Style + Ask The Edit

Fashion Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Six

Short Bar Exam Update: Thank heaven that’s over, but for all of you ladies who might’ve been worried that I was going to pass the bar, get a fancy lawyering job, and abandon this blog for greener pastures, worry no more.  Because unless “minimum competency” includes running out of time on the essay portion, messing up the form of your performance test, and being shocked by how many ways they can test post-trial appeals on the multiple choice, I’ll be here a while longer.  And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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Belle,

What type of Hyaluronic Acid serum do you use? I’ve been hearing a lot about it but having a hard time finding the right one to pull the trigger on. I was interested in the Pestle and Mortar version but the price is a bit steep.

-Whitley

I’m not familiar with that brand.  I’m using the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos serum right now, and it’s really brightened my skin.  I also just bought this Rodial Hyaluronic Mask, which I’m really excited to try.  If you’re looking for something affordable, several readers rave about this $8 Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid.

Hi Belle,
I am attending a black tie gala at the end of March and need a gown. My issue is that I barely hit 5’1” and need a gown for petites that’s under $200 (if possible). I’ve looked around but most of what I’m seeing reminds me of high school prom or mother of the bride.  Good luck on the bar exam! You’re going to be a kickass attorney.
Thanks, M

Given the time of year (pre-prom), finding a full-length dress that doesn’t look like it’s headed to prom might be a challenge.  This magenta chiffon dress from ASOS is pretty.  But if I had to choose one, I would probably go with this hot pink Ralph Lauren gown.

Looking for something in misses size?  This Calvin Klein gown has a sleek, modern shape and is 50%-off.

Hi Belle,

Good luck on the bar!  I need to trouble you for some shoe advice.  My work shoes are real beat up and it’s time for new ones.  Can you suggest a pair of basic black pumps for less than $200?

x, Glory

I tried on these Sam Edelman Telsa d’Orsay pumps, and they are a stylish basic with a little flair.  I’m also a big fan of the Michael Kors Flex pump if you need comfort.  For something basic, but on trend, this Ann Taylor Emeline block-heel pump is definitely on order.

Not feeling high heels?  M.Gemi’s Fortuna flats are tops.  But don’t discount these $25 Merona Poppy flats.

Belle,

A couple of weeks ago, you posted a lanyard that hold work ID cards, but I can’t find it!! Help, I need it.  

Alex

I think you’re looking for this Charming Charlie marble bead lanyard.  If the clip attachment doesn’t suit your needs, this Kate Spade sleeve lanyard has space for business cards.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    29 comments

  1. Whitney says:

    Oh no, Belle! We’re happy to have you but I know your ultimate calling will happen eventually. Here’s to hoping you have some peace while you wait!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  2. Anne says:

    I use this hyaluronic acid (I just mix it in with my face cream at night) and I love it:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0090UJFYI/ref=mp_s_a_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1487862615&sr=8-3&keywords=hyaluronic+acid

    Cheap, nothing fancy, but works well on my dry, sensitive skin. I used to use the Paulas Choice version, but it was a little steep for me.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  3. Laura says:

    Congratulations on completing the bar! No matter the outcome, you should be proud of all your hard work. 🙂 thanks for keeping up the blog during the process!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  4. Sarah says:

    I left the bar exam in tears because I’d gotten an entire essay wrong and then also had never passed an MBE. I passed. I just totally forgot about it until late September and then started having bar-related nightmares. I have no doubt you’re ok.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  5. Niki says:

    I bet you’ll be just fine on the bar exam. I made laws up on the PA essays, left whole essay questions blank in VA, didn’t even study some of the subjects in VA so when they came up completely guessed, etc., and I passed both with no trouble. It’s done and now you just have to keep yourself busy until results come out!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Niki says:

      Also, you don’t have to do anything but get the minimum passing score. It IS a test of minimum competency!

      February 23, 2017/Reply
      • Michelle says:

        Agreed!! I completely made up the rule on an essay of the bar exam and passed!

        February 23, 2017/Reply
  6. Katie says:

    Congrats on finishing the bar exam, Belle!

    Does anyone have recommendations for black pumps under $150 for someone with narrower feet? (They’re not narrow enough to wear a “narrow,” but I can’t wear Nine West or Calvin Klein heels, for instance.)

    February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Anne says:

      I have narrow feet, but AA in many brands is too narrow for me. I definitely can’t wear 9 West either. I really like Bandolino, believe it or not. Love Talbots (really well-made shoes) and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.

      February 23, 2017/Reply
      • Michelle says:

        Try Kate Spade Licorice pumps or Tory Burch. In Tory, specifically the patent leather ones or the ones that are NOT Reva tend to be more narrow. If the price is too steep on their sites, try Nordstrom Rack. Also, I think Kate has 25% extra off sale right now.

        February 23, 2017/Reply
  7. Edna says:

    Took the bar with a fellow that bragged about noticing that a question was really a contracts question (and answering it as such) when the call of the question was “What crime can Peter Perpetrator be charged with?”

    Saw him at swearing in. Don’t lose hope.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  8. strin012 says:

    I love Cole Haan’s Prieta pumps, which I found at DSW. I can wear them all day and make multiple trips to and from the Capitol without my feet hurting. I loved my nude pumps so much, I went back and bought a black pair. They’re also a good fit for my narrow feet. https://www.dsw.com/shoe/cole+haan+prieta+patent+pump?prodId=306614

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  9. Liz says:

    It’s over — hooray! Sometimes you just gotta take the damn thing. Bucking up and facing it deserves a pat on the back. Worse comes to worse you take it again.

    As an aside, I bought the Flex pumps a couple years ago on Belles recommendation and they are a, stupidly comfortable, b, easy to walk in, and c, have lasted well. There are more on trend options, but they’re a great basic and a steal for the money.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  10. Alleigh (@ A Glass After Work) says:

    Regardless of the results, congratulations on finishing the bar exam! You studied hard and survived…everything else is out of your control.

    For the reader looking for gown, it might also be worth checking out Rent the Runway, rather than buying a gown for one gala. They’re running a 20% discount for first time orders or first month of Unlimited (Code is FIRSTRTR20P). I know you’ve written about them before, so thought I would just mention it as another option.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  11. care says:

    Abra,

    I’m not going to predict whether or not you’re going to pass (though I do want to re-iterate what I said on a prior post– those used to getting straight A’s just aren’t used to an exam where 65% is passing). I just wanted to remind you all of the great messages that you daily post on this blog to inspire working women such as myself– believe in yourself, believe in your own competence, believe in your intelligence, and believe that you have a seat of the table (without removing yourself from it via self-doubt and feelings of fraud).

    Regardless of whether or not you pass, you have already accomplished so many remarkable things– a career on the hill, a job change that took some real guts, graduating from law school in an accelerated program with high grades, and writing a fabulous blog all the while. Whether or not you pass the bar, you have done really amazing things and will continue to do so much more. Cheers!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Anne says:

      Ditto – I echo this all! Congratulations on taking the damn thing! And if you have to do it again, we’ll cheer you along!

      February 23, 2017/Reply
      • shanghai says:

        Agreed with all of these!

        February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Pam says:

      Yes. Rent the runway!!! For formal attire

      February 23, 2017/Reply
  12. Cheryl says:

    The website “Rent the Runway” or renttherunway.com is a great place to rent special event clothing at around $100, includes the round-trip shipping. They have very nice selections of designer evening wear, they will send 2 different sizes to help ensure fit, ship it to you in time for your event, you have it for 3 days before shipping back with the included label.
    If height is an issue, there are black tie event tea-length dresses–66 I counted–to choose from. They do stock plus sizes in many designs. The dresses are cleaned before shipped off to you, and they will clean them after they receive them.
    They are my ‘go-to’ supply for evening wear, as their selections and pricing are so convenient.
    Have a great time!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Jessica says:

      +1 to “care” above–You survived. Congrats–celebrate this and yourself for a few days!

      February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Anna says:

      RTR also has petite gowns, or you can fashion tape the hem shorter. Depending on where you live, they have a few stores (there’s one in DC) where you can try on dresses before you order them. It’s also great for getting a sense of how a designer fits. Just order two days before your event, so that in case there’s an issue, they can send you a new dress. I’ve found their customer service to be super helpful and accommodating.

      February 23, 2017/Reply
  13. Allison says:

    Congrats on completing the bar exam! When I took it, there were people who literally left after the first session or after the first day. You could have done that, but didn’t. Also you have to keep in mind that you need the equivalent of a “D” grade to pass. They don’t hand out awards for the best grade on the bar exam (expect maybe in Texas, but you didn’t take the Texas bar so it’s not even an issue). I hope you are taking today to lay on the couch and binge watch something fabulous on Netflix.

    February 23, 2017/Reply
    • Meghan says:

      So so true! When I took the bar in 2012, I came out for the lunch break on the first day and just cried for an hour. I was certain I had failed. It was so hard to go back in there and keep slogging, but we did it!

      I scored the minimum necessary to qualify for admission in my home state, but hey, they swore me in just like the woman who got the top score. 🙂

      You are such a dynamic person. We are all proud of you from afar!

      February 23, 2017/Reply
  14. Kimberly says:

    One of my close friends got sick on day 2 of the bar exam and only finished 6 of the 12 essays on day 3 because she was took sick to go on. Lo and behold she still passed. You only need the minimum score to pass – any point you get over the minimum was one hour of studying you didn’t need to do!

    February 23, 2017/Reply
  15. Jenn says:

    I was absolutely convinced I failed and it all worked out. Try not to be too hard on yourself, although I know it’s easier said than done! And I know many amazing attorneys who took the bar more than once. xo

    February 24, 2017/Reply
  16. Chandra Graham says:

    The Charming Charlie clip lanyard holder would be a super cute holder for readers (eyewear!). Plan ahead, peeps! You will need it.

    February 24, 2017/Reply
  17. MRitz says:

    Outnet and Saks 5th Avenue are great sites for formal wear. You may be able to find a steal, and both sites have easy to use search criteria. https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306640926&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446894611&R=889448530023&P_name=Aidan+Mattox&N=306640926+1553+1536+399545627&bmUID=lFN8d9k

    February 24, 2017/Reply
  18. Lizzie says:

    Belle,
    I have followed your blog since 2011, when I was just starting out as an intern on the Hill from Florida with absolutely no idea how to prepare for interviews, how to assert myself as often the only female in meetings, or how to dress professionally for DC winters. Your posts helped me navigate the professional world, all the way through undergrad, a couple years working in DC, and then through law school. Like you, I just took the February bar exam and your posts have continued to keep me sane between Barbri AMP and MPQ sets. I studied as hard as I possibly could for this torture test, and I feel exactly the way you do. You are not alone! All of my friends keep telling me that it is a good sign to leave the test feeling that you failed, and those who leave feeling like it was easy are the ones who are overconfident and do not pass. So, hopefully these feelings are a good sign! Sending all the positive vibes your way and my fingers are crossed for happy news in April!

    February 25, 2017/Reply
  19. s says:

    did you already get your results back? high-achieving women have a tendency to scrutinize everything so maybe it went better than you thought it did. fingers crossed for you, belle!

    February 25, 2017/Reply