Pick Six: New Year, New Beginnings Edition

Dec 28, 2016

I know that many people are looking forward to 2017.  After a 2016 that seemed to be filled with disappointments, some of us are just ready to kiss this year goodbye.  But that doesn’t mean that we can’t say ‘ciao’ in style.  From New Year’s Eve attire to the products you need to get your year started off right, here are six items that make the most of new beginnings.



Do this champagne lover a favor, and please stop serving sparkling beverages in plastic cups.  Plastic may be perfect for utility, but it ruins the champagne-sipping experience.  You might as well serve it out of those tiny, paper Dixie cups from the dentist’s office.

These super-chic Rosanna Art Deco Flutes ($86 for 4) are a unique edition to any bar.  For something more affordable, try World Market, they always have lovely, inexpensive wine glasses like their Connoisseur or Confetti glassware.  Or do what I do for special occasions, and pick up antique champagne coupes on Etsy.  For large groups, you can rent glassware inexpensively or hit up Costco for stemless wine glasses that don’t break the bank.



New Year celebrations are a great reason to buy new shoes.  And if you choose wisely, you can treat yourself to a pair that can be worn to weddings, cocktail events, and date nights for years to come.  I love these Schutz Rene Tie Sandals ($180) are a great option–neutral, stylish, fun.  Nordstrom also has some great pieces in their half-yearly sale, like these Jimmy Choo Isabelle Pumps ($346) and these Vince Camuto T-Strap Sandals ($93).


While going cocktail-for-cocktail with your friends can make for a fun night out, it can also make for a rough morning after.  Especially for your skin.  Unless you want your skin to start the New Year off on the wrong foot, 1) do not go to sleep in your makeup, 2) apply a nourishing night cream before you head to bed, and 3) drink plenty of water.  Then, the next morning, give your skin what it needs with Leaders What Happened Last Night Mask ($)9 for 2.



I almost never make New Year’s resolutions, but this year is a little different.  I’m turning 35 in May–deep breaths–and I want to start my late-30s–inhale, exhale–of on the right note.  I’m seeing a new dermatologist, I’m planning to start eating healthier (sorry, McDonald’s sales of your Big Mac are about to nose dive), and I’m going to start working out.  I hate the gym.  But it’s probably past time that I had a workout regimen.

One thing about heading back to the gym, is how expensive workout clothes are.  I’ve had decent luck with Lululemon’s ‘we made too much’ section (Work the Circuit Tank $39).  I also find good deals in the sale section on the Nordstrom website (also, in plus-sizes).  But, for the money, I think Old Navy has the best affordable workout attire (Go Dry Performance Pullover $26).




I mentioned earlier that I wanted to eat healthier in 2017.  Anyone who has ever met me knows that this is unlikely to happen.  For nearly two decades, cheeseburgers have been the foundation of my food pyramid.  So, for the days when I will fail in my quest to eat more leafy greens than a Guinea Pig on steroids, I’ve decided to give 8Greens Dietary Supplement ($12) a whirl.



A New Year means it’s time for new calendars and agendas.  I like a leather notebook for my daily to-do-list.  I think it looks more sophisticated, but there are plenty of lovely paper agendas on the market.

This Gigi New York Journal in your choice of metallics is a great option at ($90).  I bought the rose gold.  The brand’s Wire-O Notebook’s have long been my go-to choice for work notebooks.  I like that they’re spiral bound, and refillable.

For something on the whimsical side, I like this Rifle Paper Co. agenda ($27).  I also like this dotted Fringe Studio 17-month planner ($28).  Or you can go all-in on an Smythson leather planner ($270).


Ask The Edit, Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Monica T says:

    I have super sensitive skin, and so far have had no luck with sheet masks. They all give me bumps! I tried Sephora, and TonyMoly, and both seemed to make me break out. The search will continue I guess, but I almost hate to even try them now when their track record so far shows that instead of rejuvenated skin, I’ll have unsightly skin for a few days. Boo, because I thought it would be great to add a moisturizing mask on the days I’m not doing a clay mask.

  2. Happy New Year, Belle!

    Re: pick no. 6, thought you might be interested in https://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161208-why-vitamin-supplements-could-kill-you from the BBC.

  3. Tara says:

    As someone who just turned 35 and faced it down with much the same trepidation you are feeling, I refuse to enter my late 30s until 37. 35-36 are very firmly in the mid-30s. Have no fear! ?

  4. Jess says:

    35 isn’t bad at all. I’ve spent the last 6 months at 35 thinking that I am approaching 36 where you definitely round up to 40….But I have a wonderful husband, great kids (most of the time…), our dream home and confidence in myself. Those are things that most 20 somethings don’t have and I wouldn’t trade it for being younger. Yes, I don’t love the wrinkles forming in the corner of my eyes, or the fact that I weigh 20 pounds more after 5 kids. But my life is awesome. And you know what, It’s nice to be able to say that.

    • Niki says:

      36 isn’t bad either! 🙂 I have 4 months to go to 37, but I have always rounded up. I am with you – my life is awesome. I own my own house, I have a good job where I am respected and trusted, I have three great groups of close girlfriends, I have two hobbies that I love and have time to do (see good job), I am finally comfortable in my body, I am in the best shape of my life, and just booked a vacation to Belle’s home state! Life is good.

      • Belle says:

        Where are you going?

        • Niki says:

          Glacier NP! I am staying in Kalispell for three days and then over near Browning for three days. I am an avid trail runner/hiker, so my plan is to spend most of my time exploring the park and spend a little bit of time exploring Kalispell, Whitefish, St. Mary, etc.

  5. Baconpancakes says:

    Another planner – the Moment undated planner from Poketo. The undated format works great for an adapted bullet journal planner system, and it’s simple and beautiful! (Not affiliated, but it fits with the metallic theme you’ve got going on.)

  6. Sarah says:

    Try some group fitness and see what sticks. Cycling turned kind of magical for me and I’ve done things I never thought I could do. I’ve had friends experience similar things with orangetheory and barre and yoga, though barre seems to have a steep learning curve. It’s easier to get motivated that way than to wander aimlessly around a gym, I think, though it costs more. I have started a new racing-ish thing with working out and sometimes wonder if it’s nuts to start so late (I’m 36. Same range as you) but the time will pass anyway! Mah as well challenge myself and feel a little terrified too! Also it helps soothe the type A lawyer brain. Good luck!

    • Lynn says:

      It’s not too late to start! I’m 36, and I started rock climbing this year. We still have the whole second half of our lives to go! (Barring early death, of course, but let’s not linger on that awful thought.)

    • Em says:

      I second group fitness! I recently re-discovered a love for hot yoga and for the first time in my life have a fitness routine I enjoy and crave.

  7. Mrs. Jones says:

    I def recommend trying different exercise formats (solo v. class/cardio v. strength v. flexibility) till you find something you like, or at least tolerate.

  8. Lindsey says:

    I swear by Old Navy workout gear, it’s so cheap and has lasted better than some of my Lululemon. Lucy is having a 40% off sale items, and they wear like iron. Seconding the recommendation for group classes, I have a couple I love and it motivates me to use my building’s gym on the off days so I do better in class.

  9. Niki says:

    I agree with the comments re: group fitness classes, especially spin and the boot camp style ones. I will also plug Target’s C9 workout clothes. I always buy them on clearance and have run 25+ miles in them with no problems.

    • Kelly says:

      Agreed. If Classpass exists near you, give it a go for a month to try things out.

      I love Target workout clothes, but if I’m feeling like I want something a little nicer, I love Lucy workout gear. Unlike Lululemon, they have sizes for all women, from XXS to 3X, if that’s a concern for any readers. Their patterns and shapes and materials are awesome, and it feels like it’s a lot more about the actual experience with the workout than the status lulu carries here (DC).

    • Belle says:

      I’m too insecure about my lack of athletic ability to work out with others, it’s been a problem since I was a child.

      • Niki says:

        That’s the great thing about these classes though – there is a HUGE range of fitness levels at every single one I have ever been to. Everyone is there for the same reason and the good classes are truly encouraging!

        • Robin R says:

          For me, it all started with a barre class and my addiction has added all forms of fitness from there. You need to find your gateway workout. More me it was barre classes because there wasn’t as much of a cardio component. Now I routinely run, go to yoga sculpt, barre, interval classes, ice hockey games etc. You can change your mindset if you find something you enjoy. For me, its very social too – I go with people I love.

          For gear, I do love lulu (though not the current stuff as much as past). I have loads of Athleta and Lucy too. Their sales can be amazing.

  10. Lynn says:

    For workout clothes, I suggest Target. They’re cheaper, but still really good. Also, REI brand is often on sale and also good. Happy New Year! Welcome to your late thirties. People told me horror stories, but honestly, I feel the same. Better, actually, because I exercise and eat healthy a lot more now than I used to.

    • Sarah says:

      Agreed. I went to my first spin class a few years back – real spin – not soulcycle – and was a full four gears below what the instructor was calling out, just to make sure I finished! No one even cared! Same with orangetheory. Some people walk, some run, no one cares. And if it’s your first time at something, take a friend and people will typically talk to and encourage you and if there early, the instructor will help you know what to expect. I’ve been the worst person in yoga class so many times and they all just say, “you can’t suck at yoga, it’s a practice.” Lol. I do suck though.

  11. thb says:

    Group fitness absolutely helps. Going to take up my spot in the back corner after the new year in a new yoga group. That way I can just get it done without dealing with my self consciousness, judgement and mirrors. A personal trainer to kick start is a good option for awhile, but when going it alone it is too easy to make excuses and fall off the wagon before it really gets going.

  12. Monica T says:

    I can’t do classes either. I’m too uncoordinated to follow along well, and too driven to go at my own speed. This deadly combination leads to injury! For me lifting weights is the best workout, with some cardio on the side. It’s the best way to battle the mid-life metabolism slow down, and building muscle can actually reverse the normal aging process of the body, especially important for women. I just researched strength training to figure out how to get started and get lists of exercises for each muscle group. It’s really helped me. I just turned 35 and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, since now I’m not just thin like I was in my early 20s, but actually fit.

  13. SunnyIA says:

    I despise group classes (except yoga). I am also uncoordinated and easily distracted by people doing weird things around me. I started working out biweekly with a personal trainer in August and, at 39, am already in the best shape of my life. I got a great deal on some intro passes when I joined the gym and thought I would only do it a few times to get some pointers. I started out barely able to do 20 sit ups. Now, I can bench press a respectable amount and I’ve dropped 20 lbs (5 more to go!). If you can fit it into your budget, it’s worth considering. (I will add that I had a serious mental shift around this time too – I made the decision to just start acting like a “fit, strong woman” and to make decisions based on that assumption. So, a strong athlete wouldn’t stay home and binge watch The OA. She would go pump iron. And not buy froyo on the way home.)

  14. M says:

    I used to use a lot of Old Navy gear because it was inexpensive, but once I tried higher quality options (mainly underarmour actually) I found they were way more effective for working away sweat and making me feel good. Compression tights actually make you worn out better. Stuff like that. If you can go to an outlet mall, there’s often underarmour or Nike stores for not much more than Old Navy.

    • Monica T says:

      I agree on this one. High quality gear makes for a higher quality workout. I’ve slowly been adding enough Athleta pieces to be able to workout 5 days a week without doing midweek laundry and I’m finally there! True compression makes a difference for anything high impact and can prevent injury, and especially when you’re first starting out can make it possible to stick your program instead of having to take a few weeks off to heal a shin splint.

  15. Sam says:

    Group fitness classes are the best (but expensive). I do barre and spin and even being away from it for two weeks felt weird over the holidays. The fact that they are expensive is an added motivator not to skip that 6:30 a.m. class. Alternatively, setting a goal to run a 5k or something is a good motivator for people. AND I’ll take any excuse to buy cute workout clothes! I’ll recommend Etsy shops for cute muscle tees and tanks with sassy sayings (if you’re into that).

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!


Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No Twenty-Three

This week, we have a wedding dress search coming up empty, cell phone slings that don’t suck, sunscreen tips for kids, and more. Let’s take a peek in the reader mail bag.



Recent Posts

Two Ways: The Olive Striped Shirt

I’d write a quippy intro, but it’s 5:00AM and I’m sitting in an airport lounge, so let’s just get on with it, shall we?



The Find: An Olive Striped Shirt

As you may have noticed, I do not have the most creative personal style. I am here for basics. But what I’m always looking for is basic-but, a piece of clothing that is basic but just a little different.




Ask the Edit, Style, Top Posts | June 20, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No Twenty-Three

This week, we have a wedding dress search coming up empty, cell phone slings that don’t suck, sunscreen tips for kids, and more. Let’s take a peek in the reader mail bag.



How To Wear It, Posts, Style | June 18, 2024

Two Ways: The Olive Striped Shirt

I’d write a quippy intro, but it’s 5:00AM and I’m sitting in an airport lounge, so let’s just get on with it, shall we?



Features, Posts, The Range | June 18, 2024

The Find: An Olive Striped Shirt

As you may have noticed, I do not have the most creative personal style. I am here for basics. But what I’m always looking for is basic-but, a piece of clothing that is basic but just a little different.



Features, Monday Mornings, Posts | June 17, 2024

The Mondays: June 17, 2024

From the rooftop deck of my D.C. hotel I can see it all. The Capitol building, where I worked on and off for a decade. My first apartment where my three-doors-down neighbor was a young Senator Obama. My second apartment building where I bounced from unit-to-unit as my salary rose and I was finally able […]