Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Editor: Vol. V, No. One

Hey! Long time no see, Ask the Editor.  Since your queries are filling my inbox, it’s time to start digging out.  You asked, I answered.  From swim cover-ups to flats for weddings and dry shampoo, let’s chat.

I had knee surgery recently and cannot wear heels. Can you suggest some cute flats/sandals that I can wear to weddings, etc this summer?

– Lauren 

If you’re headed to a cocktail wedding, these crystal Betsey Johnson flats and these BHLDN gold t-strap flats are geared toward evening.  For something more fun, I love these Badgley Mischka crystal flat sandals.

Need something more casual?  These Sam Edelman d’Orsay flats in metallic would work.  These under-$50 taupe flats from Journee are also a nice option.

Hi Abra,

Congrats on your engagement! I saw in the comments a while back that you had seen some nice moissanite rings on Etsy. I have been wearing my late mother’s wedding set since I got married, but it hasn’t felt right. I haven’t been able to kick the feeling that I’m wearing “her” jewelry, not my own. So my husband and I have been ring shopping several years into marriage. I’m really drawn to moissanite and I’m wondering if you could make some recommendations.

Thanks, Bethany

Moissanite is a silicon carbide that is sometimes used in jewelry instead of diamonds.  Recently, it has grown in popularity because it’s shiny and conflict-free.

East West Gem Co. is one of the more popular Moissanite retailers on Etsy.  This Harlow ring, an octagonal Asscher cut, had initially cut my eye.  I didn’t want anything too big, like I was trying to pretend it was a diamond, but I adored this cut.

If you’re looking for something simpler, the Love Forever shop has classic styles.  This bezel-set ring also caught my eye.

As for what I would have chosen, MinimalVS is my favorite Etsy retailer for engagement rings.  They have all kinds of non-diamond choices in cool shapes.  Her nesting wedding bands are my favorite.

Hey Abra!

I was invited to speak at a conference in a few weeks. I’m a featured speaker and will be on stage for about 20 minutes, standing and giving a talk. What do you recommend for an outfit that looks professional and put together but not too formal? Thanks in advance!

– Beth 

I always like a simple dress in a bold color.  You want to stand out, and a color like red or cobalt will help you do that.

This Black Halo Jackie O dress in cobalt is a wonderful choice.  This Boden Ottoman dress in cobalt is also a nice choice.  Like red?  This Donna Morgan dress and this Calvin Klein flutter sleeve dress are both fabulous.  Need a plus-size selection?  Don’t miss this Maggy London dress.

Hi Belle,

Would you do a post on beach cover ups? Thanks!

– Stephanie B

There are basically four ways you can go with a coverup:

  1. The Classic Shirt.  This can be a men’s shirt, or a coverup designed to look like a men’s shirt.  This Tommy Bahama coverup and this Seafolly shirt both fit the bill.
  2. The Sarong.  For those who just want to cover their lower half, the sarong is a nice option.  I like this striped and pom-trimmed one from Shopbop.  You can also tie a sarong in different ways with this tutorial.
  3. The Caftan.  This Michael Stars coverup has a gauzy, summery feel in a caftan shape.  If you don’t want a maxi style, try a shorter tunic style.  These styles give you a lot of coverage, if that’s what you prefer.
  4. The Simple Dress. Tank dresses are a great option.  They’re easy, packable and you can wear them around post-beach.  This Old Navy dress and this Caslon dress would also work.

Choose the one that’s right for you based on coverage needs, personal taste, and what else you plan to do.  I usually choose something that I can wear to lunch or shopping after.

Hi Abra,

You promoted some dry shampoo a few weeks ago, and I can’t find the post.  Which one are you using right now?


Drybar’s new Detox Invisible Dry Shampoo is my everything.  It’s the only dry shampoo I’ve ever been able to use for more than two consecutive days without major scalp itching.  It’s a lifesaver.

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  1. Leslie says:

    My engagement ring is from Nodeform and I love it. They have a lot of beautiful Moissanite options:

    May 15, 2019/Reply
  2. Marge says:

    Does the Drybar have that drybar smell? I love Drybar but I can’t tolerate their scent/fragrance.

    May 15, 2019/Reply
  3. J says:

    I have a previous version of this cover-up and really like it. The technical fabric is so nice for drying quick and standing up to pool conditions.

    May 16, 2019/Reply
  4. raq says:

    Lovepromise jewelers on etsy and their sister stand-alone site, is a great resource for moissonite. I have visited their chicago showroom and they are great!

    May 16, 2019/Reply
  5. Sharon says:

    Timely post on the non-traditional rings! My close friend’s boyfriend wants to pop the question this summer but has zero idea where to start because my friend Does Not Wear Jewelry. So a big sparkler is definitely not for her. I’m bookmarking all the recs to send to him later…

    May 16, 2019/Reply
  6. Cheryl says:

    Gemstones other than diamonds in engagment/wedding rings is a growing trend. Lots of pretty designs…”conflict-free” is in reality a snappy marketing term.
    Engagement/wedding sets are typically worn almost EVERY DAY and are subjected to all sorts of ‘rough use’ as we use our hands for every day tasks.
    My mother-in-law’s engagment/wedding set were beautiful emerald-cut emeralds.
    She stopped wearing them when one of stones cracked and shattered. Emeralds are’hard’ but have a weak molecular structure. A friend’s daughter’s gorgeous morganite engagment ring was destroyed after it shattered against a filing drawer. Morganite is a ‘softer’ gemstone, weak structure. Moissanite is sparkly, but doesn’t have nearly the hardness of a real diamond. More prone to eventual chipping and assorted damage.
    There are real reasons diamonds are favored for engagment/wedding rings. An almost impervious molecular structure and is one of the hardest natural substances on the planet. Not totally bullet-proof, but very durable (depending on the cut). I wear my husband’s grandmother’s ring, it is every bit as intact and beautiful as it was when new 80 years ago.
    Corundums, blue or red, aka sapphires and rubies, are also good choices for engagment/wedding sets. Hard and strong molecular structure.
    Choose a really knowledgeable jeweler, preferably a certified gemologist, not just someone who wants to sell you something. Listen to them, do some gemological research before spending a ton of hard-earned money on the most important pieces of jewelry in our life. If “conflict-free” is the 1st consideration, buy the more expensive Canadian-mined diamonds–more expensive for that reason.

    May 16, 2019/Reply
  7. Stacey says:

    For flats, Rothy’s don’t have a whole lot of support to them, but if that’s not an issue, their colorful ones are the go-to for my friends and I for casual weddings. Here’s a referral code, if anyone wants one:

    May 17, 2019/Reply