Ask the Editor Vol. III, No. 19

Sep 27, 2022

The baby is asleep.  Kyle is washing bottles.  And my dogs are zonked out from a walk.  Praise be.  Let’s play, Ask the Editor.

Hello!

I am moving to DC next month from Denver for a senior leadership job with the federal government, very fancy. I’m trying to update my wardrobe to look chic but I’m very use to being practical and comfortable, even at work. What shoes would you recommend for commuting comfortably but still looking classy and then even better, any recommendations for the shoes I should change into without going full heel?

Thank you!! Abby

This is a good question.  Coming from the West, the unspoken dress code of D.C. is likely more professional.  I know when I moved West, it took some time to realize that, for many women, leggings were fine for the office. So let’s tackle both parts of your question.

Commuting Shoes // The shoes you need for your commute depends on the length of your commute.  When I lived in D.C., I only walked 3-4 blocks from the Metro each way, so I could get away with a flat shoe.  Friends who commuted further needed more support.

If you have a short commute, a pair of Rothy’s Drivers or Loafers are a good option.  If you prefer leather, a pair of Cole Haan loafers are a versatile choice.  Prefer a pair of ballet-style flats?  These Naturalizer flats in a toffee color and these Dr. Scholl’s flats are a nice option in black.  Or if you want a shoe that goes with everything, I’m still a proponent of gold flats.  I like the rubber sole on these Bernardo flats.

Also, sneakers have become so widely worn post-lockdown that finding a cool pair to commute in is a breeze.  These Veja Rio Broncos are a longtime fav.  The Nike Daybreaks are also a great throwback.

And in the winter, you need to consider the weather.  D.C.’s wet climate makes a pair of rain boots a must.  I own a previous version of these Jeffrey Campbell rain boots, and I love them. Sam Edelman’s Chelsea Boots are under-$40 and fabulous.  If you like a tall boot, these Sam Edelman’s are fleece-lined for warmth.

Office Shoes // If a pair of heels are not for you, don’t despair.  A pointed toe flat or a shorter block heel can give you the same professional feel without the height.

Linea Paolo makes great shoes, and they have some fabulous flats on sale at the Rack.  I really like these skimmers in your choice of leopard or black. Boden also has great shoes, and their leather flat with a metal accent is chic and versatile.  Ann Taylor is also a good choice for professional, comfortable work flats.

J.Crew has some cool block heels right now that aren’t too high.  Their Layla slingbacks come in a few colors, but the leopard is my favorite.  If you want comfort in a heel, Cole Haan carries a whole line of comfy pumps, and these block heels are worth a look.

Abra:

Can you recommend a good moisturizer?  I have combination skin and everything I buy just creates an oil slick.  I think you also have this issue, so what do you use?

Heather

My favorite moisturizer is from Farmacy.  They’re entire clean-beauty product line is amazing.  And for skin that is both oily and dry (how fun!), I like their Daily Greens moisturizer, which comes in oil-free gel formula.  Also, if you need more moisture at night (or in the winter), their Niacinamide Night Mask is incredible.

Hi Abra,

First, congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m saving some of your posts for the future.

I recently got engaged and we’ve decided on a small courthouse wedding, with a dinner to follow. I would love some help on a wedding outfit. I’m not sure how formal/informal I should dress and I’ve seen some cute pantsuits with capes on Pinterest, but haven’t actually been able to find where to purchase them. Any styling suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks! Katherine

Best wishes on your engagement!  We ended up having a second ceremony at the courthouse (thanks to a paperwork snafu) and it made me wish we had just done that from the start.  I wore this dress, which I will also wear to Sloane’s baptism in a couple of months.

As for attire recommendations, I recommend thinking about what you really want.  If a pantsuit with a cape jacket is for you, let’s find one.  The only one I could locate was from Boohoo.  They also have a cape over a dress.

I did also find this Adrianna Papell jumpsuit with a cape jacket.  It’s very cool.  To wear it for a wedding, I would size up and have it tailored perfectly.  And BHLDN carries some bridal suiting, if you are going that route.  Or maybe a white blazer dress like this one from Shoshanna with feminine details.

Just looking for an easy white dress?  BHLDN has a bunch of little white dresses on offer.  And Outnet always has a few bridal looks mixed in with their white dresses.  I especially like this Marchesa Notte dress.

Hello,

The cool Instagram Moms all seem to be wearing signet rings right now.  I’m searching for one that is under-$250.  I’d like to have my son’s initials put onto it.  

Sincerely, AFG

Great minds must think alike, because I just saw a similar post on Could I Have That’s Instagram.

I spotted this Missoma signet ring, and I like the molten, uneven metal.  They also have a great octagonal ring.  Stone and Strand will make you one with a single diamond inset into the metal.

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  1. Jo says:

    Love that Adrianna Papell white jumpsuit!

    Just throwing in a quick +1 for the Jeffrey Campbell black rain boots – I have the same older pair on Abra’s rec and have been happy with them.

  2. k-t says:

    Don’t laugh, but I have had good luck with dress shoes from Rockport and Clarks. My Clarks flats are always comfy and look a lot like Tory Burch flats. I have two pairs of Rockport heels that have lasted more than a decade and are very classic styles. You definitely have to look through their collections to find things that are to your liking, but they are great if you can find them.

    DC is very wet. The winters are messy, with more ice than snow, and more salt than anything else. I swear by booties that are water-resistant or waterproof. Blondo, La Canadienne, Sorel, Aquatalia are all brands that make boots and booties that look “normal” but will keep your feet dry and won’t be ruined on the first wet day.

    • Belle says:

      No need to laugh. I had a pair of Rockport heels that I could walk in for miles, actual miles, with no pain.

    • Denise says:

      Clarks are hugely popular in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK – where people typically walk long distances for commuting. They have so many more styles there vs. here in the US. So no shame for choosing a comfort brand – they’re pretty cute and your feet will thank you!

  3. Laura says:

    My sister just recently got married at the courthouse and then they did a nice dinner after as well. She actually used Rent the Runway and wore a fabulous dark green velvet jumpsuit. I’m not sure how important keeping the ensemble is to the reader who asked for suggestions, but if it’s not a must, I’d recommend taking a look at what Rent the Runway has.

  4. Jenny says:

    To the gal getting married, I would just add that even in a less formal setting, it’s still a wedding and you are the bride so it’s totally cool for you to be dressed up/dressed more special than your dinner guests.

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