AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

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

Hi there Belle,

So I have a problem that I’m sure many women who work in a secured government building have: I need a way to wear my badge (which has to be tapped at security points) that doesn’t make me look like a mall cop.  Do cute lanyards exist? Please and thank you.


When I was on the Hill, I used to carry my ID on a clip-on badge holder, which I could wear on the waistband of my skirt/the neck of a blouse or clip to a belt loop.  Some of my fellow co-workers wore necklace-style lanyards like this one from Boojee Beads.  I also think this is one place where wearing the logo of your alma-mater or favorite team is okay, though I do prefer the skinnier ribbon.

Dear Belle,

My sister-in-law is getting married in February, and some of the reception will be held outside.  The wedding is in North Carolina, but it will still be really cold.  Can you recommend a cardigan to wear with a strapless gray dress?


Kate Middleton wore a mohair cardigan to her reception, and I thought that was a stylish look.  I really like this pale grey cardigan from LOFT (also in petites) with gemstone embellishment.  I also like this cardigan with a pearl necklace embellishment, but white would probably be inappropriate for the wedding.

If you’re not married to the cardigan idea, I would try a leather jacket.  I like this slouchy House of Harlow Coltrane jacket, and this slim-cut, faux-leather jacket from INC.  Plus-size?  Try this cool leather jacket with a sequin sleeve.

Hi Belle,
This post has stuck with me for a while and I was looking into ordering one for myself. How did you like yours? The comments claimed it was very heavy. Any thoughts on the difference between the Slim Bag-in-Bag (much better colors!) vs the Original Bag-in-Bag medium?

Love the blog!  Thanks, Megan

I still use my bag insert from Invite.L in my larger satchels, but it is heavy.  I think the Slim option could work if you just want to organize a few things.  I’m also thinking about picking up their iPad sleeve in navy and camel trim, it’s a very clean look.

Hi Belle,

What should be a simple item to find, a black long sleeve dress not made of flimsy jersey, has become my unicorn.  Do you have any suggestions?

Senate Staffer

I own this Trina Turk long-sleeve sheath and I like it.  The tucks at the waist lend nicely to a belt, and I find it to be warm enough when I wear it with tights.  I also like the look of this textured Isaac Mizrahi sheath, and the price is good at $120.  I can also recommend this Theory dress, and don’t forget about the M.M. LaFleur dresses from two weeks ago.  I’m partial to the Akiko.

Plus-size? Try this Anna Scholz dress or this Ralph Lauren dress in structured jersey. Petite? This Ann Taylor knit dress with teal side panels is lovely (also in misses and tall sizes).



  1. Clementine says:


    If you are a bridesmaid, I’ll bet you a dollar that you’ll all be getting coordinating wraps for the wedding as a gift from the bride…

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  2. BC says:

    Lanyard idea- I brought a heavy double roco long necklace from the clearance at Hetchs years ago. It wasn’t too thick 1/4″ and was this georgeous gunmetal color. (Sigh, I miss Hetchs.)I removed the ugly pendant and replaced it with the lanyard hardware. The best $12.00 I ever spent, originally around $100. I always get asked where I got it. I used to clip my badge but if you tend to carry things like books and other heavy items you tend to rest them against your hip, I would be wary. I lost my badge three times that way. Luckily people that knew me found it each time. There is nothing worse than losing your badge on the Hill.

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  3. s-p-c says:

    Carly – I found a simple and classic black leather lanyard at for under $20 (just sign up for the emails and they’ll send emails about sales / site access), and they are always adding new lanyard options. Seemed a bit nicer than the plastic sleeve that I had before!

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  4. amanda palmer says:

    How about this Kate Spade dress for a black dress?

    The material is a nice weight and it’s on a great sale!

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  5. GingerR says:

    At my agency the rules are that the badge must be displayed at all times above the waist. There is one guard, a woman, who seems to do nothing but wander around the building looking for badge violations so clipping it to your waistband isn’t an option.

    Not only do I drag a badge and it’s special carrying case (designed to keep the chip from being read ) but I also have not one but two fobs that generate random numbers for logins that need to be attached.

    I go for a beaded lanyard, but it gums up wearing other necklaces because it’s hanging there also.

    I’ve often thought this would be worthy of a Washington area stylist post.

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  6. Anon says:

    Re. Handbag organisers, I use and can recommend what I believe was the original, the “VIP” (Very Intelligent Poclet) from Tintamar. They are often sold in sirports and feature in quite a few airline duty free magazines. I have two sizes – one small and one large. They are nylon, not very heavy, and don’t have – or need – the cardboard inserts of the Invite. (Of course, with the success of the originals, the range has evolved and there are now quite a lot of other items in the range.)

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  7. LadyMacbeth says:

    If you don’t have to wear the badge, but only need it at a checkpoint, consider a phone case with a card pocket or even a rubbery phone case that will stretch a little and allow you to slip the card between the back of the phone and the case (this is my solution). In my office I need to tap the card and I always carry my phone so this is an efficient solution.

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  8. Ashleigh says:

    I think etsy would be a good place to look for lanyards, especially since they have a wide range of prices and styles. With some hunting you can find one that you’d like.

    December 2, 2013/Reply
  9. Elena says:

    I second Etsy and have bought a bunch of these leather lanyards in different colors (my neck is easily irritated so no beads or nylon for me). If you’re a photographer, check out the camera straps as well. It took a while to ship but was worth it. There are other options of course.

    December 3, 2013/Reply
  10. Anne says:

    I have to wear a badge above my waist at all times, as well. I shop for long and skinny necklaces with minimal details on sale, and then attach my badge to them. I’m not personally a fan of flair lanyards with school and sports themes with my professional attire, even in a business casual environment.

    December 3, 2013/Reply
  11. Jenhend95 says:

    Brighton sells lanyards that look like jewelry. They are pretty inexpensive and hold up well. I bought one 6 months ago and have been wearing it nonstop.

    December 3, 2013/Reply
  12. Linda says:

    I have this dress from Zara and its much more flattering in person than in this photo. Super affordable too!

    December 4, 2013/Reply