Style + Ask The Edit

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

Hi Belle,

I love to keep my work shoes basic and low heeled.  I’ve always loved a very classic leopard print flat or kitten heel since I do a maddening amount of walking (occasionally sprinting…), but am having a terrible time finding one that has a classic and professional shape, but that doesn’t also show “toe cleavage” – –  I’m not big on exposing my tootsies .

Any suggestions? SR

While I can’t tell how high they will come up on the foot from a picture, I did find some promising options.  I like this $26 pair of Bella Marie flats.  These lace-up Callisto flats are very on trend and still affordable.  J.Crew Factory has a pair of chic, leopard kitten heels.

If you like leopard print shoes, I recommend storing your shoes in shoe bags.  If you just toss them into your closet you speed up the rapid loss of the calf-hair, and shorten the life of your shoes.


I’m attending a series of my brother’s college graduation events this spring. In total, events spread over three days. Although it’s a southern school that I’m sure will be saturated with Lilly Pulitzer print wearers, I’m looking for some dresses that are more reusable than that, such as for weddings, dressier dinner dates in DC, or just something that can be worn during multiple seasons. suggestions under $200 would be great! 

Thank you, E

I would start with some longsleeve or sleeveless shift dresses.  This BB Dakota dress is the perfect dress up/dress down frock.  I like both this Cece Ruffle Hem dress and the brand’s tie sleeve dress.  This Eliza J Bell Sleeve dress has a very feminine, springtime look to it.  I love the trim.

If you’d prefer to buy sleeveless and layer a cardigan, I love this yellow Kate Spade eyelet dress.  It’s a splurge, but the sunshiny color is so fun.  For something more affordable, I love this printed Maggie London dress and this bright cobalt Vince Camuto.

Plus-size?  I would look at this Tahari semi-casual shift dress and this Vince Camuto split-shoulder dress.

Dear Belle,

I have terrible whiteheads around my nose and on my chin.  I know you suffer from acne, do you use something specifically for whiteheads?  Odd question, I know, but I’m desperate.

Sincerely, BK

My problem is mostly cystic acne, but I do get some whiteheads.  I use Cosrx Whitehead Power Liquid.  It works pretty well (though it smells like pickles, so be forewarned) and I find that it does a good job preventing whiteheads from forming.  My best advice would be to get a facial to help clear your pores now, and then, start using the Cosrx liquid and a detoxifying mask to keep them clean.  If you try to handle them on your own, the problem could spread.

Hi Belle,

I’ve had back issues on and off since I was a kid, and they have come back with a vengeance recently. Since I’m now able to walk to work everyday, my favorite Lo and Sons OMG is just not working while I lug around my laptop.
Do you have any recommendations for a stylish laptop roller bag? Does that even exist? I don’t want to get childhood flashbacks of getting heckled for my roller backpack.

Thanks! KS

I receive a surprising number of e-mails asking about roller bags.  My theory on them is similar to my theory on snow boots: They’re never going to be really stylish, because they’re built for utility, so your best option is to choose a sleek classic.  Basically, don’t get to cute with it, just pick a basic bag and let the rest of your outfit speak for itself.

Samsonite’s basic roller is as simple as it gets. This hard shell roller in a deep blue color has a nice look to it.  If it were me, I would go to a luggage store (or a department store with a luggage department) and just try out a few.  You want one with a handle that doesn’t feel cheap that also has agile wheels.


Leave a Reply to Danielle · cancel comment


  1. Emily says:

    I own the Dr. Scholl’s “Really” flat in leopard and highly recommend. The memory foam makes them super comfortable and durable. I receive compliments on them often, and people are always shocked when I say they are Dr. Scholl’s.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  2. D says:

    I have been considering the Bombata Trolley for a rolling work bag, you can find it in a couple of different colors and sizes online. For instance,

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  3. Michelle says:

    Kate Spade has a super cute roller bag that would work for a laptop! I saw it in the outlet, but I think the regular store has them too.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  4. Jess says:

    Another recommendation for leopard flats is the Trotters Estee. I own the estee in black and leopard. They’re super comfortable and no toe cleavage!

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  5. Lorna says:

    eBay has pages of roller bags, including for the 17″ laptop. Conservative and some a bit more stylish, like a deep blue croc print.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  6. Danielle says:

    I may have gotten a bad pair of those JCrew Factory kitten heels, but after one wear, the insole completely came apart from the shoes. They took them back no problem, but hopefully they got those construction issues fixed because they are adorable shoes!

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  7. Ruby says:

    I bought this bag:

    I’ve had it about 10 years, and it’s still in great shape through rough and regular use. The leather wipes down really nicely. I have actually gotten some compliments on it. The only downsides: If you have more than a 15 inch laptop, it won’t fit; and if you have a lot of large files or notebooks that you are also carrying. I can fit one mid-thickness redweld or one 2-inch notebook in, plus a notepad and some documents, before it starts to strain. I mainly use it for moving between meetings, not travel, so this works out. But not for someone with a ton of files to move around.

    If the bag isn’t to your taste, there are other versions by the same company that may be worth checking out. I also think I paid about 50% of the current listed price – I may have gotten it on a sale through Ebags, or with some of their higher coupon codes.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  8. Carolyn says:

    Belle, I’m a longtime reader, and I’ve loved your blog since your DC days. I’ve gotten so many great product and clothing recommendations from you (not to mention the fabulous 2 out of 3 rule for wearing tights!).

    Wanted to chime in on a cystic acne treatment. I’ve used Beautycounter products for a year now (and as a very happy customer, I’ve been a consultant for the past 2 months), and surprisingly, their Baby Daily Protective Balm does wonders for cystic acne. I get cystic acne on my chin (probably 1-2x a month), and using this at night helps stubborn cysts go down within a few days. I’ll even throw it on during the day if I’m hanging around the house (it’s a thick balm, so you can’t wear it under makeup or out of the house). I start using it as soon as I feel a blemish come on, and I love that it doesn’t have any chemicals in it. No clue why it works, it just does (and there are lots of women who’ve used it with success!). The website link will take you to shop it.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  9. AMcReader says:

    I picked up these leopard loafers from the JCrew Factory Outlet a few weeks ago and am already thinking of buying a second pair for when these wear-out. In addition to being a fun, flattering shoe, I find them to be comfortable too:

    March 2, 2017/Reply
    • E says:

      I almost bought these a couple of weeks ago but changed my mind after reading reviews that the shoes “look like Cheetos in person” (ha!). Do they look like the photo on the website? Thanks!

      March 3, 2017/Reply
  10. Clara says:

    I want to chime in to say “hell yes” to the cosrx whitehead power! I started using it a few months ago and my pores are now clear any happy. I pat it in after cleansing before using a toner. It can be power(ful) (hehehe), so I only use it on my nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead, where I get blackheads and whiteheads. The smell is odd but dissipates quickly.

    Frankly, I love everything by cosrx- their snail serum is stellar and delivers a glow (if you are feeling brave), and their oil-free moisturizer is soothing, smells great, and is the only moisturizer by skin-care-phobic boyfriend is willing to use.

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  11. Alison says:

    Boden has the cutest leopard print kitten heel slingbacks — they’re on clearance so not much stock left, but if you’re a size 36 or 39, you’re in luck!

    March 2, 2017/Reply
  12. Rebecca says:

    For the reader with back problems – depending on where your pain is from, a roller bag may exacerbate the problem. My orthopedic surgeon told me over and over that the rotation of your arm behind your back to pull a rolling bag is just as bad as a shoulder bag. He said the best thing for anyone with a back issue is a traditional backpack worn on both shoulders – not at all stylish, but I’ve embraced his wisdom and my back has never been better.

    March 3, 2017/Reply
    • rar says:

      Same. I switched to a backpack and literally saw overnight improvements. I use the Everlane backpack and actually get a ton of compliments on it.

      March 3, 2017/Reply
      • L says:

        Which everlane backpack do you use? I really love the idea of a leather backpack but the others look far mare supportive and practical…

        March 4, 2017/Reply