Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Editor: Vol. III, No. 24

This week is a bit nuts, but haven’t they all been a bit nuts this year?  I’m in Montana with my baby, my parents, my husband and four dogs.  Relaxing this is not.  But let’s take a minute to answer some reader questions.

Hi Abra:

Our office Secret Santa Swap is happening early this year, so I need gift recommendations STAT! The limit is $25 and the gift needs to be awesome.  That’s not too hard, right?  Help!

xx, Helen

For my own Secret Santa this year, I bought this super chic, utterly useful digital alarm clock.  No, seriously, I bought an alarm clock.  It’s so much better than your phone to wake up to and even if you don’t use the alarm, it still looks cool on a nightstand or bookcase.

A friend is taking this foam roller massager to her office swap.  You can also get an Amazon Fire Stick for under-$25.  Perhaps a Mulberry silk pillow case.  Or give them the Worst Secret Santa Gift Ever.

Replying to Last Week’s Post About Quince: Have you posted about silk and satin tees for work?? Def would be interested – something nice under jackets. Thanks!

I keep a handful of silky tees and sleeveless tops to wear under blazers.  Halogen makes my favorite sleeveless tank.  The best crewneck silk tees come from Banana Republic Factory.  And, of course, there are good quality tees from Quince for under-$50.

Hello, Abra.

Congratulations on your daughter! I had a son around the same time and I’m shocked by how many stretch marks I ended up with (I swear, I lotioned every day!).  Did you get any?  Did you find a way to fix them if you did?  I just want to lessen them even if I know I will never be completely rid of them.

Sincerely, Tania

I applied BioOil every day, and I still ended up with a few.  I have two small pairs that look like a double-helix on my lower abdomen, but my breasts took the worst of it.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me that I needed to apply the oil to my chest as well, but it didn’t and the neglect shows.

Studies have shown that silicone bandages can aid in scar reduction.  To help smooth the marks and lessen the dark hue, I bought these Silicone Therapy Sheets from Belly Bandit that are shaped to fit your breasts.  I use silicone tape for the two small ones on my stomach.  Combined with the Mederma treatment gel for stretch marks, I’m hoping to see good results in about eight weeks.

Dear Abra,

You posted a long time back about envelope clutches.  Can you refresh some picks for that style?  I’d like one for the holidays and to use in my work bag.  

Best wishes on your recovery. KP

Envelope clutches are a great style problem solver.  You can carry them as a purse to evening events and you can toss them in your bag to use as a wallet, organizer, or storage.  I still have some of the ones I purchased from the recommendations on that old post.  So let me see what I can find.

ASOS has this cool cafe au lait-colored one.  Leatherology makes several colors and sizes that are worth a look.  I like this leopard one from Amazon, or this basic style in several colors.


Do you still love the Dior Cuticle Cream?  I didn’t buy it when you first talked about it, but I think I want to give it as a stocking stuffer for my mom and sister.

Thoughts? Leesa

Yes, I still love the apricot cuticle cream from Dior.  In fact, I wish I had it with me on this trip because washing baby bottles in the cold is killing my hands.  If you want to give it as a gift, make sure to order through the Dior website and get the gift wrapping.

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  1. Cr says:

    Thank you for the reminder about Dior’s cuticle cream! I’m giving that and Nail Glow to my SIL for our secret Santa!

    November 15, 2022/Reply
  2. Emmy says:

    One other suggestion for pregnancy stretch marks: collagen powder. Take it daily and it should promote healing from the inside out. If the powder isn’t your thing, there are plenty of options for collagen capsules too.

    November 15, 2022/Reply
  3. Jenny says:

    a note about stretch marks: I had zero with my first child, so was a bit surprised that I got some with my second. They were all on my stomach and very dark. I kind of thought…oh well! I’ll just live with these. Never did anything to them, and then they all faded with time. Now they are that pearly color and are barely noticeable. So I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

    November 18, 2022/Reply