Ask the Edit: Vol. V, No. Thirty One

Sep 5, 2018

Post-holiday, end-of-summer blues are real.  So let’s spice up life with a few quick Ask the Edits.  You asked, I answered — including some thoughts on what to cope when you hate your job.


I’m wondering if you still love your Rothy’s and if so? Preparing for a girls trip to NY and need something for all the walking adventures ahead, but I’m not really a sneakers-wearing woman. Thanks!

– MeG 

Yes, I do still love my Rothy’s.  In fact, I just bought this emerald green pair to wear this fall.  I chose the emerald over the chili red because I wanted a more subtle pop of color, but I may change my mind and end up with both.

Also, pro-tip, if you own more than one pair, buy another set of removable insoles.  I lost one on a trip and spent weeks swapping out the same left between two pairs of shoes.  They also have a bunch of fun colors, if you want to go that route.  And, if you have sweaty feet, you can be washing one pair while using the other.

Hi Abra,

Loved the leopard pants from last week.  Can you help me find a few other printed pairs?  I think this might be my fall look.


It should come as no surprise to you that most printed pants are hideous.  Criminally hideous.  Like these Versace’s with Native Americans on them.  But I did find a few nice pairs.

I think this chain print River Island pair are a bold choice, but could be chic with a simple flat and a light blue sweater.  And this floral Wildfang print is a unique option.

Since the selection is so limited, I would advise you to try brightly colored pants in the alternative.  These dusty rose NY & Co pants would be phenomenal with a burgundy sweater.  These pine green Antonio Melani skinny pants are great with an ivory sweater and a leopard heel.  Plus-size? Try these cobalt Alfred Dunner pants.


Do you have a favorite mousse or volumizing spray?  My hair is so flat since I grew it out that it just makes me want to cut it again.  

Thanks, Lara

I have two products that I recommend to people.  If your hair is flat at the roots, but fine everywhere else, you need Drybar Southern Belle Root Lifter.  It really gives my roots a boost when I want to wear a big updo or live all my South Texas hair dreams.

The second is just the same Pantene body boosting mousse for fine hair that I’ve been using since college in one form or another.  It’s a good mousse with plenty of utility and no weird smells.

Now, if you prefer a spray, Drybar’s May Tai is a great option.  I just don’t want to pay quite that much for my every day hair style.  This is also a great choice for people with a lot of natural texture.  When I had a perm last year, it was the best for the easy, beachy look.

Hello, Abra:

I love your #FitClub group.  One of the other members inspired me to try Orange Theory, and now to my wife’s chagrin, I am obsessed with it.  I’ll drag her with me eventually!  

The purpose of this email is not only to thank you, but to ask what workout shoes you wear.  You mentioned a LONG time ago that you have high insoles and arches; I do as well.  My guess is we might be shoe twins and I’m hoping you can help me find a new pair.  

Thank you.  Sincerely, Annalise

High arches, the worst.  High insoles, the second worst.  I have tried every pair of Nikes on Earth, twice.  But the only pair that has never made my feet go numb after five minutes are the Nike Zoom Trainers.  If you’re in between sizes go up.

My previous go-to shoe that I had to abandon because the colors got too weird was the Brooks Adrenaline running shoes.  They’re really light on the foot, which keeps my foot fatigue down to a manageable amount.

Hi Abra,

Do you have any suggestions for healthy coping techniques when you are unhappy at work? Sometimes I try to do things like wear bright colors, get in extra early and have some tea while I’m starting to tackle my day, plan vacations to look forward to, or mentally list out things I’m grateful for, but sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

~Trying to stay positive

During a particularly rocky period in my career, I made the mistake of soothing my wounds with alcohol.  I didn’t realize that I was developing a problem until I was drinking during the day and didn’t think anything of it.  So I always caution women who are in a rough patch to start avoiding the bars, especially in D.C. where people put the functional in functioning alcoholic.

That being said, I used to schedule plans with friends.  Anything I could look forward to.  Baseball games, plays, trips, etc.. Then, I would just count the days.  Shortening my career into manageable blocks made it less maddening.

Another trick I used was meditation.  In the days before apps, I used to sit quietly at my desk after lunch and clear my mind.  Then, I would focus on one thought, “It is a job.  It does not define you.  It puts money in your pocket.  Run it, don’t let it run you.”  This would get me through long afternoons.

If your traditional coping mechanisms are failing, it’s time to get a move on.  Slowly update your LinkedIn so it doesn’t draw attention.  Schedule coffees and touch base with lots of people in your network.  And get your resume right.

When people ask how work is going, just say, “I’ve been thinking about making a change,” but be really positive about it. People want to help other people, and they want to help you more if you seem like you’re leaving because you want to, not because your miserable.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author; image here}

Ask the Edit, Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kelly says:

    So excited Rothy’s is selling insoles! After I destroyed mine last year, the brand said they’d be coming (and sent me some in the meantime). Between the colors and the $10 price…I’ll be buying a couple pairs.

  2. Anna says:

    I walked 32k steps in one day in Paris this May and my feet felt great. It’s like walking barefoot. I find the round toe more comfortable, especially for lots of walking (fwiw I have a wide forefoot), but even the pointy ones are more comfortable than any flat should be.

  3. Kim says:

    Wait, you got a perm? Can you say more about that? My hair is also very fine and stick straight, and I’ve thought about perming it but I’m still kind of scarred from the perms of my youth.

    • Belle says:

      I didn’t have good luck. It fell out after four weeks, which is not the norm. I may try again later this year. But I’ll wait to write a post until I have a decent one. They were trendy for a minute, but so many salons refuse to do them now.

  4. Cat says:

    For the flat hair reader – I have long, fine hair that has always been super flat no matter what I try. However! I found my miracle:

    Seriously, it works wonders, can’t recommend enough.

  5. Christina says:

    For Annalise, I recommend hitting up a local running store and having someone look at your feet and watch you run on a treadmill. Everyone’s just so different. After running in a pair of Nike Frees (which work great for some!), I couldn’t get over the difference I felt in the shoes I bought through this process.

    You’ll probably pay sticker price for those shoes, but then I always hunt old versions on Amazon after I wear the initial pairs out. This has on more than a few occasions meant putting up with some pretty ugly shoes but hey, my knees are happy! 🙂

    • heatherskib says:

      Agreed. I had absolute sticker shock after my first trip to my local running shop but I needed shoes for tennis and running. I share Alba’s high arches issue- plus I have a wide forefoot and I’m a toe runner.

  6. L says:

    Other tips for making the work grind less of a grind…

    (and ymmv here… my job places a lot of importance on “face time” – aka being at my desk)

    * Workout during lunch. I’ve found it really breaks up the day, I feel mentally fresh afterwards, and as a bonus I have trouble justifying not going bc otherwise I’m just sitting there at my desk.

    * Podcasts or audiobooks while you’re working on monotonous things.

    * Kindle app to read when you just need to get your mind off of work for like 15 min (better than a smoke break right??)

    * Special beverages at certain times of day (for me: coffee with cream at 11, coke zero at 4)

    * Make friends at work and get up and go chat with them

    * Lots and lots of water drinking (and the accompanying walks to the ladies… getting those steps in!)

    Errrr…. I think that’s all I’ve got – but I definitely 2nd making weekly plans with friends to look forward to and also bigger trips. I have a calendar with those things boldy displayed right next to my monitor.

    Plus another big picture thing is having something outside of work that feels fulfilling and engages your brain.

    • E says:

      I second all of these! I love seeing that I’m not the only one who schedules special beverages at different times of the day to help 🙂

    • Cait says:

      Yes! Earl Grey tea latte at 3pm on hard days 🙂

    • K says:

      Second “having something outside work that engages your brain”. I started volunteering last year with a women’s network in the midst of a not-great-fit job. It gave me a great opportunity to learn from other women and gave me something to do with all my pent-up ambition that I had zero way to use at work. Now that I’m unemployed the volunteering gives me something to do besides job search.

    • HSM says:

      I force myself to exercise in the morning, even if it’s just a 10 minute walk. This automatically resets my attitude about the day. A 2 pm walk outside for 15 minutes can sometimes help reset it then, as well.

      • MM says:

        +1 to a quick walk. I find that getting outside for even a short amount of time during the day is incredibly helpful for reminding myself that there is an entire world carrying on outside the four walls of the office. It really helps reset my perspective.

  7. MZ says:

    About the Rothy’s, our pediatrician loved them too, so I’m really thinking about biting the bullet. Which colors do you have now? Do you find that they wear out or get stained? (I know the insoles are replaceable, but the shoes/soles themselves?) I’m looking at the flax birdseye, black, leopard, or red…

    • Belle says:

      I have the leopard, the black, and the emerald in the points. I have a printed pair in the loafers.

      The insoles get dirty, I just wash them. I haven’t noticed much wear on the shoes themselves except the front of the point on the soles is wearing off, but that’s the same in my leather shoes.

    • Anna says:

      I’m worried the soles of mine will wear out, since they are rather thin. I’m already starting to see the pattern on the sole wearing down after mostly wearing mine around the office plus one trip, but they are so insanely comfortable!

  8. KL says:

    I would add choose work friends carefully and seek out people who can commiserate and then move on to chat about a common non work interest. It’s easy to fall into a trap of negativity so it’s nice to know who can put a smile on your face on low day.

  9. Kim says:

    Re: Rothy’s… Unless you have extremely healthy, youthful (?) feet that don’t need any support (i.e. you have no problem being basically barefoot all day), I would emphatically NOT recommend them for a walking-heavy trip. They have very little support in addition to having incredibly thin soles. I own a pair and I wear them to the office, but if I try to wear them on a walk-heavy day (conferences or similar), I’m in agony by the end of the day. That said, I like them *enough* that I’ve been considering buying another pair in a larger size and adding SuperFeet insoles to them. On the other hand, I don’t feel especially great about adding $40 insoles to $125+ shoes…

    • Kelly says:

      At the rate I’ve destroyed my Rothy’s insoles (just ordered 3 more pair…for the one pair of shoes I own), I’d potentially save money swapping out for SuperFeet. The SuperFeet insoles are supposed to be pretty long-lasting with the carbon fiber they use now. At least that’s what the running store said that helped me feel better about the extra $40. :/

    • Anna says:

      When I wore them on a very walk-heavy day, my feet felt great, but my lower back did hurt. I actually prefer them to my flats that have slightly more support because the Rothy’s allow my foot to spread more. It’s almost as if I’m walking barefoot and feel more stable with no rubbing, whereas other flats tend to make my ankles and toes a bit more sore by the end of a long walking day.

  10. Jules says:

    For walking and visiting cities, I’ve worn my Toms shoes for probably 50 miles without a single blister! I found them super comfy on cobblestone, paved, and even some unpaved roads.

  11. anna says:

    For Annalise, make sure you’re wearing shoes appropriate for the activity. OTF is a little tricky, because there’s treadmill running involved, but I prefer different shoes for boot camp type classes versus running versus weight-lifting/resistance training. My running shoes feel like clouds when I’m running, but when doing things like lunges, side jumps, or even just walking, the outsides of my feet and sometimes my arches hurt. Similarly, I prefer a flatter shoe when doing weights. Shoes for crossfitters might be a good bet since they also incorporate running and different forms of resistance training and calisthenics. I know Reebok is a crossfit sponsor and has shoes specifically for it. I’ve also heard good things about the brand No Bull.

    • B says:

      +1 – size matters for different activities, too. My normal shoe size is 9.5 in heels and 10 in flats, but I typically end up in wear size 9 trainers and 9.5 in running shoes (gives room for foot to expand). I wear Asics for running, they fit my super high arch feet well and have a model that helps correct my supination (walking on the outsides of my feet). I wear a pair of Nikes from Nordstrom Rack that are billed as trainers/gym shoes – I don’t do HIIT often anymore, more like a barbell strength class, but I really feel the difference in lunges and squats vs my running shoes.

    • Siri says:

      I use the Reebok Speed TR ( – mine are not customized so I don’t know why that’s the only option, but you can find them elsewhere too). I don’t do Crossfit, but they work really well for my HIIT workouts and you can supposedly run in them too. They did take a little getting used to – the bottom isn’t as cushioned as what I was using before – but now I am a huge fan and they provide really nice stability for squats, lunges, etc.

  12. Roxann says:

    I am heartened to read that you got past the alchol. I am delurking just to say good for you! As a longtime reader, I saw hints but did not want to say the wrong thing.

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!


Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No Twenty-Three

This week, we have a wedding dress search coming up empty, cell phone slings that don’t suck, sunscreen tips for kids, and more. Let’s take a peek in the reader mail bag.



Recent Posts

Two Ways: The Olive Striped Shirt

I’d write a quippy intro, but it’s 5:00AM and I’m sitting in an airport lounge, so let’s just get on with it, shall we?



The Find: An Olive Striped Shirt

As you may have noticed, I do not have the most creative personal style. I am here for basics. But what I’m always looking for is basic-but, a piece of clothing that is basic but just a little different.




Ask the Edit, Style, Top Posts | June 20, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No Twenty-Three

This week, we have a wedding dress search coming up empty, cell phone slings that don’t suck, sunscreen tips for kids, and more. Let’s take a peek in the reader mail bag.



How To Wear It, Posts, Style | June 18, 2024

Two Ways: The Olive Striped Shirt

I’d write a quippy intro, but it’s 5:00AM and I’m sitting in an airport lounge, so let’s just get on with it, shall we?



Features, Posts, The Range | June 18, 2024

The Find: An Olive Striped Shirt

As you may have noticed, I do not have the most creative personal style. I am here for basics. But what I’m always looking for is basic-but, a piece of clothing that is basic but just a little different.



Features, Monday Mornings, Posts | June 17, 2024

The Mondays: June 17, 2024

From the rooftop deck of my D.C. hotel I can see it all. The Capitol building, where I worked on and off for a decade. My first apartment where my three-doors-down neighbor was a young Senator Obama. My second apartment building where I bounced from unit-to-unit as my salary rose and I was finally able […]