AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

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

Dear Belle,

I’ve recently rediscovered my love of high heels, and I’m searching for a pair of truly sexy black high heels to wear to work. I want a pair of shoes that are 4″ or less but make people say day-um when I walk by.


I thought about this for a while, and if it’s sex appeal you’re after, then you need a pointed-toe stiletto.  No question.  A work-appropriate shoe with sex appeal is kind of a big ask, since the two are usually mutually exclusive, but I found a few pairs that could work.

I saw this Dolce Vita pair in black suede with a gold bar detail in person last week, and they’re sexy and modern.  The Jessica Simpson Claudette shoe has a high heel and a slightly D’orsay shape that’s a bit sexy but not over the top.  The Enzo Angiolini Dollton heel has peek-a-boo cutouts along the length of the shoe and an open instep.  But my favorite choice for understated sexiness has to be this $98 Charles David Pact pump with a deep vamp that makes your foot look amazing.

Dear Belle,

With the rainy season coming up, how do you prepare your good leather bag or your suede bag for the moisture?  


If you have a cobbler or dry cleaner that also does leather cleaning and treatment, and you trust them, I would take it there to have it weatherized.  If not, I would invest in a good leather protectant and leather cleaning spray.  Coach makes a great product line for caring for leather pieces, but I also like the Meltonian brand.


My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this fall. To celebrate, we are splurging on a night at The Inn at Little Washington. The reservations are made, but I have no idea what to wear befitting the evening, while still allowing plenty of wiggle room for a 10 course menu with wine pairings. The typical Thanksgiving wrap dress doesn’t seem like it would be special enough for this event. Also, a dress that can accommodate curves would be appreciated. 

All the best, Shannon

Wrap dresses are always my first choice for big meals.  A silk wrap from somewhere like DvF would be a good choice.  I like this midnight blue, leopard-spotted print.  Pair that with a sleek black pump or sultry black sandal for an understated but sexy look.

However, if you need another suggestion, I would recommend something with ruching along the sides.  It tends to be slimming and forgiving.  This berry-colored BCBG is to die for.  This cap-sleeve David Meister dress has a bit of a tulip shape to the skirt, which might make it a little roomy.  But this Mara Hoffman dress, with a slightly crazy pattern that will provide some concealment, has a great shape with a slight asymmetry to the skirt.


What do you think of the current trend of embroidering foxes on sweaters? Yea? Nay?


Personally, I would not wear a fox sweater.  It’s not my taste.  I have seen a few sweaters with this design that were nice, but it’s very trendy, so it may not be something that you can wear for multiple winters.  Translation: If you like it, buy it, but don’t spend a lot of money on it.  This $79 sweater from Ann Taylor should suit you just fine.  Or if you want something a bit less overt, C.Wonder has a sweater with a geometric fox design on it that’s worth a look.

Hi Belle!

I saw you posted on Instagram about buying a pair of Brooks running shoes.  What do you think of them?  I’ve been considering a pair.

Thanks for the input! Lia

I am by no means an expert on buying running shoes–as I barely run, I spend most of time on the elliptical–but I really like the Brooks Ghost shoes that I purchased.  They’re light (which I love), they provide a lot of arch support and they’re breathable.  If you’re looking for new running shoes, give the Brooks brand a try.



  1. maggie says:

    Hi Belle,
    Just an FYI- I’ve had a really hard time clicking through to items you’ve listed lately. I think it started around the time google reader died- but now 90% of the time I click a link, no matter what browser, there is an error with “” and I cannot see the items. This might affect your income with affiliate links- just thought you might like to know.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  2. Katy says:

    I went to the Inn about two weeks ago for dinner, you’re in for a treat! They pace the meal pretty well so you won’t come out uncomfortably stuffed. The dress code wasn’t as fancy as I thought it would be. Most of the women were in the wrap dress level of formalness. I wore a knee length a-line dress made of black lace and was one of the dressier ones there, so wear something you’re comfortable sitting in and eating for three hours and you’ll be fine! Don’t forget to walk out back and visit the sheep and chicken!

    August 26, 2013/Reply
    • Shannon says:

      Thank you for this! I don’t know anyone who has been there that cared enough about fashion, instead of just food, to tell me what everyone around them was wearing.

      August 27, 2013/Reply
  3. LO says:

    Love my Brooks Ghost running shoes! Agree that those types of shoes are not one-size-fits-all. My previous two pairs were New Balances. Definitely recommend going to a running store and talking with the salespeople. They should watch you walk and jog and discuss the areas you feel any soreness to determine what you need in a shoe. My motto–if you don’t feel like you’re running on clouds, don’t buy them.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  4. Heidi says:

    Does saffiano leather need to be weather-treated in the same way as softer leathers?

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  5. SLG says:

    Re treating leather bags for wet weather: If you’re in the DC area, I recommend Bedo’s Leatherworks in Falls Church ( It’s a small shop where they can give you (and your bag) personalized attention. I took my expensive Duo boots there and was very happy with their service and advice.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  6. rachel says:

    i’m having the same trouble Maggie. But it seems to be intermittent. Last week it was a big problem, today…hit and miss.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  7. R says:

    Did you do the drawing for the clarisonic yet?

    August 26, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’ve been traveling. I’m going to do it tonight. And then the last giveaway will be tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. Internet has been kind of spotty.

      August 26, 2013/Reply
  8. MissMary says:

    Shannon–Congrats on your 10th anniversary! Here are a few more dresses that have more sizes available:

    August 26, 2013/Reply
    • Shannon says:

      I have been loving that Maggy London dress too! Thank you for the suggestions.

      August 27, 2013/Reply
  9. maggie says:

    Rachel- I’ve noticed it’s always happening on Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom links- but I got C Wonder and Amazon to work just fine today.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  10. Addison says:

    Just for Belle’s information, I’m not having any trouble at all with links. Maybe it’s a browser issue..? I’m on Safari.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  11. AJB says:

    For Lia–Not sure how frequently you work out, or how many miles you put on your running shoes, but if you are going to spend that much money on a shoe, I would go to Pacers or Runners World, or some running store that will watch you walk/run, and then recommend shoes and support based upon your needs. Also, those stores usually have a good return policy too if it turns out that the shoes are uncomfortable for you. While Brooks makes a great running shoe, there are also other really good shoe companies that specialize in running shoes/cross trainers.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  12. Christine says:

    I agree that Brooks is a great brand (I have owned several pairs for running over the years), but you need to find the shoe that’s right for your individual needs. If you’re unsure or overwhelmed by the options, go to a store. I highly recommend the Potomac River Running Company, which is locally owned, has excellent staff, and has several locations in the DMV area. It’s worth paying more to get the right shoe. My favorite online resource is, which rates shoes for particular issues and overall performance, and it explains issues you need to consider.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  13. Cynthia W says:

    RE: Links – they work fine for me at home, it’s only when I’m at work that I sometimes have issues with some of the links. However, it’s a function of our firewall and not the blog.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  14. Jeanie says:

    For the girl looking for black pumps, I recommend these from BCBGeneration
    I wear them at least twice a week and walk around a college campus all day. I use the Dr. Scholl’s heels insoles, and wear hose as often as possible, and they’re as comfortable as can be. And clearly pretty hot 😉

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  15. LadyMacbeth says:

    For sexy vampy black pumps I would recommend Louboutains if you can swing it/save for it. I know it’s cliched, but I feel something special when I wear my (only) pair. And men always notice.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  16. Katie says:

    I swear by Brooks Glycerin shoes…I’ve owned 5 generations of them. They’re pricey, but totally worth it. I would recommend going to a running store when choosing an investment running shoe, though.

    August 26, 2013/Reply
  17. Shannon says:

    Thank you for the Inn picks Belle. I might have to give the DvF dress a try.

    August 27, 2013/Reply
  18. Anna says:

    Running shoes are a VERY individual choice. All of the major running shoe brands(Brooks, New Balance, Nike, Mizuno, Saucony, Adidas) are of similar quality, with the exception of their “value” styles. I think only Adidas, Reebok, and Nike have those, maybe NB too. But if you buy their styles in the $85-110 range, they are all going to be high quality. It just comes down to your feet, your running style, and your needs. Brooks are great, but I can never wear them, they just don’t fit my feet right. If you’re in the market for new running shoes, go to a running store and have them take a look at you run and recommend some shoes. Pacers, Potomac River Running, and Georgetown Running Company are all reputable. Most also have generous return policies even after wearing them outside. Once you find the style that works for you, you can get cheaper prices on future pairs online.

    August 28, 2013/Reply
  19. Pingback: To fox, or not to fox? | DC Goodwill Fashionista