Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Editor: Vol. II, No. Eight

This week, we have questions about holiday attire, Santa Swap gifts, and more.  So let’s get started with this edition of Ask the Editor.

Hi Abra,

My neighbors host a holiday party every year and the attire is festive but not fancy.  This is the first year we’ve been invited, and I want to wear something sparkly.  Just a top, no dresses.  Price range is less than $100.  No boob tops, please and thanks.


I like sequined tops in the traditional metallics, but sometimes other colors can be fun too.  Let’s find some of both.

I absolutely love the look of this top from WAYF.  The ivory sequins are shimmery and gorgeous, but subtle.  And the flowy cut is flattering on many figures.

This ASTR the Label Bodysuit has a dramatic asymmetric neckline that’s a lot of fun.  This black, open-back top from Goodnight Macaroon is playful.  And this beige top with silver sequins would look great with a white jean.

Other fantastic pieces in bold colors?  This Maeve tank comes in a deep magenta.  I also like this soft rose gold.  If you want something a little more party appropriate, try this dark green sequin halter.

Want something totally different?  Try this Adrianna Papell embellished top.  It’s sheer and pretty, and not your traditional sequin top.

Plus-size?  Try this basic top from Halogen.  This City Chic tank comes in a dark green.

Hey Abra,

Your blog is my favorite. Thanks for the years of excellent content. Here’s my question.

The Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant. I learned how great it is from you. Thoughts on good alternatives now that S&D no longer sells it?


I managed to snag two before they took the Rebel off the market.  So I’m good for awhile.  But if you’re looking for a replacement, Candela makes a thinner version in 14k gold.

Other alternatives to consider: I love this Gorjana layered necklace.  It’s not as long as the Rebel, but I still love it.

You can also try something unique, like this pearl station necklace.  I also like this versatile geometric link necklace.


My friends and I do a Santa Swap each year.  Top price is $30.  I’m at a total loss for gifts.  Anything?  Bonus points if it’s from Amazon so I can use gift cards.


A Yeti Rambler always makes a good gift (it keeps drinks hot or cold forever).  Maybe a snake plant in a simple pot.  Or if you just want to pick something up, lottery tickets are always a good option.


Can you help me find a casual wool coat that isn’t a parka?  I need something that doesn’t look dressy (I teach yoga), but also isn’t a puffer.  I want it to be nice enough that I can look a little dressed up while walking to and from.  I’d like to spend no more than $300.  

Much appreciated.  Blake

My favorite casual, but not too casual coat, is the J.Crew Cocoon Coat.  I like the relaxed feel.  The details are chic.  And this oatmeal color is sublime.  Also in plus and petite.

If you want a similar look for less, Factory has a similar style for around $100.




  1. Hannah says:

    I’ve seen the Rebel pendant on Poshmark, so it’s not too late to get the real one!

    December 15, 2021/Reply
  2. Jenn S. says:

    Chiming in on the Rebel pendant. I’ve also seen several of them on Poshmark!

    I have an unconventional, uh, “edgier,” alternative to the Rebel. Years ago, Jane Fonda was on Ellen and had a necklace that has a similar aesthetic. Be warned, it is also a (very discreet, but still) vibrator. If anyone is into that idea, it’s called the Vesper necklace.

    What a future we live in.

    December 15, 2021/Reply
  3. Annie says:

    Totally unsolicited notification: The Free People Ottoman Sweater is on sale at Macy’s for $88. Do I now own this sweater in 6 colors… yes, yes I do.×1052277675&m_sc=sem&m_sb=Google&m_tp=PLA&m_ac=Google_Womens_PLA&m_ag=ReadyToWear-FreePeople-WomensClothing-Sweaters-GS&m_cn=Ready_To_Wear_-_Free_People_-_Womens_Clothing_-_GS&m_pi=go_cmp-13563289885_adg-121229927422_ad-528974550708_pla-1334977126055_dev-c_ext-_prd-195889568397USA&gclid=Cj0KCQiAweaNBhDEARIsAJ5hwbe0vFRmbf_58hHk5UJqEAWqa9dN2QNgSJaQxKaMS69f9DgMO84H6MYaAh11EALw_wcB

    December 15, 2021/Reply
    • CP says:

      OH-M-GEE. Thanks!!!!

      December 15, 2021/Reply
  4. Shannon says:

    Is a Santa Swap the same as a Yankee Swap? If so here are my go-tos:

    1. A soft throw blanket in a neutral color.
    2. A multitool (the guys usually get competitive stealing this from each other, but I’ve had women get excited too, they’re great for a kitchen drawer or glove compartment). Amazon should have tons of options.
    3. A holiday “movie night” basket with a DVD (Charlie Brown Christmas gets an appreciative chuckle), popcorn, candy, packets of cocoa, etc.

    December 15, 2021/Reply
  5. Diane says:

    I have the J.Crew Cocoon coat and my only complaint is that when you zip it, even if you don’t zip it up all the way, the collar falls over your neck/chin/mouth and the material is itchy (unlike all the other J.Crew coats I’ve had in the past) so I feel like I always have to have a scarf with it.

    December 15, 2021/Reply
    • Jess says:

      I don’t have this issue, but another caveat- it runs really big. I am a pretty standard size 6 in jcrew and I ordered a 2 in this coat.

      December 16, 2021/Reply