Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Thirteen

Apr 22, 2013

Hi Belle,

I’ve been obsessed with the Alice and Olivia dress that you posted a couple of weeks ago.

At the current price range it’s out of my reach, but if it went on sale, I would definitely consider buying it. So my question is, how do find out when or whether a particular item goes on sale? Do you just continually keep checking back to the website? In this case, this dress is sold at multiple retailers and the alice and olivia website itself. Do you just need to check all of them regularly?

S

There are number of companies that will track items for you and send you an alert when they go on sale.  ShopItToMe, for example, tracks clothing by brand and size and sends you regular updates about availability. Zingsale, run by Amazon, will send you a price alert on any item (clothing or otherwise) so that you can find the best deal.  But my favorite is Shopstyle, which allows you to search for items and then set up a notification for when that piece drops in price.

These are just a handful of the sites that track sales for savvy shoppers, so there’s no need to waste time revisiting a site hoping to catch a deal.

Hi Belle!

Can you suggest any comfortable, yet affordable and stylish sandals for the summer? The super flat, cheap kinds from Old Navy and Target murder my feet.

Thanks!
Jessica

When in doubt on shoe questions, I always turn to Nordstrom.  If you have a bit of money to spend, Cole Haan is a good place to start.  In the under-$100 category, Corso Como has some great-looking sandals, like this cognac one and its metallic counterpart.  You might also try Naturalizer or Rockport for comfortable sandals, but take care to choose something that isn’t too clunky.

Sliver wedges are also really big this season.  Born has a pair that might suit your needs.  They come in several colors and metallic gold.

This is a long one, so the rest of the questions are after the jump…

Belle,

My health insurance runs a program through which you can earn money to cover costs by logging daily steps. However, the free pedometer provided is very….utilitarian, and clearly designed by a man who always has a pocket available.

Consequently, I am now in the market for a more functional, fashionable pedometer. I don’t need to wear it to major meetings, but I do need something that won’t look out-of-place if I head out to lunch in a sheath. I’m considering the FitBit, but I was wondering if you had any other suggestions.

Thanks,
Amy

I think the FitBit is a good choice. It can clip to your waistband or be worn on your wrist.  I know a few professionals who wear JawBone Ups or Nike Fuel Bands as well. But maybe a few of our more athletic readers can make suggestions in the comments.

Hi Belle!

I am getting married on June 1st this year and still don’t have shoes to wear with my dress! This is mainly because my dress consultant, as awesome as she is, put me in a pair of Jimmy Choo’s “Clue” glitter slingbacks (in the gold-ish color) for my dress fitting and I fell in love. Now I can’t find anything that can compare.  I’m looking for something taller than 3 inches, preferably sparkly, and with an open toe or sandal.  Do you have any suggestions that are a little more affordable than the amazing Choo?

Thank you for your time, Jen

They always get you with the Choos, don’t they?  I wish I had a dollar for each woman I know who has Choo, Louboutin or Blahnik wedding shoes gathering dust in the closet.  (Ladies, splurge on the shoes you wear all the time, not the ones you’re just going to wear once.)

These Badgley Mischka pumps look very similar and are $200.  Stuart Weitzman also has a slingback in gold glitter for $375.

Now, if you’re talking about saving even more money, I could put up 20 pairs of glitter sandals, but the only one I want to show you is this pair from Ivanka Trump which have sparkle, metallic and killer style for $140.

Dear Belle,

I graduate from law school next month, and I’ve already purchased a fantastic, plum sheath dress to wear under all the regalia. It is a conservative piece, perfect for court, but for graduation I want to make it a little more flashy with bright shoes and accessories.

This belt is my inspiration, but if I have a hard time spending 200 bucks on a sturdy pair of neutral pumps, there is no way I’m plopping down that cash on a wacky belt. Have you seen anything similar at a lower price point (hopefully under $50)? Also, I welcome any other accessory suggestions you have.

Cheers, Future Ms. J.D.

I definitely wouldn’t spend $200 on a colorful, jewel-encrusted belt.  This tan and sequin belt costs $99, and this understate gold number is $32.  If you want color, this red and purple Kate Spade is where I would go.  It’s $98, but it has a sleeker shape so you could easily wear it again. And this aqua and silver is nice for $20.

Hey Belle! 

I LOVE your blog, it was a great huge when I interned on the Hill in January. I’m headed back to intern on the Hill again this summer (yay!) and am going to pick up another suit, in a navy pin stripe. I was wondering what color shoes to wear with it? I have a pair of nude flats that I love, but I’m not sure how that looks. 

Thanks! Elizabeth

Nude flats are probably fine as long as they have structure like these, but they may not be your best option.  I would recommend either a navy pump or a grey pump depending on the color of the pinstripe.  (I also wouldn’t recommend buying pinstripe until you have plain navy, but that’s another question entirely.)  If it were plain navy, you could also wear chocolate-brown or taupe in the warm months and black in winter.

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  1. CH says:

    Future Ms. JD – have you thought about DIY-ing a jeweled belt? You would just need an inexpensive colorful belt and an inexpensive colorful costume jewelry brooch (etsy has tons). Then on days when you don’t want to be bejeweled, you can still wear the belt without the brooch.

  2. amb says:

    I have the FitBit One, and I’m a big fan of it. I wear mine in my pocket or waistband, and I have a colleague who clips one to her bra. Nobody is the wiser. The wristband for sleep tracking is a little uncomfortable, but it doesn’t bother me enough to complain loudly about it or to keep me up at night. I chose the One over the new Flex because it doesn’t need to be worn on the wrist; I’d rather not wear the same “bracelet” everyday nor broadcast to the world that I wear a pedometer. This is also why I wouldn’t choose the Nike FuelBand. Overall, it’s easily been worth the $100; I’ve really been increasing my steps and water consumption, and watching what I eat a bit more.

  3. Rachel says:

    I wear the FitBit One on my bra, right in the middle of the cups. With most shirts I wear to work, it’s not visible at all. If I’m wearing something that makes it show there, I just clip it on my belt along with my work badge; it’s really small and not too ugly, in my opinion. I also like the FitBit software, which is easy to use on both my phone and on my laptop (it comes with a Bluetooth dongle). Highly recommend.

    • Meg says:

      My workplace also does a walking program with a clunky (but free) standard issue pedometer, and mine clips between the cups with no problem at all. I upload the steps at home so I’m not digging around in my bra at my desk, but no one is the wiser of where I’m wearing it.

  4. Pancakes says:

    I also third the FitBit. The other two posters above detailed the benefits pretty well.

  5. A Nonny Moose says:

    First poster needs to meet Shoppingnotes.com.

  6. Ashley says:

    I also wear my FitBit on my bra strap. Never had an issue with it showing (so far!).

  7. AR says:

    My mom wears the fitbit on her bra and no one can tell. But she tells me how many miles she’s clocked multiple times a day 🙂

  8. SH says:

    I’ve used my Ipod mini (the one thats approx 1 inch by 1 inch). It has a pedometer. I also use the gps feature for my runs.

  9. Ms. T says:

    I’m in full agreement about the FitBit comments, my addition is if you have a credit card that offers rewards to check that out as a purchasing option. That’s how I got mine for “free”

  10. Gina says:

    The belt of Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti is very beautiful!

    I think the quality would be great!

  11. Amy W. says:

    I use a pedometer app on my phone called Striiv. It has a gamification function to it where you can use energy to create a mini world which is kind of stupid but you can also get rewards for it. My most recent was $10 off Sherrie’s Berries. So as long as you have your cell phone with you, you’re counting steps.

  12. Wendy says:

    Betsey Johnson has a wedding line out that is on her website — super cute wedding shoes

  13. JPO says:

    https://hukkster.com/ also does a great job of keeping track of sales. It’s like pinterest + shopittome combined.

  14. CM says:

    Jen –
    These adorable Kate Spade shoes are similar and happen to be on sale currently for $241. https://www.katespade.com/billie/S641511GO,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_S641511GO_color=710

  15. Kelley says:

    I love the Jawbone Up – it tracks steps, food, sleep patterns, and has vibration alerts for when you’ve been inactive of a specified time or to wake you up in the morning. You do have to wear it on your wrist, so it may or may not work with your style.

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