Advice + Ask The Edit

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

Fall coats for date night, styling tips for olive jackets, the best, gentle exfoliators, and more…

Hey Abra,

Do you have any recommendations for fall coats for date night? I have a trench coat and a green surplus coat purchased based on your recommendations, but the former is too stuffy for weekend and the latter is too casual for dates. I love my wool coats but they are overkill for fall. Would love some date night suggestions. 

Thank you! – LS 

My first thought is collarless swing coat like this white one from ASOS or this black one with a bell sleeve.  Swing coats can shift between dressy and casual based on the rest of your attire.  I like to accent mine with bright enamel or sparkly brooches and pins.

For a fashion-forward option, try a coat with an embroidered sleeve. Or go for the classic choice with a leather jacket.  This Madewell moto jacket and this Tahari Skylar jacket are both nice.

Hi Abra,

Not sure how you feel about the mule trend but this is too good not to share.  I bought a pair of the Forever 21 mules a few weeks ago unsure what I thought about the trend.  The Forever 21 version is virtually identical to the Gucci pair.


If you like the look of mules, buy a pair.  They’re unabashedly trendy; I wouldn’t guess that they’ll still be hot next fall.  So make sure you buy a pair in an affordable price point that you like enough to keep wearing.

Even though I’m not in love with the trend, there are two other pairs I really like: These cute BP. bow mules and these slightly insane studded, floral Vince Camuto mules.  Because if you’re going to indulge in a trend, why not go all in?


My skin needs regular exfoliation, but every scrub I’ve tried is way too harsh.  The Clarisonic wasn’t right for me either.  Can you recommend something that will take care of dead skin without killing my skin?  


You have two options: a product with AHA/BHA to exfoliate skin or an exfoliating mask.  Several readers swear by Paula’s Choice BHA Skin Perfecting liquid.  It was never tough enough for my skin, so I prefer Whish Renewing Mud Mask, it exfoliates and detoxes pores in one quick step.

Whichever product you choose, make sure you’re not overdoing it.  Everyone’s skin is different, so start out a couple of times per week and then, increase it if it’s not enough.

I am on the hunt for a winter-white trouser, preferably in a classic straight leg that hits the ankle (but not skin-tight!) so that they may be worn with flats or heels. Despite it now being fall, everything I’m finding is a white cotton crop. Any suggestions? Less than $100 would be ideal. Would love to see how you would style as well. Thanks in advance!

– Emily 

Try these Talbot’s pants in ivory.  Talbot’s has a few options in ivory, so they might be your best bet.  I also like these CeCe pull-on trousers in winter white.

Hi there!

Love the new layout of the blog. I have a quick question: I recently bought an olive green utility vest. What’s the best way to style it so that I don’t look like a fly fisherman?

Thanks! Meghan

The trick to wearing an olive jacket or vest is to play up the contrast between the casual, masculine topper and more feminine pieces.  I like to wear my Madewell olive jacket over embroidered chiffon tops or ruffle-accented sweaters.

The other option is to play up the utility of the jacket, and choose interesting pieces in the same vein.  For example, a chunky fisherman’s knit sweater.  Or add a plaid shirt in a dark color palette.

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  1. Eleni says:

    Paula’s Choice products did nothing for my skin. I tried and am loving ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville. A small amount goes a long way. My skin feels smoother and I have a more even complexion.

    October 5, 2017/Reply
    • RKT says:

      I actually have had great luck with the exact Paula’s Choice that you recommend! It made my skin so much clearer, pores smaller, and less dull.

      October 5, 2017/Reply
  2. Cee Cee says:

    An excellent BHA/AHA mask is TANSY by HERBIVORE – it’s amazing! Instructions must be followed for peak effectiveness. AND, it’s mild enough to not irritate my very sensitive & pale skin!!

    October 5, 2017/Reply
  3. Laura says:

    As another option for the moto jacket, I wanted to mention the Blank NYC faux-leather one in black with gold hardware. I picked this up at the last Anniversary Sale, and I’ve worn it several times since (including date nights, paired with more feminine pieces). I am totally in love!

    October 5, 2017/Reply
  4. Robin says:

    I have hormonal acne and the exfoliation question is right on for me. I just started Paula’s choice every other night and it is absolutely amazing. I alternate with Drunken Elephants glycolic night serum. I’m currently on the lookout for a cheaper alternative to DE and might try some of The Ordinary’s products next. But that BHA skin skin perfecting by PC is amazing and a MUST.

    October 5, 2017/Reply
    • Rosy says:

      Highly recommend The Ordinary’s acid products. I use their 10% lactic acid every other night – I could probably use it every night, but I have some other products to use up. I also just bought The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, which you use as a mask and is super similar to Drunk Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial.

      October 5, 2017/Reply
      • Robin says:

        Thanks! I will definitely try!

        October 5, 2017/Reply
  5. ELiza says:

    Bluemercury’s M-61 Power Glow Peels will change your life & skin! It is by far the best exfoliator I’ve used. It cured my acne and leaves my skin glowing! They are pretty expensive, but I cut each wipe in half to get two uses per wipe.

    October 5, 2017/Reply
  6. SC says:

    The Alpha Hydrox 10% glycolic renewal lotion is amazing — I’ve been using it for over 10 years now and I swear by it. It’s getting harder to find in drugstores though. 🙁

    October 5, 2017/Reply
  7. B says:

    I got a laugh out of the fly fisherman question – I own the same vest. I’ve done black long sleeve tee/black ponte pants/black or cognac booties, and it’s super cute with a white or ivory sweater, jeans and booties. I also find I like it with some of my striped tees. It’s a casualwear piece, so I try not to overthink it and just enjoy all the pockets.

    October 5, 2017/Reply
  8. Jess says:

    Re: exfoliation, my skin needs exfoliation to not break out but most scrubs are so harsh that I’ll get at least one blemish from the exfoliation. Lose-lose situation. My skin really turned around this year, and the exfoliation that helped with that wasn’t chemical: remove your face wash with warm/hot water and a muslin cloth. They’re pretty cheap to buy a 12 pack online (amazon). Not a terrycloth wash cloth, that’s too nubbly. Muslin. I’ve also liked Naturopathica’s oat cleansing polish, no more than once a week, and you can use it as a mask and then scrub it off with warm water and a cloth. At that frequency the tube lasts a year. The key though is that if your moisturizer isn’t cutting it, no amount of exfoliation is going to keep you from dry patchiness and blemishes, so consider squalane if it doesn’t go away (+1 to The Ordinary).

    October 6, 2017/Reply
  9. Hillary says:

    Re: exfoliating – I love Vasanti BrightenUp! enzyme scrub. I use it once a week and leave it on for a few extra minutes to get the enzyme affect. I have sensitive skin and get cystic acne.

    October 9, 2017/Reply