Advice + Ask The Edit

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

Dear Belle,

I saw the BCBG belt you posted to your Instagram last week.  I love it, but it’s beyond my budget.  Do you have any suggestions for belts that are similarly ornate and under-$25, $50 at the most.  

Love the blog! SR

Belts are a great way to jazz up a dress that you’ve been wearing for a while.  They also accentuate the waist, and who doesn’t need a bit of that?

Because they’re going out of business, most BCBG belts can be found for under-$50 if you hunt a bit.  I think BCBG makes the best belts (I have five), so this is a great time to buy.  Their butterfly-front belt has a cool look to it.  I fell in love with this whip-stitched belt in a great neutral color.  And this cool houndstooth plated belt is just $10.

If you’re looking at other brands, I also really love this $10 H&M belt with a knotted twist.  This Mossimo belt in coffee-colored leather is a bit more casual, but I love the details.  This really wide River Island belt is also worth a look.

Plus-size? This ASOS Curve embellished belt is fun, and this Eloquii wide belt with a skinny buckle could go with almost any outfit.

Hi Belle,
When you went to London what type of bag did you carry during the day? Next month I’m headed to Chicago for a long weekend and am tempted to buy a stylish backpack to carry around sightseeing. (May need to carry around extra shoes during the day.) Also, I know you dislike them, but I would normally carry my medium size Longchamp on a trip like this.
Thanks! HH

I didn’t want to be weighed down, so I opted for a soft sided crossbody bag from Marc Jacobs.  If you need to carry more than the bare essentials, then a backpack might be the right choice.  They’re on trend, and there are some stylish options out there, if you’re willing to wade through the chaffe.

The AllSaints Kita bag actually converts from a backpack to a tote.  It’s a bit pricey, but I’ve seen it in person, and it even had me thinking about buying a backpack.  The Everlane Twill Snap Backpack is under-$100, has a sleek, modern look, and is very highly reviewed.  I also like the look of this totally simple Sole Society dome backpack.

Traveling is one of those situations when I’m not as picky about fashion.  You want to look good, but that’s not your primary goal, right?  So if to be comfortable and see the city the way you want, you need to carry a Longchamp, so be it.  I prefer to travel as light as possible because it makes entering museums, shopping, and doing the tourist thing a bit easier.  But however you like to travel, dress accordingly.

Hi Belle,

This may seem like a dumb question, but how do you do your hair for the beach/pool?  I feel like everyone else has Baywatch babe hair and I just came from SoulCycle.  Tips?


I have notoriously stick straight hair, so beachy waves are really out of the question.  Add in bangs, which must be pulled back to avoid sweat + hair product induced acne, and my poolside hair is a bit of a trial.  And I definitely feel you when you’re sitting there wondering how all your fellow pool guests get their hair to look like a magazine ad.

Instead of fighting my hair, I will do either a low chignon or a low bun and wear a hat over it so I can pin my bangs back.  Hats of choice include this Halogen Panama Hat and this floppier Do Not Disturb beach hat.  If I don’t want to wear a hat, this updo, using an elastic headband takes a little time, but it looks great all day.

If none of those options appeal to you, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers trying to bring the boho knotted hair-wrap back into fashion.  I’ve even seen a few going for the full turban look.



  1. HH says:

    Belle: thank you for the backpack/travel tips! That All Saints bag has me drooling, but the Sole Society one may fit my budget more. Thanks again!

    July 12, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You’re welcome!

      July 12, 2017/Reply
    • M says:

      Seriously, that AllSaints bag … never thought I’d want a backpack like I want that one!

      July 12, 2017/Reply
      • Anna says:

        Seriously, it’s too rich for my blood, but that is a backpack I can get behind!

        July 12, 2017/Reply
      • Belle says:

        I was in their store in G-town on my last trip just like, “Wait, you are not buying a backpack. You will never carry a backpack. Why is this backpack so cute?!?!”

        July 12, 2017/Reply
    • Lives in Chicago says:

      @ HH – do NOT wear a backpack, especially if you will be in touristy areas – you are a prime target for pickpocket.

      July 12, 2017/Reply
      • Pompom says:


        Cute, but possibly impractical for travel in the long run.

        July 13, 2017/Reply
        • Jenna says:

          Agreed. My go-to bag for tourism in high pick-pocket areas is the Marc Jacobs Classic Q (, which has an interior pocket that zips around the flap and makes it nearly impossible for thieves to get into without you noticing. I keep my wallet and other valuables in that pocket, and other random stuff I want for the day that I don’t mind losing in the main pouch of the bag. It’s available in a few different sizes, styles, and colors all under $200 and is ubiquitous at Nordstrom Rack right now.

          July 13, 2017/Reply
        • HH says:

          @Live in Chicago and @Pompom – good point. That thought did cross my mind. I live in a smallish, pretty safe town, so I get a bit blase about that sort of thing. (Not that people can’t be pick pocketed anywhere.)

          July 14, 2017/Reply
          • Erin says:

            I have that Marc Jacobs bag too, and I love it for running around the city. But one thing I’m paranoid about is the fact that the strap clips on to the purse–in theory someone could unhook those clips and be off with your entire bag. Hasn’t happened yet, but something I think about,

            July 14, 2017/Reply
  2. Cat says:

    Re: beach/pool hair — I am frequently getting my hair wet when I’m in either location, and can’t stand having long hair blowing around in my face whether damp or dry, so I will join you with SoulCycle hair! When I grow my hair long, I keep it in a braid, and when it’s in a bob, I stick with a neat ponytail. I bring a travel brush with me so that I can freshen up as needed.

    July 12, 2017/Reply