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

Dec 19, 2013

Hi Belle,

I love the MM LaFleur dresses that you linked to this week, but I can’t afford them on a paralegal’s salary.  Can you recommend some dresses with long sleeves in the $125 or less price point?  My office doesn’t dress up much and dresses are about the only thing I can wear without looking too nice.

Sincerely, Krista

Long sleeve dresses are wonderful.  Sadly, most professional dresses are made in sleeveless, which isn’t as great as the retailers think it is.  Here are some suggestions in your price range.

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.25.57 AM

 

Jones New York Scarlet Dress ($101) // Eliza J Fit & Flare Dress ($70) // Tahari Colorblock Sheath ($128)

The JNY dress reminds me of something you might see from Black Halo with its sleek cut and simple v-neck.  I also like this Isaac Mizrahi textured dress ($120) for the simple cut and unique fabric.  And I still love this Intersection Knit Dress ($109) and this off-white Button Sleeve Shift Dress ($149), both 50%-off at Ann Taylor with code ANNGIFT.

A fit and flare dress can work for the office, but I recommend the addition of a belt, a jacket or some jewelry to spice it up.  This Carmen Marc Valvo printed dress ($96) is a good choice if you work in a creative environment, and I like this black Karen Kane dress ($108) as well.

If you’re looking for figure-slimming dresses, I also found this Jones New York shirred jersey dress ($80) and this Jones New York crepe, tie-side dress ($53).  Petite?  Try this Kenneth Cole Galilea dress.

Colorblock dresses are still everywhere you look, but few have as sophisticated a color palette as this one does.  I love the dark berry and charcoal together.  I also found this Calvin Klein ponte sheath in black and white ($118) and this Ella Moss dress in camel and black ($94).  Plus-size? This DKNY Ponte Knit dress has a great look with a black and grey color palette.

Belle,

After seeing them on so many blogs, including CHS, I want to buy a blanket cardigan for winter.  Trouble is, I waited too long and the one I wanted sold out.  Can you find one with a pattern in the knit for less than-$100?  

Thanks, Sula

At the top of your price range, I found this Sabine blanket sweater in black and white and this color block cardigan in oatmeal and black from Banana Republic.  For a bit less, I still love this $68 black and white knit from Urban Outfitters.  I also like this multi-color abstract cardigan for $30 from Forever21.

Plus-size? I dig this INC zig-zag knit cardigan and this orange printed Peter Nygard cardi.  Petite?  INC also has a great cardigan in big black and white print.

Dear Belle,

It occurred to me this morning as I was getting dressed, that every sweater I own is either a) black or b) a solid neutral color.  Can you help me find some sweaters in a color?  My closet looks like like I’m working in a funeral parlor or one of those whacky salons where the stylists only wear black.  Thanks. Love the blog!

Kayla

This e-mail made me laugh because it’s so true.  I have all my neutral bases covered, but finding colored sweaters is a challenge.  So let’s have a look around, shall we?

00065143-01

Blurred Lines Sweater ($23)

How adorable is this Forever21 sweater in pale yellow?  I also like this Wallis sweater in cobalt blue color block, and the large selection of colored crew neck sweaters at Old Navy (esp. this pink stripe sweater).  Gap also has a wide selection of colors, though I recommend you size down.

Dear Belle,

Thank you for responding to my last question about the wedding shoes.  Satin flats were the best idea!  

I need your help finding a nail polish for New Year’s Eve.  I want a gold or shimmery metallic polish, but I don’t want it to be chunky with glitter or electric looking, if that makes sense.  Can you help me find a soft metallic polish that isn’t ugly?

Thanks again. Lacey

When I read your question, my first thought was OPI Glitzerland.  It’s a soft, almost brushed, gold shade.  And I like this OPI DS Desire shade, that comes up a pale brown shimmer.  Deborah Lippman also has a fab rose gold shade that could also be worn to work it’s so subtle.

I would also check out the soft metallics of the Sephora Formula X Collection.  Bolder colors on the agenda?  I love the chunky black polish from the Sephora Celestial collection.

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  1. Mish says:

    Has anyone bought opi on amazon? I’m always scared to try but that $1.50 price is enticing!!

  2. Cait says:

    Essie mirror metallics are good for a nice simple gold, silver, or copper (the blue is a bit out there). Also, from Nicole by OPI, The Next Ceo is a nice light gold polish with a hint of shimmer, not glitter. For a topcoat that can dress up almost any other solid polish for NYE, try Essie Luxeffects As Gold As It Gets. It creates a nice effect over a dark polish, especially black, or adds some subtle shimmer to lighter shades.

  3. AttiredAttorney says:

    I picked up the Jones New York dress at my local TJ Maxx for $30.

  4. Pancakes says:

    Wow, I love that teal green Eliza J dress.

    Belle (or anyone else), do you own it? Just wondering what size I would take. I’m typically a 4 in tops, 6 in bottoms.

  5. Addison says:

    I would caution against buying the Forever 21 blanket cardigan. I don’t own that one, but the quality of their sweaters is terrible. I have different F21 blanket cardigan and the sleeves were covered in pills after wearing it once

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