Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Editor: Vol. III, No. 26

With the holidays just hours away, we’re already for a break.  Let’s dive into the reader mail bag and get this holiday weekend started.

Hi Abra-

I hope you’re enjoying the pre-holiday season with your little one! I need some help with a purse gift question. I work from home (federal employee) and over the course of the pandemic, I mainly find myself grabbing a basic linen/beach bag adjacent tote (think rope style). I like the shape of a tote bag but wonder if there is a more stylish option out there for me?

You linked to one made of cactus one time that I really liked but it didn’t have any type of closure for the top. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks! Sharon

If you like a tote bag, then perhaps a tote that is a little more office and a little less beach vacation.  Everlane makes a dreamy leather tote bag with a modern shape.  If you prefer something with a closure at the top, CALPAK’s Haven tote bag holds a laptop and zips shut.  Plus, it costs under-$200.

Hi there,

I am a 2L in law school at in a cold environment and am finding that the winter shoe options I own two pairs of heeled booties (one of those pairs is this boot but in black and one pair of combat boots) are not serving my needs. The combat boots are a little casual and the heeled boots are not conducive to walking up and down hills and around campus. I am in the market for professional looking flat boots.

Since I am on a student budget now, I want to ensure that whatever boots I purchase now can be worn during the winter at a firm – so they have to be practical to walk around campus in, but can transition into professional shoe attire at a law firm in two years.

Any advice / suggestion is really appreciated! Thanks, Julie

Flat ankle boots are a more casual style.  It might be tough to find a pair that are professional enough for a law office.  But let’s see what we can find.

These Cole Haan Chelsea Boots are a nice option, and they’re currently on sale for $99.  These Jack Rogers Reagan booties have a very sleek look that will look perfect under a pair of suit trousers.  Nordstrom Rack has both a Stuart Weitzman bootie on discount and a Cole Haan boot for under-$100.

My advice would be to care for these boots if you expect them to last for two years.  Treat them with leather protectant.  Have them shined every few months.  Have them resoled each winter.

Dear Belle,

My mom’s birthday is in January and I need a gift for her.  She insists we don’t spend more than $50.  Could you suggest a gift for a soon-to-be-retired lawyer who loves makeup?

xo, Alison

If your Mom is into makeup, I would suggest a Gucci lipstick.  Make sure to get the gift wrapping service, it makes everything better.

Hi Abra,

I’ll be attending Davos as my CEOs bag carrier for the first time in January. I have no idea what to wear. I’m looking for something chic, modest and comfortable. I’m most stuck with what to wear with snow boots that looks good as I’d prefer not to have to change between heels and outdoor boots multiple times a day. Any thoughts?

Thank you for all your style tips which as a London based corp worker I love! Rachel

My advice would be to change your snow boots to find a sleeker pair.  This Alpine Cozy Boot from Stuart Weitzman is a good option.  A boot in that style will let you dress in more professional attire without changing shoes.

If you wish to wear a traditional snow boot, keep the rest of your attire simple.  I would suggest fleece-lined tights with sleek sheath dresses.  You could also wear tights under a wide leg trouser with boots and simple sweaters.


I am searching for a pair of earrings to wear to a New Year’s Eve party.  My dress is simple and black, but I want a pair of earrings to jazz it up.  I would prefer something that isn’t too dangly.

Merry Christmas! Edith

I really love these Nadri Shine On studs.  They’re classic, elegant and perfectly sparkly.  These Cubic Zirconia Drop Earrings are also fantastic (and just $35).  For something more dramatic, these Karine Sultan hammered earrings are modern and chic.

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    For winter booties that are comfortable to walk in, I wear dansko booties at my firm in the winter (and with my arthritic feet, comfort is paramount). You can find prior seasons on sale (see below in lucky sizes).

    December 22, 2022/Reply
  2. mxj says:

    I am loving all these stylish winter boot recs! Now I just have to decide between these and the Sorels you posted the other day… And shout out to the Ugg Adirondack boots you posted a few days ago. I’ve had mine for 12 years, and they’re still going strong, I’m just ready to shake it up.

    December 22, 2022/Reply