Ask the Editor: Vol. VI, No. Two

Mar 21, 2019

I love answering reader questions.  It’s like a fashion scavenger hunt for me.  So let’s go hunting.  From law school formal dresses to favorite jeans to spring trench coats, you asked, and I answered in this week’s edition of Ask the Editor.


Hi!

I’m a 3L and Barristers is coming up soon. I’m going to wear this BHLDN dress in violet gray with silver shoes. I was wondering if you could help me with the rest of my outfit (clutch/jewelry). I know it’s a little silly, but I never went to prom, so having the opportunity to dress up and feel like a princess has always been so special for me.

Thank you for helping me get through 3 years of law school!  – Libby 

Congratulations on being close to graduating!  Also, it isn’t silly.  It’s fun to dress up, and there are so few opportunities in life to do so, it’s nice to embrace them.

I like this dress, but with the sparkly top, my advice would be to keep the accessories to a minimum.  I would probably choose a dark grey clutch.  I like this Lucite clutch cut into a unique shape.  Or go for this very simple, $17 dove grey clutch.

For the earrings, I would choose a simple silver, chain drop earring.  I like these sparkly ones for $16, or these simple drops in multiple metals from WConcept.  I would also wear a bracelet.  This Nadri one is pretty.  I also like this Kendra Scott filigree one.

Belle –

Fellow state legislative employee here! Do you have suggestions on ways to wear silk scarves and keep them in place during the day? I’ve recently been gifted a couple and have had issues with constant sliding unlike with pashminas.

Anon

Since you mentioned pashminas, I assume you mean larger silk scarves like this one or this one.  This Wendy’s Lookbook video on styling scarves shows you some creative ways to wear them.  To keep them from sliding, I would just pin the lightly to my shirt or jacket at the back of the neck.

Hi Abra,

I’m starting to dream about warmer days and want to revamp my trench coat. I’m looking for something classic-stylish that will keep me dry, won’t wrinkle badly, and has a removable hood like this black one. I’m over being cold and need this to function as a true in-between seasons coat. I loved the feel of this Banana Republic fabric that wouldn’t wrinkle. I also loved the relaxed (and “royal”)  style on this one.

Looking to spend under $200. Can you help me find something that checks all the boxes? Thanks in advance. Love the blog and appreciate you answering past questions/instagram messages!

Best, Amy

This Club Monaco coat has a drapey, relaxed shape with a Lyocell liner for chillier days.  That’s one of the few I found with a liner.  For a classic trench, this $89 Uniqlo one is water-repellent and in a heavier-weight fabric than some trenches, but unlined.

If you’re looking for a warmer trench coat with hood, London Fog will be your best bet.  This Singer trench looks like a refined classic with a hood and water repellant.  Nordstrom Rack has their classic trench for $89.  Plus-size? Try this London Fog coat.

Abra,

I’m attending my first “black tie optional” wedding this Fall. I just purchased this dress on clearance from Rent the Runway, but I’m unsure on how to style it, aside from my strappy stilettos.  Any advice on accessories or styling?

– Angela

Because this dress has such a dramatic neckline, I would stick with simple, modern jewelry.  I like this big Vince Camuto cuff or this simple Kendra Scott.  I would style my hair in a straighter more modern way, and choose a less-dramatic smokey eye.  Because with a dress this bold, it behooves you to take its modern styling and blend it into a hole look.

Hi, Abra!

Love your blog. Always look forward to reading through your newsletter with a cup of coffee. As a current Hill staffer, your picks for stylish but office-appropriate tops and sharp dresses have helped me revamp my work wardrobe.  

Any advice on where to find a good pair of jeans? Looking for both dark wash and perhaps a lighter one too. What’s your ideal number of jeans to keep a wardrobe well stocked?

Thanks! AC

My favorite jeans are made by AG.  Their Empower Denim is stretchy, but in a good way.  The jeans stretch just enough to be slimming, but comfortable.  But if you’re between sizes, you may need to size down for the best fit.

I like their Farrah Skinny Jeans.  I have three pair in different washes (dark, black, and light).  I also like their colored ankle jeans for a fun spring option.

My favorite wide leg options come from other brands, however.  AG mostly makes skinny styles.  7 Dojo Jeans are my favorite flare options.  Boden also makes really fun novelty jeans, like this pair with sailor details.

Belle,

What do you recommend for crew neck sweaters? Is there cashmere that won’t pill? Thank you!

– Stephanie

I don’t wear a lot of crewnecks anymore.  As I’ve gained some weight, v-necks are more flattering, so I’ve been wearing more of those.  If I needed a crewneck sweater for an outfit, my choice is almost always Everlane cashmere now.  My other pick would be the Bloomingdale’s cashmere line, C by Bloomingdale’s.  I own their puffed-sleeve sweater and I love it.  It’s worn very well.  Plus, both retailers always have a good selection of colors.

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  1. AM says:

    @AC Madewell all day for jeans! They’re the best fit I’ve found, and they really last. I also recently tried Good American, very skeptically, but their jeans are amazing and stretchy but don’t get loose. When I was on the Hill I had 4-5 pairs to wear on weekends/recess before I had to do another load of laundry. Good luck!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    For scarf tutorials and ideas, there is no one beter than MaiTai’s Picturebook (https://maitaicollection.com/pages/tutorials). She is super chic and (probably) owns half of everything Hermes has ever made. But her blog is approachable and her tutorials are really useful. (She also sells scarf rings, but you can find very similar scarf rings on Ebay for significantly less money.)

    As for cashmere sweaters that don’t pill, buy a battery powered sweater shaver (plenty of options at Amazon, target, etc.). It will change your life. Pills be gone! Just make sure to do it on a hard, flat surface so you don’t take too much off. I like doing my sweaters on the ironing board.

  3. Sam says:

    For jeans, I love Levis. I bought a couple pairs 2 or 3 years ago and they still fit like they did the day I bought them. Any other brand I used to buy would lose their shape after awhile.

  4. Lauren says:

    I have been really pleased with the three pairs of J.Crew jeans (black + two shades of blue) I have in rotation. High waisted, good stretch without stretching out, hold up well and are comfortable. They are almost identical to Madewell, but typically you can get a little bit more of a discount on them!

  5. Lisa says:

    Regarding keeping silk scarves in place: I like to use small/mini hair clippies to do the trick. I just clip the scarf to my collar discreetly. The scarf stays in place and the clips don’t damage the silk. Easy!

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