Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Post Holiday Roundup


My typical work outfit is dress + cardigan, and I realize I’m in the habit of wearing the cardigan open – and shapeless. I’ve been desperately searching for a ballet-style wrap (or several) to wear. The closest I’ve found that is not sold out was this, which looks pretty good, but I am searching for a sweater that I could buy in several colors all at the same time.


In addition to the sweater in the post above, Ann Taylor is selling a non-cashmere version for $60.  The colors are better suited to warmer weather, but that’s not too far off, even though it feels like it.  This might be a good opportunity to get a deal in advance.

I also saw this wrap sweater that ties in the front, but it only comes in black. And if you’re looking for something longer and chunkier, this cardigan from Old Navy is under-$50.

While you said you were looking for a wrap sweater that ties, I think that a belted cardigan is the best way to create a more professional, polished look.  This inexpensive grey stretch belt and this brown d-ring belt would create a good foundation to build from. I also love this wide, cummerbund-style belt.

Hi Belle,

What is a good outfit to wear for Inauguration day for a new Senator? There will be a lot of constituents coming in and out of the office as well as my first day in the new office and I want to make a good impression.

Thanks! Angela

We discussed this at the start of the last Congress, but let’s indulge in a refresher course.

First, there’s a strong possibility that you will be walking and standing more than you thought, so it’s important that you wear comfortable shoes.  I wouldn’t recommend wearing a shoe higher than 3.5″, and I’d also try to find one with a leather sole.  This Michael Kors pump and this bow front kitten heel are good choices.

Second, there will be a lot of people coming and going from the office, so you’ll want to look your best.  I would recommend a well-fitting suit with a feminine blouse or a sleeved dress.  I like J.Crew for a good basic suit, sadly it’s getting harder and harder to find suits that are interesting and well made.

As for dresses, Black Halo makes their popular Jackie dress in a 3/4 sleeve.  (Their website has more colors.)  This basic Trina Turk sheath is also a good choice (it comes in a bright as well), but I would add a necklace or a cardigan to jazz it up. I also like this faux wrap and this fitted cap sleeve dress.

In addition to the clothes, also think about packing makeup and a hairbrush for touch ups.  I’d also bring a Tide stick, Febreeze and a travel-sized deodorant and perfume (just in case).  I also wouldn’t go anywhere without a small notebook and a pen.  Your Boss may need you to take notes or you may need to remember the names and information of all the new people you will be meeting.



  1. Mary says:

    Those Michael Kors shoes and the Black Halo dress are absolutely gorgeous. I work in a very casual, not even business casual, environment, so I just dream about having places to which I would wear them.

    December 26, 2012/Reply
  2. Amy says:

    Mary – I feel you. My office is very casual, most people wear jeans and tees to work unless they have a meeting. I'm not complaining most days, but there are some times when I want to dress up a bit more. So I've instituted “fancy Fridays” in which I will deliberately dress nicely (nicer dresses, pumps, blouses). This way I get my fashion fix in, my coworkers don't think I'm rocking the boat too much, and I'm prepared for Friday night festivities after work. A few people have even started joining in on the tradition. Highly recommended!

    December 26, 2012/Reply
  3. Mary says:

    That's a great idea, Amy!

    I have helped influence the style quotient around here some. It has increased from jeans and tees every day to jeans and sweaters or a tee dressed up with a scarf for a couple people. I generally dress a notch above everyone else, which is especially acceptable since I'm one of the owners, but where a jacket with jeans and heels looks polished and appropriate, a sheath dress with heels would be a little much. I have a few nicer dresses that I dress down for work with a denim jacket or a more casual sweater and flats, but there's only so much room in the closet and the budget for things like that. So I end up back to dreaming of having a life that would allow them to get more frequent use.

    December 26, 2012/Reply
  4. gingerr says:

    Inauguration Day is at one of the coldest times of the year. Look confident and be totally functional by wearing a undershirt beneath your suit blouse. If your bosses state is conservative and you need to wear sheer stockings think about business appropriate boots to hide warmer socks. You're likely to be in/out/up/down all day so if it's going to be cold add some layers so you will be thinking about helping your boss shine and not about your fingers turning blue.

    December 30, 2012/Reply