AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Eighteen

Hi There!

I am looking for suggestions for what to wear to a professional networking function that is held at an outdoor sporting event (here, a baseball game). Men have it easy and can throw on khakis and a golf shirt, but I have trouble each time I need to put something together. Any tips?

Thanks, Meredith

Men have it so easy. They put on a new tie with yesterday’s suit and call it a new outfit. Not that I’m jealous…okay, I’m insanely jealous. But regardless, dressing well for sporting events that are also professional events can be tough.

There are two schools of thought on this matter. The first says to wear a shirt that supports the local team with a nice pair of jeans, good flats and a nice, casual tote. I, however, subscribe to the school of though that says you should treat the game like casual Friday and wear a comfortable but presentable jersey dress and casual shoes. Keep the accessories to a minimum and lighten the makeup a bit.

I wear this Loft dress on the weekends, and it would work well for a game. So would this striped dress or this red one (provided you’re attending a Nats game). And if you’re style is on the preppy side, try a polo dress.

If a dress isn’t for you, you can recreate the outfit from last week that featured a pair of chino shorts and a cotton button up blouse. And if you don’t want to wear shorts, and I wouldn’t blame you, try a pair of ankle-length chinos. Not high-wader capris, but pants that touch the ankle joint.

Hi Belle,

I work in a casual office setting and am in need of a flat black sandal for the summer. I’m specifically looking for a shoe that doesn’t leave my whole foot exposed (like those thongs with heel straps) or one that isn’t really a sandal (think peep toe). I’m also tall without shoes so I want something with low to no heel (I’m a fan of the very low wedge or flats). I went to a store the other day in hopes of finding one, but was absolutely overwhelmed by the options. I left with my head spinning and no shoes. Can you recommend a few inexpensive options? Thanks! Lindsay

I didn’t see much available in black that would qualify as ‘inexpensive’, but I did find a few things. This pair of Dolce Vita sandals are a good choice, or these open-toe, black D’orsay flats from Nine West. In the ‘also worth a look’ category are these gunmetal and black Cole Haans, and these low wedges with a strappy, closed toe.


I’ve been seeing a lot of skinny rings on Pinterest, and I am obsessed with thin bands on every finger. Can you offer some suggestions on where to find them? Lena

Skinny rings are everywhere right now, including on my fingers. Gorjana makes nice ones. I especially like this set of thin stacking rings and this sea-inspired set with a starfish and a sand dollar. But if you’re looking for style and selection, you need to be on Etsy. This tiny chevron ring and this hammered metal ring with open-work are my favorites.

More Ask Belles on a-line skirts, cool weather gear and where to donate clothes, after the jump…

Hi Belle,

I’m spending the next few months as a summer associate at a big law firm in Seattle. I walk to work when the morning temperature is in the 50s/60s. Ordinarily, I’d wear a denim jacket but that won’t cut it walking into a law firm. Any suggestions for lightweight jackets that are not denim and not a trench? (Since it’s always so grey here, I try to avoid rainwear when I can!)

Thanks, Anon

Congratulations on your new gig. Sorry about the weather…not that D.C. summer weather is a prize.

I don’t really consider a cotton trench to be exclusively rain gear, but if that’s not what you’re after, I found a couple of things.

I like this swing jacket from Coldwater Creek, and this faux-leather, stand-collar jacket.  You could also try a knit jacket like this colorblocked one from Gilt.

Hi Belle,

I love your blog! I am seeking a new black a-line skirt that is work appropriate (a little above the knee), flattering, and lined. I am petite and I think they are more comfortable than a pencil skirt for days I don’t need to wear a suit. I have been unable to find one anywhere! Any help you can provide would be appreciated!

Thanks, Lizzy

Banana Republic is my go-to for a-line cut work skirts.  I also like this pleated number from Anne Klein.

Banana also makes their skirt in petite sizes, and I liked this inexpensive skirt from Macy’s as well.  Plus-size ladies should check out this skirt from Tahari and this one from Coldwater Creek.


I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and want to get rid of some old, but still beautiful, black tie and cocktail dresses. I’ve worn them to weddings and events and have been photographed in them enough that it’s time for a new home! I took my old suits to dress for success, but have no clue where to take these dresses.

Thanks! Sari

Have you tried Once Upon a Prom?  They’ve taken in a number of my formal and semi-formal pieces.  There’s also Donate My Dress and Becca’s Closet.



  1. Jenn L. says:

    For the first inquirer, if the weather isn’t unbearably hot, you could try a top that supports the team along with a blazer in a lightweight fabric and then quality jeans and a dark wash. That way you will be event-appropriate & won’t risk feeling overdressed for the game, but are still within the confines of casual friday.

    June 17, 2013/Reply
  2. Anonymous says:

    When I lived in Seattle, I purchased colorful or patterned fabric-based rain coats that I wore through the summer. They are single breasted without a belt, which prevent them from looking like trench coats. I also have 3/4 length cotton coats with short or elbow length sleeves for the summer, since I tend to get cold. I would suggest to start looking at Zara or Macy’s. Some exaples of coats include:;;;;;

    June 17, 2013/Reply
  3. Dakota_55 says:

    Another option for dresses you’re done with is to sell them at Current Boutique. They take a lot of cocktail dresses, judging from the excellent selection they always seem to have. I don’t work there, just love taking my stuff there!

    June 17, 2013/Reply
  4. Chelsea says:

    Belle, how would you suggest accessorizing the polo dress? I have one but never know what to wear with it.

    June 17, 2013/Reply
    • E says:

      I second this question! I have the same issue, especially trying to figure out what shoes to wear with the polo dress!

      June 18, 2013/Reply
  5. Sam says: for the woman looking for black sandals, these are reasonably priced and cute. The straps don’t dig either.

    June 17, 2013/Reply
  6. Katherine says:

    For black sandals, check out Madewell Holepunch and Crisscross Boardwalk.

    June 18, 2013/Reply
  7. BBB says:

    just purchased that black banana a-line. i haven’t been working out lately and my pencil skirts are letting me know it. they had an additional 40% off yesterday, so it was a steal. thanks for the suggestion!

    June 18, 2013/Reply
  8. Ann says:

    A dress is a really bad choice for a baseball game. A baseball game involves a lot of sitting and walking up stairs and down rows of the stadium. I would foresee a lot of flashy moments.

    June 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      That would depend on the length of your dress. Also, the staircases at stadiums tend to have very wide stairs so it’s not as big of a problem as with steep staircases.

      June 18, 2013/Reply
  9. Sam says:

    As to the baseball game question, why are shorts ok but not capris? Sure, it’s not exactly super stylish, but neither is a guy wearing khaki pants and a polo. It seems like the best option for retaining some semblance of professionalism (not shorts) and being comfortable in the heat (as opposed to wearing jeans or a dress (sweaty thighs)).

    June 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think ankle length pants are fine, but I don’t think high wader capris are a good look for most women. They don’t give good rear view because they disrupt the line of the leg in a weird place and so you end up looking shorter and wider than you are. It’s not about appropriateness, it’s about whether what you’re wearing is flattering and that style of capri looks bad on most women.

      June 18, 2013/Reply