Workday Reading

Belle’s Weekly Reading: October 3, 2014



No cough. No fever. No sniffles.  Just some body aches, some chills, and that feeling like someone pulled the rug out from under me.  I only had the energy for one post today.


1) Thanks to social media and the internet, a story can spread faster than it can be fact checked.  Emergent lets you know which rumors can be confirmed and which cannot.

2) This rose gold Giles & Brother bracelet is 45%-off and totally chic.  And these under-$25 pyramid stud earrings have just the right amount of sparkle.

3) The editors at Young House Love one of the most popular home blogs out there are taking a break.  Their departure from the Interwebs inspired The New York Times to write a piece on how pro-bloggers are burning out.

4) According to Robin Givhan, flats are back in vogue.  These leopard Steven flats are a bold choice.  These patent, half d’Orsay flats are awesome.  And don’t miss these Seychelles flats with a t-strap and small-stud details.

5) This coconut lime chicken soup is easy to make, Thai-inspired comfort food.  I’m also digging these healthy snack ideas.

6) Looking for a pair of black jeans for fall?  These NYDJ Sheri Skinny jeans aren’t too slim.  These AG jeans have a skinny look.  You also can’t go wrong with a $69 pair of jeans from the Gap (also in tall and petite).  Need a plus-size pair?  Try these Joy skinny jeans from Cookie Johnson.

7) Several people forwarded me this article, The Myth of the Maxxinista, which purports to spill the secrets of the discount retailer.  I’m not sure how much of it is accurate, but it’s an interesting read.

8) Need an incredible red lipstick?  M.A.C Viva Glam’s Rihanna lip color is the perfect pop of crimson.  Need a drugstore dupe?  Try WetnWild’s Megalast Lip Color in Stoplight Red.

9) Imagine being 22 and losing all of your memories, for one D.C.-area native, memory isn’t what it used to be.

10) Coach created some really beautiful pieces this year.  This eggplant-colored Borough bag still has my heart.  I die for these cognac ballet flats with a black toe cap.  And this orange wristlet is the perfect pop of color for fall.

11) 10 things every woman should give up on by the time she’s 30…or you know, a little older.

12) I am a ring addict. Some days, every finger is adorned.  My most recent purchase is this super-chic Elizabeth and James cigar ring.  This Pamela Love ring is ethereal and lovely.  Need something under-$75, this Gorjana Astoria ring is phenom and this Madewell Pave Double Ring is gorgeous and inexpensive.

*photo found here.

Leave a Reply to Anna · cancel comment


  1. AG says:

    I don’t know about TJMaxx and the like, but the Gap, J. Crew, etc. usually have markings on their clothes that distinguish them from items sold in their stores. Gap has something like three little squares, I think J. Crew says Factory on it. If the stuff about the large discount retailers is true, well, that’s truly disingenuous.

    October 3, 2014/Reply
  2. Meg says:

    Interesting article about JT Maxx, which I’ll choose to take with a grain of salt bc I love TJs so much! I thought the info about outlet retailers like J.Crew Factory was really interesting though. I have a pair of their chino shorts from a few years ago that I wanted to replace so I went back and the new ones were much thinner and wrinkled SO easily. I wound up getting the actual J.Crew chino shorts on a sale instead and despite the almost identical product descriptions on their sites, let me tell you, NOTHING about the Factory product is even remotely comparable to the regular store. So disappointing from a brand I that I love..

    October 3, 2014/Reply
  3. Mary says:

    As an avid (Ok, obsessive) discount shopper, I think the best way to tell about the origin of a garment is the tag. Especially at places like Nordstrom rack, it is often very clear if something came from the actual store versus being made specifically for the rack. A genuine, so to speak, item will have the original nordstrom tag, and also maybe the original designer tag, with a sticker or two indicating the rack price, whereas if the main tag on an item has something that says the so-called original price and then the store price, that item did not come from the store and was probably made for the rack.

    October 3, 2014/Reply
  4. Erin H says:

    i also love the LOFT modern skinny black jeans! They are super flattering.

    October 3, 2014/Reply
  5. Stephanie says:

    People always talk up Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx to me, but then I go and it looks like a Tijuana garage sale. Example– a little girl’s tshirt in Nordstrom Rack that had glued on glitter. Nordstrom would never sell such a thing, and it certainly wasn’t worth the $12 they wanted for it. Total garbage. Oh and outlets are just a huge waste of gas and time. Driving out to the desert to wade through junk with half of humanity. I’d rather have fewer clothes.

    October 3, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      It varies by store. Different locations cater to different demographics. For example, the Nordstrom Rack in Pentagon City has a pretty decent selection of professional wear whereas the one in Friendship Heights (surrounded by a lot of posh stores) or the one I go to back home in Aventura, FL, have a lot of higher-end designer pieces. Similarly, when I visited one in an outlet mall in Florida that’s frequented by tourists, there was ZERO work wear, and it’s pretty slim pickin’s at the downtown DC store.

      October 3, 2014/Reply
  6. thb says:

    Agreed Anna – I’ve been in cities where the Rack Store was fantastic and their main store a few miles away looked horribly understocked and the salespeople RUDE! Gladly bypass the attitude to shop the Rack. The Rack in Downtown Seattle always looks like a bomb went off in it, but the Flagship store is pristine. So, demographic does come into play. They always have bliss body butter lotion at a great price.

    October 3, 2014/Reply
  7. Joules says:

    Flats are in style? Yes. This is the best thing since sneakers were in style. 😀

    Style by Joules

    October 4, 2014/Reply
  8. Nancy says:

    I also am not a fan of outlets malls or factory stores. As a frequent shopper (not always buyer but love to look) I can often get do better price wise on sale items than at an outlet and the quality of course is much better. Agree that the stores like TJMaxx stock better quality items in areas with higher household incomes.

    October 4, 2014/Reply
  9. YouSaucyMinx says:

    Factory stores have long been my nemesis. I bought sweaters at J.Crew Factory, and when they arrived, they were paper thin,already stretched out, and just gross. So worth it to just save and buy the real thing-they wouldn’t have survived one wash.

    October 4, 2014/Reply
  10. DB says:

    I am also a ring fiend, but I always feel too “blinged out” wearing more than one ring a hand. Any tips for layering?

    October 5, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Vary the sizes. Small ones layered look best, and throw a statement piece on one hand for contrast.

      October 5, 2014/Reply
  11. Sarah says:

    I figured out that outlets started carrying their own line of clothing a few years ago. It used to be I could go to Potomac Mills and get things I saw a few months prior at BR or J. Crew. About 3-4 years ago I realized the merchandise was completely different and/or had a different label. My suspicions were confirmed by a salesperson at a Brooks Brothers outlet store. I’ve often wondered about certain items at TJ Maxx so now I know.I don’t care that they’re selling their own lines, however, I wish that in addition they still sold leftover items from the regular store.

    October 6, 2014/Reply
  12. Monica says:

    I like having the option of buying J. Crew Factory for more trendy pieces, but have to agree that the cuts and quality are quite different. I’ve noticed this about TJ Maxx and can never get myself to buy anything there. I don’t care what the tag says, you can tell by the quality of the fabric and construction that they are cheap clothes. Interesting insight on how licensing works, I’ve noticed this on the clothes Costco carries as well, even if its a name brand the designs are cheap looking and mass produced.

    I was looking for some new shoes and tried out both the Steve Madden’s and the Seychelles you mentioned, I really liked the shape of the Steve Maddens and kept them, the Seychelles were very pointy and the point leans a little to the left, the effect was very ‘witch shoes’ on me and I returned them. Sad, because I loved the color and texture of the navy ones.

    October 6, 2014/Reply