Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Editor Vol. III, No. 20

It’s been quite a week over here.  Caring for a one-month old is like wrestling a tornado, while sleep deprived.  So let’s answer some reader questions.

Hi Abra!

Hope you, Kyle, Sloane and the puppies are having a great weekend! 
I bought this dress in mudslide for upcoming family photos and I’d like to stick to your 2/3 rule for tights and boots. But I’m at a loss and overwhelmed in shades of brown. What tights and boots would you recommend? 

Thank you!! Holly 

First, a quick refresher on the two-out-of-three rule.  This rule was designed as a guide for wearing tights in the winter.  Essentially, the rule says that if you are wearing three pieces — (1) a dress or skirt with (2) tights and (3) shoes– then the skirts and tights or the tights and shoes must be the same color.

For example, a grey skirt with black tights and black shoes or an eggplant dress with eggplant tights and grey boots.  Two-of-three pieces are the same color, and those two pieces are connected (ie touching) so that they look doesn’t become a jumbled mess.

Now, I really like the dress you purchased (especially in the mauve).  The mudslide color you purchased is a pale tan.  As you mentioned, a chocolate brown boot and chocolate brown tight could work.  For my money, however, I’m wearing black here.  The contrast will be very chic.

Need black tights for winter?  I bought these Lechery tights for winter, since they’re supposed to be warm.


My girlfriends from college do a stocking stuffer giveaway every Christmas/Hanukkah.  Basically, my best friend buys stockings for everyone (there are nine of us), we mail small gifts to her, she fills them and send them out.  The gifts are the same for everyone.  

Can you help me find a great gift for this year?  Must be under-$50, preferably closer to $25.

Congratulations on the baby. Best, Halley

I love this idea for holiday gifts.  Such a great way to give gifts when folks live far apart.  I feel like one of the things no one told me about adulthood is that all your friends will live far away from you.

Regardless, I have only two suggestions: Dior Apricot Cuticle Cream and colorful tapered candles (the hot pink is cool).  I love the cuticle cream because a tiny amount will save your nail beds.  The colorful candles just feel fun.

Dropped in the Thirtyish Facebook Group:

What does one wear on dates at 35 in the fall/winter? I was married for awhile and have only dated in the spring/summer when looking cute is so much easier 🤣 help?

When you’re older than 30, finding going out tops can become a challenged.  You no longer want to wear the skimpy tops of your early 20s, but you’re not ready for the coastal grandmother look either.  You need something that’s sultry, but understated.

Enter the off-the-shoulder top.  On the left, we have the Line and Dot Blair Sweater (<$100).  On the right, we have this sexy take on the button-up blouse from WHBM.

The great thing about an off-the-shoulder is that it lets you show a little skin in a very mature way.  I also love this Colletta sweater from Banana Republic (also in petite) and this slouchier LA Made option.  Plus-size?  Try this Treasure and Bond sweater.

I can already hear some of you asking if you need to wear a strapless bra with a top like this.  Yes, strapless is best (this Wacoal is the choice for me), but it isn’t the only option.  You can try a pair of clear straps, which aren’t totally invisible, but they’re more camouflaged.  You can try boob tape.  Or you can choose a bra with lace straps.  All of these are options that will work.


I recently bought an iPhone 14.  Can you recommend a case for it?  I want something cool but that isn’t unprofessional (no pink or glitter or cutesy characters, plz).  Thoughts?


Etsy has the best selection of cases.  I like this pebbled leather case.  This oversized monogram case is also a favorite.  Need one for an Android device?  Try this option.

Hi Belle,

I know you just had a baby, so I need some advice for a gift for a pregnant friend.  Was there anything you loved in your last trimester that would make a good gift?


Hydration is so important.  I became dehydrated at one point, and my baby literally stopped moving until I chugged what felt like gallons of water.  After that, I bought one of those Stanley Adventure Quenchers and never looked back.  They recently changed the design to make them spill less, which is awesome.

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  1. Sam says:

    HIGHLY recommend a pair of “Goodr” sunglasses for the stockings. They are fun and polarized, easy on the wallet and frequently something someone wouldn’t buy for themselves. We buy these for everyone–from teachers to mailmen. We recently hosted an in-home Casino night where the most desired prize was GOODRs!

    October 5, 2022/Reply
    • Hh says:

      Ooh, secondlng this! I have three pairs of Goodrs – two pairs for running and one I bought for the beach, but just wear all the time. Bonus is that they’re hard for our baby and preschooler to damage. Unlike my Ray-Bans.

      October 5, 2022/Reply
    • Jules says:

      Thirding Goodr! My husband is on his second pair, and I like wearing them myself.

      October 5, 2022/Reply
    • Rachel says:

      Fourthing Goodr! I ha two pairs, but my husband stole one of them because he liked them so much.

      October 6, 2022/Reply
  2. Meredith says:

    The Up West brand is new to me, and I really like the linked sweater dress! What would you recommend for tights and shoes for the mauve color, Abra?

    October 5, 2022/Reply
    • Belle says:


      October 5, 2022/Reply
  3. Michelle says:

    Just here to echo the dilemmas of dating while old and cold. During last winter’s “Hinge Binge” post booster dating extravaganza, I wore that BR off the shoulder sweater to many a first date and got some positive feedback. Highly recommend! Particularly if you add a hint of something interesting and lacy underneath – as much for your mindset as for their view.

    October 5, 2022/Reply
  4. Rt says:

    Cool, but not unprofessional iPhone cases… Try Flaunt square cases. I have black and tortoise. Doesn’t look like they have MagSafe 14 cases yet, but totally worth the wait. I get so many questions about them and the MagSafe pop socket is so strong/secure.

    October 5, 2022/Reply
  5. Erica says:

    Regarding question 2:

    Not all would be winners but some diverse ideas in your price point!

    October 5, 2022/Reply
  6. SARA says:

    This is a question…I like the look of a one shoulder top, but does one then faux tan to get rid of tan lines? And for those of us with longer hair, do you recommend wearing it up to show off said shoulder? Congrats on your beautiful girl! Sara

    October 6, 2022/Reply
  7. Anna says:

    Just got done giving birth and ended up with postpartum preeclampsia. Give your pregnant friend a home blood pressure cuff and information on PPE. Most people think you’re no longer at risk once the baby is delivered and it’s easy to ignore warning signs when you’re sleep deprived. Still a concern up to 6 weeks after birth, but the highest risk period is the first seven days, so right when you get home from the hospital.

    October 6, 2022/Reply