AdviceStyle + Ask The Edit

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

Dear Belle,

I have been obsessed with the layered sheath dress look lately, especially after seeing this number on Madam Secretary. The only problem is that all of the work-appropriate options are well above my price range. Any chance of finding one in the $100-$250 range?

Thanks, Alexandra

I’m pretty obsessed with this Trina Turk dress that I posted last week, so I get the appeal.  I didn’t find much in the exact range you were looking for, but I did find some dresses for less.

This sleeveless sheath dress from Limited is phenomenal.  If you prefer a sleeve, this Cynthia Steffe frock has you covered.  But my pick–the dress so awesome and affordable that I had to buy it for myself–is from Wallis.  Don’t miss it.

Hi Belle,

Thanks for posting your gift picks!  I need some help finding a gift for my boyfriend’s sister.  She’s 17, and I have no idea what teen girls are into anymore.  Help!

xo, Nat

With teenage girls, I think it’s important to do a little digging and see what she’s into.  Barring that, when I was 17, I would’ve been happy as a clam to get a cool makeup set.


Glitz & Glam Party Essentials Set ($45)

Is this the greatest makeup gift in history?  Yes, it is.  It contains my favorite Deborah Lippman shade (Good Girl Gone Bad), Benefit’s HD Microfinish Powder, and several other must haves.  It is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Not feeling this one?  This Stila lip glaze set offers eight awesome shades.  I also like Bare Minerals’ Smoky Eyes Tutorial set–perfect for holiday parties.  If none of these work, check out Sephora’s wide selection of gift sets.

Hi Belle,

Do you use a straightener?  If so, which one?  

Thanks! Rae

I do not. I prefer hair as big as a Western sky.  But I do have a straightener expert on standby–Meghan from District Sparkle–and she loves the Jose Eber straightener.  Also, check out her tips for curling your hair with a straightener.


I have a beautiful dress coat for work, but I need a casual coat for the weekends.  I don’t want my nice coat getting any dirtier than necessary, know what I mean?  Do you have some suggestions for casual coats that cost $150 or under?

Love the blog! KP

The way I see it, if it’s a casual coat that you’re after, something totally relaxed, you need either a duffle coat or a peacoat.  Both are cool, casual, and perfect for the weekend.


Ellen Tracy Toggle Coat ($149)

Ellen Tracy’s take on the duffle coat has the perfect not-too-fitted shape.  This Topshop Hooded Duffle Coat is another great option. H&M has an under-$100 option in black.  And if you want some color, Modcloth has a gorgeous raisin duffle coat (also in plus-size).


Tommy Hilfiger Double Breasted Peacoat ($137)

This Hilfiger topper is the classic peacoat with a slightly dramatic collar (awesome).  I also like this basic Ralph Lauren peacoat.  I’m intrigued by this lightly insulated, machine washable peacoat from Sierra Trading Post (also in plus).  Want something under-$50?  Try this coat from Forever21.



  1. MLKSAH says:

    If Bloomingdale does price matching, the Cynthia Steffe Popover Dress mentioned is on sale at Nordstrom (they only have it in size 0).

    December 4, 2014/Reply
  2. Joules (@stylebyjoules) says:

    I usually blow out my hair as well, but I just recently tried curling my hair with a straightener and was amazed at the results. It’s super easy and fast and a great look. I highly recommend if you’ve never tried it!

    December 4, 2014/Reply
  3. Pancakes says:

    Nat: Definitely see what she’s into. The best way to do that is see if she either has a Facebook (likely), Instagram (probably), or a Pinterest account. If she wears the exact same scarf all the time, then maybe get her another great scarf. Or if she likes to go out a lot, maybe a crossbody bag or a wristlet.

    I would actually caution on getting her makeup. I only say that because not every teen (or even early 20s) knows or cares about the value of nice makeup. I bought my fiance’s sister a great kit from Sephora when she was a junior or senior in high school. She didn’t use it at ALL since she was only used to using drugstore makeup (and, at the time, was really ok with looking caked-on since that was the general trend at her school). It was definitely money wasted.

    December 4, 2014/Reply
  4. Anna says:

    If she doesn’t have one already, how about a birchbox or similar subscription? You can get her a three month one for about $30 and then it’s like a present every month. It’s all fancy/expensive brands but in small sizes so it’s not as much of a commitment for her. Plus, she can set her profile so she’ll get the kind of stuff she wants.

    December 5, 2014/Reply