AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. III, No. Forty-Three

Hi Belle,

I am looking for a fur vest similar to this but fake fur. Are these still in style or will I look like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen like three years ago? 

Thanks, Erin

Fur or faux fur vests are not as popular as they were two years ago, but their not out of style.  They take some styling to make them work, but it can be done.  I found a few examples on Pinterest, like this pairing with stripes, this one paired with a colored purse and this bold combination of colored jeans and a leather tee.

As for vests to buy, I found this brown Romeo & Juliet Faux-Fur Vest for under-$100.  (I wouldn’t recommend wearing it with a leather mini-dress, however, unless you want to look like Raquel Welch in Planet of the Apes.)  If you’d like a darker shade of brown, this Gianni Bini vest is more of a tunic length.  But this mixed-grey Via Spiga vest from Nordstrom is definitely my favorite.  Plus-size?  Try this Isda & Co. vest in a dark brown mix.

Hi Belle,

I am interested in building up my bracelet collection and finding new earrings (which I inevitably lose). You pin a lot of cute things, but I’m wondering if you have suggestions of some staple basics I should add. I currently have no bracelets in my collection and pretty much stick to a pair of simple hoops or pearl studs for earrings.  Would love your inspiration!


Since you have no bracelets, let me gear this answer to building a versatile collection of bracelets.  The first thing you must decide is whether you are a silver person or a gold person.  With my skin tone, gold is my distinct preference, so the set below will contain gold pieces with silver suggestions below it.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 11.44.48 AM

Clockwise from upper left, Guess Filigree Cuff ($58) // Renegade Cluster Bracelet ($59) // Nailhead Enamel Bangle ($22)// Christina Link Bracelet ($49) // Privileged Hammered Bangle Set ($90) // Cabochon Wide Cuff Bracelet ($34)

All of these bracelets were chosen because they can be worn alone or with other pieces.  The filigree cuff is good for every day, but looks smashing with cocktail or dinner attire. (Silver-tone filigree bracelet from 1928.) The cabochon cuff allows you mix a bit of color into your look, and can work with any outfit.  In the under-$75 range, I also found this Vince Camuto open cuff with a blue stone and this silver Leith druzy cuff.

A set of stacked bangles are another versatile addition to your wardrobe.  This hammered set is nice, but if you prefer something smoother and wider, try this Blu Bijoux set (also in silver and rose) or this AV Max set with octagonal bangles.

If you want to layer bracelets, Stella & Dot is a good place to start.  I like to wear the Renegade bracelet (also in silver) and the Christina chain bracelet (also in silver) together.  And, if you want to work in some color, don’t forget an enamel bangle.  The grey one above is lovely, but I also adore this simple enamel stripe bangle from Marc Jacobs.  Also, Sequin sells a large (huge, really) selection of enamel bangles in different textures, patterns and colors.

Hi Belle, 

I’m searching for a simple faux wrap dress in a color for my Christmas party next week.  My budget is $150, and I’d love something slimming.  Thanks for taking the time to answer reader questions, I wish more bloggers did!


I just bought myself this $120 Michael Kors wrap-effect dress, and I love it.  It comes in emerald green and a raspberry color.  And it also comes in plus-size.

If you’re going for slimming, a pattern can act as fashion camouflage.  This Jones New York dress in navy cheetah print is great, and I like this boho-chic Presley Skye silk faux-wrap.  Or you can go for basic black, and try this Nine West matte jersey wrap or this simple Three Dots dress.  Petite?  Have a look at this very slimming Spense dress.


You mentioned the Tammy Fender products in a previous post, and I want to know if you think her Intensive Repair Balm is worth the hefty price tag.  I live in Alaska, and my skin is always too dry due to the wind and cold, but the idea of spending $130 on moisturizer does not excite me.

Sincerely, Scaly in Anchorage

Whether a product is worth it to you depends entirely on how serious your skin issues are.  When I travel to Montana, the cold wind causes my skin to turn into sandpaper, and if I moisturize too much, I break out on top of the dryness.  The Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm is pricey, but I think it’s worth it.  If you want to spend less, this Earth Tu Face Balm is supposed to be amazing, and I’ve read good things about Kiehl’s Overnight Hydrating Masque.

And I don’t know if they still do this, but it’s worth asking.  Back in the day, I called Tammy Fender’s Florida location directly and for less-than-$50, she sent me two-week sample sizes of several products based on skin type.  So it’s worth a call to see if she still offers that service.

Hi Belle,

I just moved to Mississippi from Idaho and the change in humidity is killing my hair. Do you have a favorite hairspray for humid weather?  Being from D.C., I thought you might be the person to ask.

Thank you! MS

I think the best hairspray on the market bar none is Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play ($18).  No product can beat humidity every day, but this spray is a good start.  I also recommend layering anti-humidity products, so look into Freez-It Freeze Frame Mousse ($8) as well.



  1. AVV says:

    Last year I got a faux fur vest from Banana Republic, and it’s become a winter office essential for me. It looks way more chic/business appropriate/intentional than a down vest (I work in academia), but keeps me just as warm.

    December 17, 2013/Reply
  2. Rachel says:

    Belle–how does sizing run on the Michael Kors wrap-effect dress? It’s on a huge sale right now at Lord & Taylor, and I’m waffling between S and M. I wear 4-6, but am 5’10”. Any thoughts?

    December 17, 2013/Reply
    • lesliejeannene says:

      I just tried to get the medium and it lets you get though the whole check out process to tell you its sold out:(

      December 17, 2013/Reply
      • Rachel says:

        Same with the small!

        December 17, 2013/Reply
        • lesliejeannene says:

          I tweeted about it and they sent me an email that it is in stock and they are getting it ordered. It may be worth giving their customer service line a call. its even cheaper today than it was yesterday.

          December 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m a four top, six bottom, I bought the small.

      December 17, 2013/Reply
  3. Meaghan says:

    My fur vest is from Banana Republic, and if you wait for one of their sales (which are almost every day), it is under $100. I have it in a dark brown but I’ve also seen it there in grey. I love it!

    December 17, 2013/Reply
  4. Julia says:

    I know most grown women avoid Forever 21 like the plague (or should), but it offers a lot of great bracelet options for much cheaper than Bauble Bar or Stella & Dot. The online selection is better than in store. Many of their bracelets look almost identical to Stella & Dot bracelets, but many only come in one metal. Loft also has great bracelets at amazing prices when they are on sale.

    December 17, 2013/Reply
  5. barbaralisette says:

    In response to the humidity question:

    I just moved to D.C. from Miami, and the lack of humidity is killing my hair 😉 However when I first moved to Miami, I remember not knowing how to deal with the humidity, and it will take a while for your skin/hair to adjust (it will eventually).

    In the meantime here a few tips I used:
    – The L’orel Shampoos worked best ( I needed the moisture one bc of the harsh sun, but MS may not have such sun)
    – Try to find a hairstyle that most reflects your natural waves. Layered cuts work because the humidity will enhance the body and waves, straightening hair, at least in Miami was almost pointless.
    – And lastly, pin it in a lose bun until you get to work, then you can let it out in the office and the end should naturally wave, but having it up reduces the sweat and minimizes frizziness.

    I hope this helps!!

    December 17, 2013/Reply
  6. DC Atty says:

    When purchasing pricy cosmetics and skin care products, I always make a point of buying them at Sephora. Nobody ever puts them “on sale” so the price is always going to be the same, but Sephora will take the product back any time within 60 days, no reason necessary, and refund the full purchase price. Best of both worlds.

    December 18, 2013/Reply