Ask Belle Roundup Vol. III, No. Fourteen
Apr 29, 2013
I just bought this dress for an upcoming grad school formal(ish) and, as someone who normally shies away from patterned anything, was hoping for your advice on shoes, accessories, and styling. I’m about 4 inches shorter than the model, so the dress hits me a wee bit lower on the calf.
Thank you – love the blog! Kay
First off, avoid the hideous, clunky wedges the model is wearing. *shudder* Also, it’s important that you decide where you want the dress to hit you. I would suggest having it tailored so that it is just lower than your knees. This should be a fairly inexpensive alteration.
As for styling, I would choose a pointy-toe heel, as opposed to a round one. This dress is sleek and sexy, and it needs a pointier toe. I found this pump in a printed, black sheer; it’s an interesting take on a classic. I also like the black crystals on this under-$40 pump. If you want to bring in the ankle strap trend, these black pumps with a pewter toe-cap are chic. And I also found these black, leather pumps with a low-cut vamp for a more modern feel.
A clutch is the right bag for this. I’d suggest black or grey. This black clutch has monochromatic sparkles, so if you choose that, a plain shoe is best. I also liked these pleated box clutch with a lucite “stone” on top. And this $40 grey clutch has a similar embellishment and a faux-snakeskin texture.
Love your blog! I recently gained about 5-10 pounds, and while I don’t have a problem with how I look (and have barely moved up one size), my clothes have obviously started to fit a bit more tightly. I’m a little too bootylicious for all but two of my suits, and as junior staff at my company I prefer to dress a bit more formally than the wrap dress + blazer I’ve been rocking lately. Is there anything I can do short of purchasing an all-new suit wardrobe?
You have two options, but they hinge on one question: Will you stay 5-10lbs heavier for longer than a couple of months? If so, then you should have your suits let out. A decent tailor should be able to give you extra room provided there are seam allowances large enough. If not, then the solution is shapewear.
I have yet to drop the weight that I gained in the latter part of 2012, so I’ve been wearing Spanx again. The shapewear you choose depends on where you’ve gained the weight. If it’s in your waist-area, then you should try a high-waist shaper with or without thigh-shaping. If it’s in your hips and thighs, you can try the Spanx “power” shaper or a contouring slip. However, if you’d like all-over shaping, you can try the shoulder-to-knees suit.
Also, I would recommend buying a larger-sized suit at a consignment store or from the sale rack. When you lose the weight, you can have it taken in to fit.
Can you give me some suggestions for non-cakey bronzers with a natural color? I want to look sun-kissed, not Jersey Shore.
For the money, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Bobbi Brown bronzer. Whether you choose matte or shimmer brick, a light application will give you the perfect amount of bronze. Need a drugstore choice? I’ve heard good things about Rimmel London’s bronzer.
Bronzer, however, is mostly about how you apply it. For bronzer, you want a full brush with soft, plush fibers. This will give you a lighter sweep. I like this poufy one from The Body Shop. Or, if you have a steadier hand, try a fan brush.
As for where to apply it, some women make the mistake of applying it to the entire face, but this is incorrect. This how-to will show you how to apply bronzer and blush so you get a more natural look.
More Ask Belle responses after the jump…
Dear Belle,I’m wondering if you know of a resource for scoring some good-quality, non-frumpy clip-on earrings. I have some pretty intense allergy issues (even the hypoallergenic earrings are a no-go for me) so if I’m going to wear them at all, they have to be clip-on.Love your blog, Ginger
Hi Belle,Would love your help with accessories, an area where I feel my knowledge is lacking.I am a 5’4″ plus-size woman and the attached photo is the dress I’m wearing this Memorial Day weekend to my brother’s wedding. It’s an informal affair. What would you suggest for jewelry? Definitely want a bracelet, no bangles because the jingles will be distracting. Post earrings and necklace or no necklace and bigger earrings? Should I try to match the turquoise and/or red or go with silver?Thank you, Kate
For a bracelet, I would try a gold cuff, but I’d spend less than-$100. This large gold cuff is chic, but if it’s too much, I would try this geometric cuff. I also like this wave bangle and this twisted cuff. But this bubbly-filigree cuff is my favorite.
Also, since the dress has so much color and pattern, I would skip the necklace. Instead, how about a red earring? I like these bamboo hoops, these straight drops and these more opulent drops. If you want studs, try these or these.