Fashion & Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Two

Jan 18, 2017

Hi, Belle–

I am a young attorney (currently a law clerk) and I’m flying to both DC and New York to interview for associate positions at law firms in early February.  It’s usually not too hard to figure out what to wear to an interview with a law firm–a conservative suit, duh–but the added hard-winter element of it is throwing me a bit.  Conventional wisdom, of course, is that I have to wear a skirt suit, which then raises the question–WHAT DO I DO WITH MY PASTY, FREEZING COLD LEGS?!  My only idea is to wear hose, which provide only a negligible amount of warmth.  Help, please!
LE
You don’t have to wear a skirt suit.  This is the 21st Century, of course you can wear pants.  As long as the suit is professional, tailored, and makes you feel confident, it will be fine.
If you want to wear a skirt suit, you’re going to need to wear nylons.  I like Donna Karan the Nudes because you usually can’t tell you’re wearing nylons at all.  They used to come in a wider variety of colors, but sadly, the choices are limited now.  The Bustle has some good suggestions for nylons in an array of skin tones.  I wouldn’t wear tights, as they look less professional than nylons, esp. to an older generation.
If you’re concerned the nylons won’t be enough to eliminate the winter-time pastiness, I would invest in a gradual change lotion like St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic or Jergens Natural Glow.  Over time, they impart a hint of color that doesn’t look too fake or too orange.
Regardless, to both keep you warm and help you arrive on time, I would set aside some money for a cab/Uber.  Arriving by car can take some of the worry and hassle out of getting to your interview.  And this may just be me, but I like to arrive looking fresh as a daisy without the risk of having my hair ruined in the Metro entrance wind vortex.
Hi Belle,
Can you help me find a pair of navy heels?  All the pairs I find are really matronly.  Something under $150 and three inches or less would be ideal.
Thank you in advance,  CM
My first thought was Sole Society’s popular Jenn d’Orsay Pump.  It’s affordable, comfortable and stylish.  The only issue is that it’s suede (as most navy heels on the market are, thanks Elvis).
If you prefer leather, the Nine West Flax Heel is a good basic.  My preference would be the Calvin Klein Gayle Pump; they’re surprisingly comfortable.  For a round-toe pump, try the basic Corso Como Del.
If you have the money to splurge, the Kate Spade Licorice Heel is always a good pick.
Belle-
I recently upgraded my eyeshadows and eyeliners to Bobbi Brown.  I love them, but I don’t think I have the right brushes to apply them.  What do I need, like actually need?
Lizzie
You have two choices: You can buy good brushes and take care of them, or you can buy cheap brushes and replace them regularly.  For eye shadow, brush quality isn’t nearly as important as with face brushes.  So if you want to buy a cheap set, like this $16 Sonia Kashuk set or this $9 EcoTools set, you can.
If you want to buy good quality brushes, I am of the mind that you need a sweeper, a creaser, and an eyeliner.  That’s it.
Sigma is my favorite brand.   If I were just going to buy three brushes, I would buy this round-head brush for applying color all over the lid.  This dome brush from inside the crease.  And their small angle line brush for applying gel and powder liner.
But for the money, you’re best bet is their “essential” eye brush set for $35.

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  1. Amanda says:

    OP1 – Non-lawyer here, but former longtime DC resident. I think you could wear a pair of black tights with your suit, particularly if it’s made of a more winter-appropriate material (like thicker wool or tweed). I just did a quick Google Image search and there are plenty of examples of women who look perfectly professional in them. Just made sure they’re in tip top shape.

  2. Lauren Lewow says:

    patient awaiting you Valentines day posts!

    • Belle says:

      Unfortunately, I have to hold it until Monday. I need permission from someone to use their product. I want to give her a little time to respond before I just pull the plug.

  3. Bethany says:

    I think a fluffy blending brush is pretty important too! I have a mac 217 but it works just as well as one of the cheaper ones I have from Sephora.

  4. Rachel says:

    I love my Macy’s house brand INC “Zitah” pointed toe pumps in Midnight Blue. On sale now for $50- they are very comfortable and look more expensive than they are. They are suede but personally, I feel navy leather looks more matronly than navy suede.

  5. Laura says:

    Lawyer here. After one interview where the interviewer looked down at my pants and audibly sighed, I stopped wearing pant suits. I practice in federal court in a district (and state) that’s not considered conservative, and yet there’s still very much an expectation that when you’re in court, you wear skirt suits, or a dress and blazer, and panty hose. All that is to say, I dissent on Belle’s pant suit opinion. I also dissent on the commenter condoning black tights. Suck it up for interviews, take an uber, and wear hose. I like Nordstrom’s brand and they’re 3/$30.

  6. Jennifer says:

    1. I’m with Belle on wearing nylons with a skirt suit. Besides freezing your legs off, I think it looks a little strange to have bare legs when it’s snowing in January. I’ve had good luck with the Hanes Premium line, which you can pick up at Target. I’ve also solved the nude hose problem by wearing a black suit and black nylons. With a light-colored or jewel-toned top, it’s sophisticated, not funereal.
    2. I’m also a fan of the 9 West Flax, which you can order in Navy Leather from Macy’s. 9 West also makes Margot, a mid-heel in Navy Leather too.
    3. And yes, I’ve spent the funds on a taxi in order to avoid the summer humidity, spring rain, fall wind, and winter slush I would otherwise encounter with public transportation. Definitely worth it to arrive un-wrinkled, non-sweaty, and with great hair.

  7. thb says:

    To impress knee length well fitted skirt all the way! Sorry, because it is cold and I like to wear pants, but not for the first impression.

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