Workday Reading

Belle’s Weekly Reading: October 31, 2014


This is a bit simplistic as life advice, but it’s great fashion advice.  The most you will ever like an item is in the store.  If you don’t think it looks awesome in the dressing room, you’ll rarely (if ever) wear it.  Also, if you go to clean out your closet and you pull an item that you don’t wear often, whether it makes you feel fabulous is a good metric for what stays and what goes.


1) A woman walked around NYC for 10 hours and documented all of the unwanted attention she received. documents both the video and the discussion surrounding it, including whether greetings are acceptable.  Here’s the quote from Alex Alvarez:

Take a look at how they seek the woman out to wish her a good morning, despite her not having made eye contact or shown any interest in talking to them. Take a look at how they’re not wishing a good morning to any other person, particularly male people, also walking around.

Why is this?

It’s because they don’t care, really whether she has a good day or not. What they care about is letting her know that they have noticed her — her hair, her face, her body, her outfit. They want her to notice that they’ve noticed, and they want her to notice them, however fleetingly.

2) Looking for inexpensive hair accessories to keep away flat, winter-weather hair? This skinny gold headband is a lovely choice.  I also like this triangle hair brooch and this simple gold barrette.  And this black gem headband is understated but pretty.

3) It’s Halloween, and these minimalist horror movie posters capture all of the movies terror with incredible simplicity.

4) Looking for cool, under-$50 necklaces? This opal cherub strand from Bauble Bar has a lovely ethereal quality.  This lariat necklace from Banana Republic is simple and chic.  This long necklace with a black pendant is fantastic for $18.

5) Last year, several retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day to get a rush on the Black Friday shopping.  They called it Brown Thursday.  This year, a Facebook group is encouraging retailers to stay close and cataloging those who plan to stay shuttered.

6) These skinny jeans from Blank have a great dark wash and are just distressed enough.  They’re also $88.

7) Time has a fascinating article about the bizarre history of women’s sizing including how the sizes were developed and why retailers lie in their size guides.

8) French clothier Sezane paired up with Madewell to create a collection of Parisian-chic pieces.  This oversized cable sweater looks perfect for winter, and I love this blue-and-black blouse with a geometric print.   And don’t miss this black leather clutch with all the modernist beauty of Alexander Wang.

9) Several filmakers and actors created a series of videos called We The Economy.  They cover many basic economic concepts and explain challenging ones in a creative way.  The videos are clearly done from a liberal political perspective, but I found them thought provoking even though I didn’t agree with some of them.

10) Dry winter skin got your down and itchy? Make the switch to African Black Soap ($11 for 1lb).  It’s suitable for face and body, though I just use it on my body.  It helps keep serious dryness at bay and gently clears body acne.

11) A company called Ficks is selling a cocktail “fortifier” that claims to prevent hangovers.  It contains B-vitamins, amino acids and a few other buzzword-y items designed to prevent the day-after curse.  I wonder if it works?

12) Would you believe that one of the chicest sweaters for sale this season is sold at Athlete?  This oatmeal wool sweater has graphite accents on the sleeves for a clean color combination.  I also love this cashmere drape cardigan; it looks like Olivia Pope’ coveted “wine clothes.”

13) After a disaster, Americans are told to donate to the Red Cross.  After Hurricane Sandy, they collected over $300 million to helps victims, but the story of how those resources were mismanaged, and wasted will shock you.

*image found here.



  1. Joules (@stylebyjoules) says:

    On the cocktail “fortifier”, I actually have several friends who are doctors and one of them turned me on to drinking 3 8oz glasses of water with B vitamins mixed in (like Walborne style) right before bed after drinking a lot. It actually works really well. I would say that you’ll still feel a little hung over the next day, but much less than you otherwise would have.

    October 31, 2014/Reply
  2. CD says:

    The Red Cross disturbs me. So many people throw money at it truly believing each dollar is going to someone in need. It baffles me that they manage to get away with what they do.

    October 31, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I still think it’s a great organization, but I’m a little horrified by the lack of oversight and accountability. Hopefully, they learned from this experience and with some oversight we can prevent this from happening in the future. The thing I find the most upsetting though it when Sandy victims were complaining about a lack of help from the Red Cross in the days after the storm, a lot of politicians and news outlets were playing it like the RC was doing a perfect job and the victims were just angry. The article certainly makes it seem like that wasn’t entirely true.

      October 31, 2014/Reply
  3. Jenna says:

    I want the money I donate to be used efficiently. It’s not wrong to expect accountability from these organizations.

    After some research I have been giving to Matthew 25 Ministries on a regular basis. I like that they have good reviews by BBB and that they cover various issues. (poverty, humanitarian aid, health crises, natural disasters). They’re always on top of the latest “crisis” so I never feel like I should be doing something to help with the most recent disaster.

    October 31, 2014/Reply
  4. Anna says:

    I got so peeved by the comments I saw from people saying something along the lines of “what’s so wrong with someone saying ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’?” I’m definitely not the type to put on a face of steel and give a death glare to anyone who dares speak to me, but there’s a difference between someone who’s being polite and someone who may say nice words with questionable intentions.

    October 31, 2014/Reply
  5. Pam says:

    On the fashion advice. I used to take a day off once a year and try on everything in my closet. I used the three Fs. It had to fit,, flatter and feel good!

    October 31, 2014/Reply
  6. Kate says:

    Re: #1, despite the video’s disclaimer that those comments “involv[ed] people of all backgrounds,” that clip heavily represents a more blue-collar segment of the population giving her unwanted attention. If she walked through areas where she was surrounded by men in business suits or business casual attire, I wonder if she would get a different type of attention. Who knows, maybe she did, and maybe the results were the same.

    November 1, 2014/Reply
    • Chelsea says:

      Yeah, there’s definitely a lack of awareness of the norms of different classes going on here.

      November 1, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I didn’t notice that, but it would be an interesting comparison.

      November 1, 2014/Reply
  7. MP says:

    Ha, I definitely covet Olivia Pope’s wine clothes.

    November 1, 2014/Reply
  8. SELINA says:

    Very inspirational post ! Thanks a lot 🙂

    November 2, 2014/Reply