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

How to wear skinny jeans and ankle boots, questions about VPL, dark nail polishes that aren’t “goth,” and more…It’s time to Ask the Edit!


Have we moved on from jeans + riding:tall boots to jeans+booties? I am in need of new jeans and the appropriate foot wear for fall/winter. I just can’t seem to get the styling of jeans and booties to work quite right. The ankle style of the boot, the fit or length of the pant-something always seems to be off. Please help!

– JessiCa

This is a great question.  GREAT question!  Ankle boots are definitely where it’s at right now.  But you are so spot on when you mention that the styling is difficult.

Riding boots are not dead, but they are no longer the favorite shoe of fall/winter.  I’m not throwing my tall boots away, but I’m not buying new ones either.  This is a re-sole and shine situation.  My tall boots are in the closet, but I’ve worn them once since October 1.

As for style tips, I have ZERO desire to cuff my jeans, and so many bloggers recommend that.  The best article I found was this Stylecaster roundup.  Lots of different styling options, and examples of how to make them look good.

How am I wearing them?  I either hem them to just graze the top of the boot, or I fold them under.  I don’t cuff them over.  I figure out the right length, fold them under, and then iron the hem flat.

Is it right?  Is it wrong?  Who’s to say?!  I like it better than tucking them in or cuffing.

Hi Abra, 

Intimate[s] question.  Concerned about the VPL, I wear hanky panky thongs almost every day, and have for a few years now.  I have lots; they’re easy and consistent.  I believe you’ve written about wearing these too. Do you still? Any thoughts on other favorite undies? 

Thanks your sharing thoughts on intimates 🙂 Erica 

Yes, the Hanky Panky Bare thongs are still my very favorite.  They never ride up, they show no lines, they’re amazing.  They’re not cheap though, so get an intimates bag and wash them with care.  When I’m just wearing jeans, I often wear the HP lace boyshorts.

I’ve also talked about how Thinx “period” underwear are an amazing backup option for me when I’m on my cycle.  So give those a try if you’re interested.

As for other favorites, these Spanx lace briefs with light tummy control are my choice for dresses that just need a little stomach smoothing.  Plus, they’re kind of pretty.  If I need a real shaper, I wear the Spanx Power Conceal Her mid-thigh shaper.

Hi Abra –

Styling question for you. I was gifted these fauz suede leggings and I am totally stumped on how to style them. I believe these are NOT PANTS ergo I need some rear coverage to make these appropriate for casual office day/event. How do I make these a part of my wardrobe instead of a one note piece? Thanks for your help! Love the new blog design!


Agreed, these are not pants.  My first inclination was a long, chunky sweater.  This Land’s End tunic-length turtleneck in ivory was my first pull.  I would also do an oversize burgundy sweater.  Or, for a non-sweater option, I would try a tie jacket like this olive HYFVE belted jacket with a cotton tee or turtleneck underneath.

Hi Belle!

Long time reader of your blog! I’m planning on attending my boyfriend’s black tie office holiday party in Chicago next month. I have a burgundy formal dress picked out, but I’m completely stumped when it comes to outwear. Faux fur jacket? A wool coat? Neither and hope it doesn’t snow? I would love to get your two cents. Thank you! -Kate

– Kate 

You need outerwear.  Shivering girls on the side of the road are not cute.

You could do something fun like a leather jacket to give it a modern vibe.  You could go with a faux fur wrap, which I think would be so fun in this mauve color.  I also like a cape as an option for the drama of it.  But if you already own a dressier wool coat, or you’ll wear one in the future, wear that.  Something like this Kenneth Cole camel coat.

If you want to dress up a basic coat, I’d add a cute pair of long leather gloves and a dramatic brooch.

Hi Abra,

I want to love dark nail polish but I always thing it looks sort of goth and emo on me.  Is there a shade or color that’s in-between?  Not light like summer, but not Marilyn Manson?


For a darker shade, I would try a deep purple that is more purple than black.  NARS Purple Rain was the first color that jumped to mind.  If you’re brave enough to try a blue, I would suggest OPI Russian Navy.

Now, if you’re looking at both of those gateway drugs and going, “Nope, too dark,” then it’s time for a new plan.  You have two options: smoky grey/taupe/purple or deep burgundies.

In column A, I love Waking Up in Vegas and Love in the Dunes.  They both had a modern earthiness to them.  For a hint of pretty, try OPI You Sustain Me, a warm mauve.

In column B, my all time favorite dark wine shade is Bogota Blackberry.  I also love Deborrah Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad.

Hey Belle,

My good friend lost everything in Harvey and I am trying to think of a really good Christmas gift. My budget is $50 and anything is on the table. What are some of the coolest products you’ve come across?

Thanks, L

Gift Guides will launch next week, but can I make an alternative suggestion?

I think it’s great you want to do something for her.  I’d wager that when you lose your possessions, all of your finances are then committed to their replacement (given that insurance takes so long to process).  That would leave no money for dinners, movies, trips, fun spending, etc..  My recommendation would be to take her to do something fun, like see a concert.

If you want to buy her something tangible, I would go for the home good she misses most.  For example, if we lost all of our possessions in a flood, priority #1 would be to replace Kyle’s Nespresso.  Because he needs coffee, and I need him to have coffee.  Maybe she had a possession like that–a great blow dryer or a must-have kitchen appliance, or a rug she really loved.  I’d find that thing, and if it was out of my price range, I’d try to pair up with another friend or a relative to split the cost.



  1. Laura says:

    Re: a coat for the black-tie party, Rent the Runway has outerwear for something really fun or special!

    November 15, 2017/Reply
  2. Ruchita says:

    I too have had trouble figuring out how to make jeans and booties look good. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to cuff their jeans. I tried it, but for some reason it just didn’t look good to my eye. I’ve considered hemming my skinny jeans so they hit at the top of the ankle. I’m kind of annoyed that I’d have to do that, but I’m not crazy about tucking or cuffing. For that reason, I’m wearing skinny jeans tucked into tall boots. I’m making a trip to DSW next week to see if I can find a pair of booties that won’t require too much of an alteration to my jeans.

    November 15, 2017/Reply
    • thb says:

      I simply do not like cuffs. Small ankles and size nine feet do not a good look make. I just saw someone with skinny jeans that were long enough to just go down inside of their booties and it looked great! They (the skinnys) were quite snug so they didn’t have that “tucked in effect” as much as a “bootie slipped over” look. Very sleek.

      November 15, 2017/Reply
      • A Different Laura says:

        I think your point about “slim” skinny jeans is key. I don’t have an issue with a small cuff or roll (especially in casual looks), but I find the easiest way to make skinny jeans work with booties is having a skinny jean that is super slim around the ankle.

        November 15, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You can also buy them in ankle length a lot of times. I’m lazy, so if I see an ankle length, I’m there

      November 15, 2017/Reply
  3. Katie C says:

    In response to Erica (and others who, like me, may not enjoy thongs), I highly recommend these Calvin Klein hipsters — super smooth so no VPL and very comfortable!

    In response to the cuffing dilemma, a big trend right now are the ankle boots that come up over the ankle (these, for instance, which I have and love: With this type of ankle boot, you don’t need to worry about hemming your jeans.

    November 15, 2017/Reply
  4. Sarah B says:

    For the question about formal outerwear in Chicago, I stressed out about the same for a formal event and quickly realized that honestly don’t think anyone cares about outerwear being stylish in these frigid temps. A leather jacket or fur wrap won’t be warm enough for this climate and you’ll just be grumpy and cold! (at least I would be 😉 ) Wear your normal Siberian gear. You’ll take your outerwear off when you get to the event. Most likely they’ll have a coat room at the entrance so no one other than your boyfriend will see your layers. You can even bring a change of shoes if it is snowing and you need to switch from boots to heels. It’s far more important to be warm and dry – last December we had a cold snap where it averaged 5-10 degrees during the day! And have fun!

    November 16, 2017/Reply