Ask the Edit: Vol. V, Vol. Fifteen

Mar 29, 2018

Belle,

I need help figuring out what to wear out to dinner with my boyfriend that is in between jeans with a cute top and a cocktail dress. I don’t wear heels so that also complicates things. I have just noticed that whenever I try to “dress up” for a nice night out I lean business casual/mid-level manager. And that’s not exactly sexy.

Please help! Jamie

Lady, you are preaching to the choir.  There are times when Kyle and I are going on a casual date, and I have no idea what to wear.  It’s not a fancy date, but I want it to feel special, you know?  So I completely understand your issue.

My personal solution has been maxi dresses.  They’re comfortable, not overly dressy, and still feminine.  This Vero Moda star-print wrap maxi is a good example.  I also like this simple floral-print maxi for under-$50.  This hot pink t-shirt dress maxi is also a nice option.

Another option is to choose blouses that are too fun to wear to work.  This off-the-shoulder Lucky blouse is fun.  I also like this one shoulder top with the subtle print.  Other choices include this bell-sleeved blouse and this incredible cool BCBG top.

The key is to put together an outfit that is either too fun or too sexy for work.  If that’s just not what’s in your wardrobe right now, then wear what you have…just make sure to wear great lingerie underneath.  May I recommend this Chantelle bra?

Belle,

Do you have a favorite brightening treatment for your skin?  Coming out of winter, my skin looks sallow and dry.  I need something to perk it up.

Sandra

I’m usually preoccupied with detoxing, not brightening, but I do have two brightening products that I love enough to keep them stocked.  This Herbivore mask body exfoliates and hydrates.  The fruit enzymes slough off the dead skin and brighten it.

The second product is Ole Henriksen Truth Serum.  This brightening serum has vitamin-C and collagen to provide anti-aging benefits as well as hydration.  It’s one of the few products that I have stocked and re-stocked for years.

Abra,

After watching Jessica Jones, I’ve decided I really need a leather jacket to go with my spring dresses. I’m looking for a black jacket with silver hardware. It’s so hard to find one that doesn’t look cheap and isn’t a million dollars. My budget is $200-300 and I am open to faux leather.

Thanks for your help!  Alexandra

These BlankNYC jacket has a cool, rocker-vibe to it.  These Bagatelle jacket is also a nice option in faux leather.  For real leather, this jacket from Orchard Mile and this NA-KD jacket are also worth a look.

Plus-size? Modcloth is offering this cool vegan-leather moto jacket.  Petite?  This Express jacket is fabulous.  Tall?  Try this Topshop jacket.

Another option would be to hit a few consignment stores, eBay, Poshmark, etc..  A lot of women buy leather jackets and then realize that they’re not wearing them as much as they’d like, so they sell them.  So there are usually a wealth of well-priced options.

Abra,

I need some colorful tops for an upcoming trip to the Amalfi Coast.  My husband and I are going on a belated honeymoon.  I just want my wardrobe to exude happiness.

Perhaps you’ve seen something that I haven’t. 

Lucy M.

That sounds like a lot of fun; I hope you have a lovely time.  The first thing I found is this $78 Moon River blouse in a bold marigold floral.  This sherbet striped poncho would be lovely with a white pant.  This bright green Talbot’s shell with a scalloped hem is also worth a look.

Also, if I could make one more suggestion, this striped bow top just screams summer.  It’s more classic than colorful, but it’s fabulous.

Hello,

I’m looking for a spring coat, khaki/bone/tan, but not a belted trench, more like a trench like coat sans belt. Does this exist?

– Melanie

A beltless trench coat exists only on Seinfeld.

Kidding.  There are a few trench-like options, but there not as prevalent as their belted brethren.  This Leith soft-open jacket is beltless.  I also found this shorter Mackage coat.  But I didn’t see any car coats or non-waterproof Macs for sale.  So that just may not be the style this year.

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  1. Charlotte says:

    If you’re cusp-sized/+, I can’t speak highly enough of Mango Violeta’s leather jackets.

    Also, I just returned a BlankNYC jacket because it was not bust-friendly, even a little.

  2. Sof says:

    On leather jackets – I’ve got two real leather jackets, one black and one brown, and didn’t spend more than $200 on either of them (they were initially marked at ~$500). It’s possible I’ve just been lucky, but you shouldn’t have to pay full price for a leather jacket.

    My black leather jacket is from a Lucky Brand outlet store a few years ago and it’s my absolute favorite. My brown leather is a Michael Kors that I grabbed from Nordstrom Rack’s website last fall. I highly recommend outlet malls & searching through Nordstrom Rack’s website for budget leather – good, stylish options do exist! (Here’s one example: https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2306268/michael-michael-kors-clean-ribbed-waist-moto-leather-jacket?color=BLACK)

  3. lala says:

    Re: date night I am a big fan of faux leather leggings, with flats/ankle boots. Can be dressed up or down – I think of them as and edgier version of your jeans.
    I have a few shirt dresses that I throw on over leggings or black tights and put a moto jacket on top! Also, I think jewelry plays a part. Flirty and fun jewelry changes up an outfit! As does nail polish 😉

  4. Allison says:

    Melanie, I have a swing trench from Zara and I really like it for the Spring. Really similar to this one: https://www.zara.com/uk/en/short-trench-coat-p03046035.html?v1=5745565&v2=710517

  5. Kate says:

    Belle, what shoes do you wear with your maxi dresses? I feel vaguely frumpy if I was them with anything other than sandals, but where I am it won’t be warm enough for a while yet (if ever…)

    • Kate says:

      Whoops, “wear them with”*

      • Jules says:

        I’ve seen people wear them with white converse sneakers, and with the right dress it can look really cute. On websites, I’ve also seen a lot of the models wear ankle booties. Personally, I think sandals are the way to go, even if it includes sacrificing my toes to the cold 😉

    • Belle says:

      Open toe or peep toe ballet flats.

  6. Niki says:

    Re: Jamie and date night . . .

    I am wearing a Uniqlo reversible tulle skirt (link below) with a white t-shirt and flats on my date night tomorrow! IMO, it’s in between jeans and a cocktail dress.

    https://www.uniqlo.com/my/store/women-reversible-tulle-skirt-4068340007.html#colorSelect

  7. allison says:

    Wide leg anything (wool trousers, jeans, linen slacks) is fun, a bit dressier than typical work wear and good with flats.

  8. Lexi says:

    Wanted to recommend a killer plus-size leather jacket at All 67. It’s a splurge, but wow. Highly recommend. https://www.all67.com

  9. Laura says:

    Alexandra, Amour Vert has a great one for just under $300.

    https://amourvert.com/products/deadwood-classic-leather-biker-jacket?variant=29949116935

    Belle, just wanted to say how much I enjoy the Q&As! They’re lots of fun to read! And I second the commenters from a few days ago who like the redesign. Hope you’re feeling better.

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