Quick Fashion Queries Vol. I, No. Three

Hi Belle,

Working for the government, it’s necessary to carry my badge around frequently, but the cloth brightly colored lanyards are an eyesore and clipping it to my outfit is not always an option.  Is there such thing as a stylish ID holder?

Thanks, ARH

Would you believe that Kate Spade makes an ID holder?  She also offers this silver one on a chain.  For a bit of designer, See by Chloe also makes a red leather lanyard.

If you’re searching for something inexpensive, try this faux-leather lanyard or this necklace-style lanyard.

Hi Belle,

I’m looking for a new raincoat to replace an old North Face anorak I bought when living in Seattle. Fast forward 8 years, I’m now a medical resident living in Boston in need of some rain protection. I’m looking for something waterproof, stylish (maybe even retro), and affordable on a resident’s salary. 

Thanks, Rachel

This West End trench coat looks good to me.  Eddie Bauer also makes an insulated raincoat in several colors.  This North Face trench also has a slick look to it.

For something under-$100, try this Wetlands trench.  Plus-size or petite?  The Eddie Bauer trench comes in those sizes.


A lot of the clothes you feature for professional wear are dry clean only. I need to look professional but I spend parts of my day in a lab and really prefer to have washable clothes. Do you have any go to stores for quality washable items that still look professional?

Thanks, Joslin

If you’re looking for suiting, Dillard’s sells the Alexa Marie line, which is machine washable.  Many of the blouses from LOFT, like this gorgeous berry-colored blouse, are washable.  And if you need dresses, M.M. LaFleur, Land’s End, LOFT, and NY Collection have you covered.

Want to learn to wash your clothes like a pro?  Here’s how to clean silk.  And Real Simple has tips on how to avoid the dry cleaner.


I’m looking for a fun/cute winter hat…that is functional.  I live somewhere that everyone just stays warm and knows we’ll be professional and presentable after our arrival.  I wanted to see if you had any fun suggestions before I bought my usual boring (very functional) beanie.

Thanks! Felisa

I like berets.  A little more professional than a beanie, but in the same family.  Nordstrom has this cashmere one and this cool, chunky-knit one.

Another option is a sleek cloche.  This bow cloche is really lovely.  They’re super-chic, but not the best for keeping the ears warm.

As for ear warmers, I love faux-fur earmuffs.  This pretty, jeweled head wrap is also nice.



  1. Jennifer D says:

    The ID lanyard . . . Worst. Accessory. Ever. If you can get away with it, try an ID badge reel. I clip them on my belt loop or over the waistband of my skirt. More challenging with a dress. Not as front and center, but your ID is still easily accessible. Staples sells an inexpensive 5-pack online.

    November 30, 2015/Reply
  2. Emily says:

    For the lanyard issue – I’m also in the boat of having to wear it around my neck (they won’t let us wear it belt level) – my mom purchased one of these for me (below). I LOVE IT – it’s a simple silver chain with a design on the bottom that doesn’t clash with any of my statement necklaces. A lot easier to deal with the then fabric lanyards.

    November 30, 2015/Reply
    • Emily says:

      deal with the** (please remove the then 🙂

      November 30, 2015/Reply
  3. Anna says:

    My dream is to find a warm headband to cover my ears with a velcro or similar close (like the spa terry cloth ones but fit for wearing in public) so that I don’t have to slide it on and off. I’ve seen some with a button, but they look a little too cutesy for me.

    November 30, 2015/Reply
  4. SLG says:

    Joslin – a lot of the dresses from Boden are washable as well (they always note care instructions in their item descriptions).

    November 30, 2015/Reply
  5. Stacy says:

    Hi, I’ve had to wear a lanyard for going on eight years now. I found a great selection at Brighton.

    November 30, 2015/Reply
  6. CLS says:

    I use a retractable badge holder too, since we’re not required to wear them around our neck (thank goodness). I bought a custom one from Paisley Maizie on Etsy ( I love her design and I’ve had it for years and it hasn’t broken or pulled apart. For anyone in medicine, she also does stethoscope covers if that’s your thing. She’s done a custom one with fabric I”ve chosen as a gift too.

    December 1, 2015/Reply
  7. bettyjoan says:

    Thank you for the ID holder options! Anything is better than what I have…

    December 1, 2015/Reply