Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Roundup: August 9, 2013


If anyone ever tells you that they’ve never made a big mistake in their career, they’re either a) lying to you or b) they’ve never taken a risk worth mentioning in their entire professional life.  You will fall down, and whether you get back up or not is the thing that will define you.  Because your career, like your life, is a journey, not a destination.  So don’t be so afraid to fail that you fail to become a success.

1) The Pentagon is tasked with identifying the thousands of unknown soldiers buried in military graveyards, and they’re doing a terrible job.  An investigator from Texas is trying to blow the whistle on the agencies failures in the hopes of bringing closure to the loved ones of WWII missing before the relatives pass on as well.  It’s a fascinating article.

2) Banana Republic and London-based designer Issa (of the Kate Middleton engagement dress fame) have teamed up for a collection that is sure to fill the closets of young professionals everywhere.  They’re offering a 3/4-sleeve replica of the Duchess’s engagement dress, and a similar short sleeve number.  I also love this printed dress and the coordinating printed blouse in white and black.  This collection is sure to sell out, so get ’em while you can.

3) Do you have the worst PIN number in America?  Find out here.  And generate a random PIN to replace it, here.

4) I like a swipe of thin eyeliner to finish to off my every day makeup.  Sadly, this means resharpening the pencil several times to keep that perfect point.  But my carpal tunnel may lessen once my Smashbox ‘Always Sharp’ Kohl Liner arrives.  Can’t wait.

5) J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler answered a consumer’s email about the ever-evolving style of the once basic brand.  In my opinion, a little change at J.Crew was a good thing, but it’s gone too far.  They want buyers to pay $1,750 for a tropical sequin dress, but they’re staple pieces (the cashmere, the pencil skirt, the t-shirts) are made with such abysmal quality that I don’t even buy them from there anymore.

In 2004-2008, 80% of my wardrobe from the PJs to the cocktail dresses was J.Crew.  Now, if I find anything that doesn’t get returned to the store for a sizing (oh my god, the vanity sizing) or quality issue (I can see through this t-shirt!), it’s a miracle.  Or a mistake made on final sale.

6) I love to window shop at ASOS when I’m in search of pieces that are unique and stylish.  Last night, I found these deep teal high heels with a cool twisted strap, this cool and inexpensive clutch that looks like a metallic paper bag and this longline blazer with a notch lapel in nude.

7) A restaurant in LA has developed a 45-page “water menu” compiled by their “water sommelier” for those times when tap water just won’t do.  If they were trying to make headlines with this mind-boggling show of pretension, they got them.  This might be a good time to circulate The Story of Bottled Water.

8) This Robert Lee Morris sculptural cuff stopped me in my tracks.  His pieces are phenomenal, and under-$100.  I also love this beaded three-row necklace in a malachite color, and this epic blue beaded station necklace.

9) Do you sleep in your makeup?  After you read this article from MailOnline, you won’t.  Might I recommend these refreshing Say Yes to Blueberries wipes to cleanse your skin?

10) I am fascinated by the process of making movies and television.  So I’m so excited to see the documentary Casting By, which details the life and word of casting director Marion Dougherty.  Some of the greatest films in the library wouldn’t have been the same without her.



  1. Emily says:

    I can’t believe that J.Crew dress is sold out in all but three sizes! Who is buying that?!

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  2. Helena says:

    The only thing I continue to buy at J Crew is the Jackie cardigan. I’ve given up on everything else because, as you say, the quality and sizing aren’t reliable anymore. I hope that this recent admission of a problem from the CEO will result in an overhaul of their basics production.

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  3. Anne says:

    I COMPLETELY agree about J.Crew. I used to buy everything there in high school and college, and even beyond college. But in recent years the quality has just not been up to par (especially considering the prices!). I loved their merino and lambswool sweaters, but now considering the lack of quality I’m on the hunt for a new source. So sad to see one of my favorite brands go downhill.

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  4. Sara says:

    I must say that I am slightly in “heavy like” of those teal heels, and the video about bottled water was fascinating and very eye opening. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  5. Lynn says:

    I didn’t see the link to the J.Crew article. Am I missing it, or can you post it please? Thanks!

    August 9, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Ack, missed it last night. Added it now.

      August 9, 2013/Reply
  6. Diane says:

    Wow, that story about sleeping in your makeup…blech! What a wake-up call. I just ordered those Yes to Blueberries wipes now!

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  7. CH says:

    Add me to the list of people frustrated with J.Crew. It used to be my favorite, and now everything – even the most basic tee shirts – are so overpriced and fall apart after a couple wears and washes. I got three tops there at the beginning of June; since then, one has developed some little holes near the hem and one has embroidery that’s unraveling. The third is fine but it feels like just a matter of time before all the seams come out or something.

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  8. Charleigh says:

    You know, I sleep in my makeup every night I don’t take a shower. Yes, every. I never take it off and will just reapply in the morning after the nights I don’t shower. The reason? I’ve never noticed any problems, truly. Her flakiness, dryness, redness, white cysts, itchy eyes, isn’t something I ever experience. As for my pores, I don’t know about that. They don’t look enlarged to me, but maybe I just don’t notice. I feel like I should be worried about it’s aging effects, but I’ve been a makeup-sleeper since I started wearing makeup in high school, and everyone still think I look either my age or younger (26). I don’t wear foundation, ever, but I do wear concealer, mascara, eye shadow, blush, bronzer and have never had issues (my pillows with their dark pillowcases haven’t suffered either).

    August 9, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think her issues might have appeared faster because she was older, but trust me, when you start hitting your 30s this is going to make a big difference. If I don’t get all my mascara off my eyes get really puffy, this was not something I noticed at 25.

      August 9, 2013/Reply
  9. sarah says:

    I was super disappointed by the Issa collection at BR. It was just jersey wrap dresses in jewel tones. I was not paying full price just b/c Princess Kate wore it (as much as I want to be her).

    August 9, 2013/Reply
    • Jennifer says:

      Agreed 100% And there is no way that the dress Kate wore was that crappy jersey.

      August 9, 2013/Reply
  10. Jennifer says:

    Have you seen the Issa stuff in person? I just left the BR in Chevy Chase and was very disappointed. I was also looking at the items you had linked. The fabric just seems cheap and there is just sooooo much of it on the wrap dress.

    August 9, 2013/Reply
  11. Heather says:

    I’m frustrated with quality everywhere. Everything I’ve purcahsed this year has had issues and had to be returned within a month or so. I’ve had to return things to french connection, piper lime, blue fly, gap, etc. because they weren’t finished properly, arrived stained and damaged, or started falling apart after a few wears.
    As far as water goes- I grew up in Zephyrhills, Fl. Home of Zephyrhills water. It’s all tap water.

    August 9, 2013/Reply
    • Heather says:

      oh and I just noticed that my cotton j crew cardigan I got in March’s pocket seam has come undone.

      August 9, 2013/Reply
  12. Lauren says:

    I just bought 2 of the Issa dresses from BR because they were so flattering, both the long sleeved version and the green one you linked to. love a good jersey dress because they’re so versatile and easy, so I couldn’t pass it up. Plus I didn’t pay full price because with a BR card it worked out to 40% off in store.

    August 9, 2013/Reply