Belle’s Workday Reading: November 5, 2014

Nov 5, 2014



1) WhoWhatWear has an interesting tip for how to wear high heels without pain, and it’s one I haven’t heard before.  Daily Mail also has some tips for walking well, and comfortably, in heels.  Need a video tutorial?  This one from the Oprah show is still my favorite.

My best tip?  Don’t overreach.  The baby giraffe walk is not cute, so if 4″+ is intimidating, bring it down.  I love a 2.5 or 2 7/8 inch heel.  They give some height, but don’t devastate your feet or your balance.   Need a <3″ shoe?  I love my Valentina pumps (25%-off with code GETWARM).  For something under-$100, try these Sole Society pumps in leopard or black.

2) New York Daily News tackles the controversial topic of women who bully women in the workplace after a new poll showed that 39% of women prefer male bosses to female ones.

3) For this week’s affordable handbag, we have a chic hobo bag from The Limited.  It comes in three neutral shades and has a sleek shape.

4) Having trouble maximize your time?  Lifehacker advises you to think of seconds as dollars in something called the Magic Bank Account theory.  It’s an interesting idea.

5) Forever21 has some cute blouses right now.  I love the modern look of this white blouse; it’s very Phillip Lim.  The rhinestone cuffs on this white blouse are fun.  And do not miss this chevron-print button-up, it’s sublime.  Plus-size?  This crochet-front top has a lovely mix of textures.

6) Forbes has an eye-catching, thought-provoking article about how women start new jobs filled with ambition (more ambition than men) only to watch it fade.

I’ve definitely experienced this.  A new job brings hope of reaching the top, then internal politics, disappointments, and life changes deflate it.  I’ve found that focusing on doing great work each week and thinking about future plans less helps maintain focus and drive.

7) Looking for work basics?  I’m kind of loving this sleek business suit from Ann Taylor.  I also like this tailored tweed jacket from The Limited.  And this bateau-neck dress from WHBM is definitely worth a look.

8) How do we get women over the mid-career hump?  No surprises here, mentoring.

9) Looking for a way to pump up your makeup for after-work parties?  This Clinique palette offers four different color combos for creating “party eyes, made easy.”

10) Remember Tupperware parties?  Read the story of how one entrepreneurial woman built an empire out of plastic storage containers.  (Her name is Brownie Wise, you can’t make this stuff up.)

11) Piperlime is killing me with jaw-droppingly-beautiful things.  This Minkoff coat…wow, but not affordable.  I also like these snakeskin flats for casual days or commuting.  And this $69 textured pencil skirt has all the appeal of a basic with a little something extra.

12) I’m thinking about doing an end-of-year fundraiser.  I thought maybe CHS readers could raise money for a female-oriented charity, maybe Malala Fund or Vital Voices (I looked for a U.S.-focused charity and couldn’t find one.).  I also thought about a funding group like Mercy Corps, but I’m open to suggestions.

I think a site like GoFundMe is the best thing for transparency.   So I’d like a) suggestions for charities, and b) opinions about which crowdfunding site is best.

Workday Reading

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  1. Kathy says:

    If you’re thinking international, I’ve been giving money to the Fistula Foundation for years and find them really inspiring. It’s not a pretty or cute cause, but it’s so important and they do great work.

  2. Bunny says:

    What about Dress For Success? Given the fashion focus of the blog, it seems appropriate.

  3. Brooke M says:

    Hi Belle, what a great idea.
    If you are looking for a US project, will you consider Thistle Farms/Magdalene project?

    From their website: Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Magdalene was founded not only to help a subculture of women, but also to help transform the culture itself. We stand in solidarity with women who are recovering from abuse, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets, and who have paid dearly for a culture that continues to buy and sell women.

  4. Katie says:

    If you want to empower DC women, there’s always the Miss DC Organization scholarship fund! The current Miss DC, Teresa Davis, currently works for Rep. Tom Cole, and I’d be happy to put you in touch with her, either for a fundraiser or some other collaboration. 🙂

  5. G says:

    While it’s not fashion related, Shelterbox is an amazing organization that provides emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.

    They provide shelters only to people directly and they have great transparency.

  6. MLKSAH says:

    I think a fundraiser is a great idea. I like Dress for Success and Suited for Change.

  7. Samantha says:

    Running Start ( is a great organization! They are a nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to involve more young women in politics. They have trainings, fellowships, and other programs for girls and women ranging from middle-school age to young professionals. I participated in their Star Fellowship program after I graduated from college and it was an amazing experience. I definitely recommend you check them out as a potential charity!

  8. DCBeth says:

    Suited for Change provides suits for interviews for women trying to get a job. And its DC-based.

  9. Megan says:

    Beauty Redefined is an awesome cause that I have volunteered for since I heard about them. They are a nonprofit dedicated helping women (and men) recognize, reject the harmful beauty ideals perpetuated in mass media today. Their research and presentations cover body dysmorphia,eating disorders, pornography, advertising,and their efforts include promoting media literacy, health education, and self-confidence, especially in girls and women.

    They’d be thrilled to be considered as a funder, or even as a shout out on your blog in one of your roundup posts. Feel free to email me with any questions!

    Thanks so much for the blog- started reading as a Senate intern and still love it years later.

  10. Erika says:

    There are many good suggestions already, but I’ll throw in Geena Davis’

  11. Lesley says:

    YWCA USA is the country’s oldest women’s organization and currently provides the most direct assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their families. It’s nonpartisan and has no religious affiliation. They also do job training, financial literacy and help women get their GEDs. I’m on their national board and can’t say enough about how they transform communities.

  12. Katie says:

    The Amara Legal Center is a great non-profit providing free legal services to women and girls who are victims of sex-trafficking. They are doing great things, but are just getting off the ground and could definitely use the funds.

    It was founded by a woman I went to law school with and I can vouch for the integrity of the org without hesitation.

  13. CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates

    CASA helps ensure that abused children get out of the child welfare and legal systems and into safe and permanent homes more quickly than they would otherwise.
    CASA promotes early intervention to stop the cycle of generational abuse.
    CASA intervention…
    offers abused and neglected children the opportunity to thrive in safe and permanent homes;
    interrupts possible delinquent and criminal behaviors, which often take root in abusive and unstable homes;
    adds to true “quality of life.” CASA advocacy gives abused and neglected children the opportunity to become contributors – assets to the community rather than deficits.

    • Mary says:

      I second CASA.

      You sometimes ask for reading suggestions, so if you are looking for reading material and wanting to know the impact CASA can have for someone, check out Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. She was bounced around in foster care until a CASA worker made sure that she wasn’t lost in the system. Ashley is now an adult and is also involved in politics (although that’s not discussed in the book.)

    • Liz says:

      CASA (or GAL – guardian ad litem, in some states) is a wonderful organization that I have been privileged to be involved with for the last ten years, and for the last four as a CASA. The work that we do provides the child with a voice in the foster care and court systems. In many cases the CASA is the only link that prevents an abused or neglected child from being lost in an overburdened (and overworked and understaffed) social services system. This has been the most truly rewarding work I have ever been a part of and I will never forget the day my first child was adopted.

  14. Emilie says:

    Hey Belle, I love the idea of an end of year fund raiser, and I’m going to throw a beloved charity into consideration – this is a D.C. based organization, it helps women get jobs and support themselves, and it does have a focus on dressing for your career and success – just like Capitol Hill Style!

    Suited for Change:
    The organization helps women seeking to get back to work by providing them with business appropriate clothing for interviews. Each women who comes to the organization receives 2 interview outfits and a pair of shoes. If they end up getting a job that then requires further business casual wear, they can come back to Suited for Change for 3 more outfits – enough to get them started in their new job. I used to be a “shopping consultant” and would work with the women to select appropriate (read the right size and fit) clothes that they felt confident in.

    The organization receives a good number of donations, but are always looking for money to shore up much needed areas – like plus-size suits and clothing. The funds are also used to support workshops for women including how to work with human resources, financial skills, and more that the women may need to be successful.

    This is a D.C. organization, and for those who want to donate clothes, they are located near McPhearson square. Check out their website for more information

  15. Lisa says:

    I would add Girls On the Run (

  16. Lindsay says:

    I already support the Malala Fund and would do it again through a fundraiser here.

  17. Melinda says:

    Life of Freedom Center in Miami, FL is a community center that offers free support and restorative programs for female survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. There are a lot of victims of the sex trade (domestic and women/girls brought in internationally) in South Florida. LOF Center does community outreach, therapy for survivors, hands-on training, clothing, etc for survivors.

  18. Amanda says:

    PSA – I have heard of the toe-taping trick for wearing heels and apparently you can cause nerve damage if you’re taping your toes to cut off nerve feeling!

  19. I would be concerned about a couple things: 1)I think crowdfunding sites typically take a percent of what’s donated so it might make more sense just to encourage people to donate through the charity itself, and 2) if you do it through a site and not the charity itself what does that do w/r/t tax paperwork?

    • Carly says:

      If you expect a big enough campaign many organizations would be happy to set up a way for people to donate directly but tally the amount to the group. This would solve the % of total that funding sites take (3-6% usually) and keep donations tax deductible.

  20. Christine says:

    Check out Girls on the Run nonprofit organization

  21. Alison says:

    Tahirih Justice Center is a DC-based non-profit that helps women and girls who are fleeing violence, both in the US and internationally. They provide lots of legal services, policy advocacy and education in DC, Baltimore and Houston. Their founder won a case that led the Immigration Courts to recognize Female Genital Mutilation imposed on women against their will as persecution. They are really well respected and knowledgeable on immigration and other law and policy affecting women and girls fleeing violence, and they seem very up your alley, given your legal career path! I highly recommend (and I don’t work there or get any money from them, btw)

  22. Amy says:

    There are so many amazing female-centered charities. Too many to even lisI. I will add my 2 cents and also vote for Dress For Success or Suited for Change or something similar because that goes along the lines of your blog.

  23. Candace says:

    I’d encourage you to take a look at School-to-School International’s Guinea Girl’s Scholarship program. This program focuses of helping girls have the resources and support they need to succeed in school. This is exceptionally important in light of the continued Ebola outbreak. Helping girls grow up to become women who can be vocal, productive leaders in there community will be vital to Guinea’s long term recovery.

    School-to-School International recently ran a fundraising campaign where you can find more information on the Girls Scholarship program specifically.

    You can find out more about the organization broadly here:

    On another note – I’ve found CauseVox is an excellent platform for fundraising drives.

  24. Nellie says:

    I would totally echo Girls on the Run and Tahirih Justice Center. Another DC-based organization is Network for Victim Recovery, which is new and provides a much-needed service to crime victims in the District.

    Given all of the public attention lately toward both sexual assault and women’s workplace achievement, I think it would be great to find a US-based organization that works to advance these issues in some form. I’m sure one that’s nonpartisan will be important to you, Belle, as well as readers, but hopefully still possible.

  25. anon says:

    I suggest the P.E.O. Sisterhood. They support women’s education through 5 unique philanthropies. More information is available here: and here is a printable facts sheet:

  26. Kelsey says:

    If you’re interested in supporting female education, I highly recommend SOLA – School of Leadership, Afghanistan. It’s a boarding school for girls in Kabul, Afghanistan that educates and prepares girls to take on leadership roles. It was conceived specifically as a boarding school so that girls from more conservative areas where they often can’t leave the house, much less attend school, can come and live there while getting an education.

    I volunteer with them and even spent a summer teaching there and living at the school with the students, so I can vouch for their legitimacy. The organization is full of amazing people — the students are beyond incredible and so deserving of every opportunity they can get.

    More info here:

    You can also watch co-founder Shabana Basij-Rasikh’s Tedx Women talk here:

  27. ~M says:

    I strongly advocate on behalf of RAINN: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.

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