Ask Belle Roundup Vol. II, No. Eleven
Nov 14, 2012
I love your blog, especially the two ways feature. One thing I’ve noticed is that, in your recommendations, you include bold and bright nail polish colors. I’m wondering if you think it is appropriate to wear colored nail polish to work. By that I mean, what range of colors do you think is appropriate? I always thought that only the faintest pinks or nudes were work appropriate, but your posts seem to suggest that bolder reds, oxbloods, plums, mauves, and other colors in the pink-red-purple family might be appropriate. Are there any colors you would not wear to work? Of course, a chipped manicure looks unprofessional no matter the color, but I’m just wondering. What do you think is more work appropriate — a well-kept but unpolished nail, or a bright/bold manicure?
What kind of nail polish you can or should wear to work depends entirely on your office. Some women can get away with bright neon and sequins, some women have to stick to nudes and pale pinks. But how do you know what’s appropriate for your office?
Look around your office and see what your female co-workers and supervisors are wearing. When I came to the Hill, I worked in an office where the women routinely wore bright reds, deep purples and pinks–no black (which was VERY big at the time), no dark blue, no acrylics. So I took my cues from them, and when I wore polish, I kept it to the standard color palette.
If you work in an office where no one wears finger nail polish, then I would stick to the pale pinks and nudes. Because even if it’s “okay,” if it isn’t the norm, you can wind up standing out for the wrong reasons.
If you’re looking for some pretty pinks, I like Deborah Lippmann Tiny Dancer and Essie Like to Be Bad. For reds, my favorite true red is Essie Lollipop, but I also love the ruby hues of SpaRitual Henna. And if purples are your thing, I like NARS Purple Rain for a dark shade and Orly You’re Blushing Lilac for a paler shade.
Hi Belle –
I will be spending Thanksgiving this year with my boyfriend’s family for the first time (no pressure). We will be flying to the family home, from a cold climate to a warm climate, after a full day of work for him and law school for me. I am a firm believer, as are you, in dressing well when travelling; however, I am slightly stumped by the climate change and given this is my first serious holiday with the family, I want to make sure I look chic and fresh when I arrive. Any good tips?
Thanks! Holiday Traveler
Jeans: Genetic Shy Skinnies ($200) Sweater: AE Open Knit Pullover ($55) Tank: Vanessa Bruno Racerback Tank ($84) Earrings: Gold Plated Pyramid Stud ($122) Necklace: Sunburst Pendant ($68) Sandals: Barigoule Sandal ($225) Scarf: Chan Luu Cashmere Blend Scarf ($195) Boots: Penny Riding Boots ($190) Coat: J.CREW Majesty Peacoat ($288)
Genetic makes the softest jeans on the market right now. I don’t know how they do it, but they’re like butter, which means them a good choice for travelling. As for the rest of the outfit, it’s a lesson in layering.
We start with a cotton tank as our base layer. Then, we add an open knit sweater with a slightly beachy/resort feel. Then, we add on some jewelry to liven up the party. And a basic sandal to continue the Southern California in autumn feel of the outfit.
To keep warm on the plane, we add a cashmere blend scarf in a bold but pleasing color and a pair of tall boots. And for those chilly D.C. temperatures, we choose a relaxed peacoat for a warm and casual look.
As for meeting the parents advice, take outfits that you feel comfortable and confident wearing. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, and you don’t want the clothes to get in the way of making a good impression. So don’t over think it, and just focus on being yourself.
The weather has gotten colder in upstate New York, which means my office is FA-REEZING. I’m tackling all the methods I know to stay warm. The one area where I’m at a loss is what shoes to wear. I wear a pant suit most days and when I wear my regular pumps, my feet are freezing because there’s bare skin sticking out. Are there any shoes/boots with a heel that actually look good under suit pants and will cover my entire foot, so that I can wear socks (thereby avoiding hypothermia)? My flat riding-style boots look atrocious under pants as you can imagine.
Freezing Toes in Upstate
If your office is cold and your always chilly, it can make being at work almost unbearable. When I was a Staff Assistant, I was always, always cold and miserable. Then, I discovered the wonders of the heating pad, and suddenly, I was warm. But since your concern is specific to your feet, this is a bit of a different matter.
I think the two best options for wearing with pants would be high-heel tall boots and high-heel ankle booties. This pair of black tall boots from Ellen Tracy hits all of my requirements: 3″ heel, rubber sole, padded footbed. I also like these ruched leather boots, but those would look nicer with skirts. And if you need something under-$100, these Impo stretch boots are a good option.
As for ankle booties, these Audrey Brooke shoes in grey suede caught my eye. (These loft booties in grey are also pretty great.) And these booties from Vince Camuto have the traditional lower shaft, so they just cover the foot, not the ankle.
If you’re not enamored with these options, I would either start wearing fleece-lined tights ($34 from plush, or from Forever 21 $7) under my pants or trouser socks. Neither option will keep you truly warm, but they might cut down on the draft a bit.