Style

State of the Blog: Burn Out Attacks

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There’s a saying, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”  This summer, I burned the candle at both ends.  I was in law school full-time, blogging at my usual pace, and working at my legal externship part-time.  Oh, and caring for a very feisty puppy.  In short, I took on too much and burned myself out.

With one day left before school starts back and several first-day assignments (yay!) to complete, I just need a minute to myself.  A minute to clean my house, to buy groceries (my fridge looks like an empty tomb), to run a few errands, to play with Avery, and try to psych myself up for my last two semesters of torture…I mean, law school.

I’ll probably fail at that last one.

See you tomorrow.

Also, I’m starting work on some fall posts.  If anyone has anything they’re searching for for their wardrobe, a question about new trends, a query you want answered, or a topic you need covered, leave it below.

xo, Belle

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    99 comments

  1. Barbara says:

    Aw Belle,
    Just take care of yourself. Don’t think about us for a couple of days or as long as it takes. We’ll still be here when you get back.
    We love you and want you to be around in the long run.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Jen says:

      ^what she said. Don’t limit yourself to just one day! We’ll be here.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
      • Lauren says:

        ^Agreed

        September 1, 2015/Reply
      • e says:

        Agreed! I think we’re all so appreciative that you’ve shared this whole journey with us. Rest up!!

        September 1, 2015/Reply
  2. Dakota says:

    Take care of yourself Belle!! Law school is brutal, to be brief about it. Query: DC is such a suits place…but I think I look best in dresses! Any guidance on how to pick suit-equivalent dresses, if it’s possible, or how to style up a dress so it is on par with a suit in formality? thank you! kisses to Avery

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Jen says:

      Check out the Limited’s sheath dress & jacket combos. They are great.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  3. Meli says:

    Belle, good job on knowing when to take a “you” moment. Law school is hard but you can do it!
    Do you have any suggestions on to style boot cut jeans? The last time I wore them I was a lot younger and could get away with some crazier looks.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  4. Erin says:

    I’d love to see a post or two about weekend dressing and/or business casual options! Specifically casual Fall dresses! Good luck with school!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Carolyn says:

      ^^^ agree!

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  5. nicole says:

    You’re a rockstar! Enjoy the well-deserved break.

    Here is a question… I’m in grad school in the evenings, and until now have been working during the day then heading straight to class. This fall, I’m just going to evening classes. I don’t want to keep wearing office attire, but I struggle with looking casual but put-together. Can you recommend some basics I should purchase, or outfit inspiration? Thank you!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Tess says:

      I second this!! I just started evening classes after work and I am also struggling with what to wear

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  6. Kate says:

    Good luck with school! Do you have any recommendations for new fall eye color palettes? I’d love to update my shadow collection. If you have suggestions for casual and dressy color combos, I’d love to hear them!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  7. LC says:

    Do whatever you need to make sure you’re able to give it your all at school for the last couple of semesters. You don’t want to look back and wish you’d done something different! As for fall fashion, I have some heeled booties I love but can’t get to look quite right. I know you said you’re not the biggest fan of booties, but I’d love some ideas if you have any – jeans tucked in? Rolled? Ankle length jeans? Thanks!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Dolly says:

      +1 on the booties question. I’d love some tips on how to style them — for work, going out, and casual weekend outfits! And good luck with school!

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Rachel W. says:

      +2 on the ankle boot-styling request. I have figured out a couple of outfits for my more casual, chunky-heeled booties (I’m a fan of a slim-leg jean rolled once to just above the top of the boot), but I struggle with styling my sleek black skinny-heeled booties with anything other than black tights and a dress.

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  8. Andrea G says:

    Enjoy your break! Two semesters to go, you got this.

    A query: I’m moving to Chicago and will finally be able to take advantage of public transportation for my work commute. I’m thinking ahead to the cold, cold winter. I’m going to need something to keep my head/ears warm but I have a short pixie cut and hats make my hair look very, very scary after I take them off. I need to keep warm, but I also would prefer to not have to re-do my hair upon arrival at work, and I want something more fashionable than big chunky earmuffs. Do you have any solutions?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • jen says:

      When I had a pixie cut, I used a gloss or shine spray in the winter. This helped the hats & earmuffs slide off without leaving hat head.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Jenn says:

      When I had a pixie, I found that putting a beanie on wet hair was the only way to avoid fluffy, spiky anime-hair. But I have very thick hair. I would apply styling wax to damp hair, roll the sides of the beanie up and just put the peak of the beanie at the crown of my head, and then roll the sides down so that my hair was smoothed down. The hat would keep things warm and when I got to work, it just needed a bit of a fluff once I took the hat off. But the trick was to be careful how I put the hat on so that it helped my style instead of fighting it.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • TheLoop says:

      I moved to Chicago two years ago. Nothing could have prepared me for the winter. Oof. In terms of winter wear, my first advice is – don’t sacrifice comfort and warmth for style. The winter is too long to keep that up. I hate hats but the only way to survive the last two winters was to buy one. I also have a puffy coat with a hood that I preferred to hats – it didn’t mess up my hair as much. For ears, I used Earbags – they pop over your ear, keep you warm and don’t get tangled in your hair. Love them! https://www.amazon.com/Sprigs-Earbags-Cable-Thinsulate-Medium/dp/B00G4N5F0C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1441127057&sr=8-2&keywords=earbags

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Beth says:

      Don’t discount big chunky earmuffs. I loved my Ugg earmuffs in Minneapolis winters to keep my ears warm and my hair done. I had the basic ivory ones and while they are huge, they are also super warm. I would also recommend coats with hoods, because earmuffs do not protect from wet snow.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  9. Famouscait says:

    I’d like to read a post on Tights 201 for the intermediate wearer. I’ve got the 2 out of 3 rule down (thank you!) but I need help with other situations. Such as how to wear tights with patterned shoes (leopard, tortoise, etc.) or or to do a shoe in a pop of color (like burgundy or pine green) with an otherwise all black or grey outfit and tights. Generally speaking, I looked at my cold-weather wardrobe over the weekend and noticed that it is all black and grey because that’s all I know how to match with tights. I need intermediate/advanced help here! Thanks and best wishes with the rest of school.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Emily says:

      what’s the 2 out of 3 rule? Anything having to do with tights is appreciated. I desperately want to pull them off but always feel like a little girl when I pair them with an outfit.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • MK says:

      Yes! Please! Like Famouscait, my cold-weather wardrobe tends to be all black and grey for work, because I know how to match tights and shoes. Tights with patterned shoes, tights with shoes in brighter colors, and what to do about patterned dresses. For example, if you’re wearing a casual dress with a pattern with a large amount of navy, can you wear navy tights and brown boots (think the color of classic UGGs — although not UGGs!)? (This is a real question about a dress I have.) Intermediate/advanced tights wearing would be much appreciated!

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Lizzie says:

      +1 Plus a primer in navy tights and shoes (do I really need navy shoes?) and pairing tights with colored skirts (forest green, oxblood, gold, eggplant and other fall colors).

      Also, I love my slightly puffy vest, but feel I need new inspiration beyond jeans, tee/sweater, boots combo.

      A post on cute football game day wear that is fashionable, but will keep you comfortable all day would be great.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  10. Carrie says:

    Good Luck this year!

    For autumn:
    Tunics/cropped pants
    Statement skirts (midi/pencil)

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  11. Lee says:

    I’d love a post on faux leather pants/leggings for the fall. Something under $200 that looks nice and good for a night out. My friend had some black Spanx faux leather ones that actually looked really cute, have you ever tried them? Thank you!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  12. Payal says:

    2L is the absolute worst, so good for you for getting through it! By comparison, 3L is bound to be a breeze. Good luck! 🙂

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  13. E says:

    Good luck in your final semesters!! You’ll do great!

    Fall item: I’m wondering how to style bootcut/flare jeans for fall/winter. What kind of shoes work with the leg opening? It’s been throwing me off.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • MK says:

      I second this one too. I’ll probably largely stick with my skinny jeans, but I’m interested in practical options for boot cuts. I can’t wear ballet flats because of a knee problem (not enough support), and running shoes don’t seem too stylish …

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  14. Sara says:

    Would love to see a post on shoes for a winter wedding. I know you’ve mentioned in the past that you don’t like when women where their work pumps with formal/semi-formal dresses, but what’s an alternative that also takes colder weather into account (ie not strappy sandals?)

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  15. Andrea Liptak says:

    Dear Belle,

    I recently kept a Gilli black maxi dress with lace detail at the top that Stitch Fix sent me. I was hesitant to keep it because I am not crazy about bare arms, and I thought it made me look very top heavy. But looking at Pinterest, I found a way to keep it – styling it. I added a chambray button up, tied at the waste. What else can I do to style a black maxi dress as we transition from summer to fall? Everyone adds a jean jacket. I don’t want to do that. Any suggestions to get a lot of wear out of it for the next two months? Casual jackets, cardigans (long?), more tops tied at the waste?

    Thanks,
    – A

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  16. R says:

    Enjoy your break! I remember the last year of law school being the most fun if that helps!

    Wardrobe searching question: I’m actually looking for an outfit for my birthday, which is just dinner and a bar with my friends but I’m fairly hippy (and over my target weight by more than I should be) and I’m having trouble finding something classy and yet sexy without dressing like I’m 18 again!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  17. Linda L says:

    What everyone else said – we’ll be here whenever you are ready to come back. Take as much time as you need! And be proud of all you’ve accomplished so far – it’s truly inspirational.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  18. HoneyBadger says:

    Feel better! Rest up! Can you do a post on styling wide brim felt hats?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  19. Jenn S. says:

    The fact that you’ve kept it up as long as you have is inspiring, but yes please take care of yourself!

    This is less autumn and more general – do you still love your Dagne Dover bag? I’m entering the market for a bag of that nature.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Crystal says:

      Jenn S. —

      I can’t speak to Belle’s experience, but I’ve put mine through about 10 or 11 months of heavy, daily use — lugging work files, lunch, shoes, my laptop, etc.; on flights; and through long walks home and on D.C. metro. Result? It’s still holding up GREAT. Very minimal wear — a little bit of scuffing and wear on the leather handles, and the structure is just starting to get the smallest bit “wavy” at the top from all my commuting abuse. But I love it and couldn’t recommend it more. I’ve had about 5 friends buy The Tote through my link, and they’ve all raved about them as well. I also have two of Dagne Dover’s ($35) card cases — one for my personal cards, one (in my office’s approximate logo color) for my business cards — and those are great, too. Here’s a link:
      https://www.talkable.com/x/riIvPu

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  20. Andrea L. says:

    The maxi dress is the Gilli Muriel Maxi dress. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228276274838889547/

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  21. Kat says:

    I’ve been on a hunt for closed toed shoes for the fall/winter that are not boots/booties (got those covered). I work in a pretty casual DC office (scientific consulting firm) but I do wear skirts/dresses a lot so I want something that will pair with skinny jeans and dressier options. Like the others said, you’ve gotten through the worst of law school. 3L is a breeze compared to the rest (my husband is an attorney so I sweated through it all with him!).

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  22. Erika says:

    I’m so glad to know you are taking time for yourself. Good for you!!! Love the blog and wonder how you do it all. Thanks for sharing your tips! My sisters and friends and I love it!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  23. Rachel says:

    Summer to fall transitions would be great- I know there HAS to be a way to take some of my maxi dresses and jumpsuits from summer to fall, but coming up short!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Maddie says:

      I second this topic! And wonder, could you expand it to midi skirts as well?

      Rest up! I’m glad you are taking some time to take care of yourself!

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Denise says:

      I just want to jump on this too. I just saw a Who What Wear that recommended ditching maxis for sleek jumpsuits for the fall, but I still can’t seem to find the perfect piece to get me to jump on the jumpsuit trend (pun not intended). Do you have any advice for what to look for if we’re looking to get more than one season out of them? And then (yes) also to style them for more than one season?

      September 3, 2015/Reply
  24. D says:

    3L is easy! Psyching yourself up for it…not so easy 😉

    I do have a few questions and thanks for taking them!

    1) What’s the deal with denim? Are we wearing skinnies? Bootcut? Whatever else it is They are trying to sell us? Lol

    2) How do you style ankle booties? What should I look for in a pair? Are they a must-wear to be in style or can we skip this trend?

    2a) On second thought, instead of 1 and 2, can you just tell us what the trends are for fall casual fashion? I feel like I have no idea this year.

    3) Could you feature some work-appropriate black knee high boots to wear with skirts? I live in D.C., so I’m looking for something with a walkable heel that’s not suede.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • KM says:

      Yes on #3! I usually have a great pair of black riding boots from Timberland for daily wear, but they’re just too casual for most office environments.

      September 3, 2015/Reply
  25. MB says:

    Hang in there Belle!!! Law school is the worst, but you’re almost there! Light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 Take care of yourself!

    I was wondering if you could do a post about styling hats for fall? I am not a hat person, but just bought a wine colored felt floppy hat (that is not a good description, link here: https://www.target.com/p/floppy-hats-merona-oxblood/-/A-46790152#prodSlot=_1_5) and realized I have no idea how to wear it.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  26. Lia says:

    I emailed this, but I figured I’d post it here as well. I’m curious if you could do an ask Belle on the appropriateness of suits for day to day meetings (on the Hill with staff, Members, or agency staff). A friend mentioned in her line of work, wearing a suit while pitching a client would be seen as playing dress up and comes across as very junior. I see most women ditch the traditional suit, so I’m curious on your take – does it convey authority or have we moved to a more casual wardrobe?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  27. thb says:

    Dear Belle – I am loving the olive green and dark burgundy that is coming in for fall. It is right up my alley and long-overdue. I would spend just about any amount of money up to $500 or so for the perfect handbag for this season as I have not had a new bag and a very long time. I’m looking for a tote or a satchel with some compartments for organization. I continue to love the blog.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  28. meghan says:

    I would LOVE a fall staples series. I’m looking to replace some of my clothes with high quality staples I can work with. This would include blazer, blouse, trousers, skirt and quality shoes — particularly tortoise flats (which I cannot find anywhere). Just some ideas. Thank you!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • R says:

      Fall and winter staples.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
    • LC says:

      I believe Ann Taylor has a pair of tortoise flats right now.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  29. Heather says:

    Concur with previous posters that 2L is the worst and 3L will seem less awful in comparison.

    My question is about scarves. I want a big (I believe you call them head swallowing) cozy plaid scarf for fall and just know you’ll have already scouted out the best ones

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  30. Anna says:

    I have a very particular request. I am starting work at an office that is a 20 minute bike ride from my house, and I am hoping to become a bike commuter. I feel like there are a lot of fashion-oriented choices to make: will I wear athletic clothes to work, and then change? OR will I edit my wardrobe to be biking friendly? My office is … west coast business casual. No jeans and sneakers, but black skinnies with boots or khakis with flats are totally fine. Any chance you have tips? Or have come across relevant resources?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Amanda says:

      If your ride is at all athletic (hills, etc.) and/or warm weather is a factor, I’d highly recommend changing at the office (or at least wearing a different top). When I biked to work I sent some of my clothes to an early grave by essentially exercising in them. Also, consider a little pair of sneakers to bike in. It’s safer, and saves your cute flats from asphalt!

      You might also want to do your makeup at the office when you arrive, at least foundation/blush (if you wear it). No sense in sweating it off and reapplying.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  31. Jen says:

    Love your blog! Everyone needs some time for themselves…best of luck with the start of your new school year!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  32. Caroline says:

    Good luck Belle! You’ll crush it!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  33. KRF says:

    Best wishes to you Belle for a successful semester! Thank you for your hard work and time you put into this blog.

    Would love some examples for how to style a poncho and vests, especially on different body types.

    Echo the “tights 201” suggestion and the suggestion on styling bootcut jeans with shoes or boots.

    If you could suggest a few “must have fall/winter” pieces (classice and trendy) to save or splurge on what would they be?

    Beauty Product reviews are always welcome. Such as recommended colors for fall for different complexions or new splurge or Save products.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  34. Kel says:

    I’ll echo everyone: take time to relax!

    My query: cute flats that don’t have a pointed toe. I know they’re in, but my feet just don’t fit into them. I would love a roundup of interesting businesswear flats with a round toe!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  35. Jenn says:

    Take all the time you need and rest up. Law School is no joke! Also, enjoy that beautiful puppy! 🙂

    Once you are back, any chance you could do a post on gowns for a gala when you are on a budget? Is Rent the Runway our only option?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  36. Gina says:

    I’m looking for gray, suede riding boots with a thicker sole and about a 1.5 inch heel. I saw a woman wearing a pair last season and they were such a fresh break from the typical black and brown leather. Any ideas where to find these gems?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  37. Elizabeth says:

    I sent you an e-mail a week or two ago, but if any of you ladies have any leads, I would love them! I am on the perpetual hunt for an a-line skirt suit – ideally in black, but also navy or grey. I just feel so much more comfortable in a-line skirts than pencil skirts, and would love to find a proper suit that I can feel comfortable in!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  38. GoGoGo says:

    Good luck Belle! Hang in there and congrats on getting this far.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  39. GoGoGo says:

    A query for fall: I’m always on the lookout for stylish, professional blank thank you cards appropriate for job interviews. If you (or anyone) have tips on that one, that’s always valuable!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • KS says:

      Paper Source has lots of stylish thank you note sets, several of which are more subdued / professional.

      September 1, 2015/Reply
  40. Rachel C says:

    Good luck on everything! And when in doubt, I always turn to coffee, a good book and a bubble bath. It’s amazing what taking even 15 minutes for yourself, and forgetting all responsibilities, can do to revive your spirit.

    Regarding fall questions, after several years, I’m finally on Team Field Jacket. (Thanks, JCrew – I know! – for making me fall in love with one.) But, I’m unsure how to style it besides with just jeans and a tshirt. I would love some suggestions for various outfits and occasions – casual Friday, brunch, football games, date night, etc.

    Also, are the “rules” to the type of dresses that look best with riding boots? It seems like most pictures show them with slimmer, pencil skirt styles but I usually wear fuller, A-line dresses due to my pear shape.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • AnnaD says:

      Jumping in here – that field jacket is so versatile! Top a striped dress and flats, over black skinny pants and a silk top with heels. My favorite combo (before I moved to a super casual office) was to wear in place of a suit jacket on days with no meetings. Suiting trousers, oxford button down, heels and the field jacket are an unexpected but surprisingly chic combo.

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  41. ELR says:

    Give yourself as much of a break as you need – we all love you and love your content but as most of us can attest – burning yourself out is not a good solution to anything! When I was in grad school, it took all my efforts to keep my head above water and remember to call my mom once a week. You’re doing a great job and stay strong and take care of yourself.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  42. Liz says:

    How about 5 or 10 must-have pieces for fall? I’d love to know what items will give me the most bang for my buck for embracing the fall trends!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  43. HH says:

    Thank you for keeping up with the blog and it’s completely understandable that you need a break. Enjoy some restorative puppy snuggles.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  44. Amanda says:

    Hi Belle! I would love a post on what to wear as a guest to a fall and winter wedding. I have a wedding in October and another in December and I have no idea what to wear. I know I have some time, but would love your thoughts.

    Thanks and good luck with 3L!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  45. Alyson says:

    I keep seeing vests show up in all the fall fashion previews. Are there any affordable (under $100), fashionable options for the workplace? How would you style them?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  46. Tara says:

    I’d love a piece on transitional postpartum pieces good for fall. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but anticipate needing to buy some stand-in pieces for fall/early winter when I return from maternity leave in December (baby is due in October). I live in Denver, so the weather can be unpredictable. I didn’t have this issue with my first as I was still in grad school and didn’t need to look like a professional. Thanks in advance and enjoy your self care day!
    Tara

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  47. Andrea says:

    I’m looking for a few affordable neat but relatively casual and versatile pieces to spice up my wardrobe for fall (and this tail end of summer here in DC). Any suggestions?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  48. S Fisch says:

    Belle, we support you!!!

    Could you do a post on pants for fall? Not jeans…pants. I have black pants, but would love tips on more interesting work/business casual options.

    DC misses you! Finish law school so that you can come back!!! 😉

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  49. Rachel says:

    Belle- take as many days as you need! I have a few workday reading emails I haven’t gotten to that will tide me over 🙂

    PS do you have a drugstore eye cream you like? My bobbi brown hydrating eye cream is almost out and don’t feel like dropping $50 for another one.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  50. Susan says:

    Could you talk about when it’s worth it to spend more, and when it’s not worth it? I’m specifically thinking about scarves. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $20 on a scarf, but I see scarves for $100 and more advertised and recommended all the time. Are they worth it? Why?

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  51. Michaela says:

    Hi Belle,
    I’m looking for a light-medium jacket for the fall and early winter in DC. I usually walk about 30 minutes to work in the morning, and would like to have something that is more substantial than a cardigan – the warmth equivalent of, say, a North Face fleece or a jean jacket. Could you please suggest two versions: a nice jacket to wear between meetings, and perhaps one that is more outdoorsy and sporty? I’d like to stay under $150 if possible. Thanks!!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  52. Whitney says:

    Enjoy your day off, Belle! Thanks for the beauty and inspiration you bring all of the time.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  53. Beth says:

    Hi Belle – good luck with 3L and enjoy your time off! In terms of questions, I would love a post on more casual outerwear for Fall/Winter. I just left Minnesota and would love some ideas for more casual coats and jackets now that I can be stylish and not strictly limited to down-stuffed puffers and parkas.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  54. C says:

    I don’t know how you can do all this! I’m always very impressed by the quality of your blog content even though you’re also in school! Take a well-deserved break. Take 2 or 3 or as many as you need!
    For Fall/Winter, I saw that some other people on here mentioned wanting to know how to style tights, but can I add a request for tips on the gritty details of wearing them? No matter what I wear, my dresses always cling to my tights (walking with a dress bunched between your legs is not cute or professional!), my tights always bunch up around my waist, or if I pull them up so they don’t bunch, my toes are pinched. Also, what is the rule on undergarments for tights? How do you find OPAQUE tights without suffocating through wearing 2 pairs? How do you determine what size tights to buy in the first place?
    Please share your wisdom of how to wear tights as well as how to style them!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
    • Rachel W. says:

      C, I totally feel your pain regarding wearing tights. Belle recommended a brand called Commando a while back that I have LOVED. They are totally opaque, warm, and most importantly comfortable. They have wide microfiber band at the top instead of a cheap elastic waistband, so there is no digging/sausage casing effect. They hold up well, and I can’t sing their praises enough. https://www.wearcommando.com/collections/legwear/opaque

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  55. Sarah says:

    I can’t believe you’ve been able to do all of this so far- I am so overwhelmed and I don’t do half of the things you do. Your readers will still be around if you need to take some time off for yourself! You can do this!!!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  56. Amanda says:

    How to wear oxford shoes! I think they’re so cute but have no idea how to incorporate them into my wardrobe.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  57. Maria Pate says:

    Hang in there Belle! I was where you are at a few (ahem, well, MANY moons ago): MBA, young child, full time work. It feels like you can’t, but you CAN. Take a week or two to recharge. We will miss you but will be here when you get back 🙂

    And if you don’t take the time off, hahahaha, help me out with some advice on whether it it will still be sandal weather/sleeveless weather in DC in mid Sept. I am in Uruguay and going to DC for a work conference. Closed toes and covered arms for that part of my trip, but perhaps for off conference hours? I have been in DC many times but never in September…

    Thank you, but hey, feel no pressure to answer. 🙂 Take care.

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  58. Maria Pate says:

    Poor editing above. Apologies. Meant to say I was where you are at a few years ago…

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  59. Jeanie says:

    I’d be really interested in some advice on building an interesting work wardrobe quickly and cheaply. I worked in (mostly rural) campaigns for years, then went back to finish undergrad, then worked at two jobs where yoga pants and tank tops were allowed, even encouraged. Now I work for a nonprofit fundraising consultancy, and I’d like a little more variety in my day-to-day choices. It’s not a formal office by any means, but I believe in dressing properly, and I live in NYC and prefer work clothes I feel comfortable grabbing drinks or a nice-ish dinner in after.

    That’s enough of my rambling. Thanks for all your hard work!

    September 1, 2015/Reply
  60. S says:

    Belle,
    You are truly an inspiration to all of us on how to achieve so much in the 24 Hours that each new day gives us. From your posts last Fall, I know you are a fan of Leopard flats. I feel intimidated by leopard print. Please suggest Fall season alternatives for leopard print shoes that can add interest to classic pieces of clothing. Thanks!

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  61. wendy says:

    From another 3L who has taken on classes, externship, a clinic, and law review editor, you can do it! Those breaks are so essential though.

    For Fall, I’ve been in search of a nice brown tweedy pea coat for ages, to replace my beloved J. Crew one from about 2004ish that fell apart a few years ago. It was a really nice textured brown wool tweed, with flecks of white woven in, but not itchy, and had lovely pockets, fit really nicely, and everything. I miss that coat so much- the tweed just said fall to me!

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  62. AnnaD says:

    Can we talk about capes? Are they really in for this fall or am I imagining this? Are there any affordable camel colored capes that can be worn both casually and dressed up? I’m obsessed with this Ellsworth and Ivey cape that was featured in September Southern Living (https://www.ellsworthandivey.com/collections/fall-winter-2015/products/pre-order-camel-shawl-cape), but I can’t justify the almost $400 price tag.

    September 2, 2015/Reply
    • L says:

      I agree! I’m intrigued by coat-like capes, but I haven’t found one that seems like it’d be versatile or wearable in my (not high fashion) city.

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  63. Jane says:

    I second the requests for an advanced tutorial on styling tights. I find I stop wearing half my wardrobe in the winter because I don’t know how to wear various colored/patterned skirts/dresses with black tights (and navy or other colors are not professional enough for a DC law firm).

    I’d also love your suggestions on a longish but professional looking grey cardigan that is office appropriate and could be worn year round. Everything I find has big pockets or is too heavy to be useful in the summer.

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  64. Diana says:

    It is so empowering to see you ‘take a day’ when you need it. So many (women especially) don’t feel they can do this. Bravo. You set such a fine example on every level. Now, about fall, I am interested in your take on the sleeveless trench/long vest. I’m intrigued but can’t see it in an office environment. You? I also love booties but I am petite (5’3″) and cannot imagine wearing them to my big firm job. Any thoughts on how to style booties for a petite professional?

    Thanks for all you do, including taking care of yourself and your new baby.

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  65. Lindsay says:

    Hi Belle-

    I’m attending a “black tie suggested” wedding in Maine this October. I don’t have any long dresses, so I’d like to find something versatile enough to wear after the wedding. I’m looking to spend $250 or less (though could go higher if needed). I hear the bridesmaids are wearing black so advice on if it’s appropriate to wear a black dress as well would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    LIndsay

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  66. Kate says:

    Thanks for the burn out reminder. #takeabreath Okay, here’s one for you! Can a woman in her early thirties pull off the cocktail or semi-formal pants/blouse (not jumpsuit) thing? I’m a curvy short girl who should love wiggle dresses and A-lines, but I feel so much more “me” in pants.

    Thanks for your blog, lady! It’s the best!!

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  67. Shannon says:

    Count me as another person who needs help looking both casual and stylish. I’ve always had to dress up for work, but now I’m a legal secretary at a casual office (basically, anything goes as long as it doesn’t show much skin), and I spend my days hauling large, dusty files everywhere. But I’d still like to look put together and sharp.

    September 2, 2015/Reply
    • Shannon says:

      I’ll add that I’m 5’1 and apple-shaped, if that helps.

      September 2, 2015/Reply
  68. Maryn says:

    Take care of yourself! My motto is always, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing” b/c that’s usually how I approach life – ha.

    I’d love to see a post on 10 must-haves to take you through fall in DC. Moving there soon and could use your advice! I work from home but have meetings outside the house and social engagements for my husband’s job.

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  69. Merrill says:

    I’ve been looking for a clothing steamer (I hate ironing). Would love to know if you use one and if you have any recommendations!

    September 2, 2015/Reply
  70. Meg says:

    Hi Belle,

    I work from home a few days a week. Do you have any recommendations for cute lounge clothes? I hate wearing workout clothes all day and pajamas are a definite NO! I still want to look put together, even though I don’t see anyone but my dog and husband all day! I love your blog.

    Meg

    September 3, 2015/Reply
  71. Cole says:

    Take care of yourself-the good news is Law School won’t last forever!

    Question time: with the start of football, any suggestions on a stylish, clear bag-I was at a preseason game and lugging my purse allll the way back to the car (with the NFL’s new regulations) was not ideal.

    Thanks! Adore what you do.

    September 3, 2015/Reply