AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, Thirty-Five

Dear Belle

I love the look of tall cognac boots, but no matter how many pairs I try on, I just can’t find a pair I love. I’m short and hippy, so I just don’t feel that it’s a flattering look. So, I’m turning my attention to booties.

Could you help me find a pair of booties that will look good with dresses and jeans, preferable under $150 and not high-heeled? Is that too much to ask for? Plus, what are the “rules” for wearing booties, if there are any?

Thanks! Rachel C

First, I would caution you about buying booties.  If you intend to wear them with skinny jeans, you may find that they accentuate your hips as well.  But try on a few styles before you decide.  I would also warn that flat, ankle boots may not be as popular this fall/winter as they were last.  There don’t seem to be as many pairs for sale.

Personally, I like ankle boots with a bit of heel.  This Dolce Vita pair has a tapered heel.  I prefer the block heel on these BP booties–they come in four colors and cost $99.  These buckled Seychelle boots have a short, block heel for just a little lift.

If you must have flat boots, these Seychelle boots have a slightly Western look.  I also like these suede Miz Mooz boots.  And they’re a bit more than you want to spend, but these black Michael Kors boots are lovely.

Hi Belle,

Could you help me find some tall fall boots? I have small calves and had the hardest time finding a pair that doesn’t look huge on my legs! I would prefer a tall boot that is flat or with a low heel. I would like to spend under $200.

Thanks and good luck with your finals! Anon

For those without small calves, I love these simple Steve Madden Sady boots in black or brown.  These Sam Edelman Pembrooke boots are a great choice.  These equestrian-accented Naturalizer boots and these Nine West punter boots are also worth a look.

For narrow calves, Nordstrom offers several choices, but very little in your exact price range.  Something with an elastic shaft, like these Cole Haan boots might work.  You could also try having the boots tailored by a cobbler.  I did it years ago, it cost about $100, if I recall correctly.

Wide calves an issue?  These Steve Madden boots, these Naturalizer boots and these Sam Edelman boots all come in extended calf sizes.

Dear Belle,

I found your blog as a 2L summering on Capitol Hill, and have turned to it for inspiration ever since.   Now, as a second year lawyer who is constantly on the road, I am faced with a dilemma – finding a rolling bag/briefcase in which I can carry multiple files without completely sacrificing style.  Any suggestions whatsoever would be so very appreciated!

Best of luck in law school, and thanks for all of your wit and wisdom! Laura

By their nature, rolling bags aren’t stylish, but there are degrees.  The simpler, the better.  I found three that I would use myself if circumstance forced it.

This CaseLogic bag is simple, cloth and under-$75.  It’s a straight-forward rolling laptop bag.  I also like this Samsonite mobile spinner, which has straps so you can throw it over your shoulder if need be.  I also really liked the way this Samsonite hard-sided case was organized on the inside.

Hi Belle,

I found your blog a few months ago and absolutely love it! As someone who passed the bar earlier this year, I understand the pain you are going through with law school finals. Any who, I am in need of a new wallet with more card slots. I adore this Michael Kors zip-around wallet, but was wondering if there were any comparable wallets that are a little less pricey.

Thanks! Candace

Most zip-around wallets will offer the number of card slots you’re looking for.  This Lodis wallet has a smooth leather and outside and comes in nine colors from neutral to bold.  I also like Ann Taylor’s neutral-colored, pebbled-leather wallet–it’s a good buy for under-$75.  Also, if you like bright color, this Folli Follie K wallet in bold orange is fun.  In fact, that brand has a number of great wallets in the under-$105 price range.


I read your blog regularly (good stuff!) but I’ve never asked a question…until now.
I’m looking for a pair of neon pink or yellow pumps with a pointy toe and a low heel (3 inches or less). Everything I’ve been able to find online looks like it’s made for an exotic dancer! I’m just looking for something to add a little flair to my black and grey filled wardrobe, not to add to my allure sans clothes.

Hope you can help!Thanks! AM

When I first read your question, I didn’t think this would be a big ask.  Neon, low heel…how hard could that be?  Well…

I searched the Interwebs and I only found three pairs of shoes that matched your criteria.  The first are from Sophia Webster and are highlighter yellow, they’re also $390.  The second are a neon peach and come from J.Crew at $298 (plus whatever discount they’re running).  The final pair is from Boden and are electric pink, they’re also only $48.



  1. YouSaucyMinx says:

    For the pink shoes, how about these? marked down to just $20, with great reviews!

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    I don’t know how low of a heel AM is looking for, but I’ve seen these in persona and have been considering them:

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  3. Meredith says:

    For the girl looking for a wrap-around wallet, I snagged a great one from Kate Spade, with tons of credit card slots, when it was on sale. It was under $100, maybe even closer to $75.

    August 14, 2014/Reply
    • M says:

      I also found a nice Kate Spade zip-around wallet similar to the Michael Kors one the OP likes for $75ish at Nordstrom Rack. They had several good options in a range of prices (some as low as $25).

      August 14, 2014/Reply
  4. Annie says:

    I am now contemplating those neon yellow Sophia Webster pumps which will serve absolutely no realistic purpose in my life, but are gorgeous.

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  5. k-t says:

    As someone with narrow calves (the stretchy ones are too wide for me), I recommend perusing the posts at It doesn’t look like it has been updated for a while, but might give you some ideas. I also recommend measuring your calves and using the filters on Zappos to hone the selections.

    Personally, I have had luck with Cole Haan, Blondo, and La Canadienne (the last two make weather-proof dress boots).

    August 14, 2014/Reply
    • Helena says:

      La Canadienne is great for skinny-legged ladies, as are Aquitalia and Marc Jacobs. Not inexpensive, though.

      August 14, 2014/Reply
      • LS says:

        I splurged on waterproof Aquatalia’s last winter and they are fantastic. Might be the best thing I’ve ever bought. Two different cobblers have complemented me on the sturdiness of the construction, so I think they are really well made.

        They are an absolute fortune though so I would figure out which style you want (including trying them on – if you can float it, use Nordstroms for free shipping and returns) and then scour for sales.

        August 14, 2014/Reply
        • Lauren says:

          Totally on board with Aquatalia. I would gladly spend that much again. So gosh darn worth it (for me). They were significantly discounted during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale – such a steal! Perhaps you can find them on sale elsewhere?

          August 14, 2014/Reply
  6. MC says:

    These are .75in higher than you want, but so pretty in neon pink –

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  7. Allison says:

    Rachel C- Try some straight legs jens with the booties, it will accentuate your hips less than skinny jeans. Cuff them so that the jean is just slightly above the boot with a thin cuff.

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  8. Mica says:

    For ladies with narrow (or wide) calves, try Duo Boots. They’re over $200 but they sell boots by the calf circumference. Last fall I grabbed two pair for my chicken legs on sale for $250 including shipping.

    August 14, 2014/Reply
    • LS says:

      Mica – how does the ankle area on the Duo Boots fit you? I have heard (I think from Alterations Needed) that Duo shrinks down the calf width, but not the ankle so they’re tenders to be a lot of extra material. Do you have that problem?

      August 14, 2014/Reply
      • Mica says:

        I got one pair that had a slim ankle, and fit really well. The others are straight ankle and have a bit more room, but it works with the style. Look for “Slim cut ankle” under the fit notes.

        August 14, 2014/Reply
        • LS says:

          Ah, I didn’t know they had that option. Thanks!

          August 15, 2014/Reply
  9. Gabriela says:

    Tory Burch boots are also fantastic for small-calved ladies. Definitely not cheap, but they stay snug even around teeny legs!

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  10. Amanda says:

    Hi Belle, small typo — the J.Crew heels are originally $238, not $298. Cheers!

    August 14, 2014/Reply
  11. Allison says:

    Seconding Belle’s recommendation for the Naturalizer boots! I bought them last fall on a killer sale and they have been the best shoe purchase I’ve made by far. They are comfortable, durable, and fashionable. Important qualities when investing in a pair of boots.

    August 15, 2014/Reply
  12. K says:

    I also have short legs and wide calves. Ankle boots can help with the boot search frustration – and I think having a dip in the front of the boot helps elongate my legs. Got these Jessica Simpson maxi booties in brown and love them:

    August 15, 2014/Reply
  13. Bethie says:

    For the wrap around wallet, lots of designers have similar styles in their outlets. I have a similar Michael Kors wallet to the one linked and I got it for under $100 at the outlet store. Worth checking!

    August 15, 2014/Reply
  14. Rebecca says:

    For AM looking for pink or yellow pumps. Check out Fluevogs. Specifically, these two:



    August 18, 2014/Reply