AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. III, No. Twenty-Six

Hi Belle!

I have been on the hunt for a solid pair of cognac flats to absolutely no avail for quite some time now. I would like a pair with an almond or pointed toe so they a bit more structured than a basic round toe. Every pair I find seems to be some hideously ugly pair or have a ridiculous embellishment. Any good suggestions?

Best, Christina

Unfortunately, the options for un-embellished cognac flats are limited.  I found this Aldo pair with a pleated front that have structure and a pointier toe.  I also found this textured pair in a dark tan from Miz Mooz.

I also found a handful of options that have a sleek look but a round toe.  This Aldo Chason pair is nice, and Steve Madden has their ever popular Heaven skimmer.  Madden also makes a similar shoe with the oh-so-hot ankle strap.

Dear Belle,

I’m headed to Costa Rica for my honeymoon and I’m looking for a great sunscreen for my face. I tried the Neutrogena product made for the face and it made me break out.  Do you have one to recommend?


I like Supergoop sunscreen for face.  It doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy and doesn’t cause breakouts.  I also wear the Clinique BB Cream in SPF 30.

Hi Belle,

I’m hunting for a leather jacket for fall.  Grey, taupe or light brown.  I’d like to spend between $250 and $500, but the lower the better.  Can you give me some options to look at?  Everything in the stores is either cheap PVC or out of my price range.

Love the blog! Edie

Bluefly is a great place to shop for leather jackets.  This slouchy Elie Tahari Andreas jacket is a nice choice, as is this grey Alexa jacket.  I also liked this quilted Hinge jacket, and this Muubaa jacket from The Outnet.

Looking for the look of leather for less?  This Studio M jacket looks pretty good.  I also like this Calvin Klein moto jacket in tan.

Hi Belle! 

I’ve been a long-time follower of your blog and have recently roped my closest co-workers into fandom.  I write on behalf of one of them, and hope you can help because we’ve been loving your work-sized bag suggestions so far, and they are helping us immensely in our fall/winter bag deliberations.  She is looking for a gray work bag under $150.  She just returned a real doozy that had texture, making it look like it had come off a skinned rhino, so preferably the bag would be smooth-ish? 

Thanks, Anna

Gray bag are especially difficult to find.  Anne Klein makes a Jazzy Geos dome satchel that might fit the bill.  This inexpensive Liz Claiborne bucket satchel is nice,  as is this studded leather tote from Nordstrom.  But my favorite bag is this medium-size top handle satchel from Sole Society.




  1. M says:

    honeymooner in costa rica, also pack a lot of water proof items. I lived there for 8 months and you’re going (presumably) in the rainy season. It starts at the end of July and goes until December. If you’re going in September – October you can expect A LOT of rain. If you’re headed to the Caribbean side you should be fine and get a good bit of sunshine. Have the best time! Also, tipping is not expected. Pura Vida! i’m jealous!

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks for the tip!

      August 19, 2013/Reply
  2. E says:

    Madewell has some great cognac flats:

    August 19, 2013/Reply
  3. AR says:

    Skin Medica sunscreen is the amazing! I’m the palest of the pale and it totally protects, layers really well under makeup and isn’t greasy. I never used anything other than drug store stuff but when one of my girlfriends worked in a derm clinic she gave me some samples. Game changer.!pla!!!21594190100!g!!9406932056

    August 19, 2013/Reply
  4. N says:

    Madewell’s “sidewalk skimmer” is my FAVORITE flat shoe and it comes in a beautiful cognac right now:

    August 19, 2013/Reply
  5. m says:

    This is totally off topic but I blame Belle for tempting me over to via links above.

    Nordstrom has a DVF silk wrap dress for just $145. Free shipping, free returns.

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      This is all part of my evil plan to make people dress better. 😉

      August 19, 2013/Reply
  6. amb says:

    Nordstrom Rack on L Street had a few leather jackets today. Leather jackets tend not to be my thing, but they were nice. A friend also bought one from the store at Pentagon City a few weeks ago as well.

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks for the info. I haven’t been to a Rack in forever.

      August 19, 2013/Reply
  7. Jamie says:

    Belle, do you only do two posts on Mondays now? Just wondering 🙂

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Just having a bit of brain drain. The weekly favorites will go up Wednesday. Then we’ll be back to three posts next Monday.

      August 19, 2013/Reply
  8. A says:

    For the honeymooner in Costa Rica, a couple months ago I received a sample of the COOLA sunscreen for your face in my Birchbox and it was amazing. It wasn’t greasy, it was 70% organic, full of anti-oxidants, and it smells like cucumbers, a much more pleasant scent!

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • cs says:

      Just a note about the Coola, I also got one in my Birchbox and got totally burned when I used it as my primary sunscreen. I also have a friend that had the same thing happen to her so I don’t know if I’d trust it. I’ve always used the Aveeno face sunscreen and had good results in terms of sunscreen and no skin irritation.

      August 20, 2013/Reply
      • A says:

        Good to know! I always use the COOLA or any other sunscreen on top of my Origins facial moisturizer that has SPF 25 in it. I never had any burning or irritation with the COOLA and I have very sensitive skin.

        August 22, 2013/Reply
  9. Danielle says:

    As a fellow fan of the structured, pointed-toe flat, I’d like to recommend the Frye Regina Ballet Flat. I have them in black and am seriously considering picking up a pair in cognac.

    August 19, 2013/Reply
    • JP says:

      Agreed! I love my black pointy toe Reginas!

      August 20, 2013/Reply
  10. amandal says:

    As to leather jackets, I would also recommend going to one of the leather outlet stores at Arundel Mills or Leesburg. I got a fantastic and stylish leather jacket there for a fairly affordable price. Not normally a place I would shop, but I figured I would browse, and ended up striking gold.

    August 20, 2013/Reply
  11. Addison says:

    Check Nordstrom’s when they’re having a sale. I got a killer deal on a timeless black leather jacket there and I’ve had it, I kid you not, since 8th grade (I’m 26 now)

    August 20, 2013/Reply
  12. C. Michael says:

    For the honeymooner, have you tried any of the products from La Roche Posay? Specifically, they make a high SPF mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin. It’s dear, but it’s paraben free! Hope this helps 🙂 And best wishes!

    Here is the link:

    August 20, 2013/Reply
  13. punctuates says:

    If you the shoe doesn’t have to be completely flat, I love these Seychelles 1″ wedges:

    August 21, 2013/Reply
    • punctuates says:

      Autocorrect fail: “you” shouldn’t be there.

      August 21, 2013/Reply
  14. ET says:

    For the honeymooner – GM Collin High Protection Cream SPF 30 is fantastic! I honeymooned in the British Virgin Islands last May and exclusively used this sunscreen and never burned. It’s a mineral-based sunscreen. In particular, it worked extremely well on my face, which often burns, and kept my freckles under control. There was no irritation at all.

    August 21, 2013/Reply