AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

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

Dear Belle,

I think I wear my nude pumps too much but I can’t find anything else for summer.  What would you recommend for someone who needs a basic pump but doesn’t want to wear the same nude shoes every day?


Flesh-toned shoes are a great basic for summer because they lengthen the leg and they go with almost anything.  But they are starting to feel a bit tired to me, so it’s a good idea to have a few more options in your arsenal.


Stuart Weitzman Platswoon Pump ($325) // KORS Snakeskin Flex Pumps ($110) // Audrey Brooke Cognac Pumps ($60)

Tortoise pumps are a great year round alternative to “nude” pumps.  They’re not as easy to find as I would like.  These Weitzman’s are the gold standard for mid-priced shoes.  These Corso Como Del pumps have a similar look for $79.  But the closest thing I could find are these $30 pointed toe pumps from Target.

Snakeskin is my summer time go to.  These round-toe pump from Kors is incredibly comfortable with a mid-height heel and a rubber sole.  I also like these strappy Pour la Victoire pumps and these Zara pointed-toe pumps.  For under-$50 pumps, these Merona Maye pumps are a good place to start.

Cognac, in my opinion, is as good as “nude” for versatility.  I like these pumps with an ankle strap.  If you’re not into that, try these Pour la Victoire pumps with a hint of metallic or these Brooks Brothers pumps with a hidden platform.

Want to throw summer a curve ball?  Wearing your leopard print pumps during the warm weather months has become a hot trend.  These Ivanka Trump pumps are a nice choice.  I also like these leopard Boden pumps.

Hi Belle,

What are your thoughts on sleeveless tops in the office during the summer? My office isn’t air-conditioned to arctic temperatures (I know, I’m lucky), though it isn’t hot. I’m comfortable, temperature-wise, in sleeveless tops but at meetings and in the hall I feel naked next to men with long sleeve button-ups on. Are sleeveless shirts and dresses inappropriate for a business casual ranging to business professional office?

Thanks. Good luck in school! Becca

This question is difficult to answer because it entirely depends on the culture of your office.  In the places that I’ve worked, I could wear sleeveless tops at my desk, but I’d put on a jacket/sweater for meetings.  Other ladies I know can wear sleeveless at any time and it’s not a big deal.  So look around your office and ask yourself what would be appropriate here?

If you feel like your underdressed when the men around you are in oxford shirts and suits, then I would trust that feeling.


I’d like to add some color to my wardrobe.  My closet is looking very dark these days.  Can you suggest some skirts or tops that aren’t highlighter yellow but also not navy?  I want to spend less than $100.


If you’re in a color rut, it’s time to break out.  It’s summer.  The weather is warm.  Be bold, be bright.  And if you’re not a person who wears much color, I think you will be surprised by how energizing wearing color can be.


Skirt: Worthington Seamed Pencil Skirt ($36) Dress: Green Cap Sleeve Dress ($99) Top: Chelsea28 Wrap Top ($58)

Most women wear color on top, it’s a little different to wear it on the bottom.  This Worthington skirt comes in a gorgeous berry color that could pair well with navy, grey or other colors (mint, coral, etc.).  I also found this pink skirt from Banana Republic and this orange skirt from Limited.  Not a skirt person?  Cobalt trousers all the way.

This emerald-green dress is a great piece.  It’s fitted, it has a little bit of a sleeve.  You could dress it up with heels and jewelry for cocktail hour, or dress it down with flats and a scarf for the office.  This coral Adrianna Papell dress is a great choice for $58.  I also like this red Donna Ricco dress with an elbow-length sleeve.  And if you like cap sleeves, I found this Marc New York dress from Bluefly.

A great way to wear summer color is with your business suit.  This aqua top would look great under a navy or white blazer.  This green printed blouse from H&M is fantastic.  This Wyatt coral blouse is lovely.  I also like this canary yellow blouse.


My sister wants a rose gold watch for birthday.  Have you seen one that costs less than $250?  I think she wants it to be kind of chunky and oversize.  Love the blog!


In the $250 range, you have the classic Michael Kors watch.  If you want to spend less than that, I suggest this Fossil “Boyfriend” Chronograph.  And if you’re truly looking for a bargain, I would direct you to this Style & Co. watch.

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  1. AB says:

    What should I be pairing my tortoise shoes with in the summer? I was just looking at mine the other day but can’t figure out what they would work with. In the winter I wore them with camel, black, hunter green and purple.

    June 16, 2014/Reply
  2. JenniferD says:

    Greetings Belle – I think leopard-print pumps work in the summer too, but I like mine with open toes. 9 West offers peep-toe pumps (Orissa and Camya) and a wedge (Relaxxin) in leopard print. Regarding sleeveless tops, I think it depends on how sleeveless it is. Form-fitting camis with thin straps are really meant to be worn under sweaters and jackets, not on their own. More substantial blouses with more fabric on the shoulders are more appropriate on their own – a good example is J.Crew’s Drapey Crepe Top – mostly sold out, but if you Google it, you’ll see a good example. Have a great day! Jennifer

    June 16, 2014/Reply
    • Christina says:

      Belle has routinely written about how inappropriate it is to wear a fitted cami at all as a stand alone piece, even when worn under a blazer or sweater. Cami’s are for using as a base and building upon and should never be worn alone. What would happen if you spilled something on your cardigan and were only wearing a cami underneath and you had a meeting? Please, leave the cami’s in their rightful places under your blouses.

      June 16, 2014/Reply
      • gigglinggourmand says:

        Since you asked, what I’d do is grab one of the other blazers or sweaters sitting on the back of my door. I don’t often wear camies but I don’t really think it’s begging for disaster if people do.

        June 17, 2014/Reply
  3. Emily says:

    The Worthington pencil skirt is a great buy! I have three – a purple, light grey, and black. It is by far the most flattering pencil skirt I own, is lined, and is machine wash and dry. Since I have several, I rotate but they have all held up fairly well (one lost a hook and eye closure, but that is to be expected).

    June 16, 2014/Reply
    • Ashley says:

      I agree with the Worthington pencil skirt. And at that price point, if I only get one year of wear out of it, I can afford to replace it.

      June 16, 2014/Reply
  4. Ashley says:

    Perhaps it is the Target in my area, but I find their heels to be too high. I like to keep my heel around the 3″ mark, and I struggle to find a heel that fits that criteria at Target.

    June 16, 2014/Reply
  5. Joules says:

    I bought the Target pump you linked to in nude snakeskin and I really love it! For the price, it’s a great shoe.

    Style by Joules

    June 16, 2014/Reply
  6. lizzie says:

    Just wanted to second the WHBM emerald green dress recommendation! I bought it earlier this spring and though I had to have it tailored, it was 100% worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever found a more comfortable dress that looks so professional!

    June 17, 2014/Reply
  7. Kate says:

    There is a company out of California called Nixon that makes very nice watches, including many chronograph styles in rose gold. I got a great watch from them within the reader’s price point.

    June 19, 2014/Reply