Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. IV, No. Five

Jan 22, 2014

Dear Belle,

I’m trying to figure out where to get a bridesmaid dress altered in the DC area. I can’t seem to find on the blog the name of the tailor you typically use or if you have suggestions? I appreciate any help you can offer!

Thanks, Kate

I take my clothes to Cheryl Lofton on T Street.  Her shop is about 1 block from the Howard University Metro stop.  She’s very busy, so it can take a week or two to get things back.  So if I just need a hem done or a small repair, I’ll go to my dry cleaner.  But for a bridesmaid’s dress, I would definitely take it to her.

Hi Belle, 

Thanks to you, I bought my first wear-to-work dress this fall and I wear it all the time.  Too much, actually.  Can you suggest a couple of short or long sleeve dresses under-$100?  I’d like to add a few more to my wardrobe, but funds are limited.

xo, Haley

Because it’s almost February, I would recommend looking for dresses that can be worn now or in a few months.  Here are a few dresses to keep you going through the spring.

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Felicity & Coco Seamed Dress ($98) // Limited Textured Sheath ($89) // Scroll Print Blouson Dress ($79) // ASOS Square Neck Pencil Dress ($49)

I own the Felicity dress, and it’s the closest thing to Black Halo or 4Collective that I’ve found in the under-$200 price range.  The fit is snug, but if you size it right, still work appropriate.  The fabric feels good to the touch and the dress is well constructed.  They do run a little small, so I always size up.  Their Contrast Panel Sheath is also a good choice for the office.

The Limited dress is a good all-year basic.  I like that the bottom has a tulip shape, so it’s more forgiving than a pencil dress.  If you have a bit more to spend, I am in love with this Ivy & Blu sheath with a high-cowl neckline for $175.

Also in black, this LOFT dress (also in petite) has a color that works for winter and a shape for spring.  (Though if you’re going to wear it with tights, grab the static guard.)  It could also benefit from the addition of a wide black belt.  And speaking of Ann Taylor, I’m waiting for this black and white sheath ($129) to go on sale.

ASOS is one of the best places to find dresses.  However, you need to remember that it’s UK sizing, so it runs a bit small.  I like this flame red dress, but if you’re not feeling that bold, the clean lines on this Structured Pencil Dress are to.die.for (very Victoria Beckham).  I also like this knot-front dress in burnt orange.

Plus-size? This Scarlet & Jo dress (also in teal) would look great with tights or without.  And this London Times dress mixes grey, white and pale blue for just the right amount of spring color.  Petite?  Try this ruched herringbone dress from Anthropologie or this red, long sleeve peplum dress also from Anthro.

Hi Belle,

My husband is taking me to the Caribbean for my birthday in February.  I need to buy a swimsuit cover, but everything I find is $75+.  It seems stupid to spend that much.  Any suggestions for something cheaper?

Lauren

It really is criminal what people with charge for $7 of cotton voile, isn’t it?  Because they can be so expensive, I usually skip the traditional cover-up altogether.  If I’m at the pool, I’m wearing one of two things: A men’s button-up shirt or a t-shirt dress.

I found this striped t-shirt dress at Target for $24, though it also comes in solid colors.  However, the best place to find inexpensive swim cover-ups in all sizes from petite to plus, is on 6pm.com.  They have a great selection, all deeply discounted.

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  1. LeslieJeannene says:

    I bought the black/white/navy dress from Ann Taylor a couple of weeks ago at a 40% off sale. I love it.

  2. Nikki says:

    I highly recommend trying on the AT dress before buying it. I was so disappointed with the fit, it was too lose around my waist.

  3. Larissa says:

    The best tailor is in Old Town Alexandria – Elegance by Roya. I’m taking my wedding dress there. She is awesome.

  4. Sandra says:

    I love the look of that Anthropologie herringbone dress, but what would you wear with it to keep warm at work? I can’t imagine a cardigan or blazer looking good on top of the ruching.

  5. Chloe says:

    I just got back from Punta Cana and ran into the same issue with coverups – I did wind up getting mine from Victoria’s secret for $25 during a crazy sale, so keep checking. Target, as mentioned is a good spot too – I’d also check out Nordstrom Rack, H&M and Old Navy all online to see. Additionally, depending where you’re going you can just buy one when you’re there. I bought a fun green sarong the second day for $10 from a vendor at the beach. Just bring cash!

  6. Mish says:

    Also good is green and blue studio in DuPont. Decent prices and good turn around for alterations. They do wedding dresses, but also simpler stuff. They also do a good job just steaming things that I don’t trust my dry cleaner to deal with.

  7. heather says:

    Keep dryer sheets in your desk drawer in a ziploc. If you get clingy during the day run them over your tights and round the inside layers of your skirt to eliminate the static.

  8. Cammy says:

    I just saw some swimsuit coverups online at Old Navy.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Anyone know a good tailor in the sterling/Reston area?

  10. Addison says:

    I got my bridesmaids dress altered by a seamstress in the Crystal City shops. I had to buy the dress two sizes too big and it was too long, so it was not a simple alteration. The woman there did a fabulous job.

    Target usually has cute cover ups for a decent price. But I was just there the other day and looked online because my favorite cover up that I bought in Aruba needs to be replaced. The selection is terrible this season. It hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t vouch for quality, but I finally found and ordered this one from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s only $19.99.

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/capelli-solid-gauze-3-4-inch-sleeve-white-cover-up/3239599?device=c&network=g&matchtype=&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_none_&gclid=CJ7Rp6npkrwCFWVnOgodPl0AOA

  11. BBB says:

    I took a bridesmaid dress to Sammy Lee Tailor Shop on the Hill. Expensive, but he did a great job. If I need little seams sewn, buttons, hems, etc – I just take to the dry cleaner around the corner from my house.

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