Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. Three, No. Eight

Hi Belle,

Love the blog! I’d love to see you do a round-up of mint hand bags. I’ve been searching quiet a bit but haven’t fallen in love with anything yet. Being that the color is big this year but may not be in a few years, I would love to see them in the under $150 range. Thanks!

Last spring, mint was everywhere.  And while it may not have reached cool-kid’s-table popularity this year, the pastel trend circulating this spring keeps it in the loop for another season.

The first bag that caught my eye was this Kelsi Dagger crossbody, and I also liked this simple frame clutch with gold trim.  This faux-ostrich tote is under-$50, as is this mint Cambridge Satchel Co. knockoff.  And this flap satchel with rose gold hardware is $110.

Want a hint of mint in wallet form?  This Ted Baker wallet with bow embellishment made me a bit weak in the knees.  He also has a similar clutch.

If you want a mint bag and can splurge a bit, this Coach carryall is adorbs and this Loeffler Randall is classic chic.  An if it’s a simple, casual tote your after, you cannot do better than this Minkoff bag.


I’m just about to pay off my big student loan. (Yay!) As a mark of my accomplishment I’d like to put the money that I normally would have sent to pay that loan towards a piece of jewelry. I wear a lot of necklaces and stud earrings so I would like for this piece of jewelry to be along those lines. I’m interested in gemstones, but nothing too ostentatious.

What would you recommend for a piece of jewelry if you wanted to spend around $125?

Thanks! LW

When splurging on a piece of jewelry, choose something that you will wear regularly.  So if you like necklaces, buy a necklace.  If you wear earrings every day, choose earrings.

If you’d like a gemstone piece for $125 or under, I would suggest thinking outside of the emerald, ruby, amethyst box.  Try a piece of chalcedony, lapis, morganite, labradorite or an opal.

For necklaces, I also love this long faceted pendant, this onyx station necklace and this button statement necklace is really interesting.  For earrings, I like these Alexis Bittar iolite studs and these dainty deco drops.

Hi Belle,

Like you, I hail from the West- the occasional Southern event here in DC stumps me. I’m going to the Kentucky Derby for Oaks in May and am in need of a pink dress and a fun hat. Other readers may be looking for VA Gold Cup attire as well. Any advice?

Thanks, MJ

I’ll do a more in-depth Gold Cup post later in the spring, but since you’re specifically looking for Kentucky Oaks attire, we’ll stick to shades of blush, bashful and Pepto Bismol for now since that is the tradition. (Tradition! Great, now I have Fiddler on the Roof stuck in my head…)

I like this J.CREW eyelet dress, but I feel like you could wind up being one-of-many since internet retailers are the fall back for last-minute shoppers.  This dark pink French Connection dress is lovely, as is this shell pink sleeveless peplum dress.

In the under-$150 category, this body con dress is snug but pretty with a lace inset.  If you want something breezier, this Max & Cleo dress is really fun.  And if covered and ladylike is your thing, try this sheath dress or this coral lace dress.

For a hat, I would recommend etsy, vintage boutiques and locating one of the stores that sells hats to African American church ladies.  You could also purchase a wide brim straw hat and unleash your inner-Martha Stewart.


Here is my question – I am in dire need of a classic, mid-heel (not more than 3-3.5 inch) brown croc heel. I feel like it goes with so much, especially as spring nears, and is so much more interesting than plain brown leather. However, I can’t seem to find one anywhere! Do you have any suggestions?


Yeah, not a lot of choices in the brown crocodile, mid-height heel arena.  I did find this pair from Nine West that comes in taupe and brown.  For a slightly larger selection of choices, try chocolate-brown leather.  I found these Cole Haans, these shoes from Express and these Carlos Santana heels at DSW.

Also, may suggest tortoise pumps as an alternative?  These Jones of NY heels are nice.  These Anyi Lu pumps are supposedly very comfortable.  I also found this slightly higher Stuart Weitzman pumps, and these C. Wonder flats.

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  1. Mad About Mint says:

    This mint colored bag from Rebecca Minkoff is fabulous– thinking about purchasing it for myself! Would be perfect for spring and into summer.

    March 18, 2013/Reply
  2. Becky says:

    You can get some really beautiful vintage and antique jewelry for that price range, – that’s what I would do, especially if you like pieces that are a little different. I have a list of places to find great jewelry on my blog’s store directory – mostly DC area or online stores, since that’s where I live.

    March 18, 2013/Reply
  3. Anon says:


    I second Belle’s rec for tortoise instead of crocodile. I have a no-name pair of tortoise I got years ago at a mom & pop shoe store. I love them – and so do others! I get stopped on the street quite often! They go with everything year-round and don’t have the granny vibe brown crocodile can.

    March 18, 2013/Reply
  4. Shelby says:

    Great Steel Magnolias reference, Belle 🙂

    March 18, 2013/Reply
  5. Kath says:

    In response to MJ–I went to the Oaks and Derby last year and it was SO. HOT. I would recommend getting something breathable and lightweight so it doesn’t stick to ya where it shouldn’t. Oh and I found my hat on Ebay.

    March 18, 2013/Reply
  6. Amanda says:

    One “splurge” piece of jewelry I’ve been wanting to buy for awhile is jewelry made with raw diamonds. Definitely not everyone’s style but I think they look so beautiful and unique! You can find a large variety on Etsy for around $125– just search “raw diamond jewelry.”

    March 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Herkimer diamonds are def. different. They almost made it big a couple of years ago, so I guess they got their mojo back.

      March 19, 2013/Reply
  7. KYD says:

    Just saw this Derby post and wanted to add my 2 cents. Yes, you should wear pink to the Oaks but it doesn’t require a pink dress. The last two years I wore a navy then dove gray dress with pink ‘peals’ or scarf. And while a hat is traditional and fun it’s far from mandatory. You’ll see tons of fascinators and headbands with big decorations. That said if your tickets are somewhere where you’ll have full sun exposure all day you’ll be thankful for a big hat and sunblock.

    April 2, 2013/Reply
  8. KYD says:

    Another quick thought for Derby/Oaks. Unless you have some magic pass that allows you to park at Churchill Downs you will be walking a good distance to your car after all day in your heels. Some ladies bring rubber flip flops for the trek but I’m sure Bell would recommend keeping it classy with some metallic flats.

    April 2, 2013/Reply