Ask the Edit Vol. IV, No. Thirty-Four

Nov 9, 2017

Hi Belle,

I’m going to a few holiday parties and events this year and I’d rather not buy entirely new clothes, but I’d like some festive accessories (earrings, necklaces, clutches) that I can use to make LBDs a little more festive. Any ideas?

Thanks! M.C. 

If it’s holiday jewelry you’re after, I would recommend BaubleBar.  These fringe tassel earrings are a lot of fun, as are these sparkly beaded tassel earrings.  If drop earrings aren’t your thing, these Halo ear crawlers are super fun and sparkly.

As for other jewelry, I adore this INC necklace on a pale purple ribbon.  For something gorgeous but more versatile (ie work appropriate), this Wild Lillies gray layered necklace is sublime.  Prefer bracelets?  This Karine cuff with a wavy design is awesome.

Looking for shoes?  These embellished Topshop sandals are a lot of fun.  I loved these wine colored Badgley pumps with leaves on the heels.  For something fashion-forward, these pearl studded mules are awesome.  And if you need flats, these Circus flats would look so cute with black pants.

Lastly, if it’s clutches you’re after, this pearl embellished clutch from Boohoo is very cute.  But if I could only add one bag to my closet, this incredible Mango box bag in gold with a removable strap would be it.

We’ll talk more about holiday attire later this month, but this is enough to get you started.

Hi Belle,

I know you just did a post on winter coats, but I need your help.  I’m an attorney, and I need a professional winter coat I can wear to meetings and court appearances.  The only catch is that I live in the Midwest and desperately need it to have a hood.  The combination of professional + hood is proving to be really difficult.  Have you seen anything stylish that fits the bill?

Thanks, Leigh

This burgundy Soia & Kyo wool coat has a dramatic hood.  This Steve Madden coat in charcoal is an affordable option.  If I had to choose one for myself, this oatmeal-colored Nau Boiled Wool Coat is the winner.  Plus-size?  Try this Preston & York peacoat with detachable hood.

Hi Belle,

Have you ever tried face shaving?  There was an article in the NY Times about Kate Sommerville shaving her face for years now.  Also I heard Brandi Glanville (yes, D list, I know) talking about how her and all celebrities shave their faces.

I know you’ve written about hair removal but I don’t recall anything about shaving the face. Ever tried it?

Thanks, Chaigrl

I’ve heard of it.  It’s very popular right now.  I don’t shave my face.  I have some concerns about spreading acne or ingrown hairs causing more acne.  Plus, my skin isn’t exactly smooth, so I doubt it would make a difference.

Also, obviously, I remove the dark hair from my lip, tweeze my brows, and pluck the wiry hairs from my chin.  But I totally disagree with the woman in the article who said that “men don’t like” a woman with hair on her face.  I highly doubt most men even notice.


My girlfriends and I challenge each other to try new clothing items every holiday season.  We nominate items for each friend and then we vote.  We wear the items to our NYE party.  Last year, I had to try a graphic tee (because my style is fairly classic, and my friends wanted to “rock it up”).  This year, they voted for leather leggings (oh, brother).  Can you helps suggest some that don’t look trashy?


That is a really interesting holiday tradition.  I wonder what my friends would pick for me?  Scary thought.

For leather leggings, Spanx has a pair of faux-leather leggings that look pretty cute.  Plus, they’ll provide some shaping, which is always helpful.  Plus-size ladies should check out this Lysse leather leggings.

Hi Abra,

This may seem like an odd request but where would you start when looking for an engagement ring? I love the look of a classic solitaire ring but I’m also considering a European-style simple gold band – or multiple bands. I am afraid “alternative” stones like rubies or sapphires would clash with my manicures, as ridiculous as that may sound. It is so overwhelming that I was wondering where you would start. We have a fairly high budget for this. Thanks.

– Jenna 

First off, this is what Pinterest is for. You can look at different cuts and settings, to get an idea what you like.  Are you a classic cut like round, oval or cushion?  Do you like something more modern like a brilliant or a hexagon?

Second, if you’re worried about other colors clashing, skip it.  If you don’t love a gemstone or have a sentimental attachment to it, you’re better off with a simple diamond.

Third, there are a lot of places to look for rings now.  Some people search Etsy for something unique.  If you’re about classics, there are great online retailers like James Allen or Brilliant Earth (which specializes in conflict free diamonds).

However, I think (like wedding dresses) the best way to know what works is to try some on.  Obviously, you’re having a conversation about what you like.  Get brunch, go to a reputable local jeweler, and try on some sizes, cuts, and styles you like.  You’ll either fall in love with the ring or you’ll learn what you like (and don’t like).

{photo found here; this post contains affiliate links}

Ask the Edit, Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Katie C. says:

    For versatile jewelry, I also love Stella & Dot. They have a lot of pieces that are convertible so you can wear them several ways. For something that works for both day and evening, this necklace is really great… I wear mine all the time!

  2. NORA says:

    The faux leather leggings I got from Aritzia (the Wilfred Free in-house brand) ARE THE BEST. Get the smallest size you can conceivably fit into – they stretch, and gorgeously. The first time you put them on you’ll be like, nuh-uh, but then the amazing happens and you look incredible.

  3. Margot says:

    On the engagement ring topic, I totally agree with Belle. If you are even a little bit undecided, you will never know until you try them on! When deciding on a ring, I first went to look with my mom. I always liked the idea of sapphire (a beautiful ring will never clash with a manicure!), but I also liked a simple solitaire diamond. When I tried them on with my mom, I knew that I wanted a sapphire. I later went back with my now fiance to show him what I liked and he took it from here. I highly recommend taking your fiance (especially if you want something a little different), but I would just make sure you have it narrowed down beforehand. You don’t want to overwhelm him! It took my fiance some convincing (he liked the idea of a surprise), but he says he’s glad we did it that way now!

  4. Lindsay says:

    I shave my upper lip and it has been life-changing. I used to dread going to get it waxed. Then I started using Curology and couldn’t wax anymore because of the retinol. I bought the Twinkle razors from Amazon and never looked back! It takes no time, it’s not painful at all and the hair color grows back the same color as it was before (so not darker). Highly recommend!

  5. Devon says:

    On the engagement ring topic – go try the stone on. I knew I wanted really classic, so I went to Tiffany and tried on a round cut, square cut, etc. Then I stared at a million rings on Pinterest. I decided I loved a solitaire with an infinity set wedding band (meaning the diamonds go all the way around) because I want classic but a bit of contrast, plus I didn’t like the way two plain bands looked stacked. I also got a gold band with a gold setting, which is fairly atypical right now (they’re mostly platinum settings with whatever metal) because I prefer gold and didn’t like the random metal. As far as getting the actual diamond, a bunch of people recommended (and I wish we’d done this) going on Blue Nile and picking a stone from them and then planning on having it reset. They have total transparency regarding their diamonds, you can pick EXACTLY what cut/color/carat/etc you want, and your jeweler can use the metal from the setting toward the cost of your new setting. We didn’t go that route but I ended up going to a jeweler to have my diamond reset and to get my band, anyway, so if you need a recommendation in the DC area send me an email!

  6. Mila says:

    Vouching for the Spanx faux leather leggings. They are comfortable and flattering – I wore them all winter last year. For fit, size up.

  7. Juliana says:

    In response to M.C.’s letter, there is a site with some great clothing rental options if you are itching for a holiday outfit but don’t want to commit to buying new clothing. They have some great stuff at the same price you would pay to buy statement jewelry. Check out

  8. HH says:

    Re: engagement rings – totally agree with Belle and other commenters that you need to try them on to get an idea. I thought I was in love with one particular design, but when I tried it on it was unflattering. Plus, engagement ring shopping was really fun. 🙂 If you’re in the DC area, we went to I Gorman (free mimosas and very modern jewelry), Tiffany’s, and Mervis (liked that you pick out the stone and band separately). Ended up with rings from Mervis and this was about 8 years ago.

    • Mallory says:

      For what it’s worth, I had an awful experience with the Rockville Mervis location a few years ago. Long story short: the band of my platinum engagement ring cracked clean through a year after we bought the ring due to an error they made in the initial resizing. Rather than fix the mistake, they gave us the run-around and tried to charge us hundreds to fix it. We finally got it escalated to the owner, who made good on everything immediately, but only after we threatened to report them to the BBB.

      That being said, my ring is beautiful and I receive compliments on it all the time.

  9. Amelia says:

    Regarding hooded coats: Beware the dramatic hoods if you need a fully functional hood! I have the Steve Madden one you suggested in charcoal, Belle. I love it but just a bit of wind will push the hood back… Too much fabric and no cinching. The Nau boiled wool one looks amazing, though, I bet it won’t have the same problem.

  10. kelly says:

    I hated every engagement ring I tried on, and the jeweler suggested I find some pictures online and they could design something custom. I brought in three pictures so they could combine different elements (setting, band, engraving) and I got a ring that I totally love and is unique to me. This might be more of a “small family jeweler” service than a chain store, but it’s worth asking!

  11. Nicole says:

    Have been shaving my face just about every other week for about a year now, and can’t go back. I know people love the tinkle razors, but they weren’t my favorite. I get the ones from Sephora – they are slightly larger, so it takes less time.
    I find that it makes my skin look so much smoother. I have bumpy skin as a result of my acne issues. In the days after shaving my face, I love how my skin looks and the way my makeup applies.
    I can see where the acne concerns could come into play. I make sure to do it after I have washed my face (give your skin enough time to dry). That way, it is at its cleanest. And I only ever use the razor once. I absolutely never re-use them because of this exact fear. I will do one side of my face, wipe the razor with an alcohol pad, and do the other side. I haven’t noticed any worsening of my acne. (I also don’t think it has improved the acne, just made everything look a bit smoother.)

  12. Lexi says:

    I got these leather leggings from target and I LOVE them. Great quality and fit. The high waist is a nice feature too!

  13. J says:

    Re: engagement rings, count me in on trying some on to determine what you like on the hand. After that do some further research on Pricescope. The forum is a wealth of knowledge, but it excels when you already have an idea of what you’re looking for and are looking for the best bang for your buck. I’ve never found what I’ve wanted in DC, so I’ve solely bought online (fwiw, solitaire at Whiteflash, custom wedding band at Greenlake Jewelry, husband’s ring at Boonerings). Haven’t looked back!

  14. Carlie says:

    I was also looking for a professional coat with a hood last year and found a beautiful coat from Sofia Cashmere at Lord and Taylor, which was having a major sale. It was still pretty expensive, but it’s a coat I will take care of and have for a very long time. I know Nordstrom Rack sells the same coat now if you are interested. I have it in slate gray, which I love, but the black is still beautiful.

  15. Diane says:

    The email version of this post has a picture of a gal wearing jeans with black sling backs. Where can I get these shoes? Love them!!

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!


Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Twenty-One

This week, the reader mail bag was full of little things. Pajama advice. Jewelry cleaning tips. Small things, but ones you might also be curious about, so let’s get started.



Recent Posts

Bag Week: The Statement Bag

Sometimes your outfit just needs something. Some color. Some sparkle. Something bold, something impactful, a statement. These bags bring that extra.



Add to Cart: Recent Amazon Finds

Bette Midler once famously said, “I want it all, and I want it delivered.” She is my soul sister.




Ask the Edit, Style, Top Posts | May 23, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Twenty-One

This week, the reader mail bag was full of little things. Pajama advice. Jewelry cleaning tips. Small things, but ones you might also be curious about, so let’s get started.



Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | May 23, 2024

Bag Week: The Statement Bag

Sometimes your outfit just needs something. Some color. Some sparkle. Something bold, something impactful, a statement. These bags bring that extra.



Add to Cart, Features, Posts | May 22, 2024

Add to Cart: Recent Amazon Finds

Bette Midler once famously said, “I want it all, and I want it delivered.” She is my soul sister.



Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | May 22, 2024

Bag Week: Stadium Bags

If you’re headed to a baseball game, a concert, or other stadium event this summer, you need a clear handbag, as most venues have instituted clear bag policies. Here are a few that won’t make your retinas bleed.