers, a slower metabolism–but the upside of getting older and having more work experience, and a more senior title is that you can be a LITTLE more flexible with your attire. Note, these are ANDs, and not ORs. If you are under 25 and lucked into (or busted your ass to get) a director title, you probably still want/need to err on the formal side, to project credibility. And on the other side, no age/experience/title allows you to wear a sweatsedo or Ugg boots, or flip flops, or other highly inappropriate attire in the workplace.

    Of course, if you have an injury or other ailment that prevents you from wearing heeled boots, wear (work appropriate, polished) flat ones, and make the best of it.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  25. elz says:

    Wait, someone actually said they wear PJs in public? And got huffy about it? PJs are for your house only.

    Ditto the bobby pins-I forgot one time and had to take down a perfectly great updo. I agree with earlier commenters, leggings are not pants.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  26. GoGoGo says:

    I think gg put it nicely.

    When I have a redeye flight, no one's going to be able to appreciate that tie-neck blouse because I'm rocking my neck pillow, my two airline blankets, my eye mask, and my big old noise-cancelling headphones. Sexy! Yet, fair game. No one seems to begrudge professional travelers these accessories, male or female, because people recognize that overnight travel is a pain in the ass. It's OK to sacrifice a little dignity to deal with it. (It may even, as previously suggested, be the professionally responsible thing to do when you have work duties the next day.)

    Fashion blogs are judgey by design, sure. This particular topic though, it's just not as fun as some other targets. A woman in PJs on a plane does not have any pretensions of looking cool. Obviously she could wear jeans and sleep just fine. But you know what? Screw it. She's doing something a little silly for herself to make a crappy experience a little cozier. Cut the girl some slack.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  27. Belle says:

    To all the overnight, long flight travelers:

    -The majority of people at an airport, and travelers in general, are on a 3 hour flight or less. So this advice applies to most people, like ALL of the other advice on this blog, take what applies to your circumstance and leave what doesn't.

    -While it's true that I've never flown overseas, flying multiple segments on small prop planes for work and vacation regularly results in 12 hour days from departure to destination. This is not drastically different than flying 6-8 hours to Europe. If you regularly fly to Asia, I pity you, that sounds like hell.

    -I have no objection to people who wear yoga pants on long flights–that can be made to look nice with a little effort. And I can see the value in changing on a plane for an overnight or long flight. But I do wonder about adults who wear flannel pajama pants on a 1pm flight that will last just a couple of hours.

    October 9, 2012/Reply
  28. Heather says:

    I just bought these – great pants/leggings that are super thick and inexpensive https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=26496&vid=1&pid=702780002

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  29. LL says:

    Are the fleece lined leggings you linked to matte black? I have been disappointed with so many brands that while warm, are shiny when stretched. I'm not looking to highlight those areas….thanks!

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  30. Felicia says:

    hey guys ,nice to be here. i think we should have some other life styles ,yes? Some days ago i saw a place:=======sugarmommamatch.℃/○/M====== here.when i sing up there ,haha .fantastic ! beauty,beauty!many many beauty there! i had a dating yesterday!wow wow You have any interest to lovers ,you can have a try then

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  31. Joanna says:

    Look good, feel good. PJs are for bed. I have trouble with leggings too. i want to like them but in some ways they aren't very feminine.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  32. Melissa says:

    Ugh. North American Comfort Junkie Syndrome has gotten way out of hand. There is no reason, other than defiant laziness, to wear pjs or sloppy sweats for travel. Or anywhere, really. Yes, air travel can be long and exhausting, but there are a lot of comfortable and appropriate options without defaulting to the LCD (Lowest Comfort Denominator).

    I do agree with the comment about wearing tall boots in flight. I flew Vancouver to Toronto (about 5 hours) a few years ago in knee high boots. Actually, I wore them on plane so they wouldn't take up space in my bag, and changed into slip-on flats during the flight. When I put the boots back on at the end of the flight, I couldn't get the zippers up past the lower calf. I felt like I was trying to pack a bratwurst into a straw. Pressure swelling 1, boots 0.

    October 10, 2012/Reply
  33. Helena says:

    I must be the only one whose blood circulation is impacted negatively by tights, leggings, and skinny jeans on long flights (I'm talking 6+ hours). I promise you I'm wearing the right size in these items, they just become exceedingly UNcomfortable after a several hours of sitting in one place, even when I get up to move around regularly. So I wear regular pants with a more generous fit (e.g., boyfriend jeans or wool trousers) on planes.

    October 10, 2012/Reply