Belle’s Closet: Belle Reviews Her Winter Purchases

From time to time, I like to review my recent purchases.  Here are my honest appraisals of the clothes I ordered with my own money hoping for greatness.  Some I loved.  Some I returned.


AG Farrah High-Rise Jeans ($168)

Some of you are probably thinking, “Belle, a high-rise jean?  Have you cracked?  Time-traveled back to the 70s?”  No, neither, I’m just really in love with these jeans.

First off, let’s talk about how soft these are.  It’s like someone skinned a Muppet, tanned its hide, and made a pair of jeans.  The material is also perfectly stretchy.

Second, the high-rise was intimidating when I first tried them on.  But while the rise is higher than most of the jeans I own, it isn’t too high.  At least on me, it falls below my navel, and actually helps flatten my stomach a bit.  I liked the fit so much, I immediately bought them in black.


J.Crew Collection Secretary Blouse ($188)

Purchasing anything from J.Crew is a game of chance.  Will it me well-made?  Will it arrive already damage?  How inaccurate will the sizing be?

I purchased this blouse for a job interview.  I just wanted something liven up an old business suit.  This blouse in a deep, peacock teal was a great choice.  The material had good weight to it and wasn’t sheer.  I sized down one size and it was still a bit too big, so be aware.  But so far, I’m really happy with it.


Aetrex Erica Flats ($99)

I need to replace a pair of metallic ballet flats that I loved too much.  Sadly, this pair from Aertrex is not a suitable facsimile.

The shoes are clunky verging on cloven.  The internal supports need to hit your arches in just the right place or they rub uncomfortably on your foot.  Can you say blisters?  No thanks, on both counts.


Printed Crepe Cutout Dress ($150)

I purchased this dress to wear to a cocktail party.  It’s a little bit different from the sleeker styles I usually choose, and it’s nice to shake things up a bit.  I love the flouncy hem and the open back.

The dress is chic, but comfortable.  The material has a good weight to it.  And I got a lot of compliments when I wore it, so that’s always a nice dividend.


Stella & Dot Aria Necklace ($98)

I bought this necklace just before Christmas, and I find myself wearing it all the time.  You can wear the short necklace alone or with the other pieces.  You can use the extenders to adjust the length.  It’s really a great piece.  And if you’re looking for something a bit more versatile, there are weeks when I wear their Rebel pendant every day.


MM LaFleur Ephron Top ($95)

I bought this top to wear with jeans, but it looks great tucked into a pencil skirt too.  It’s made of a soft material with a good weight to it.  The navy color is really rich.  And the shape is accommodating to my pear shape.

Honestly, I would wear it every day if I could.  They need to hurry up and make some more colors.

Have you purchased anything recently that you loved?  That you loathed?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.



  1. anon says:

    Hi Belle- How true to size did you find the MM LAFleur top?

    March 3, 2015/Reply
    • pam says:

      i just got this top too. I am a size 12 and got the large. it fits fairly well, i’m keeping it, but i wishit was 1 inch wider at the bust. looks great with their noho plum skirt.

      March 3, 2015/Reply
  2. Hilary says:

    I’m wearing my black Farrah high rise jeans…and wore the denim ones yesterday. The dyes do transfer to hands and light clothing, but that was resolved with a few washings.

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  3. KM says:

    I am also looking for metallic flats so I look forward to hearing what you find!

    March 3, 2015/Reply
    • Danielle says:

      Target used to sell their Ona flat in a gold metallic color. I’ve had my pair for over a year and they’re my go-to summer shoe. (I also have a second pair in black.) I find them quite durable and comfortable for the price.

      March 3, 2015/Reply
    • swm says:

      These flats are pricey, but Poppy Barley has a beautiful gold pointed toe flat. And I have never loved a shoe more in my life. First day out of the box and not a blister in spite of wearing them all day with lots of walking. Had them about a year now, and though I care for them well, they still look new.

      March 4, 2015/Reply
  4. giggling gourmand says:

    I have been on a spring buying kick even though it’s still 30 degrees. Ever since this Vivian Chan dress arrived I’ve been dying for it to be warm enough for me to wear it.

    I’s a little funky, but hides my Buddha belly and makes my arms and legs look really skinny.

    also loving the Samudra pouches for purse organization (the beach scenes remind me there is an end in sight):

    And finally a Cuyana tote. It’s big enough to hold everything, you can get a monogram, and the price is just right:

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  5. Denise says:

    I’m also loving the high-rise trend that’s going around right now. I’m wearing a pair that I lucked into on sale from Madewell and they’ve become my new favorite pair. I like them because they make my 5’2″ frame look a little taller. I need more before I wear these out!

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  6. Benedetta says:

    I’m loving everything!!!
    Be Happy with Fashion

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  7. Liza says:

    I dream about changing into this Athleta top when I come home from work. It’s lined in a fleece-like material, it’s a longer length so it covers my butt if I want to wear it with leggings, and it’s sooo comfy. I would buy other colors if it weren’t so damn expensive. It runs large – I’m usually a medium and I sized down to a small. Highly recommend.

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  8. Monica says:

    I’m so grateful you turned me on to AG Jeans. I don’t think the high-rise would be flattering on me, as I’m short-waisted, but I love their mid-rise styles.

    I have been checking J Crew fairly often, since they are always having sales, and just don’t find anything I’m tempted to buy anymore. I don’t know if its the wacky styling or if I’m realizing you really have to love it to take the chance on the long buy-return cycle. It’s hard to find clothes to love that I can also afford!

    March 3, 2015/Reply
  9. J says:

    I bought a black one-size-fits-all Urban Outfitters maxi dress on sale late last summer because I needed something to cover my knees on a one-hour turnaround. None of the above nouns usually appeal to me (one size fits all?!), but I’ve found myself wearing the thing at least once a week for the past 8 months – enough that it’s wearing out and I need a new one. I took it in under the arms because it was way too big, and now it’s a perfect airplane/grocery shopping/movie watching outfit on its own, and with a nice sweater, a belt and good shoes, it’s dressy enough for casual Friday. $20? Done.

    March 3, 2015/Reply