Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Vol. V, No. Six

Today on Ask the Edit, we cover how to get jean-dye stains out of light bags, dresses for work events, blouses for busty ladies, and more…

I have a Dagne Dover classic tote in the beeker blush that I love.
However, I’m not entirely sure if there’s a specific way to care for coated canvas?
I’ve recently noticed a little discoloration right where it must rest against my hip and rub against my jacket or jeans. Can I just use soap and water? Is there a special wipe I should be ordering? Thanks!

– Katie 

For cleaning indigo stains off of coated canvas, I use either a Magic Eraser or Purell on a clean white sponge or rag.  It might take a few tries to clean it, but it should take care of it.

Have a leather bag?  Do.not.use.saddle.soap.  It’s often too strong for leather bags; I ruined a good Minkoff bag trying to clean it with saddle soap.  Instead, try Coach’s leather handbag cleaner.


I am looking for a long sleeved cream colored work blouse. I’m pretty busty so button down will not work. My budget is less than $100.


My first thought was a split-neck or v-neck blouse.  This $25 Off5th blouse is a classic.  So is this affordable ASOS v-neck.  I also like this Ted Baker v-neck blouse with a subtle bell sleeve.  Plus-size?  Try this VC Pleat Front blouse.

For other styles, try this crewneck 1.State blouse has a ruched sleeve.  This Foxcroft drape blouse might give you the ability to wear a button-up since it has a covered placket.  The pleat-front on this Calvin Klein blouse looks like a tuxedo shirt.

Hi Belle,

I’m giving a big presentation in March. I confirmed with my boss that I don’t have to wear a suit for the occasion, so I’d like to get a new dress. I’m not a fan of wearing black, and I need the dress to be $200 and under because it’s likely that I’ll have to get it tailored to fit properly. Thanks so much, can’t wait for you to be back in DC!

– J 

The first decision you have to make is sleeves or sleeveless.  I would recommend sleeved dresses since it’s a suit-appropriate event.

I always like a bold, power color for big speeches and presentations.  This cobalt Donna Karan draped sheath is impactful.  This J.Crew long-sleeve dress comes in electric red.  Maggy London makes a short-sleeve dress with a cool, asymmetric neckline.  Plus-size? Try this print dress from London Times.

Prefer a neutral color?  Maggy London has a short sleeved dress that has a very sleek look.  This black Adrianna Papell stretch dress has a cool neckline.  For something with a very unique, bold shape, try this charcoal Badgley Mischka dress.  Plus-size?  Try this Tahari crepe dress with a side-tie.


My sister-in-law says I should be filling in my eyebrows.  How and with which product?  Thanks.


This OnceWed natural eyebrow tutorial explains how to get a sculpted look that isn’t overdone.  When I just want a quick, natural brow, I go for Glossier Boy Brow. (I learned this week that it’s pronounced glossy-ay, like dossier.)  And when I want to get a cleaner, darker look, I use this NYX pencil in taupe.

Hi Belle,

This dreary winter weather has me daydreaming of warmer weather by pre-shopping for vacation clothes. I’ll be going to Hawaii this summer with my boyfriend. The issue? I can’t bring myself to buy anything that’s pink or has tropical plants on it. Can you suggest some easy, classic beach dresses for under $150 that won’t make this New Englander feel like a fish out of water?


I don’t recommend buying “themed” attire for a vacation — only spend your money on something you can wear again.  For a vacation to Hawaii, skip any color you wouldn’t typically wear.  For beach dresses, white is always a classic choice.

I like this Moon River Eyelet dress and this pretty, embroidered Maison Jules dress.  A pale blue dress would work in any location; this printed Miguelina dress with tie straps is positively adorable.  A gauzy yellow dress may also work, this DvF dress is cute.

If you want to dress the looks up for a beach vacation, I would do it with accessories.  A pom-pom basket tote or a Cult Gaia mini bag is a lovely option.  A pair of bright tassel earrings would be fun.  Just brighten up your look with inexpensive accessories that carry that beachy vibe.

What do you recommend to wear to a June wedding in Billings? I know the weather can be hit or miss in early June and Montana is much less formal than the east coast. I want to look good but not be an overdressed, obviously out of state city slicker.

– Melissa 

Billings is in a warmer part of the state so it could be hot, but it’s always best in Montana to prepare for multiple climates.  Just make sure to pack a shawl of some kind (or a denim jacket) because it gets pretty cold once the sun goes down.

Yes, weddings in Montana are MUCH more casual, but Billings a fairly large city, not a backwater.  Jeans are common at the more casual affairs.  Even at weddings where the men wear ties, most of the ladies will be in “church” attire.  Cotton dresses and ponte sheaths are common, with the occasional “club” dress mixed in on someone younger.  But the dress code can vary widely based on the crowd and what the invitation says.  The best way to sort it out is to either ask the couple or see if they have any photos on their Facebook pages from similar occasions.

When I attend weddings out West (with the exception of my brother’s which I dressed up for), I stick with jersey dresses in either a wrap or sheath shape.  I also try to choose something in a print or a color, no black for a summer event.  I’m wearing this printed DvF dress to wedding in Idaho later this summer. A ponte shift is another good option.  Try to bring two dresses — one more casual, one dressier — and judge based on the rehearsal dinner or others you meet in the bridal party.

If you have concerns about being too casual, you can also dress up a simple dress with cool earrings or a fun necklace.  Montanans are usually pretty relaxed about this kind of thing, so as long as you don’t show up in a white dress or platform heels, I doubt anyone will notice.

Even if you don’t usually have seasonal allergies, I recommend bringing some Claritin.  I’ve known more than a few people who had trouble in Montana in May/June due to hay harvesting or cottonwood tree bloom who didn’t think they had allergies.



  1. Pompom says:

    Busty in need of a cream LS blouse? Me too, and I own this and it is lovely!

    It benefits from a nude camisole underneath to make it a bit more opaque, but it’s not see through.

    February 7, 2018/Reply
  2. CX says:

    For going out in Honolulu think more LA/SoCal than luau. For wandering from the beach to shopping around Ala Moana or grabbing lunch, a cheap surf dress cover up (have a 2000s flashback and think Roxy) or a jersey maxi dress.

    February 7, 2018/Reply
    • Jules says:

      hahaha I’m laughing at the 2000 flashbacks comment because it is SO true. I live in HNL and still rocking my high school ‘surfer style’ clothes that were popular then (minus the puka shell choker.)
      I find that the tourists love to wear these bright “Tropical” looking fancy dresses and locals just kinda wear more easy going dresses. Too hot and sticky in the summer 🙂
      Yup, a simple cotton flowy dress will be perf! I find maxis to be butt crack sweat territory.

      February 8, 2018/Reply
  3. MOnica T says:

    I have sparse blonde brows and a friend of mine recommended I try microblading, she LOVES her brows after getting it done. So I have an appointment next month. I’m pretty active so anything that makes it look like I have eyebrows even when I’m not wearing make-up is a plus! Hopefully it works out.

    February 7, 2018/Reply
  4. J says:


    I’m in a similar boat shopping for a spring break vacation. I just bought this Charles Henry dress in Atlantis and really love it. Lots of the colors look gorgeous The recommendation to size down is a good one!

    I also bought this from Asos. I’m typically opposed to patterns like this, too, but for some reason I loved this one, and it was only $29! I had to size down to get it right and might still have some material taken out to make more flattering. It’s that loose even if you’re not a model!

    Enjoy vacay!!

    February 7, 2018/Reply
  5. Jo says:

    MM.Lafluer has some dress options under $200 that are great for presentations too.

    February 8, 2018/Reply