Workday Reading

Belle’s Weekly Reading: April 10, 2014


Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you to dream, think and be bigger.  Even if that person is a 13th-century Persian poet.


1) The NYT has an article about how the top colleges are becoming increasingly selective.  Reuters also published a great article about how some schools use confusing financial aid letters to hide the true cost of college.  And the Christian Science Monitor has a jaw-dropping piece about how some universities are rejecting talented women in favor of less-qualified men.

2) There’s a Kate Spade sale happening at Nordstrom.  My favorite picks?  This simple rope bracelet in silver or gold, and this striped scarf with accents of pink and red.

3) Iris Apfel, an elder stateswoman of style, is the latest fashion doyenne to be given The Coveteur treatment. My favorite quote from the article?  “I’m not a minimalist as I’m sure you’ve noticed.”  Can I please be this sassy at 92?

4) As if I needed more reasons to ogle the Reiss website, their new arrivals are lovely.  This feather-printed sweatshirt would be such a great piece for chilly spring nights.  This fluted hem skirt is a chic alternative to the pencil skirt.

And, as always, do not miss their Outlet section.  I adore this cap-sleeve navy dress for work, and these crazy/cool wide-leg, red trousers.

5) The Culture of Shut-Up: How fake outrage is having a chilling effect on free speech.

6) I’ve been wearing Athleta’s Ruched Tee Dress over leggings when I’m lounging around the house. But it also would make a great casual summer dress for running errands or to throw on over your swimsuit.  It also comes in a stripe and a racer-back tank style.

7) Lara at The Glossarie has a review of Pantene’s Root Reboot Dry Shampoo.  I already picked up a can.

8) I picked up these Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Boosters at Sephora.  You mix them with your favorite skincare products to improve radiance, hydration or fight breakouts.  I really like the radiance booster, it brightens my occasionally dull complexion.

9) Harper’s Bazaar has a thought-provoking piece on why some women are boycotting being a bridesmaid.  Also, 12 bridesmaids, seriously?

10) Two days of nice weather and all I can think about is knife-pleated skirts for spring.  I like this $28 polka dot skirt from Coldwater Creek.  Ann Taylor has a skirt with a relaxed “kaleidoscope” print.  I also love this colorblock pleated maxi-skirt from Sabine.

11) The Washington Post followed a hiring manager in Ohio as he tried to staff a new business. His travails finding the right employees for the jobs put an interesting slant on the nation’s economic recovery.

12) Now that H&M has an online presence, I’ve been shopping there a bit more.  This yellow sleeveless dress caught my eye because it’s so bright and fun.  This navy peplum top with short sleeves would look great with work separates or with jeans.  I also love the texture and layering on this black chiffon top.  Shopping on their website is much less intimidating than in the store.



  1. KC says:

    I would love to see styling ideas on the knife-pleat skirts. I have a cobalt one and never know how to wear it

    April 10, 2014/Reply
  2. G says:

    YES! Thanks for sharing the bridesmaid article, Belle! I know this is not a popular opinion, but I think it is ridiculous that brides in the US have so many bridesmaids. I feel like the bridal industry has run away with this concept. I can understand having a maid of honor and maybe a bridesmaid, but really, what are all the other ladies going to do to help out that two or three can’t take care of already? I understand that you don’t want to leave anyone out, or need to return the favor, but really? Isn’t the invitation to witness & celebrate your special day inclusive enough? I could go on and on…but the bottom line, the wedding is about the bride and the groom, not about the bride and her dozen of bridesmaids.

    April 10, 2014/Reply
    • Annie says:

      Agreed. This article sums up my view nicely. I’ve struggled with wanting to support dear friends, but loathing the bridesmaid experience. Now I just need to start saying no.

      April 10, 2014/Reply
    • LaReesa says:

      Yes! My six closest friends live in four states total and only one is in the same city as me. When I have a big wedding, I am going to invite them but I would certainly NOT put the pressure of bridesmaid on any of them. I will probably ask whoever I live nearest at the time to help out. I don’t know why people throw practicality out the window when it comes to weddings.

      April 10, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Agree. I think it’s weird to have a chosen cadre of friends wait on you and worship you for the months leading up to and including the big day. I’d love to have one friend help coordinate things (I would like a bach that’s hopefully fun for everyone, not sure about the shower) and maybe a few close besties to get ready with, but it kind of creeps me out to have an army of people in matching outfits up there with me. My cousin’s wedding was my fave. She and her husband walked down the aisle with their families (representing the union of two families), had a mutual friend officiate, and had one friend each speak for them during the ceremony. Their friends helped with the set up of the reception space and came to the parties, they didn’t need the obligation of being a bridesmaid to be a part of the big day.

      April 11, 2014/Reply
      • Anna says:

        I agree with SO much in the bridesmaid article, but I think we can separate the typical $$ experience (as described) with the term in order to find a way to have a “bridesmaid” that is an honor, rather than a duty. I know people who require only the friend’s presence on the day of the wedding and are in fact honoring that friend by asking them to stand up next to them during the wedding (and the couple have even in some instances paid for much of the travel or the dress!).

        April 11, 2014/Reply
  3. Jennifer says:

    Greetings Belle – Thank you again for your weekly reading list. Always a great mix of the fun and the thought-provoking. Speaking of thought-provoking, I found the reader comments from the Washington Post article just as engaging as the story of the Ohio egg plant itself. Along with the other readers, I’d love a follow up story from the Post on that factory in a year too. Have a great weekend! Jennifer

    April 10, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It was crazy how many ppl thought he was agist. All he wanted was someone engaged and enthusiastic.

      April 10, 2014/Reply
  4. Charleigh says:

    Thanks to Kate Middleton, I want Reiss everything to be my whole closet. If only I had the $$.

    April 10, 2014/Reply
  5. Joules says:

    Great links! I may just get sucked in by one of these Kate Spade watches on sale…

    I’m also a fan of shopping online at H&M, but I really wish they would take online returns in store. :C

    Style by Joules

    April 10, 2014/Reply
    • Valerie says:

      I’m so glad h&m finally started offering their clothing online. I usually don’t like wading through piles of messy clothing with obnoxious teenagers and apathetic employees who would rather text than help you find an item.

      April 10, 2014/Reply
  6. Tia says:

    From the NYT article: “Several universities, including Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, had admission rates this year that were less than half of those from a decade ago.”

    I went to Northwestern (graduated in 2010). My little sister who is 9 years younger than me also wants to go there, but she’s concerned she won’t get in even though her grades/score are better than mine were.

    April 10, 2014/Reply
  7. lindsay says:

    Yes x100000 to the Athleta tee shirt dress. It is incredibly comfortable and my legs look amazing. I even wore it to work on Friday, dressing it up with heels and the right accessories (red belt for sure).

    April 10, 2014/Reply
  8. lara / the glossarie. says:

    thank you so much for the link love! hope you’re enjoying some voluminous hair 🙂

    April 12, 2014/Reply