Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Vol. V, No. Eleven

Skirted swimsuits that don’t suck, jackets that aren’t trenches, the cure for tangled/dry hair, and more on this week’s Ask the Edit!

Hi Abra,

I was wondering what kind of basic spring coats & jackets you recommend for DC? It’s my first year commuting and I’m looking for something classic, elegant, and not a trench coat.

Thanks so much and I love your blog!  Anon

Not a trench coat?  Okay, well that makes things interesting.  Most American retailers have gone the way of the trench, but there are a few other places to look.

Boden has this lovely Aileen Coat in a cocoon style, and their waterproof Mac is the most sophisticated raincoat you’l ever see.  Banana Republic has this gorgeous red boucle coat for a dramatic choice.  For something really different, I’m kind of obsessed with this leopard coat from M&S.

If these don’t catch your eye, my go-to source for coats in all sizes, colors, and shapes is ASOS.  They have a wide selection of options, most under-$150.

Hello,

I have a big interview coming up soon, and I’d like to refresh my blouse choices. If things go well, there will be two rounds of interviews. I have navy, black, and gray suit options. My existing work dress code tends more toward separates than suits, and I’m not thrilled with my current blouse choices to pair with the suits. I’d love something in a jewel tone or in a print that’s interview appropriate and prefer sleeveless or short sleeves under my jackets. 

I love your Ask the Edit feature and appreciate any help you can provide! -Lisa

I posted this Banana Republic blouse yesterday, but for a subtle choice, this tonal dot print is a great option.  The print on this Nic + Zoe top would look lovely with a navy suit.  I also like this Kate Spade top with a hint of metallic, and this NYDJ printed back-pleat top.

Need color?  This mauve top from Boss is phenomenal.  This inverted pleat shell from Vince Camuto comes in so many colors, including a stunning cobalt.  I also love this emerald tie-neck blouse for just $25.  Plus-size?  Try this DR2 blouse in a lovely wisteria.

Hi Belle,

I am writing for advice on how to determine the proper length to hem a tailored work dress. I just purchased the Catherine dress and it comes to the bottom of my knee, as pictured. However, looking at it, since it has a bit less structure, I wonder if it would be more flattering hemmed to the top of my kneecap.

I know longer hems for work dresses have been in style for years. Should I keep it longer here? Are there general rules about what the length different styles work-dresses are best worn?

Jessica

Dresses for work can be tailored just below or just above the knee.  When tailoring above the knee, you need to worry about the length the dress will become when seated.  More than once, I’ve bought a work dress, hemmed it, and then sat down in a meeting feeling really exposed.  (Well, hello, upper thigh tissue that hasn’t seen the sun in months!)

To ensure your hem won’t be too short, make a three-finger salute.  Place the bottom of your ring finger at the top of your knee-cap.  The hem should be no shorter than the distance from the top of your knee to the top of your fingers.

Abra,

I’m two months postpartum and my pregnancy mane is falling out in sheets.  Now, I’m a tangled mess and my hair feels like straw.  How do you deal with tangles?  And I need a gentle shampoo that won’t strip my hair.  A conditioning treatment wouldn’t hurt either.

Please help.  I’m finally getting the Mom-thing down, but I feel like I look haggard.

Isa

Okay, on the subject of tangles, many people rave about the Tangle Teezer.  So if they’re really bad, give that a go.  My hair doesn’t really tangle, so I just brush it out with my Drybar Lemon Drop before I shower. Brushing when hair is wet just makes tangles worse.

For a conditioning treatment, try Olaplex.  Total lifesaver.  You do need to commit 5-10 extra minutes to your prep time, but you only need to use it once or twice per week.  Heals split ends like a dream.

As for shampoo, I’ve used Marajo Nourishing Cleansing Creme before, and it’s a great product.  Very gentle and slightly moisturizing.  Need a bargain brand?  Try Aveeno Nourish shampoo.

Hi Abra,

Do you have any suggestions for a skirt bathing suit bottom that isn’t too matronly? Maybe with side slits or something. I hate shaving/waxing my bikini area so I’d like a little more coverage, but I don’t want to completely conceal my figure.

Thanks!  E.

If you want to really splurge, this Norma Kamali suit is really cute.  It looks like a vintage sundress.  This Unique Vintage suit has a similar vibe for less.

Another option is a wrap-skirt coverup for a two-piece or one-piece suit.  This J.Crew one is a lot of fun.  I also like this sleek Tommy Bahama skirted hipster.

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LEAVE A COMMENT

    8 comments

  1. AVV says:

    For the swimsuit seeker, I love the mini swim mini from Lands’ End (particularly the flounce style). They’re long enough to cover while still being short enough to be cute, and because it’s Lands’ End you can get all sorts of mix-and-match options for tops.

    https://www.landsend.com/shop/search?initialSearch=true&Ntt=mini+swim+mini

    March 13, 2018/Reply
  2. SUSAN says:

    IF YOU DON’T MIND A SPORTIER LOOK FOR YOUR SWIMSUIT, TRY SWIM SHORTS. JUST GOOGLE “SWIM SHORTS FOR WOMEN” AND YOU WILL SEE THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPTIONS IN LENGTH (BOYSHORTS TO BERMUDA SHORTS LENGTHS) AND FIT (TIGHT OR LOOSE). SOME NICE PATTERNS AVAILABLE AS WELL, OR BASIC BLACK. BUY A MATCHING SWIM TOP (OR TWO) FROM A WEBSITE LIKE LANDS’ END.

    March 13, 2018/Reply
  3. Sarah says:

    You need to run to the store and get this product for damaged hair! Gliss hair repair leave in. My 8 year old daughter destroys her fragile fine blond hair in the summer with the sun and chlorine. This is the only thing that has worked to both minimize and repair damage as well as make it a breeze to comb through. I cannot rave about this enough!

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/schwarzkopf-gliss-trade-hair-repair-trade-6-8-fl-oz-ultimate-repair-express-repair-conditioner/1020426569?skuId=20426569&mrkgcl=609&mrkgadid=3279068125&rkg_id=h-ccdbdea4fe876414b83deef3bc946a76_t-1520967553&utm_source=bingpla&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=ProductType2%3Dhair%2520careProductType3%3Dshampoo%2520%26%2520conditioner&mcid=PS_bingpla_nonbrand_beautywellness_&msclkid=a24a5439f27d16c83ac10e91edfc5c1d&creative=78615137682355&device=c&matchtype=e

    March 13, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I own this. It does work. However, if you get body acne, it is not for you.

      March 13, 2018/Reply
  4. Anna says:

    For the hem, just because a dress is meant to hit at a certain point on your leg doesn’t mean that’s what’s most flattering for your body. I have long upper legs, so dresses that come to my knee tend to make me look dumpy unless it’s a very fitted skirt. Hems that fall about 2-3 inches above the knee are definitely the most flattering for me (assuming it isn’t a material that rides up a lot when I sit of course).

    March 13, 2018/Reply
    • Jess says:

      Huh, I think longer thighs relative to calfs may be why I have the same issue. I’ve always been perplexed why skirts that are properly knee length look so wrong on me—as if they’re screaming out to be tailored—while skirts that are a couple inches above the knee actually look “knee length” and not at all inappropriately short. It’s an issue of balance with the entire leg length.It all makes sense to me now. Thank you for finally providing me w/ an explanation!

      March 13, 2018/Reply
      • anna says:

        Haha, happy to help! I think this is why I can never find shorts that look right. Shorts that look totally reasonable, even long on other people, look like booty shorts on me. As far as skirts and dresses go, I’ve found that with some brands, the petite size actually fits me better (I’m 5’6″ so not petite) as long as the shoulders aren’t too tight.

        March 14, 2018/Reply
  5. espie says:

    My favorite detangler is still Johnson and Johnson No More Tangles. As an avid swimmer, and someone who has dry, fine hair its the only thing that works.

    March 13, 2018/Reply

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