AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Thirty-Seven

Hi Belle,

I love your Olivia Pope Scandal guide, it’s spot on.  Could you suggest some “Olivia Approved” winter coats?  I want a really sophisticated topper like the ones she wears.

Thank you! MC

If you plan to copy the style of Scandal’s Olivia Pope, then a coat is a great place to start.  She has the best outerwear wardrobe on television.  Her coats are often grey or white and usually have a dramatic collar.  Here are some suggestions:

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Jessica Simpson Funnel Neck Coat ($174) // Mango Military-Style Coat ($189) // Tahari Alba Coat ($240)

In a mid-price range, gorgeous coats come with the Tahari name attached.  There are so many good options!  If you like camel colors, this leather-sleeved coat is amazing, as is this belted wrap coat.  And if you like tweed, this Izzy coat is for you.

For a bit more money, I also found this cool Mackage coat and this fit-and-flare coat from Reiss.

Need something less expensive?  This Merona shawl collar coat is $50 and this belted BB Dakota coat is $70.  Plus-size?  This Calvin Klein coat with faux leather trim is awesome, and check out this ivory, double-breasted Jessica Simpson coat.


I’m looking for an ivory knit infinity scarf but I haven’t seen one for less than $75.  Help!


LOFT has two great options, this waffle knit or this textured “popcorn” knit with fringe, both are $35.  But my favorite is this $30 chunky-knit scarf from Sole Society.

Hi Belle, 

Love the blog! I work in a different capitol (state level), but so much of what you say is applicable to my job.  I am in need of your amazing skills.  I used to have a pair of purple pumps that I wore to death, and I really miss them.  I’ve been looking for a replacement pair, but I’ve come up empty so far.  Here is my wish list- purple, leather (but not patent), not suede, closed-toe, heel between 2-3″, and ideally pointed- or almond- toed.

I would like to keep the price under $200.

Thanks! MB

No suede? No patent?  Well, that eliminates 90% of the market.  I found this Enzo Angiolini pump on, but it appears to have a bit of shine to it, though it could be the lighting.  I also found this Si by Sinela pump on Yoox.

If those don’t strike your fancy, I would consider burgundy pumps as an option for fall.  I love these basic pumps from Ivanka Trump or these inexpensive Getta heels from Steve Madden.


Awhile back you said you had a favorite type of hairbrush.  Can you remind me which one it was?

Thank you, Rapunzel

I have a favorite round brush, the Prego brush from Spornette, that I use to blowout my hair.  I also have a favorite flat brush, which is the Aveda paddle brush.  I owned my last Aveda brush for 15 years.

Dear Belle,

My dermatologist recommended I try a vitamin C serum to protect my skin from wrinkles and sun damage, but the one she recommended caused me to breakout.  Do you use one?  If so, which one?

Thank you, Katy

My dermatologist gave me the same advice.  Vitamin-C boosts collagen production and fights free radicals.  So it can stave off the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and improve skin’s texture.  It can also help prevent dark spots from forming.

The most popular vitamin-C serum on the market if Ole Henriksen Truth Serum.  I’ve used it, and I like it, but I need something with more potency and a lighter texture.  If you have a bit of money to spend, Perricone makes Vitamin C Ester Serum ($98).  If you want something all natural, Mad Hippie makes a good serum for $34.  Because I have olive skin, I’m prone to dark spots, so I break out the big guns and buy Skinceuticals CE Ferulic.



  1. BT says:

    If you are going to go the Skinceuticals route and have acne prone skin you may want to consider Phloretin CF. It still has the Ferulic and L-Ascorbic like the CE Ferulic, but it also has Phloretin which increases cellular turnover (ie- great news for acne prone skin). Phloretin CF also comes in gel form (I’ve used it for a couple years now), which is frankly easier to use and great for combo skin.

    CE Ferulic has the added benefit of vitamin E, which is great for some extra moisturizing to heal damaged skin, but for someone prone to breakouts, it has the potential to be a bit heavy.

    Its a bit pricey, but totally agree with Belle, Skinceuticals is the best and is worth every penny. Its like switching from eating Breyers ice cream to Hagan Daas- it takes half as much to satisfy you.

    November 12, 2013/Reply
  2. GL says:

    My most favorite Olivia Pope coat was her grey Gucci one ( The Burberry Brit Rushworth coat in pewter is a dead ringer ( You can actually get for 20% off at Bloomies F&F sale. I got it during their last F&F sale but returned only because I currently don’t have the lifestyle to rock it.

    November 12, 2013/Reply
  3. GingerR says:

    Given how wet it can be in DC in the winter I go for lower-priced wool coats, since my workhorse coat is a waterproof model. I love those shawl collared coats. The one from Target, which probably wouldn’t be the greatest coat for months of constant wear, looks like it’d be a nice dress-up option. I love the cream color.

    November 12, 2013/Reply
  4. Para says:

    Hi Belle,
    In your next edition could you consider writing about flat winter shoe options for those of us in business casual / business dress code environments who have a quick walk in the elements before going to work? Knee high boots don’t look professional enough in my office, so once the winter weather is here, I wind up at a loss.

    November 13, 2013/Reply
  5. Erin says:

    My favorite C-serum is from Malibu Wellness at around $36 (you can also find it on Amazon for less sometimes). I use the Zinc-C version, which has the added bonus of keeping my acne at bay. It’s not as snazzy as a bunch of the brands available at Sephora, but my mom’s derm recommended it for scarring and acne years ago, and since then my skin has been consistently clear and fairly even toned, and as a bonus because of the C I am much less susceptible to sunburn. It’s similar to Philosophy’s in that you add the C powder to the serum when you get it, so you don’t have to worry about shelf-stability. A bottle lasts me at least a month with once daily, occasionally twice daily applications.

    November 17, 2013/Reply