Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Five

Hi Belle,

I found your blog a few weeks ago, and though I’m not in government – far from it! – I love your advice on professional style.  I have a question about jewelry.  I’m married and wear my wedding set every day.  It’s pretty traditional – diamonds set in white gold.  I notice that you feature a lot of cocktail rings in your outfit sets.  Can I wear a cocktail ring on my right hand, or would it be too much?  And do I have to stick to silver or white gold-toned jewelry?

Thanks! K

In my opinion, wedding and engagement rings do not need to match other jewelry.  Make a lifetime commitment to someone and the related bauble is exempted from  the “rules” of fashion.

I think wearing a ring on your right hand is a great idea, and so does the jewelry industry, which actually markets “right hand” rings to ladies whose left ring fingers are occupied.  Want a few suggestions?  This uber-stylish white quartz and mother-of-pearl ring caught my eye.  The Follie Follie ring looks like the night sky.  Here’s a fun $5 bauble.  And this pave Cortina ring just steals the show.

Dear Belle,

Like you, I’ve dropped nearly 30 pounds in the last couple of months and now I have a (good) problem–a lot of my wardrobe doesn’t fit. The actual problem is that I don’t have enough cash to buy an entirely new wardrobe. So when it comes to weight loss or weight gain, do you have any recommendations on what staples to buy, what to get taken in and what to throw out? 

Cheers, Nikki 

Congratulations on your weight loss, taking off 30 pounds is not easy. (I know, I’ve done it.)  But making your wardrobe work for you post weight loss can also be a challenge.

The first order of business is to look at your current “too big” wardrobe. What do you wear most often?  These are the pieces that you need to tailor or replace first.

As for what can be tailored, pencil skirts are really easy to tailor.  Dresses, depending on the intricacy of their shape, can also be taken in a few sizes. Pants are difficult to tailor, as are many shirt styles.  But whatever the style, I recommend tailoring only those pieces you think you can’t live without or just love to death, and sell the rest at a second hand store.

In D.C., I like consignment stores like Secondi and Redzz in Bethesda, though some readers have had good luck with the boutiques in Old Town.

Hi Belle,  

Wondering what eye cream you recommend? I know that in the past you said that Eucerin Aquaphor was your go to–is that still the case? 

Thanks! Sophie

I use the Aquaphor sparingly these days.  Why?  Well, I recently learned that many eye creams migrate up to an inch from where you place them. Thus, the heavy Aquaphor is probably the source of the acne on my upper cheeks.  (grumble, grumble)

Instead, I switched to a traditional eye cream.  I like the Kate Somerville Cytocell ($75) or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye ($36) for my circle-prone eyes.  And if all you need is moisturization (lucky duck), try Kiehl’s Creamy Eye treatment ($29) or the anti-oxidant rich Ole Henriksen Visual Truth Eye Creme ($45).

Need a less-expensive brand? Try Patricia Wexler’s products (from Victoria’s Secret of all places), Olay Regenerist Eye Cream (great for dark circles) or Roc Retinol Correxion for sensitive eyes.

Kiehl’s says that their cream will not migrate.  But no matter which brand you use, you should not put eye cream near the lash line on your bottom lid or on your top lid (really thin, products could penetrate the eye).  And if you have a favorite eye cream that you want to rave about, leave the name in the comments.

Hi Belle,

I’m searching for a spring sandal for trip I’m taking next week.  It needs to be flat, gold or tan and not overly embellished.  Oh, and if it could cost less than $125, that would be great too.  Love the blog!


I like Jack Rogers, which I know a number of you hate, but I’m going to pull the old move and throw out the “Hey, Jackie Kennedy wore them!” line as a lackluster defense.  This season, I like the traditional style in platinum and the new, Georgica style in cork and gold.

For metallic sandals, I like these very shiny Boutique 9s, this strappy Nine West pair and these Dolce Vita Archer flat sandals that come in seven fun colors.  As for the tan choices, these Sigerson’s have an awesome shape, but limited sizes.  These Avalon sandals strike me as the perfect boardwalk shoe, and these Joie sandals are simple and stylish.

If you have a bit more to spend, check out these Rebecca Minkoff sandals, these Loeffler Randall’s and these Cynthia Vincent’s.



  1. Angie says:

    I second Belle’s recommendation for the Jack Rogers and Dolce Vita “Archer” sandals in gold. It depends on what look you are going for (I have both and they’ve held up very well and are quite comfortable). The Jack Rogers are very preppy and go best with sundresses, bathing suits, etc. (just don’t get them wet as the bottom tends to warp). The Dolce Vitas are slightly more urban chic, and can be dressed up with nighttime attire depending on the dress code. I wore them with black and white dresses at night last year on a tropical vacation. Enjoy!

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  2. LFT97 says:

    I tend to go through sandals really fast, even if I spend money on nice ones, so recently I’ve been sticking to cheap ones. I got these last summer at Target and have really liked them:

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  3. Emily says:

    As far as Eye Creams go, I’ve been using for about a month and noticing visible results with Benefit’s “It’s Potent” Eye Cream. It’s a pretty good price $32, and it has made my under eye skin smoother, and brighter. With that being said I’m 26, so I am using it mostly as a preventative measure for my future, since a lack of sleep (and consequently dark circles) seems inevitable.

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  4. Bryony says:

    Love these tips. Oh, and a random tidbit: the reason that Patricia Wexler stuff is at VS: it’s the same parent company as Bath & Body Works, which is where her line was originally sold (I worked at the latter when the PW line was still pretty new).

    Love the blog, Belle. I’m not in a professional environment at the moment, but I love the ideas for good grown-up fashion.

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  5. MT says:

    Clinique’s Even Better Dark Circle Corrector is my go-to eye cream. In addition to getting rid of dark circles, it’s super moisturizing.

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  6. Theresa says:

    I love the Sam Edelman “Gigi” sandal – very comfortable to walk in for long periods of time with an easy, classic design.

    I got mine at Nordstrom and they had many colors: nude, gold, silver, black, brown, leopard, etc. but this link only has 2 colors, so try a store or searching around the internet.'gigi'_sandal:263818_32&cm_pla=shoes:women:sandals/slides&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:referralID=b5d1b625-7b94-11e2-97b3-001b2166becc&pprd=0

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  7. Emme says:

    Congrats, Nikki – what was your diet/exercise plan?

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  8. Mary says:

    Several colors from last year of the Dolce Vita Archer are available for $39.99 from I almost bought a pair, but I just couldn’t go for the gold.

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  9. Angie says:

    @Mary great find on the Dolce Vita sale. I also got the snakeskin print/orange sandals last year on a Piperlime sale with the gold ones, I love them but they are not for the faint of heart (my boyfriend calls them the “Caution” sandals because the orange reminds him of a traffic cone).

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  10. Angie says:

    Also, if Belle, Nikki or others are willing to share their weight loss stories, I’d love to hear. Hopefully they are healthy lifestyle changes rather than unhealthy ones (I used to battle an eating disorder during my college years when I modeled and am fully recovered, have gained about 15 lbs from a healthy weight as the result of being inactive and want to get back into shape while not reverting to any unhealthy former habits). I imagine Belle experienced similar pressures on the pageant circuit and it’s a balance something many of us have struggled with.

    February 20, 2013/Reply
  11. Ashley says:

    With regard to the eye cream, I’m a huge fan of Clinique’s All About Eyes. It’s great for dark circles and puffy eyes after a night of restless sleep.

    February 21, 2013/Reply
  12. Em says:

    Eye cream: dermadoctor wrinkle revenge rescue & protect
    helps get rid of dark circles and can use it on entire eye area including lid). I’m 28, so mostly preventative at this point.

    February 23, 2013/Reply