Style + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: October 18, 2013


A few weeks ago, I left the comfortably stable job that had once been my dream career to embark on a new adventure.  Why?  Because I found that lobbying neither challenged me in a positive way, nor fulfilled me as my previous career in government had.

Being self-employed has been…interesting.  Working with clients, managing the books, dealing with sub-contractors and knowing that I am the only one responsible for keeping the plates spinning is much more difficult than anticipated.  Self-employment is a hustle, but one that I hope will change me and my life for the better.

1) I was once screwed up about what it meant to be a feminist. (Some readers set me straight.)  And judging by the last line of this NY Daily News article, supermodel Bar Rafaeli is too.

2) Words cannot adequately express how desperately in love I am with this Alexander McQueen business suit.  The tailoring.  The puffed sleeves.  Swoon.  

Imagine wearing it with these deadly gorgeous Gianvito Rossi mesh panel pumps.  No, I can’t.  It’s too much chic for one outfit, and one day-dream, to hold.

3) Can vegan chocolate cake actually taste good?  This one from Food52 can.  (The mostly empty plate in my fridge confirms it does.)

4) The Origins ‘Clear Improvement’ Charcoal Mask continues to be one of the best beauty products that I have ever purchased.  Remove it with hot water and a muslin face cloth.  Then, apply Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm, drink an extra large glass of water and get a good night’s sleep.  In the morning, your skin will look ah.may.zing.

5) Even if you don’t play golf, you need to watch this video of the “most extreme” hole of golf in the world.

6) Why do so many fashionistas and bloggers think that these furry pink coats are stylish must haves?  They look like someone skinned a Muppet.  Or the bathrobe that my Nana wore in 1985.

7) I’ve wanted to buy some succulents to decorate my apartment for a while.  I don’t care much for leafy houseplants (not that I could keep them alive), and thought succulents would be a good alternative.  I’ve never seen any for sale at my usual haunts, but this Etsy shop has a wonderful selection of single plants and kits that you can arrange in the container of your choice.

8) I don’t really look good in hats, but Miss M keeps encouraging me to buy one for winter time.  But there are so many to choose from.

I found this chic Nine West newsboy a la Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.  I spotted this cool crochet-knit beanie from Aeropostale, and this sleek Brooks Brothers cloche.  I guess I’m just glad she didn’t recommend the fur earmuffs that I keep seeing everywhere.

9) New York Magazine has an interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that neither his supporters, nor his detractors, will want to miss.

10) Gap and GQ Magazine have teamed up with several designers to create a collaborative collection called GQ x Gap.  It has some cool pieces for gentlemen.  I’m buying this simple, vintage-looking Ernest Alexander dopp kit as a gift for someone.  It costs half as much at Gap as it does at Nordstrom.  Score.

11) Do you hate unsightly cords?  Do you wish someone made an iPhone dock that didn’t look like a plastic set prop from Battlestar Galactica? Then, you need to check out this Kickstarter for The Spool Dock.  Amazing in its simplicity, this clever little device is a must have for Apple-philes who love good design.



  1. hms says:

    You shouldn’t buy succulents as they will regrow if you clip one bud (with some stem) off of a larger plant and replant! Of course, these Etsy setups are beautiful but you can also do the same for free. $30 for these types of plants seems excessive.

    October 18, 2013/Reply
  2. Eileen says:

    You can also buy succulents for way cheaper at the outdoor Fragers area that’s set up in Eastern Market. I got succulents, desert soil and a pot to house them in for maybe $15-20

    October 18, 2013/Reply
  3. GoGoGo says:

    Congrats on striking out on your own. That’s really exciting. Kick some ass.

    I solo consulted for a little bit. Lots of quality time in the Portrait Gallery courtyard with the free wifi and a cup of coffee. I miss it. I recommend it, unless you’re opening up an office.

    OMG the McQueen suit.

    October 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I hadn’t thought of that. That courtyard is really nice. I’ve just been sharing some space with another self-employed friend so I can get a fax machine, copier, conference room, etc.

      October 18, 2013/Reply
      • Bernie N. says:

        I studied for the bar exam in that courtyard every day for 2 months. And I passed. So I can recommend it as a workspace!

        October 18, 2013/Reply
  4. Giggling Gourmand says:

    I love my fur earmuffs. They are the same color as my hair and are great for not messing up hairstyles on cold days. I get plenty of compliments on them.

    October 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m sure there are chic ones out there. All the ones I’ve seen are kind of crazy and over the top.

      October 18, 2013/Reply
  5. e says:

    I recently received a small muslin cloth and cleanser in my Birchbox, but haven’t tried it yet. Does anyone know how (if?) to wash it when I’m finished using it?

    October 18, 2013/Reply
    • Emilee says:

      I’m wondering the same thing. I’m super tempted to order the full size of that face wash!

      October 18, 2013/Reply
  6. SC says:

    Thought this was an interesting article about Miley Cyrus & Feminism:

    October 18, 2013/Reply
  7. Emilee says:

    I need to print out that quote and paste it to my desk at work. And my bedroom wall too, to inspire me to get up and work out at 5 AM!

    October 18, 2013/Reply
  8. Samantha says:

    Can anyone recommend a similar but cheaper product for the Tammy Fender balm? Would love to try this but definitely can’t afford it at $130.

    October 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I looked for one, I didn’t find anything. But if you’re looking for an antioxidant, vegan moisturizer, Whole Foods might be the place to start.

      October 18, 2013/Reply
    • KMB says:

      I’ve never used the Tammy Fender product, but Eminence makes a Chamomile Moisturizer that’s given me great results. It looks like the two products have similar ingredients (both have chamomile and shea butter, among some other similarities). It’s about $60 for 2 oz., so still not cheap, but less than half the price of the Tammy Fender balm. It might be worth a shot!

      October 18, 2013/Reply
  9. SEC says:

    I also haven’t used Tammy Fender product, however, I have tried the Origin’s clay masque and love it! I think if you use an exfoliant prior to the mask you get amazing results.
    I have used Mario Badescu skin care products for years and find their moisturizers to be as good as some I’ve paid over $200 for. The moisturizer I currently use was $24-26, I’d definitely recommend this product line as well as their spa in NYC.

    October 18, 2013/Reply
  10. Anna-bird says:

    That Scalia was fantastic. And as someone who’s about to transition to working from home, I’d love your suggestions for “work” wear that doesn’t just mean leggings!

    October 19, 2013/Reply
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