Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Vol. V, No. 20

Another Thursday, another Ask the Edit.  Dry cuticles, shoes for summer, short robe suggestions, and more in today’s reader mail.  You ask, I answer.

Good morning Abra,

I recently bought this Brooks Brothers blazer and love it.  However, I am at a loss for what tops to wear under it.  I do not like the look of a collared shirt sticking up past the neckline of the blazer, but feel my v-neck t-shirts look ‘off’.  I would like to incorporate this blazer into both my casual and professional wardrobes!

Love the blog!  Thanks! -MM

For a collarless jacket, I would stick to Mandarin collars or crewnecks.  I found this navy Tara Jarmon blouse or this white Thomas Mason tuxedo blouse.  For a simple crewneck, try this silk, navy Reiss tee or this Cuyana silk tee in white or navy.  Start with these basics and then see where you end up.

Hi Abra,

I love your blog and all your advice! What would you recommend for work shoes this summer? I’m looking for cute pointed toe flats, maybe mules, or some low-mid heels that I can wear all day and stay cool while walking/commuting.

Thanks! – Catherine 

If you are looking to splurge a bit, I think M.Gemi has the cutest shoes I’ve seen anywhere.  These Elba flats have a mesh vamp that gives them a summery vibe.  Their popular Stellato menswear-inspired flat comes in a wide variety of summery hues.  And their Paradiso strappy flat is perfect for summery dresses.

For mules, I still like this feminine BP. mule with a structured bow.  Another option are these Jeffrey Campbell mustard flats with a high-fashion look.

Low heels are tougher.  Some people find them comfortable, some don’t.  For me, the only low-heel to buy if you’re looking for comfort are these Michael Kors Flex kitten heels.  They also come in a fun silver metallic for summer wedding.


Can you help me find a short robe?  I’m going to a wedding this spring and sharing a room with some other girls and would like one to wear while getting ready.  Under-$100, please! 


I love short robes.  I think they’re a great alternative to wearing the hotel robes, which can be too bulky.  And the best place to shop for them is Nordstrom Rack because most of them cost less than $50.

This black and white Room Service robe is so cute.  This Maidenform satin robe is a classic.  And this Natori wrap robe comes in misses and plus sizes.

Hi Abra!

I just found out the SaaS company I work for landed a huge contract with one of the world’s largest cosmetic companies. I’m expected to be onsite for a week long project kick-off event in less than two weeks.

It’s a great career opportunity but I’m stumped on what to pack.  The SaaS world I live in is full of casual dresses and jeans but this clearly calls for me to step up my game. Any suggestions for dresses that will travel easily but still be appropriate for a week in NYC with a mixed group of creatives, techies, and executives? It’s been a few years since I worked in a traditional corporate environment and my wardrobe is lacking.

Cheers, S

If I were in your situation, I’d pack dresses and structured flats/comfortable heels.  I might bring one blazer and one structured cardigan, but I’d mostly be in dresses the whole time.

My go to for these situations is always MM. LaFleur.  I like how some of their dresses mix feminine and corporate elements.  I just bought their Hanna dress and I can’t wait for it to get here.  I also highly recommend the Taylor dress (but if you carry your weight on the bottom, size up).  Need sleeves?  The Ellis dress in ponte fabric is a good option.

The other great thing about MM. dresses is that many of them are machine washable, so you can wash them in a hotel laundry room if need be.

Another option would be wrap dresses.  I think this Maeve polka dot dress would look smashing with a black pump.  And if you’re still stumped, this Black Halo Jackie O dress is a good look for almost any occasion.

Hi Belle,

My nails are so beaten up from winter.  What do you use on your hands?  Body lotion?  Something else?  My cuticles need your help.


I use O’Keefe’s Working Hands when my hands get dry.  I work it into my nails at night before I go to sleep.  If you want to get really serious about it, you can add a pair of moisturizing gloves/socks.

However, if your cuticles are the problem, you might try a cuticle oil.  I like NCLA So Rich cuticle oil.  If you need a kit to help you get your nails in shape, this Deborrah Lippmann cuticle kit has everything you need from the oil to the orange stick.

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  1. Anna says:

    Rent the Runway now rents separates in addition to accessories. You might want to check them out if you really want to step up your game with higher-end accent pieces but don’t want to throw down too much money on things you won’t wear when you go back home. I know they have a showroom in NYC that you can rent directly from, though if they’re anything like the one in Georgetown, they won’t have a huge assortment.

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  2. Jules says:

    Abra, have you tried the Sezane brand? I’ve been curious about their low heel options forever, but have never purchased any. I’d love to know what you think!!

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  3. Sigrid says:

    I absolutely love MM LaFleur and am slowly replacing all of my dresses with theirs, but I second the advice to size up on any of their sheath cuts if you carry your weight on your lower half. I take an 8 in anything that has a looser cut skirt, but I have a big bum for my size and can barely squeak by in a 10 if it’s a sheath style.f BARELY. There’s two dresses I had to return because a 10 didn’t work and a 12 was just too big on my top half (but fit right on my bottom half).

    And man, I want that Hanna dress so badly but have yet to talk myself into spending the money.

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  4. Xat (Rabbit Style News) says:

    While catching up on Feedly, the Brooks Brothers jacket showed up two posts later on an unrelated blog. So weird. (Unless the reader question came from this blogger??) She’s wearing a crew-neck sweater under the jacket.

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  5. Shannon says:

    I struggle with dry cuticles year-round and have found that the Lush lemony flutter is a life saver. A little bit goes a long way and it smells heavenly, like lemon cake. Massage into cuticles daily and then lock it in with your favorite lotion.

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  6. Valerie says:

    I share the love for the MM LaFleur dresses and M Gemi shoes, but being a broke PhD student definitely kept both outside my budget. I’m finally applying for decently paid jobs and can’t wait to add some well-made, elegant pieces to my wardrobe.

    May 10, 2018/Reply
  7. Jessica says:

    I tried the M. Gemi Elba flats recently and found them incredibly uncomfortable. The bottoms were some of the hardest of any shoe I’ve encountered, and they’re too tight to squeeze in an insole. Has anyone else had this problem, or know if this is an issue across the entire M. Gemi line? I love the look of several of their other shoes but am wary to try in case they all have such hard soles.

    May 11, 2018/Reply
  8. Susan Halpern says:

    For flats you can’t beat Rothy’s. Less expensive than the M.Gemi ($145), easy care, made from recycled materials, so comfortable, and always get complements. I love the Point.

    May 11, 2018/Reply