Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, No. Nineteen

Apr 28, 2014

Hi Belle,

I will be starting a new job in about a month and I desperately need new clothes! My current job is very casual – I wear jeans just about every day. Can you please recommend some pants that I can wear with flats? I can not wear heels all day long, I don’t have it in me. Preferably under $100.

Thank you!! Jaime

The style of pant you choose to wear with flats depends on your shape.  If you’re pear-shaped like I am, you’re better off with a wider leg opening.  More proportional?  You can choose a slimmer trouser if you prefer.  If you have a less balanced shape, it’s possible to find skinnier trousers that look good with flats, it’s just a challenge.

I like the Banana Republic Martin pant.  They’re technically a straight leg style, but the opening is wide enough that almost anyone can wear them.  I also like the Bristol trouser from J.Crew in stretch cotton (also in tall and petite).  Or choose the Zoe pant from LOFT an inexpensive option.

Looking for a skinnier trouser?  On my shape, the best looking pant is the Ann Taylor Curvy Fit pant in the Promenade style.

Plus-size?  Sure, I can tell you what looks good to me, but with pants, it’s better to have advice from people with first hand experience.  So if you have a favorite trouser or pant that works for your figure, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Belle,

I love the blog.  I’ve been following religiously for about a year now and it’s provided many an answer to many a conundrum.  This June I will be attending a wedding and wearing this dress.  I am not sure what shoes/purse to wear with it.  How would you style it with shoes/clutch/jewelry?  I appreciate your help!

Thanks, K

Love the dress.  It’s one of my favorite pieces that I’ve put on the blog this year.  The lavender/blue color is a tough one to match, so I wouldn’t recommend trying.  Instead, you have two options: metallics and contrasting colors.

For the metallic look, I would try a sleek d’Orsay heel and a matching silver clutch.  Skip the necklace, the dress doesn’t need it.  Choose a dangly earring and a stack of bracelets instead.

For the contrast look, I would try a coral clutch and a gold cuff.  And for the shoe, a simple gold sandal.

Dear Belle,

Not to sound old fashioned, but I need to buy a slip.  I thought that I might buy one from Spanx, but $68, for a slip?  Really?  Any suggestions?  

Thanks, THB

Given that you’re looking at a Spanx slip, I assume you want a slip that is also a shaper.  Maidenform sells an inexpensive half-slip shaper at Target.  Assets, the Spanx diffusion line, also sells a $32 slip-shaper.

If you’re just looking for a slip, Calvin Klein makes a nude slip for $36.  Plus-size?  Spanx makes a $44 slip.

Also, if these options don’t satisfy you, the best place I’ve found to buy slip is the Macy’s or Dillard’s intimates section.  They usually have a wide selection in several price points.  It also appears Target has a good selection as well.

Hi Belle

I wear very little makeup but I’d like to branch out into wearing lipstick.  You mentioned in a previous post that you’ve been trying to add lipstick to your routine as well, any favorite brands or colors that you can recommend?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

xx, Kelly

Over the past year, I think I’ve tried on dozens if not hundreds of lipsticks searching for shades I can wear every day.  For sheer coverage, I love Lipstick Queen Hello, Sailor.  It looks blue in the tube, but goes on with a sheer berry and is really moisturizing.  Also, if it’s a universal berry hue that you’re after, try Clinique Almost Honey.

Another brand I like, is Rimmel’s Kate Moss collection.  It wear well, doesn’t feather and comes in great colors.  My favorites are number 001 and number 008.  If you’re looking for her classic red, the only place I could find it is Target.

Also, don’t miss the Benefit Dandelion lip gloss and it’s pinky-coral hue or the Bite Beauty Lush Liptint in Orchard, a gorgeous dark pink.  In fact, if you are trying to get into lipstick, Bite has a lip kit with lots of great shades.  Keep the ones you want, give the rest to your friends.

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  1. J says:

    Target sells very basic nude, white and black slips for <$20 that have nearly always worked for me.

  2. Dovelove1097 says:

    I have found Lane Bryant to have decent plus-size work pants. They are almost always around $60, but they always have sales and coupons. They come in a variety of styles and fabrics and wear fairly well.

  3. BBB says:

    I found inexpensive slips (not shapers) in different lengths in the Macy’s intimate section. I think they were in the $20-$30 range.

  4. RoseAG says:

    If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region and heading to the shore this summer stop in at the VF Outlet. They have lots of slips in different lengths and sizes and they’re reasonably priced.

  5. Joules says:

    Love that simple, box clutch in silver!

    Style by Joules

  6. Jamie says:

    Belle, thank you so much for the pants recommendations! I plan on doing a shopping trip this weekend, and will seek out the styles you mentioned. I need to buy them early enough to be able to get them hemmed!

    And I hate to nitpick, but it is one of my pet peeves. My name is spelled “Jamie” not “Jaime”. Thanks again!

  7. A question that I’m flummoxed about – maybe somebody here can help. I’m going to a wedding this weekend and want to wear this pleated dress (https://www.neimanmarcus.com/Halston-Heritage-One-Shoulder-Pleated-Dress-Halston-Heritage/prod163650142___/p.prod?icid=&searchType=MAIN&rte=%252Fsearch.jsp%253FN%253D0%2526Ntt%253DHalston%252BHeritage%2526_requestid%253D119432&eItemId=prod163650142&cmCat=search. I won’t have access to a steamer and can’t carry a garment bag. Any thoughts about how to de-wrinkle it out of a suit case?

    On the pants front I find that for me (short with martini glass shaped legs, think thunder thighs with chicken legs on the bottom :))anything that fits slim on the bottom (so that my whole leg doesn’t look like the same size as the top) with a little stretch works. J Brand has been pretty reliable. I also find that twill-ish denim in non-blue colors can often pass w/o notice.

    • Anna says:

      Hang it up in the shower (away from the splash zone). If the wrinkles don’t come out in the amount of time you shower, leave it in the bathroom with hot water going and the door closed. It’s kind of wasteful, but desperate times…

      • That was the best I could come up with too, or trying to use the steam function of the iron a couple inches away while hanging. We’re staying at some old castle so I hope the ventilation in the bathrooms is terrible so they get super steamy.

        I really hope that I don’t also lose the pleats that way. Though I suppose that would still be better than wrinkles.

  8. nap says:

    Surprisingly, Gap makes an amazing slip! I own the full ($27) and half ($25) slip in nude and black. They are soft and hold up well in the wash/hang dry.

    Bonus – they can be ordered online!

    full slip – https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=71900&vid=1&pid=820135012

    half slip – https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=71900&vid=1&pid=828631012

    • Madison says:

      Agreed! I have a nude full slip from Gap that has gotten me through summers in DC and winters in Chicago. It is comfortable, it’s the perfect weight, and it has held up so well. Can’t recommend it enough for a basic slip!

      I bought the full slip to wear under a very light sweater dress on one of my first dates with my now fiance. I just bought the half slip to wear under my wedding dress!

    • V says:

      +1 on the Gap slips. I love them.

  9. strin012 says:

    Just an FYI: Clinique discontinued all of the “almost lipstick” colors except for the original (Black Honey).

  10. Genevieve says:

    Uniqlo has a really inexpensive slip made from their AIRism line for $14.90! Own it and love it. Unfortunately they only have a couple of stores in the Bay Area and New York, but it can also be purchased online: https://www.uniqlo.com/us/women/innerwear-and-loungewear/airism/slips/women-airism-slip-087101.html#31

  11. Jennifer says:

    Something to consider if wanting to wear dress pants with flats is that depending on your height, you may likely need to get them shortened, otherwise they will drag on the ground, which is not a great look. I’m 5’7″, and I’ve needed to wear heels with almost every pair of “regular”, full-length dress pants I’ve ever bought. However, wearing heels doesn’t have to mean 4″ stilettos. I would consider wedges or mid-heels since just a couple inches can solve pant hem problems and still be very comfortable. I did get a few pairs of “straight leg” pants hemmed a couple years ago . . . they fit great, except the length was waaaaayyyyy too long, even with heels. I had them cuffed to hit my ankle, and they looked great with flats with a 1/2 inch heel. Good luck!

  12. Megan says:

    I highly highly recommend the Revlon color burst balm stains if you’re looking to get into lip color. I think I remember Belle not being a fan of them, but I think they’re a great intro lipstick. I just started wearing lipcolors in the past couple months, and I know I wouldn’t spend more than $10 on something I wasn’t sure I liked.

    • Belle says:

      I liked them, but I liked another one better. The color just didn’t seem to last long on me, but it is a good place to start.

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