Ask Belle Roundup Vol. II, No. Nine

Oct 22, 2012

Hi Belle,

I’m in the market for weekend clothes for lounging around the house.  I don’t want to wear my pajamas all day, but if I don’t have anywhere to be, I want to relax in comfort.  Is it so wrong to want to watch movies on the couch all weekend?

Sincerely, No Waistbands, Please

What you do behind the privacy of locked doors is your business, but you can do better than wearing your pajamas all weekend.

When I’m home relaxing, cleaning or killing time, I like to wear leggings and long sweaters or tunics.  I’m comfortable.  I can run to get the mail or answer the door without embarrassment.  And if I spill cleanser or something on myself while scrubbing the tub, no loss.

I like the daily leggings from Victoria’s Secret ($24).  They’re a really heavy knit, so they don’t stretch and become see through.  And they’re really comfortable.  I also like the long t-shirts with the ruched detail and the long fleece sweatshirts.

Dear Belle,

I don’t know if you answer questions like this, but I need a gift for my girlfriend’s birthday.  She loves your blog.  I’d like to buy her a nice piece of jewelry, but I can only afford to spend $100.  I’m clueless about where to start, but I know she wears a lot of rings.

Help. Please.

To answer your question, I threw together a group of some of my favorite under-$100 rings.  They run the gamut from big and bold to dainty and elegant.  Hopefully, one of these will strike a chord with you. 

Clockwise from top, Tortoise Band Ring ($85) // Madewell Circle Ring ($20) // Rylan Ring ($95) // Cut-Out Ring ($22) // Satya Turquoise Stack Ring ($42) // Kenneth Jay Lane Cocktail Ring ($70) // Arrow Ring ($24) // Enamel Ring ($76) // Nadia Druzy Ring ($70) // Stackable Enamel Ring ($38) // Gorjana Alphabet Ring ($30)

I am in love with that black Rylan Ring.  It also comes in beautiful Persian Blue and a Green Malachite.  I would happily own all of these. 

Just remember not to give it to her in a ring box, no matter how long you’ve been dating, that’s a misunderstanding that you don’t want.

Hi Belle!

I have a chronic problem with jersey dresses and VPL.  If I wear underwear, you see the lines.  If I wear a thong, the dress fabric catches a bit across my rear and shows off too much.  Needless to say, I do not wear jersey dresses. 

The problem is, so much of the time when I see a dress I like, it’s that clingy, jersey fabric.  I’d really like to be able to buy one.  Is it me that’s the problem?  Or is the fabric just cheap?  I am often looking at less expensive brands, as I don’t want to shell out for an un-wearable dress.  


Truth be told, it’s probably a combination of both.  I’m not trying to be harsh when I say the a toned rear end will have fewer problems with panty line than untoned one.  However, there are some dresses where the fabric is going to show a line no matter what your rear is made of. (I have one dress where the fabric shows off every flower in the lace pattern if I wear Hanky Pankies.  It’s deeply annoying.)

If you have problems with jersey, you need to go with a completely seamless nylon or microfiber hiphugger or boyshort.  If you see so much as a stitch around the edges, it’s not seamless (no matter what the tag says), put it down. (I don’t know who Victoria’s Secret thinks they are kidding with these things. I can see the damn seams in the photo!)

My favorite are the Commando Low Rise Girl Shorts ($26).  The Calvin Klein invisible hipster is $12, the invisible thong is $10, if you need something cheaper.

Some people will tell you that you should always wear cotton underwear for the sake of your gynecological health.  I find that if you buy a microfiber panty with a cotton liner, that’s just as good provided that you do not wear them 24-hours per day.  Even I, VPL Nazi that I am, wear cotton boyshorts as sleep attire to give things a little breathing room.

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  1. Melissa says:

    For the last question – wear a slip! Full slips help everything lay smoothly and neatly. It's old-school but so practical. Gap Body makes some great simple microfiber ones.

  2. Ms. B says:

    Really like the tortoise shell band…would go with anything and makes a statement.

  3. k-t says:

    Another vote for a slip. If there's a waistband on the dress, any half-slip should work. If it is a more body-conscious dress, Spanx makes pretty good slips.

    As for the birthday gift, don't get her a ring. Rings are tough to buy if you don't know her ring size. And regardless of the presentation, a ring will always bring up thoughts of commitment and where you are in your relationship.

  4. M says:

    Yep, wear a slip. A slip will solve every problem raised in the last question. You will look thinner, no one will see anything, your skirt won't ride up over your tights or nylons, and your dress/skirt will not scratch or irritate your skin in any way. They are the greatest–and there are plenty of options (at all price points) out there these days, you don't have to feel like your grandmother. Your clothes will truly look so much better on your body.

  5. w says:

    I love the presentation for the ring spread, but the inquiring boyfriend might do better to get his girlfriend a scarf.

  6. Lexi says:

    Why not a slip? There are a lot of different kinds now, and make a difference for a smooth appearance.

  7. AttiredAttorney says:

    Amen to slips, and rings are just too awkward as gifts from a boyfriend unless they're the diamond variety that comes with lifetime commitment.

  8. JW says:

    Hi Belle, when you link to different clothing items, is there any way you can mention that the hyperlink is going to take you to the victoria's secret or other lingerie website? I clicked on the 'long fleece sweater' link and had to quickly backtrack out when I saw it was redirecting me to VS. I know the couple of links before the sweatshirt one was listed as VS, but it would be great if you could specify all of them that lead to stores like that.


  9. Belle says:

    JW: It's a post about underwear, it's logical to assume that it's going to go to a store that sells underwear.

    As for the ring comments, if he knows that's what she likes and wears, he should get her that. It strikes me as immature to insinuate that he can't get her a ring that isn't THE RING. Maybe she doesn't want that from him? Just buy her a cool ring, and give it to her in a regular, non-ring box. She'll probably love it if she wears a lot of rings.

  10. r says:

    speaking of slips… can anyone recommend a good skirt slip? The two I have are a little long and the bottom hem often shows through the dress.

  11. S says:

    Belle, could you lay off the snark? JW was referring to the question about the lounge clothes, not the last question about VPL. Having worked somewhere where the VS website was blocked due to being “adult” content, I can certainly understand her request.

  12. SC2 says:

    About the no waistbands – I wear yoga pants and an older tee (solid colored or striped) at home on weekends. I forgot where I got my pants, but they're comfortable, no waistbands/strings, and they're more forgiving than leggings when you have to put on shoes and go outside for quick errands. The yoga pants weren't expensive either, maybe $20 at regular price.

  13. JW says:

    To S and Belle, respectively – Yes, I was referring to the post about loungewear (which was before the VPL post). As I mentioned before, I realize that another link (leggings) specified VS, but I still wasn't expecting to go there when I clicked on the sweatshirt link – I absolutely acknowledge that part of the responsibility is the clicker's when on a work computer, but my request was far from a criticism – just a request as I'm sure I can't be the only one who didn't think before they quickly clicked on a fleece sweatshirt hyperlink. I faithfully read your blog and usually enjoy the snark, but wasn't really expecting it to come back at me in response to a sincere question.

  14. Anon says:

    Speaking of undies… what do people wear to work out? I always wear thongs but recently started some pretty intense work outs and the thongs are really uncomfortable. But all of my workout pants are tight and would show panty lines if I wore fuller underwear. Suggestions?

  15. GoGoGo says:

    Agreed with S.My work proxy server just busted me for looking up a ruched t-shirt! I guess I'll keep an eye out in the future.

    Regarding rings: no question, they can be a loaded gift. There's promise rings and purity rings and commitment rings and who knows what else the kids are coming up with. He might want to lean towards the funkier ones just to be safe, if that gibes with her style. With the little grey enamel one, for example, I bet there'd end up being an awkward conversation along the lines of “No, it's not a promise ring or anything, or any kind of like…I don't know, I just noticed you like rings!”Which is not the end of the world, just to be aware of.

    Also, to our dear dude: good luck with the shopping, ring or otherwise! It was really sweet of you to get some opinions on making your gift awesome. Keep in mind, though, if the girlfriend is a regular reader, she may well be reading this too!So you're not going to get away with, “I just saw this big tortosie shell ring in a window and thought instantly of your beautiful brown eyes.”

  16. Sara says:

    JW /S– Oh my gosh, Belle was snarky? I would never have guessed based on all the posts I've read here the last few months that she would respond that way!

    Perhaps if you are so concerned about your boss monitoring your computer usage, you shouldn't be reading a fashion blog while at work. Just sayin…

  17. JW says:

    Sara, being unnecessarily snarky in response to a non-criticizm from ones readers (and subsequent source of income) is indeed surprising, even though I've been reading for years. I am also not concerned with my boss monitoring my computer usage, but as S mentioned, certain websites are often known to be blocked and show up on a system-wide report if access is attempted. That's my only point, and it was a friendly request that was submitted with zero snark or even feelings that Belle 'should' have posted differently, it just occurred to me after the fact that it would have been nice to have known the source before I clicked (again, personal responsibility acknowledged), and so I commented in good faith because I thought other readers might have the same issue.

  18. Belle says:

    GoGoGo: I agree about the explanation part, that could have disastrous consequences if he went that route. But if it were me, I'd be so glad my bf was interested in me enough to know what one of my fave blogs was. I don't think that would register for most men.

  19. m says:

    I was about to say the same for @Ashley — slip! I own a half-dozen different slips. Call me old-fashioned, but I could not go without them!

  20. Chloe says:

    I vehemently oppose rings as a present, based on their connotation (to each her own…), but if you go that route, I would agree: Go casual. Super, super casual … which, in my opinion, is a better gift from a girlfriend. I always like simple bracelets (mine got me an onyx one, which I wear every day and I'm fairly certain wasn't over $100) for a present.

  21. Jill says:

    I endorse the comments on slips. So many skirts and dresses aren't lined. A slip is so helpful for reducing cling and the translucence of fabric. I bet a lot of us think our skirts aren't translucent and are wrong.

    On gifts, earrings are also very nice if the girlfriend likes earrings. My sweet boyfriend has given me some beautiful earrings over the years.

  22. Lydia Grayson says:

    @anon- I rock my panty lines when I am working out. there is no way in icy hell I am wearing a thong to work out, and if people are looking at the line of my undies, they are obviously not trying hard enough.

  23. Ellen says:

    I'd love some ideas on good full slip option. I used to hate them and think they were old fashioned when I was young and my mom would want me to wear them under my school uniform but now I would a couple (black and nude) and don't even know where to turn!

  24. LT says:

    for those looking for slips — I really like the commando slip. They have a couple different full slips and all are great. The neckline is high enough to look like a cami and there are little weights in the hem to keep it from riding up. I can certainly attest to the “no ride up” ability since I also wore mine all the way through my most recent pregnancy. If it can not ride up during that, and fend off all of the unflattering lumps/bumps that come with pregnancy and the cruddy jersey dresses in maternity lines…'s a total winner. I wish it came in white.

  25. ChinaRette says:

    For jersey dresses, I just wear a slip! Full slips work great if you want some coverage on top (for example, if the neckline is too low). Half slips work fine if you're just trying to avoid any lines on the bottom. It can be hard to find slips without a lot of lace, but I've had success with plain silk or synthetic ones.

  26. Anna says:

    Anon, if your pants have a gusset (usually a triangular or diamond shaped piece of fabric in the crotch), you don't need to wear underwear. That would take care of moisture, rubbing, and umm…camel toe. I run, and the extra fabric of underwear would cause some major chafing issues, not to mention wedgies. Most running shorts have built in briefs too. If you absolutely must wear undies, here are some options that are made for working out: Lululemon also makes some.

  27. Recent Slip Convert says:

    I second (or third, or fourth, or whatever) the recommendation to wear a slip under the jersey dress.

    I recently purchased a Commando full slip to wear under a wrap dress. It fills in the neckline like a cami and prevents wrap dress “overshare,” with no bulging elastic bands at the waist… a miracle! I am kicking myself for waiting so long to try this!

  28. Anonymous says:


    Kudos to BF for knowing favorite blog AND knowing that GF likes rings or wears rings a lot. Good eye (good quality in a partner).

    I think depending upon how long/nature of the relationship, a ring can be a little bit of a risky choice. I love rings and would love one that is especially suited well for me and bonus points to BF for knowing what that would be. However, admittedly, after being engaged or married, a ring (and its significance) would change for me. While I could still love beautiful rings, not sure I'd be apt to wear them as much or as casually once engaged and/or married. I'm sure many other people wouldn't feel the same way but thought I'd say it. If the relationship is serious, which I'm guessing it is, and they've been together for a fair amount of time, the ring present might be a little bit of a letdown if it's not meant to become enfianced. If BF wants to go jewelry route, how about earrings? I might have said a necklace, but people fall into yes or no camps – and not everyone can rock a necklace swimmingly.

  29. Anon says:

    For the last one, get the Soma Vanishing Edge panties. I promise you, you'll never have VPL again. A working girl's best friend!

    And a slip 😉

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