AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, No. Twenty-Five

Belle,

Your 10th Commandment post [on Friday] with the long skirts has brought to mind a question.  Can long skirts/maxi dresses be styled to be appropriate for the office on casual fridays?

Thanks, Liz

Absolutely.  If you’re wearing a skirt in a flowy material like this skirt from Michael Kors, pair it with a crisp, white button-up shirt.  Add a wide belt for structure and a cognac sandal with a short heel.

If you work in a more casual office, you could wear a white v-neck tee and a long necklace.  You could also wear it with a lightweight crewneck sweater like this J.Crew Tippi, the coral shade would be great with the navy Kors skirt.

Hi Belle,

Since it’s summer, can you suggest some nude camisoles to wear under sheer dresses and tops?  I found an old post on undergarments, but the items were sold out.  Love your blog!

Sincerely, Tomasina

My favorite brand of camisole is Shimera.  You can buy camis with thin straps or tanks with wider straps.  The tanks have a snug fit or can be purchased one size larger for a looser fit.  The main reason I like them is that they’re long enough to tuck into skirts or pants without fear of them coming untucked.

Shimera also makes a plus-size tank with the wider straps.  The wider straps are great because you don’t need to wear a strapless bra.

Belle, 

I loved your post on wearing jersey dresses on casual days but I have an issue I think many women have.  My body isn’t perfect and when I wear jersey dresses things either juggle or my imperfections show through the jersey.  I love the comfort of a t-shirt dress but I don’t want my spare tire hanging out.  Any advice you can offer would be welcome.

Sincerely, Ada

You can wear shape wear under jersey pieces.  Doing so is a bit of a double-edged sword because they eliminate some of the benefits of jersey, but they certainly improve the look of the clothes if you’re concerned they won’t be flattering on your body type.

The first question to ask yourself is: Where do I need shaping?  If it’s just your belly area, try a shaping brief or a slimming camisole.   If you require hip and thigh shaping, try a short like this DKNY light shaping boy short.  If you need all over shaping, try a shaping slip like the Thinstincts shaper from Spanx.

Another thing you can do is look for thicker jersey materials, as most brands make clothes in a thin jersey.  LNA is a brand that usually makes their clothes in heavy jersey.  You can also buy looser fitting cuts that will be more flattering like this swing dress from Asos.

Dear Belle,

Just discovered your blog and I am in love! I’m a college student, starting a new job this summer and was hoping you could help me. My question is: how would you style a cap sleeve or short sleeve blazer? It’s way too hot where I live to wear a long sleeve version in the summer.

Thanks so much! Martina

Short-sleeve blazers aren’t my favorite.  The reason is that the suits that contain short sleeves are usually sold in the junior’s dept. and made of cheap material.  However, if you find a short-sleeve jacket that is well made, you need to style it in a mature way.

In my opinion, the smartest way to style it is the same way that you would any other blazer.  Wear it with sleeveless silk shells, like this one from Antonio Melani and pencil skirts or trousers.  You can also find short sleeve button-up blouses like this one from Lafayette 148 that has a texture front.  You can also consider something with a tie-front like this Calvin Klein top.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    8 comments

  1. Cath says:

    I have never seen a short-sleeved blazer that looks even somewhat good. My best advice to Martina, above, would be to have a long-sleeved blazer, but to never wear it outside.

    Commute in something sleeveless, or otherwise comfortable, and put on the blazer once you’re in the office.

    June 9, 2014/Reply
    • TT says:

      Agreed!! I dislike short sleeves blazers, but can’t wear blazers outside in summer either – so I wear sleeveless shirts (professional ones – no spaghetti straps) and carry my blazer in.

      Also, with air conditioning you might wish you had a blazer or some long sleeves anyway.

      June 9, 2014/Reply
  2. Lexi says:

    The best camis are the ones in the teen/ BP section of Nordstrom! Much cheaper than other camis at Nordstrom, still great quality, and they come in every color imaginable! My mom and I have been buying them for years. I absolutely recommend them!

    https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/bp-stretch-camisole-juniors/3211355?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Green+Bistro&resultback=0&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_1_D

    June 9, 2014/Reply
  3. Joules says:

    Good tips on finding thicker jersey. I live in jersey, but I always make it a point to stay away from the cheap, thin stuff.

    Style by Joules

    June 9, 2014/Reply
  4. Addie says:

    I really don’t think a short sleeved blazer is going to be significantly cooler than a long sleeved one anyway. So I agree with the others, stick with long sleeved (which, bonus, you can still wear in the winter) and just don’t commute in it. Chances are, you’re gonna want it at some point anyway with the way offices blast the a/c.

    June 9, 2014/Reply
  5. GingerR says:

    Sometimes an old-fashioned tricot slip can improve a jersey dress without being as hot or tight as full-on shapewear.

    June 9, 2014/Reply
  6. B says:

    Shimera camis are great! I have them in 4 colors. 1) I buy my regular size as i like them fitted. They don’t ride up! 2) They are machine washable and they come out of the wash great. (I air dry.)

    June 9, 2014/Reply
  7. Amanda says:

    If you live near a Uniqlo, their camis are outstanding. Super light and wicking, several color and strap options. The summer version is called Airism. ~$10 a pop!

    June 9, 2014/Reply