Ask Belle Roundup: Vol. IV, No. Forty

Dec 29, 2014

Hi Belle,

I need to replace my black, pointy toe flats.  I need something matte leather, no patent, that costs under-$75.  What do you have for me?

Leesa

It’s too bad you’re down on patent, because the $50 BP Moveover flat is a great buy.  But if you must have matte, you must!

These Steve Madden Elatedd Flats are where I would start.  I also really like these Audrey Brooke flats from DSW, also in brown.

Hi Belle,

I’m looking for something to keep my jewelry corralled when I’m on the road.  Most of the travel jewelry cases I’ve found are either useless (a silk bag stuck into a box does nothing to keep my necklaces from getting tangled) or ugly (brown croc?  Really, Pottery Barn?!).  I found this one at Nordstrom that looks okay, but it doesn’t have any tabs to secure rings, and I wish they still had fun colors.

Any ideas? Lindsey

There are few things quite as tedious as untangling necklaces, so I understand your desire to keep them untwisted.  Personally, I like the Pottery Barn case you referenced.  They also make a smaller version in gold metallic.  I found a few other options for you to try, but no perfect fit.

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Typographer’s Linen Case ($45)

This folded case from Mark & Graham offers options for necklace, ring, bracelet, and earring storage.  It’s small enough to fit discreetly in a purse or carry-on, and the linen is washable.  If you are inclined toward DIY, you can sew something similar.

M&G also has this small round case with zippered compartments.  Though it’s not quite as functional, it will still work for most ladies.  Or if you’re looking for something sturdy, this travel jewelry box from Shopbop is just the ticket.

Hi Belle,

I know you don’t wear pants to work very often, but do you have a favorite style of pant?  I need to grow beyond the Express Editor pant.  The fabrics feel scratchier than they used to.

Thanks for your blog! Lena

My favorite pant is the Martin Fit trouser from Banana Republic.  I particularly like their tab-front style.  If find the cut of the leg flattering to my pear-shaped figure; it’s wide enough that it provides balance, but not so wide that I drown in them.

J.Crew also makes a nice trouser.  I like their Hutton pant and their 1035 pant.  However, neither pair is lined.  If it’s a lining that you need, I suggest Brooks Brothers.

Need something under-$100?  Try The Limited.  I’m a fan of their wide-leg trouser pant.

Dear Belle,

Do you know a good all natural beauty line that I can buy at the drugstore?  I tried Almay’s natural line, but I didn’t like it at all.

Thanks! Kaia

I know of a few products I like, but not an entire line.  Burt’s Bees has great lip products.  Physician’s Formula has great blushes and powders.  And for makeup remover, face wash, etc., I like Yes to products.

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  1. Jess says:

    It’s not fancy but I love the trick of threading a necklace through a straw and closing the clasp to keep it from tangling.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Thank you for the ideas on the jewelry case! I really like the typographer one.

  3. Roon says:

    My fave jewelry travel case is in.bag from Container Store.
    Link:https://www.containerstore.com/shop/black?productId=10037138&N=1000018
    Nothing gets tangled and I can see everything at a glance.

  4. Christine says:

    I’m a longtime reader (lawyer and ex-DCer), and I’m excited to see you mentioning Mark and Graham! I fell in love with their aesthetic as a shopper, and I’ve recently joined their trunk show program. Readers can get free shipping by shopping with the codes on my website!

  5. Addie says:

    I searched for months for the perfect travel jewelry case. Everything was either too small or didn’t prevent necklaces from tangling. I finally found the Gentle Jewelry Case on Amazon. It’s out of stock now but you can still buy it from their website: https://gentlejewelrycase.com. It’s not that attractive but it works. And something that doesn’t look like it contains jewelry is probably a better idea anyway.

  6. Phoebe says:

    Leesa who asked about pointed toe flats: I recommend these from Brooks Brothers. The tumbled leather is much more interesting than plain black matte leather, but it’s not loud like patent can be. It looks the same in person as it does in the photo.

    https://www.brooksbrothers.com/Calfskin-Pointed-Ballet-Flats/WF00291,default,pd.html?dwvar_WF00291_Color=BLCK&contentpos=4&cgid=0380

  7. stephanie says:

    It sounds odd, but i use a plastic fishing lure box to hold jewelry when i travel (https://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Adjustable-Jewelry-Electronic-Cleaning/dp/B00Q8D05Q2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1419913603&sr=8-10&keywords=fish+lure+case+adjustable). The separate compartments are perfect for a pair of earrings or single necklace. And because the necklace isn’t mixed with anything, it doesn’t get tangled.

  8. Anon says:

    It doesn’t sop necklaces tangling with themselves, but for keeping them separate within a jewllery roll or case, I use small size ziplock bags. Similarly, i use very small ones (e.g. the ones spare buttons come in) for earrings, one per pair – it stops the juble, scratching, etc.

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