Ask Belle Roundup Vol. III, No. Nine

Mar 25, 2013

 Belle,

I’m on the hunt for a navy blazer.  I have my J.Crew navy suit set, but I don’t like the look of the smooth wool jacket with my other spring/summer-weight sheaths — something seems off.  So I’m looking for a navy blazer with some texture — pique maybe?

I saw this Kate Spade option (and it’s fabulous….except for the inclusion of linen.  That’s a nonstarter for me given how easily it wrinkles.  So, what do you suggest?  This is such a useful piece, that even a more expensive option ($300-$500) wouldn’t be terrible if it were perfect as the  cost-per-wear would certainly justify it.

So…do you have any suggestions? Thanks! L

Getting texture in the summer is difficult to do without going for linen.  This Burberry Brit jacket would be perfect, but it’s a linen blend.

J.CREW has made a navy tweed jacket for spring, but it has a peplum, which isn’t everyone’s favorite shape.  Super cute though.  You could also try something in a slightly different cut, like this jacket from Smythe that has a wider lapel and a more defined waist.  I also like this cropped collarless jacket, but again, it’s linen.

For the under-$125 crowd, I found this navy boucle military jacket.  I also like this jacket with the inverted notch collar.  And my favorite is this collarless textured jacket for $99.

Honestly, I would wait another two-three weeks and see what comes out.  A few of the mid-price retailers (BR, J.CREW, etc.) will release April ranges and there might be something more to your liking in there.

Hi Belle!

After a long fashion show with my roommates last night, I realized I have no idea how to style this dress I recently bought, brights are not normally my thing. You’re my last hope before banishing it to the storage closet until Halloween. I was thinking of pairing it with a navy JCrew cardigan, my go-to, but with the bright gold hardware and vibrant orange I have no clue what to do about shoes. Also, I’m hoping to wear it to the office so preferably no sandals. Since over half of my salary goes to rent, something around $100 would be perfect. You’re a lifesaver!

Thanks!

I’ve been lusting after an orange dress myself.  This pleated Chloe number.  (Though this simple, under-$100 sheath caught my eye too.)

A classic navy cardigan is a good choice.  And I wouldn’t be so concerned about shoes, they don’t need to have gold hardware or match the bright orange, so this should actually be pretty easy.

The obvious choice is a “nude” pump that matches your skin tone.  These Michael Kors pumps are supposed to be pretty comfortable.  I like the hidden platform in these Cicero pumps.  But the best basic out there for under-$100 is the Nine West Drusilla pump.

You can also go darker and choose a cognac color.  This patent BCBG shoe looks nice, as does this Aldo pump.  Or if you like animal prints and textures, you could try a snakeskin pump or a tortoise one.

Hi there, Belle, 

Loving your latest posts – I actually own the Reiss dress you featured and was so appreciative of your ideas!  Can you help me find a structured white blazer to wear to work? I am short, so like shrunken/ petite blazers with one button…

Many thanks, Nandeeta

Ralph Lauren makes a nice two-button petite blazer.  Banana Republic’s MadMen collection features this collarless, slightly cropped number.  But my favorite is this very crisp LOFT blazer with a shawl collar (also comes in regular sizes).

For regular size ladies, I like this inexpensive ASOS blazer with rolled sleeve and this pricier Joie jacket.  And if you need a plus-size blazer, try this boyfriend cut blazer or this fun white tweed jacket.

Hi Belle,

I’m turning 29 next week, so as you would say, I’m on the slippery slope to 30.  I’ve never used a lot of face products, but I’d like to get into the habit of using anti-aging products now.  I know you recommend the Ole Henriksen line, but do you have any other “one shot” products that you like?

Thanks, Katey

Skinceuticals serums are excellent multi-taskers.  I have a number of friends who use their C+E Ferulic, while I’m a fan of the Blemish and Age Defense serum.  These products should be applied after cleansing, but before anything else is put on the skin.  Add an oil-free SPF moisturizer for daytime, and you’re all set.

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  1. Rachel says:

    Why not pair the orange dress (question #2) with a cream cardigan or jacket?

  2. GingerR says:

    That Navy cropped collarless jacket from Macy’s is cute. It is linen but in the description it mentions that it’s lined. That will keep it from crumpling. It’s got a lot of structure, seaming and binding on the placket, that will help it keep it’s shape and give it a little interest for hot summer weather.

  3. N says:

    this is so helpful! thanks Belle

  4. Nora says:

    Lots of great blazers at Loft right now, and today they’re doing 40% off sitewide.

  5. ETC says:

    Nandeeta, I actually own the ASOS blazer Belle suggested – and love it. It’s a soft, neutral color that fits right into the season. I’d suggest ordering the smallest size, as it hits just near the hip for me (I’m 5’8″).

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