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

Jun 20, 2017

Hi Belle!

Love your blog!  I’m hoping you can help me.  I recently bought this pair of yellow chino pants from Zara.  Apart from a white top I don’t know what else to pair them with.  I intend on wearing them to work.  For some context: I am a 31-year-old and work at a non-profit in DC where we don’t have a strict dress code. 

Hopefully, you can help me!  HB

Colored pants can be a great addition to a business-casual or casual Friday wardrobe.  They bring a lot of personality to otherwise boring attire.  And in the summertime, they’re a great alternative to denim because they’re lighter and more fitting with the season.

For yellow pants, I would start with a navy boatneck tee and a long pendant necklace.  Green is also a nice color to mix with yellow.  A short-sleeve kelly-green sweater would create a nice preppy look.  If you do choose to wear white, I would go for the tie neck blouse with the coordinating white blazer.

If you are having trouble finding shoes, I would stick to a nude-to-you heel or flat.  Your other option would be a snakeskin print.  I like the color of these Ava & Aiden pumps.

Hi Belle,

I need a simple bag to use as a work tote/gym bag/beach bag.  Do you think canvas is a good option or should I be looking for something nicer?  

Thanks, LI

A simple canvas bag is a fine choice if you’re looking for a second bag to carry extras.  L.L. Bean makes two nice canvas bags a casual beachy tote and a leather-handled option.  Another place to look would be Mark & Graham, they make a lot of casual tote bags.  I’m a fan of their canvas with leather tote.

If you’re at all concerned that canvas isn’t professional enough for your office, I would advise looking for something else.  There are so many other options, I wouldn’t chance it.  It seems like a small thing, but it never ceases to amaze me what bosses/co-workers will take notice of.  The next closest option to canvas would be a nylon tote.  I loathe Longchamp bags, but for this application, it’s the simplest solution.

Hi Belle-

I have my company headshots scheduled in a few weeks. Wondering what you suggest to wear. I know it is limited on what you can actually see, but I want this to turn out well. I was hoping to not wear a blazer, they make you look so large in such a small frame IMO.

Thanks so much! SO

First off, my best advice about headshots is to focus on your hair and your makeup.  That’s what will stand out.  If you can get a simple blowout, do it.  Your makeup should be simple, but just one hair heavier than you would usually wear.  And skin the metallic eyeshadow or highlighter; it can look weird in photos.

Second, your outfit should follow a simple formal: neutral color, demure v-neck, little to no jewelry.  This is generally the most flattering look.  I would try a v-neck dress like this Ann Taylor sheath if you don’t want to wear a blazer.

I would wear a jacket, but choose a lighter color if you’re concerned about bulk.  A pale grey jacket would be a nice choice.  This Talbot’s jacket doesn’t have a lapel, and that will remove some of the bulk.

Finally, if you do have your headshots retouched, make sure your photog uses a light hand.  I’ve seen more than a few people try to do a Vogue-quality touch up and end up looking like a Photoshop fail.  Best to look like a slightly better version of yourself or do no retouching than look like a Picasso.

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  1. Kim says:

    You loathe Longchamps bags? Why??

    • Belle says:

      I find them to be shapeless and without personality. I also hate that when you really overfill them, I can tell exactly what you have in your bag based on the bulges. There also a bit vacuous and it’s easy to lose things you put in them.

  2. Kate says:

    I think a light gray top or gray/white stripes would look awesome with the yellow chinos!

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