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

Dec 23, 2013

Hi Belle,

I love the outfit you posted to Instagram this weekend. Could you tell me where you bought the top and suggest an alternate belt, since that one is old?

Thank you ever so! Joce

The peplum blouse is from Zara.  It’s one of my favorite pieces, but it’s fairly sheer so I added a Shimera nude cami underneath (also in plus-sizes).  As for a belt, you could go for this BCBG belt with black pyramid studs or this very close copy from Express.

Dear Belle,

You wrote about your acne struggles in a previous post, so I thought you would be a good person to ask about body acne.  My shoulders and chest are becoming a big problem and I need to find a fix.  Thank you, love the blog.

Alicia

The first thing you need to do is assess what is causing the acne.  When I get a bad breakout on my body, it is usually because I’ve changed shampoo/conditioner or started using new detergent.  Sometimes body acne is hormonal, but it could also be the cleansers and hair products you’re using, so try switching those before you pay loads of money for body acne treatments or a visit to the dermatologist.

On the cheap side of the scale, try Neutrogena acne body wash and a pair of exfoliating gloves.  You can also use their acne body spray, just make sure it dries completely before you put on your clothes.

If you have a bit more to spend, the Glytone body wash and the Clarisonic body brush head clear mine up in a hurry.  In emergency situations–before vacations, formal events–I’ve been known to use rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil as a toner.  It dries things out, which can cause other problems, but as I said, emergency situations.

Hi Belle,

Can you help me find a pair of black knee-high black boots with a high heel?  I can only spend $175 or less.  Thanks! Liz

In that price range, I would recommend the Ivanka Trump Norwich Boot in leather and suede or the Jax Boot in all leather.  I also found these Rapid Boots and these Chinese Laundry boots, both at DSW.

Dear Belle,

I’m going with my boyfriend to a wedding in Oregon next month and we’re staying at his parents’ house.  His family spends most weekend mornings/afternoons in their pajamas: they eat breakfast in them, watch TV in them, and they only change if they’re leaving the house.  Can you help me find a pair of pajamas that aren’t childish (his Mom wears silk pajamas she has custom made) and aren’t too revealing?  I hate pjs, but I don’t have a choice.

Your blog has been a big help since I moved to Chicago from Indiana. My boss told me about it and I’ve never been so grateful!

Lazy Days

First, let me ask, do they have to be pajamas?  I wear a long t-shirt and my Zella leggings (the best) as sleepwear.  Would something like that be more to your liking and still be appropriate?

Second, let me try to recover from the fact that there are people (besides Hugh Hefner) who have custom pajamas made.

Last, let me recommend J.Crew, which carries classic-looking pajama sets.  I like this swiss dot set, it’s a classic cut in a nice fabric.  You could also head over to Brooks Brothers or look for a basic pajama set at Victoria’s Secret.  I don’t think you can go wrong with a classic flannel set in a subtle print.

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  1. BC says:

    Re: the body acne issue: I find that this problem gets exacerbated by sitting around in a sweaty sports bra, so if you work out, change out of your gym clothes as soon as possible afterwards. Every time I shower, I scrub my chest and back/shoulders with the St. Ives apricot “blemish control” scrub (the one with salicylic acid). It usually does the trick, and is not too drying.

  2. Alaina says:

    How does the Zara top fit? I’m generally in between sizes in button ups.

    I loved that outfit, by the way!

  3. Annie says:

    I have these in black and cannot say enough good things about them: https://www.landsend.com/products/womens-stanton-high-heel-tall-pull-on-boots/id_243107?sku_0=::BLA

  4. Pancakes says:

    Random PJ-related question: Do you change your pajamas every day? Does it make any difference if you take showers at night?

    • Addie says:

      I shower in the morning and I wash my pjs once a week with everything else. Sometimes I wear the same ones several nights in a row and other times I change every night. It depends on my mood and the weather.

  5. I just bought a PJ set from Target and it is so soft and cozy. If you are mostly buying them for this trip, it might be worth a look if you don’t want to spend too much!

    https://nyviewsnikeshoes.com

  6. Addie says:

    To the reader with body acne, have you tried just using your face wish? I wash my chest every day with face wash instead of my regular body wash and I rarely ever break out there.

  7. mk says:

    Re: body acne, I agree with Addie that face wash is a good approach. It’s also good to look at what you’re consuming internally. Sometimes diet and water intake and also wellness (stress, sleep) can be even more impactful. Our skin is the marker often for what’s happening internally and the last place internal and dietary changes will finally surface (no pun intended).

  8. JJ says:

    RE PJs: I’d suggest you check out the PJs at Arie. Every Christmas my mom has bought be jammies (yes, I’ll be 60 and she’s going to still buy me jammies) and a few years ago she switched from Victoria Secret to Arie. I love the stuff she’s given me from there (super comfy and cute) and I know they are better priced than VS.

  9. AG says:

    For the body acne. This might sound kind of gross, but have you tried apple cider vinegar, even diluted, as a toner? I don’t have any serious issues, but my back used to get some bumpies and get kind of oily in the summer from having my hair down. When I started using diluted apple cider vinegar (abt. 1 tablespoon per cup of water) as a hair conditioner, it all cleared up and my skin texture improved. Maybe try applying it at night before you shower so you’re not smelling like vinegar? I’d have my vinegary hair sitting on my back while I showered then rinsed it all out and it didn’t smell at all. Might be worth a shot since it’s so cheap.

  10. Christine says:

    For the body acne, I recommend a bar soap called Panoxyl. It will clear it right up after a few showers. Use it after you’ve rinsed any conditioner out of your hair. I now use it about once per week. Just make sure you use a white towel or an old towel as it will take the color out because it has benzoyl peroxide.

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