Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: March 28, 2014


In addition to writing this blog, I speak to dozens of groups about how career and fashion intersect.  Recently, I’ve noticed that my audiences are impatient about their futures.  They want to achieve their goals, and they want to achieve them right now.

They ask me how they can skip being an intern or a staff assistant, and how long they really have to stay mid-level staff before they can apply for senior positions. But these answers aren’t cut and dry, everyone’s career path is different.  The truly successful people I know–the people I aspire to be more like–see value and opportunity in every position.  They are mindful that there are more steps, but that the next step on the path can’t be taken until they prove themselves worthy to move forward.

Many people want to achieve something great professionally.  But instead of focusing on an intangible future, work at excelling each day, at each task and making the most of each opportunity


1) I really like last week’s “What I Wear to Work” post on the Washingtonian’s blog.  The working woman featured in the post, Maria Jose Abad, has her own trilingual fashion blogshow off.

2) J.Crew’s stocking new arrivals for spring.  This colorblock striped skirt is adorable, as is this baseball-style sweater with scalloped detail.  But what really caught my eye was the selection of gorgeous shoes.  These Camden sandals mix the best of summer and fall with leopard details, and these Millie sandals come in a gorgeous, bright berry.

3) If you haven’t backed up your computer in a while, Lifehacker has an invaluable how-to guide.  As someone who had a hard drive die on her the day before her final papers were due junior year, I can attest to how important it is.

4) If the high-fashion blogs and magazines are to be believed, overalls are coming back into style. *silent scream*  To comply with the edict, Madewell is trying to bring back ALL of the bad 90s denim trends–from striped denim overalls to baggy high-waders–and charge a boatload for them.

Ooh, distressed carpenter pants!!  Let me dig out my Sonic Youth cassette tapes and plaid shirts…

5) Stripes & Sequins has an interesting post about oil pulling, chewing coconut oil to preserve oral health.

6) Pale pinks are on the trend list for spring and summer, here are a few blush pieces I adore.  This lace top from Sabine is positively lovely.  Dorothy Perkins has a pretty-in-pink pleated skirt.  And this $20 maxi dress from Forever 21 is chic and summery.

7) Prof. Anne Helen Petersen is one of my favorite writers on the web.  Recently, she made the decision to leave her career in academia to write for Buzzfeed.  This interview on The Hairpin explains how  politics and a desire to spread her knowledge beyond the pages of an academic journal played into her decision.

8) A white-and-black leopard print makeup bag with hints of coral?  Must have it, and its little friend too.

9) The Atlantic has a fascinating article about why parents shouldn’t help their kids with their homework and the science behind what helps your child excel academically and what does not.

The Washington Post has an equally compelling story about the rise of “authentic success” and the damage that pushing children to achieve can cause.  “A majority of your children are average,” she said, pausing as a chorus of sharp inhalations drain the air out of the room. “And guess what? So are you.”  (How this statement is gasp-worthy escapes me.)

10) This medium Beau Clutch from Kate Spade is beyond adorable.  Also spotted at Shopbop, this chic Rebecca Minkoff clutch that comes in seven colors for under-$100.

11) 16 Ways to Find Love in the Personal Ads…in 1900.  Turn-of-the-20th-century online dating looks just as troublesome as 21st-century online dating, but with better grammar.

12) The Anthropologie home section is one of my favorite places on the Internet.  I adore these coffee mugs, dip-dyed in soft pastels.  These striped canvas baskets would be great for laundry or kids’ toys.  And while I don’t own a bicycle, if I did, I’d have to have this sweet little bell.

*Image found on Pinterest



  1. Sandra says:

    Oh my I don’t own a bike either but I may buy one just so I can buy one of those bells!

    March 28, 2014/Reply
  2. Lea says:

    This is a little old but I thought this explained pretty well why my fellow Gen Y and myself might feel this way. Especially here in the Bay Area where it seems like anybody can become a millionaire when one come up with something that has a little bit of buzz.

    March 28, 2014/Reply
    • Secret Synthi says:

      What on earth does this say? Grammar. Look into it.

      March 28, 2014/Reply
      • Lea says:

        I pledge today to hold any comments until I have my morning cup of coffee.

        As for the quick summary: Generation Y in unhappy because they have high expectations and are delusional.

        March 28, 2014/Reply
  3. DontBlameTheKids says:

    Damn those hipsters! I just know they’re behind the whole overalls trend. They probably thought it would be ironic.

    March 28, 2014/Reply
  4. DontBlameTheKids says:

    Also! I really wanted to hate Maria Jose Abad, because the way she described her job made me roll my eyes so hard my brain hurt. But I love her blog, and her style.

    March 28, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      She’s young. I tried to cut her some slack because she’s probably in that “make this sound important so you will be respected” phase.

      March 28, 2014/Reply
  5. Joules says:

    I do really like the J. Crew new arrivals, but man they are so expensive! Is the quality really worth it?

    Style by Joules

    March 28, 2014/Reply
  6. Giggling Gourmand says:

    a tip on the anthro home stuff, every Tuesday am they seem to add stuff to the sale. I’m pretty much obsessed since half our furniture is from there and isn’t affordable for full price.

    March 28, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Oh God, I didn’t need to know that. Knowing how expensive it can be is the only thing that keeps me from even browsing.

      March 28, 2014/Reply
  7. Jennifer says:

    Belle – Feel free to comfort yourself in realizing that Maria Jose Abad has yet to learn to smile in any of her photos. Although I may have seen a smirk in on of them. And to each their own in regard to style, but I’m not sure she’s for me. I do not see myself wearing neon stilettos, flamenco skirts, or ballerina tulle anytime soon 🙂 Jennifer P.S. Your Friday reading entries are great – a super mix of fashion, current events, and entertainment. Objective: Satisfied readers!

    March 28, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Agreed. This blog’s style is so much more accessible/realistic. A lot of the fashion blogs kind of look the same, and I get that they’re more of a creative outlet versus trying to serve as a resource, but I can’t tell one hyper-styled pouty girl from the next.

      March 28, 2014/Reply
      • KA says:

        Agreed, agreed. And trilingual? More like Google Translate. Belle is one of the only ones I’ll continue to read.

        April 3, 2014/Reply
  8. LB says:

    Belle, I’m considering this a sign from above–just dumped coffee on my computer yesterday, and after being told the motherboard was fried by a “Genius” at the apple store, was actually able to turn it back on today after it dried out. Am currently backing up the whole thing via Crashplan. Cheers!

    March 28, 2014/Reply
  9. Monica says:

    I loved overalls in the 90s, when I was a teenager. Now I can only wear them when I’m gardening, but I still love them! :c)

    Now, those other things Madewell is selling are truly hideous though.

    March 31, 2014/Reply
  10. Grace - Stripes & Sequins says:

    Thank you so much for linking to my site! x

    March 31, 2014/Reply