Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. III, No. Ten

Hi Belle,

I’m searching for a new pair of pearl earrings.  I can’t afford to spend more than $100, but I want a pair that looks nicer than the price I paid for them.  Ideas?


I wear a pair of pearl studs from J.CREW.  They’re $50, a good size and they look pretty.


Here is my question: My boyfriend is on the shorter side and I really prefer not to wear heels when we go to events together. We have several weddings coming up this spring/summer and I’m struggling to find nice flat shoes that are dressy enough to wear with wedding attire. Do you have any suggestions for a versatile flat sandal that I can wear with different dresses?

Thanks!! C.

I’d start your search with a metallic flat sandal.  I found this toe ring sandal with crushed gold accents, and this gold sandal with crystal stone embellishments.  I own these rose gold sandals from Maiden Lane, and they’re pretty–but be aware, they are quite shiny. But I think the real winner is this short silver wedge (under an inch) with a crystal studded bow on the strap.

If you’d prefer something in a tan or beige color, these Loeffler Randall sandals are on the pricey side, but they’re gorgeous.  These accented beige sandals have just a short heel.  And I also like these patent Prada knockoffs from Dorothy Perkins.

Dear Belle,

Can you recommend a trench coat that costs $200 or less?  I’m looking for a traditional khaki coat.

I appreciate the help. SF

Madewell has a very stylish trench in your price range.  London Fog and Calvin Klein also make great basic trenches.  And this coat from Gap looks like the best option for under-$100.  If you’re looking for a different size, I found this petite trench at Target and this plus size trench from Land’s End.

Have a basic khaki trench?  Why not buy a colored one?  I found this bold pink, this bright red and vibrant yellow.


I remember you wrote a post about your favorite mascara.  Can you remind me what it was?  I’m in dire need of a mascara that doesn’t smudge.

Thank you, Belle!


I order Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara from overseas.  It’s a little obsessive, but I love it that much.  As for readily available options, my second favorite mascara is CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume Mascara.



  1. Lady Lawyer says:

    I just bought that bright yellow Via Spiaga trench a few weeks ago. It runs a tad big, but is a stand-out color. I’ve only worn it twice and have already gotten so many compliments– especially on a grey rainy day, it’s nice to have the bright color!

    April 1, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Good to know.

      April 1, 2013/Reply
  2. Jackmo says:

    FYI – I tried on that Madewell trench the other day and it wasn’t what I expected from the photos. Very boxy and baggy. I even tried it on in a size smaller than I usually wear and it was still very loose fitting. The detailing and material were nice, but if you’re aiming for a more traditional trench this isn’t it (at least in my opinion).

    April 1, 2013/Reply
  3. Sarah says:

    I have these pearls from Banana Republic and they are very nice for only $30:

    April 1, 2013/Reply
    • A nonny moose says:

      I have these too, as well as the matching necklace. I like them a lot, and BR always runs sales.

      April 1, 2013/Reply
  4. Valerie says:

    FYI on the trench coats: I got one from Zara that’s well-made and under $100 on sale (maybe about $130 now). Sometimes they even have bolder colors like a berry red in the basic style, so keep an eye out.

    April 1, 2013/Reply
  5. adrienne says:

    it may sound weird, but i bought pearl studs off amazon. they were really cheap and definitely look more expensive than they are.

    though the word of caution is that maybe they don’t match in shape/size. i’ve ordered 2 pairs and lucked out both times.

    April 1, 2013/Reply
  6. Leslie says:

    Shoes for C
    C, I don’t know if you’re only wanting flats, but if you’re in the market for a 2″ heel my I suggest two pairs I recently purchased for upcoming weddings and parties. I got these Lillt Pulitzer kitten heels with a great bow on them for a wedding next weekend:
    And I just ordered these sandals from Kate Spade:,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_S558606R_color=786

    April 2, 2013/Reply
  7. Mally says:

    I found Max Factor on Works like a charm and FAR less than paying international shipping –

    April 2, 2013/Reply
  8. Pancakes says:

    Parker — I wear all waterproof eye makeup (liner and mascara). I like Maybelline’s Full & Soft waterproof if you already have curly lashes. If your lashes have a tough time holding a curl (like me), I prefer Maybelline’s The Falsies (the original one) waterproof. It holds a curl, separates and thickens, and stays put. I love it.

    April 2, 2013/Reply
  9. K says:

    When they come back in stock, I HIGHLY recommend this pearl set. I have a color for everyday and they’re a great size!

    April 4, 2013/Reply