Quick Fashion Queries Vol. I, No. Two

Oct 26, 2015

Hi Belle,

While we’re on the topic of outerwear, can you recommend any gloves or mittens? I’ve been in Minnesota two years and still haven’t found a good pair that keep my hands warm and last an entire season. I’ll be taking the bus every day, so preferably wool or a good wool blend so I still have all 10 fingers by the time we thaw out in April.

Thanks! Meg

I own these LL Bean leather gloves with a cashmere lining.  They’re pretty warm, and they provide basic functionality to use your smartphone.  I also like these less stylish North Face gloves for chilly winters.

Hi Belle,

I’m starting to think about the holidays and am looking for pair of nice pants that I can wear to holiday parties or just out to dinner.  Ideally I’d like a straight cut pant but I sometimes have difficulty finding a good fit as my legs are long.  I don’t need anything particularly fancy and would love something versatile enough to dress up or down.

Any ideas about where to find a pair under $150? Thanks, Kim

The classic choice for the holiday season is a tuxedo pant.  I like these Catherine Malandrino ivory trousers.  Gap has a pair in navy and black.

I adore these skinny lace ‘party pants’ from Boden.  If you want to go all in, these green sequin pants are worth a look.

Belle,

Your “Ask Belle” from last week about supportive workout bras got me thinking about workout underwear.  It seems silly to be wearing my “nice” underwear (hanky pankys, cosabellas, etc) just to get all sweaty, and the cheap thongs (read: VS) seem to trap odor and get nasty. Any suggestions for better quality, more functional workout underthings?

Thanks for your help! Anon

Moving Comfort makes an ‘out of sight’ thong that offers moisture wicking and anti-bacterial protection.  They also come in a bikini style.  Unsurprisingly, Under Armour is also in on the workout underwear game.

I am searching for flats to wear with black tights and skirts this winter.   I tend to wear ballet flats, but are there styles that work better?  Any suggestions you may have would be helpful!

DL

Round toe shoes can look a little juvenile with tights.  I think a pointed-toe or almond-toe is a better option.  These Nine West shoes are a good basic.  Steve Madden also makes a non-patent version.  On the higher-end, these M.Gemi flats are on a lot of wish lists.

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  1. A.J. says:

    To your Minnesota reader: you want these boiled wool mittens made in Austria:

    https://www.sweatersintl.com/woolmittens.html

    You can wear them one of two ways. My husband uses them as a liner inside a leather chopper (you can get these fairly cheaply at Menards, Fleet Farm, Scheels, Home of Economy, etc. May not be high fashion, but you probably don’t give a damn if the windchill is 30 below.) Anyhoo, your second option for the boiled wool mittens–I personally find them a bit itchy to use as a liner and prefer to wear a thinner layer underneath–something like thinsulate. Or you could reverse it and use the leather chopper as the liner and the mitten as the outside layer.

    I also have a pair of sheepskin lined deerskin gloves from Billy Reid. They get the job done, but beware–they will get eaten alive by salt.

    cred: Alabamian living in North Dakota the past 5 years.

  2. Anna says:

    If your workout pants have a gusset or if you wear running shorts with a liner, there’s no need to wear underwear. If anything it will lead to more chafing.

  3. JR says:

    Adding a huge recommendation for the Under Armour workout underwear! I have a few of the Pure Stretch Sheer thong style and they are so comfortable you can barely feel them. The fabric is super soft, breathable, and has held up really well through many miles of running. I haven’t tried any other workout styles, so consider my opinion with that disclaimer, but it’s only because I’ve been so satisfied with these!

  4. k-t says:

    Mittens are warmer than gloves. And you need something wind and water proof. I have these (and they match my long parka): https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/51469?feat=513583-GN3&page=women-s-ultrawarm-mittens. You can throw a pair of e-tip liners under them if you want to be able to use a phone without going bare.

    A good pair of ski mittens are also an option. REI, LL Bean, Lands End are all good places to start.

    If you really want dress gloves, fur lined leather is a lot warmer than cashmere. They last for decades if cared for.

    Workout undies: I like the ones from Road Runner Sport. I find it more comfortable than going commando, and gives a little extra warmth to my tush on cold winter runs. Size up at least one from your regular panty size for the thongs, as they run at least an inch smaller in the waistband than the bikinis.

  5. SM says:

    I can’t fathom working out in a thong. I would think that would result in a very uncomfortable situation!

    • Sarah says:

      Or a UTI….sweat would….move things around….eesh.

      • Anna says:

        Seriously. The only time I got a UTI was when I did an unlimited month of spin. Tight pants, sweat, digging up in there. It would be so much worse with another piece of fabric even closer to the body.

  6. lindsay says:

    I live in Monnesota too and commute by bus/train. I bought these last year and they kept my hands and fingers really warm.

    https://www.rei.com/product/852292/swany-touch-tech-softy-toaster-mittens-womens

  7. kim says:

    Belle,
    Thanks for posting the holiday pants ideas. I especially like the Boden party pants as they come in long!

  8. NJ says:

    For workout underwear, I love Zobha thongs. They wick the moisture away and for those of us who don’t like to workout with no underwear, they are the next best thing.

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