Style + Ask The Edit

Quick Fashion Queries: Vol. II, No. Two


I read that you ordered a pair of Tieks but were planning on exchanging them for a new pair.  Did you exchange the Tieks for a new pair?  If so, what do you think?  Is the price justified by the comfort and fit?

Thanks, Sarah

Several years ago, Tieks offered me a discounted pair of flats.  I purchased them, and initially liked them quite a bit.  They were very cushy and fairly comfortable.

But the more I wore them/looked at them, the more I realized the fatal flaw: The Tiffany-blue sole.  It was so visible.  I found it distracting, and ultimately took a pass on buying another pair.

For a substitute, the Cole Haan Tali is a nice choice (you can also set up a sale alert on Shopstyle, so you’re alerted when the price drops).  If you’re looking for a rubber-soled ballet flat in a lower price point, these Hush Puppies flats are well-reviewed.  I know several people who buy these $17 Target flats and wear them til they fall apart.  For a slightly different style, a lot of bloggers are wearing these M.Gemi driving mocs instead of ballet flats.

Dear Belle, 

Can you help me find a spring coat that’s good for work and not a trench?  A huge ask but I’m, hoping you can help!


Not an easy task.  Trenches are the staple, regardless of what color or length you choose.  I wrote a similar post a few weeks back, but I think most of us were still thinking wool coats not spring jackets.  So here’s an updated version.


French Connection Drape ($148) // Glamorous Waffle Knit Coat ($88) // Halogen Textured Coat ($148) // cupcakes and cashmere Gwen Coat ($175)

The first coat is technically a trench, but it’s like the anti-hero trench.  No buttons, no sash.  If you like drape coats, this BB Dakota coat is like a deconstructed, loose-fit trench.

The other coats are good non-trench options.  I love the bright color of the Halogen car coat.  These collarless jackets are one of my favorite looks.  I would also consider this navy Ted Baker swing coat and this striped car coat from Anthro.

Plus-size? Try this texture weave coat from H&M.

Hi Belle,

Hoping you can help me find appropriate attire for a “beach chic” wedding on the Cape this summer. The trick is, I’ll be 28 weeks pregnant! Can you help me find something I can feel comfortable that can accommodate a growing belly?

Thanks! Katie

Obviously, this is not an area where I have first hand experience.  A puppy is all the commitment I can handle right now.  However, many of my friends have been in your shoes, and I was able to crowdsource some advice.

First, the suggested stores for buying maternity dresses were ASOS, Isabella Oliver, and (surprisingly) Shopbop.  Two of the consulted ladies talked about the wide variety of versatile jersey dresses, that apparently become essential the further along in your pregnancy you get.

Second, everyone mentioned two factors: temperature and time on your feet.  Be wary of man-made materials if you will be outside for several hours.  And be mindful that your feet will swell, so don’t wear new shoes.

As for dresses I liked, this Ingrid & Isabel dress in pink lace looks great.  From ASOS, this ruched midi dress looked like a good one for dressing up or down.  This ASOS dress in black with a lace yoke looks like it could be a great choice for any event.



  1. Heather says:

    Some more advice for Katie – if this is your first pregnancy, your “bump” won’t be all that big at 28 weeks, especially if you are long-torsoed or don’t carry all in front. Look for something with ruching (like the midi dress Belle recommended) or something with an empire waist, or something you can belt above the bump. That will make your bump more obvious so you will look pregnant and not like maybe you just ate a giant burrito. Unless you don’t care about that, no judgement here!

    Another thing to keep in mind is that your boobs are going to be huge! Even bigger than they are now (assuming you’re late 1st tri/early 2nd right now). If I were you, I’d try to wait until the month or two before the wedding and then order a bunch of stuff. If it fits on top and isn’t too tight around the bump, it will fit for the wedding.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  2. Wildkitten says:

    I commute in my tieks. Like my summer sandals, winter snow boots, or my hunter rain boots, I switch out of them as soon as I get to work. They last longer than other flats I had to replace, and I don’t think they’re formal enough for business even without the blue soles.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  3. LadyLawyer12 says:

    I just bought a pair of Cole Haan Tali, on sale now at Nordstrom:

    I’ve only had them a few days, but so far, so good!

    March 17, 2016/Reply
    • daydreamin says:

      I second the Cole Haan Tali! Comfort, durability, and no obnoxious logos = perfection. The wedges are great too.

      March 17, 2016/Reply
  4. katie says:

    For the woman looking for a maternity dress, blogger EmilyStyle just posted a roundup of beautiful floral maternity dress, affordably. Happy shopping:

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  5. sherry @ save. spend. splurge. says:

    For flats, I have yet to find one to beat the simplicity and chicness of a Banana Republic Ashley bow flat. Comfortable, take half a size down, and it is padded. Win win.

    I have yet to find a better alternative.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  6. Emily says:

    I got a pair of Tieks for Christmas and tried to break them in for a week are carpet. I fall back to my payless flats (one I remove the shinny trinket). They may not last too long but they are comfortable and affordable.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
    • Another Emily says:

      I’m a huge fan of the payless shoes too. Have been the most affordable, easy to replace option in my book.

      March 17, 2016/Reply
      • MidWestChic says:

        Ditto! Especially the ones with the dexflex comfort soles!

        March 18, 2016/Reply
  7. Chorea99 says:

    Dear Belle – loved your recs on maternity wear. My sister loved ASOS and Isabella Oliver for maternity as well. To fellow reader Katie, if you like Ali Fedotowsky’s style, she writes a very cute fashion blog and she is currently 22 weeks pregnant. Maybe you can get ideas from there as well? I saw many cute dresses and many of them were affordable. Good luck!

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  8. Mallory says:

    I recently purchased a pair of Sanuk Bianca TX shoes. Incredibly comfortable and a great casual shoe! They have a variety of color options in suede and canvas ( For what it’s worth, I purchased mine at REI, which has a one year, no questions asked, exchange policy and was cheaper than their website directly. Nordstrom also carries them.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  9. Maggie says:

    I have a pair of Tieks just for casual wear – and I have to say that I don’t think they’re comfortable at all. If you have any sort of foot issues, it’s just not going to give you the support you might need or want. I wear them if I’m not going to be out for long, but otherwise go back to Target flats.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  10. Sof says:

    I own two pairs of the Target flats. I think I’ve had them for 3 or 4 years, and they’re still kickin’. Would I wear them to an important meeting or a professional conference? Nope, but they’re comfy, flexible, and easy to wear for other low-key days in the office. Especially great if you have a walking commute (there isn’t much cushioning/padding, but I don’t need any).

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  11. Susan says:

    I’m attending a beach wedding and will be 32 weeks pregnant. The invitations says “resort wear” for attire and I ordered the ASOS Maternity Jersey Mini Dress with Obi Wrap Belt

    I agree with the previous comment to wait to purchase something until closer to the wedding to see how big you are. I carry small and had trouble with a lot of the fitted styles looking baggy. My husband pointed out that the maternity dresses with ruching display the bump in a more flattering way. You also have the option of wearing a maxi dress – often they are fine even if they aren’t jersey. I recommend jersey because it lays well and looks great on most people. I know others have had luck at Pink Blush or Good luck!

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  12. Amanda says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more on Tieks — the turquoise is SO distracting. I wish they would make a version without!

    I just discovered Dr Scholl’s flats — super cushiony and great price.

    March 17, 2016/Reply
  13. Lydia says:

    For maternity (and beyond!) style, my go-to blog is Lots of different bloggers, representing diverse body types. Good luck!

    March 18, 2016/Reply