Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: August 8, 2014



1) I would love to see more diversity in race and body type on retail websites.  But why, when people decide a female model to be “too skinny” or possessing an “unrealistic” body type, do they call the model awful names?

Instead, let’s start encouraging Gap and other retailers to feature a wider range of models, as opposed to sowing seeds of hate and calling a complete stranger “skeletor.”  Business practices are fair game, body-shaming shouldn’t be.

2) I love Yes to Grapefruit makeup removing wipes, and Yes to Tomatoes acne repairing treatment.  But this Yes to Coconuts Head-to-Toe Restoring Body Balm might be my new favorite product.

3) A writer details her experience with stalking and how complicated laws still make it hard for victims to get justice and seek safety, even in their own homes.  It seems impossible that 25 years after Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered, the law still isn’t working like it should.

4) This Zara shopper has a cool shape and would be a great work bag, especially for under-$60.

5) The eyes of the world are on the war between Hamas and Israel.  The French newspaper Le Monde offers an all facts history of the conflict and a primer on the topography and boundaries of Gaza.

6) Looking for a cool pair of sandals to finish out the summer?  Anthropologie’s sale section has you covered.  These Muyil slides are great with snakeskin and tan.  I usually wear brown sandals, but these $40, black Hacienda sandals are right up my alley.  But my favorite pair are these $25 silver-beaded slides.

7) This 101-year-old, Long Island man has done the same job for 84 years–an incredible story of work ethic and weather.

8) I love my olive-green utility jacket.  If you want one of your own, Old Navy has one of the best-looking ones on the market for $40.  They also have a utility vest.  And the jacket comes in plus-size.

9) The Pope offers 10 Tips for a Happy Life.

10) Short-sleeved wrap dresses were my August-recess fall back.  They’re great for casual workdays, brunches and drinks with friends.  I love this black-and-white print one from Maggy London.  I also love this shell-pink dress from French Connection (though it needs a belt).

11) The Ice Bucket Challenge is supposed to be raising awareness for ALS by asking celebs to pour buckets of cold water on their heads or make a donation to charity.  I don’t think it’s working since I’ve heard of the Challenge several times and didn’t know until yesterday that it was supporting ALS.

12) This Blank vegan leather and ponte drape jacket is sublime.  I can’t believe it’s only $98.

image found on Pinterest



  1. jj says:

    Ahhhhhh!!! I have that blank jacket and it is THE BEST! The quality of the vegan leather is fantastic, and the jacket pairs well with everything. I plan to get a back up in case anything happens to it!

    August 8, 2014/Reply
  2. MM says:

    OK, this really isn’t meant to sound snarky but might come across as such in a comment. Here goes nothing…

    What exactly is “vegan leather”? In my simple mind, I think of it as a nicer/trendier description for faux leather or “pleather” but was wondering if it was something different or more specific?

    August 8, 2014/Reply
    • Liz says:

      It’s my understanding that it’s all different names for faux leathers made from pvc layered over fabric or from polyurethane. PETA has lauded that these products are cruelty free. I assume calling it vegan leather as opposed to just faux leather (which I also see with some frequency) is either an attempt to reference a higher quality of the product or tap into the growing vegan market.

      I don’t know if there are certain additives in other faux leathers that contain animal byproducts and therefore aren’t called vegan, maybe there are?

      August 8, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It’s just a marketing tool to make leather-like goods sound better.

      August 8, 2014/Reply
  3. Anne says:

    Belle, have you seen Robin Givhan’s article today about the VA first lady’s taste in designer goods? Thought she was spot on about the logo goods and the apparent insecurity that causes folks to buy them.

    August 8, 2014/Reply
  4. Reese says:

    Honest question, how do you determine when something “needs” a belt? And how do you decide what style/colour of belt? I am belt-challenged, I think.

    August 8, 2014/Reply
  5. Anna says:

    Belle – I don’t think the Ice Bucket Challenge started as something for ALS. It was more that people could choose their own charity. However, a bunch of friends of a ALS patient decided to all do it in honor of their friend. So while a lot of people are now doing for ALS – especially those with connections to Boston where the guy is from – there could be others doing it for other causes across the country. Here is an article about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge I’ve also heard a lot of people question if dumping a bucket of ice on your head really made a difference, but apparently ALS Association has seen a pretty significant uptick in donations.

    August 8, 2014/Reply
    • B says:

      This may come across as mean-spirited, but, seriously, what good is it doing for the cause? It’s like the breast caner thing that was spreading around on Facebook a few years back (post the color of your bra and nothing else, post where you put your purse when you first walk in the door). You know what’s more effective for the cause – posting a link to a website that someone may visit or posting something about the cause that doesn’t involve a silly stunt.

      End rant.

      August 8, 2014/Reply
      • Alexis says:

        Not so much mean-spirited so much as you sound myopic. I did the challenge and donated $60 to the ALS Foundation subsequently. Had it not been for the challenge, that $60 would still be in my bank account. Raising awareness is an enormous part of fundraising. If the ice-bucket challenge was not ongoing, we wouldn’t be talking about ALS right here, right now.

        August 12, 2014/Reply
        • Belle says:

          It didn’t say that it’s not good to raise awareness. I said that they hadn’t done a good job of making it clear that the bucket challenge was for ALS.

          August 12, 2014/Reply
  6. Sharon says:

    I bought the Old Navy utility jacket for $21 a little after 4th of July– best purchase I’ve ever made from them. It’s surprisingly sturdy!!!

    August 9, 2014/Reply
  7. SarahSte says:

    Great history of the situation in Gaza. Easily the most objective summary I’ve seen since the conflict began.

    August 13, 2014/Reply