AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, No. Thirty-Eight

Dear Belle,

I was on a flight to London last week and the woman in the seat next to me was wearing a poncho.  She looked so cozy and chic.  (I know, chic and poncho, but it worked.)  Can you help me find one that won’t make me look like a house?

Penny

I loved this e-mail.  Mostly because I harbor a semi-secret obsession with ponchos and capes.  If you choose one that isn’t horribly oversized, a poncho can be an unexpected and sophisticated topper.

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Ann Taylor Cashmere Poncho ($198)

This poncho from Ann taylor drapes perfectly.  It’s not too full, but it has the loose poncho feel.  I also like this inexpensive Wallis poncho with a funnel neck and an interesting texture. Plus-size? Calvin Klein makes a great poncho that has sleeves and a buckle detail.

Hi Belle,

I colored my hair for the first time this summer and it is parched.  Do you have a favorite conditioner or hair mask?  

Thanks! Rebecca

One of the best things you can do for your hair is to use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner every day.  For years, I thought I needed to use volumizing shampoo/conditioner to get the style I wanted.  The truth is, I needed to keep my hair moisturized for it to reach its full potential.  I like the Pureology Hydrate line.

As for a deep conditioner, this Briogio hair mask hydrates like a dream with avocado and argan oils.  I’ve also used the Ojon Dry Recovery mask, and that’s also a great product.  Need a drugstore option?  Try L’Oreal OleoTherapy Mask.

Hi Belle,

My September issues are full of funnel-neck sweaters.  I love the mod look, but I keep coming back to this Max Mara sweater that I cannot afford.  Can you help me find something for under-$150?  Preferably $125?

Love the blog! CC

This funnel neck sweater from Velvet has a great look to it and comes in a heather-oat color similar to the one you like.  This under-$20 sweater from Kohl’s is also a good option.  I’d style it with a long-sleeve shirt underneath.  Something in the same color palette would be nice.

Dear Belle,

Stiletto booties, yay or nay?  I was against them at first, but now I’m thinking they might be perfect for fall.  Can you help me find a semi-affordable pair (under $200) that aren’t sky high?  Three inches or so?

-K

When the ankle boot trend hit the pavement back in ’08, I was completely against them.  Then I saw these to-die-for Stella McCartney boots and realized that shoes must be judged on a case-by-case basis.  Unless we’re talking about Crocs, then they’re all bad.

The key to finding good-looking booties is to find the pair that work on your leg shape.  Booties are all about proportion.  I tried on about ten pairs before I found a pair that didn’t make my slightly short legs look stumpy.

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Isola Pisces Boot ($129)

I tried these boots on and loved them.  The fact that they didn’t hug the ankle worked with my thinner calves and thicker thighs to create a nice proportion.  I also looked at these Vince Camuto Vala booties that hug under the ankle so they look more like a pump.  And if you’re looking for something affordable, try these suede, mid-heel booties from Victoria’s Secret.

Belle,

I saw a picture you posted on Instagram with the Misfit Shine.  Are you still using it?  Do you like it?

River

I bought the Misfit Shine activity monitor a few weeks ago and I love it.  It has a lower profile than my old FitBit.  It can be worn in the pool.  And it has a battery, so it doesn’t have to be charged.

I have the champagne color (I like the versatile metallic color).  I also bought a champagne-colored bracelet for a sleeker look.  I also really like the wine color for sale at Target.

Leave a Reply to JNick · cancel comment

    6 comments

  1. M. says:

    I second the Misfit Shine recommendation! I bought one (same color and same strap as Belle, actually) a few weeks ago and think it is awesome!

    September 4, 2014/Reply
  2. Kelley says:

    Is a long sleeve tee the way to go with a poncho? Love the AT one you posted above, but am trying to figure out how to style

    September 4, 2014/Reply
    • JNick says:

      As a new and somewhat timid poncho fan, I’m wondering about this too. My issue is that even a well-made and well-fitting poncho looks sloppy and top-heavy unless it’s balanced out by something tighter/less boxy AND a great pair of shoes.

      So far I’ve found the most success with form fitting pants and cute boots. Usually I wear a pair of nice skinny jeans and a stiletto bootie (I wear the black Powerhour booties from Nine West that popped up on the blog in August) but I imagine that there is a comfy “airplane” version as well–maybe a good pair of leggings and a cute pair of knee-high flat boots?

      September 4, 2014/Reply
  3. Christina says:

    I’ve actually seen a few funnel-neck sweaters at Boden that look really similar to the Max Mara sweater. Looks like either the Grace sweater (https://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Knitwear/Sweaters/WK958/Womens-Grace-Sweater.html) or the Pamela sweater (https://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Knitwear/Sweaters/WK969/Womens-Pamela-Sweater.html) would fit the poster’s bill.

    September 4, 2014/Reply
  4. Shanay says:

    Love the poncho! great post!

    http://www.thebrisklife.com

    September 5, 2014/Reply
  5. BN says:

    Question on the MisFit — how are the online and mobile resources? One of my favorite things about my FitBit is the ease of seeing my stats whether at my computer or on the go. The interface is fantastic, updates regularly, and provides lots of relevant info. How does the MisFit compare? Thanks!

    September 5, 2014/Reply