Ask the Edit: The Accessories Edition

Jun 5, 2018

From hair barrettes for summer to passport covers, it’s time to talk about accessories.  You asked, I answered in this week’s Ask the Edit.

Hi Belle —

I’m on the hunt for a chic passport holder. The only ones I can find are Kate Spade, and they’re not as high-quality as I’m looking for and often are have more patterns than I want. I’d prefer a simple holder, I don’t need the extra card pockets, and I’d like it to be a solider color leather with at most a small logo. I’m open to other materials if it’s high-quality and durable. 

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! EDM

For a solid-color, leather passport case, I would try either this lipstick red Longchamp or this silver Henri Bendel case.  For a little more jazz, I like this snakeskin print Zadig and Voltaire case.  I also like this cute “adventure awaits” case from Rebecca Minkoff.

Need something under-$25?  Try this dusty rose Lodis passport case.

Hi Belle, 

I am in love with this Cult Gaia bag all the bloggers have been repping, but it’s so pricey.  Can you help me find a summer bag made of natural materials that’s under-$50?  

Maggie

Straw and wood bags are a great option for summer.  Yes, they’re having a bit of a moment, but these are a vintage-influenced item.  So before you shop, ask your mom or grandmother if she has one tucked in a closet somewhere.

This Urban Outfitters Caged Handheld Clutch ($44) is a nice option.  It’s a good knock-off of the Cult Gaia style.  Prefer straw?  I am absolutely obsessed with this Dorothy Perkins color-blocked straw bag.  I like the two-tone color and the round handle.  Very chic, but casual.

Hi,

I’m looking for a professional-looking black leather belt to be worn around my waist, preferably under $50. Any ideas? Thank you!

GenevieVe 

I’m not sure what you mean by professional, but since I love belts, let me suggest some that I would wear to work.  I upped your price range just slightly to $60, because I didn’t want to leave out a good option over a few dollars.

I famously hate buckles, but this J.Crew Factory leather loop belt has me rethinking that.  This Kate Spade skinny bow belt is one of my favorites to jazz up simple dresses.  This criss-cross waist belt from Express looks like it would be incredibly slimming.

Want a total steal?  I mean total steal.  This velvet snap belt from BCBG is $10.  Just wear the snaps around back.

Hi Belle,

Can you help me find some earrings for an upcoming wedding?  I want something gold.  I want big.  But I don’t want them to be too flashy.  Something under-$75 would be ideal.

Julia

There are a lot of amazing, colorful earrings on the market right now.  But they’re not right for everyone or for every occasion.  Here are some options that match your request.

These Kenneth Jay Lane coin drops ($29) have a classic, but impactful look to them.  I love the tassels on these Madewell earrings in champagne.  You also can’t go wrong with a pair of really thin hoops like these once from Last Call.

Hello, Abra:

My hair hates humidity.  I need hair clips that are simple but cute.  Currently, I’m making do with a big tortoise barrette, but it’s on its last leg.  Help me, please.

Sincerely, Amaya

These circle hair clips that let the hair show through are my current favorites.  This Urban Outfitters clip comes in at an affordable $10.  This COS large metal barrette also caught my eye.  And I’m smitten with this tortoise shield ponytail wrap from Banana Republic.

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  1. Naomi says:

    Belle,

    Any recommendations on how to style the barrettes? I’m transitioning back from short hair to long hair, and I’m telling you, this summer heat is making me eye the scissors again. Part of the reason I cut it in the first place was because I couldn’t figure out how to style it. Anyone have any tutorials? Thanks!

  2. amy says:

    RE: passport holders – if you’re willing to splurge, Cuyana’s passport holder is high-quality leather, comes in lots of color options, and can be monogrammed.

  3. R says:

    I have the Mark and Graham passport holder, which I’ve been happy with. It comes in multiple colors and can be monogrammed, if that’s your thing. https://www.markandgraham.com/products/leather-passport-case/

  4. Jess says:

    I just cannot with the caged handle purse. It honestly looks like popsicle sticks, and why on earth would you want everyone to see your stuff?

  5. Sarah says:

    EDM – try the passport holders from Graphic Image! They are wonderful, simple, and such great quality.

  6. Cait says:

    I have crazy thick hair that poofs up like a lion’s mane in humidity. The only thing I’ve ever found that reliably tames it are the volume barrettes from France Luxe. Their styles are typically just the classic rectangle barrette, but they have a million colors and patterns to choose from and they hold up better than basically any other hair thing I’ve ever bought.

  7. Denise says:

    +1 for Mark and Graham passport holders. I have one and it holds up very well – I carry my passport with me all the time.

  8. Emily says:

    The SugarFix by BaubleBar line at Target also has some really great gold (and colorful) statement earrings. One pair is really similar to the ones Abra recommended and they are only $12.99 (see e.g. https://www.target.com/p/sugarfix-by-baublebar-gold-coin-drop-earrings-gold/-/A-52906304).

  9. V says:

    Has anyone tried the Cult Gaia knockoff from Amazon? I’m tempted but I don’t entirely trust the reviews to be real.

    Miuco Womens Bamboo Handbag Handmade Large Tote Bag Size Small https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071NJF3Q8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_1XRfBbBJZG4NZ

  10. Liz says:

    I would also recommend checking out Esty’s vintage section for natural material bags. I found an amazing vintage straw clutch with gold hardware for $14 a few years ago!

  11. LS says:

    EDM – seconding Cuyana for a passport holder. I do have a wallet and several other leather goods and they’ve held up beautifully.

  12. Kate says:

    Saw this knockoff of the Cult Gaia bag at Target just yesterday: https://www.target.com/p/women-s-bamboo-clutch-a-new-day-153-natural/-/A-53213481

  13. M says:

    Thirding the Cuyana passport holder! Good quality and you can have your initials or monogrammed stamped on it.

  14. Beth says:

    I highly recommend the Lodis passport covers. I got one as a gift almost a decade ago and it’s held up through a lot of travel without much wear, and certain designs have additional slots for cards, money, etc.

  15. K says:

    Second France Luxe if you truly have thick hair. My hair is thick enough that try to double most hair bands around it causes them to snap in hand. It’s the only barrette I’ve found that can hold my hair so I have a million of them.

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