Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Eleven

Jul 12, 2023

This week, the mail bag has tips for dressing for a rodeo, hats that won’t blow away in the beach breeze, why I’m sparsely shopping this week’s sale mayhem, and more.  Let’s dive in!

From a friend in the DMs:

Did you honestly buy nothing on Prime Day?  How?  You live on social media.

I never said I bought nothing.  I said that I’m trying to maintain some sanity about sale culture.  With Prime and the Anniversary Sale hitting the same day, my wallet and my sense of calm took a little punch.

The point of a sale is to buy things you would buy anyway but at a discount.  The culture of abundance promoted on Instagram undercuts that with the idea that things (even great, useful things) are the key to a better life.  So while I bought some things, I swore I would only partake in the sale for things I intended to purchase anyway.  Here’s what I really bought:

That was it.  These are all things I will use, many are things I needed, and nothing will be disappointing or returned.  This is how sales should be shopped.  We just all need to learn to let the frenzy wash over us (though with 10-billion Instagram posts filling my feed, it’s been difficult).

Abra,

I started going gray last year and the takeover is accelerating.  What do you do in between touch ups?  I don’t like walking into client meetings with my roots showing.  Advice?

LK

I’ve been slowly turning grey for a decade, but mine has also hit the gas in the past year.  I now need a coloring appointment every four weeks, and by week three, my greys are fully out.  Some of this is accepting that for a few days, I need to just be at peace with this new reality.  But I’m definitely not ready to embrace the grey fully.

In the summer, I add a few blonde highlights to camouflage the grey a bit.  I use this dpHue toner to keep the rest of my color looking fresh.  And if I really can’t take it that day (which is totally fine), I put my hair in a ponytail or bun and use Tarte’s Dab and Go stick to tone it down.  If I want to wear my hair down, the R+Co Spray is the best one.  Just a spritz and a brush through to get decent gray coverage, just be advised, it takes a few tries to get the technique to a place where you don’t look like Ron Popeil.

Hey!

Thanks for answering my question on Threads, can you help me find a sun hat to wear to the pool? Panama hats and fedoras and the like are just not right for my lifestyle (does no one else have wind?) and I need something else.

TIA! 

It’s true most of the beach/pool hats available for sale are the straw hats that can easily blow away on a breezy day.  Personally, I like either a fun ballcap or a visor for the pool.

For the baseball cap, I own this Out of Office hat in doe skin, a washed-black LA Dodgers hat, and this Anine Bing (AB) hat because it has my initials on it.  For the sun visor, I just bought this $10 straw hat from the Rack and I adore it.  It shades my face and can be worn with a ponytail, and thus far, I haven’t had a wind issue.  If you need 360-degree coverage, try this visor option from Anthro.

Hi Belle,

I’m going to my first rodeo (literally) and I don’t know what to wear.  It’s Cheyenne Frontier Days and I have to go to a couple of work related events, in addition to the actual rodeo and concert.  What does a DC lawyer whose tastes skew preppy wear that won’t look like a costume? Thank you.

Beth

First off, let me say I appreciate your desire not to dress up like a cowboy.  Nothing makes me quite as twitchy as when people visit Montana and immediately buy boots, a Carhartt coat and a hat just for strolling around town.  This is not Yellowstone, and you are not Rip.

If you’d like to subtly indulge in a rodeo appropriate look, boots are as far as I would go.  Closed toe shoes are also necessary since the ground at every rodeo is dirt coated with a smattering of hay and manure.  A used pair of boots from consignment or Poshmark for that ‘lived in’ look are best, but new are also fine if you think you’ll wear them again.  And since they’d been fairly trendy during the fall and winter months, you might.

I’d pair these shorter boots with a button front dress or puff sleeve dress.  Also, a simple button up shirt with jeans or jean short is always an option.  I don’t wear a cowboy hat at the rodeo, but with the second look, I would wear a washed ball cap. Rodeo fairgrounds do not have cover from the sun, and it can get hot.

Abra,

Can you help me find adult lingerie for a trip with my partner?  While I am usually neutral toward my body, seeing it in a skimpy lace thong is not what I want at 45.  Is there an option in between?  Not a nun’s habit, but also not a piece of floss?

Thank you for all you do. Cait

Lady, I feel you.  Body neutrality is tough to maintain when, between babies and aging, it feels like my body is constantly changing.  It’s a lot to ask of anyone.

This bra from Amazon is really beautiful and comfortable (shockingly), just pair it with a smooth, flesh-toned bottom.  Also, these Lace Shorty Briefs are surprisingly sexy, and they fit like regular underwear.  Add a slightly sheer balconette bra, and you’re set.

You other option is to choose a chemise.  You can wear a very sultry, all lace option.  Or you can go for a more reserved jersey and lace choice.  Both are easy to wear and easy on the eyes.  Plus size?  Try this all lace option or jersey mix.

Either way you choose to go, the key is that you feel confident.  If you think you look hot, odds are they will too.

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  1. Allison says:

    I hope you love the Tonies box! My 3.5 year old will sit quietly and listen to it for 20 minutes. It’s amazing.

  2. Allie says:

    For Beth re: Cheyenne Frontier Days – you will see a whole range of outfits at CFD – full Cowboy, glitter and fringe, prairie chic, and everything between and beyond. It’s a strange mix of rodeo, mash-up music festival, and carnival. For daytime rodeo events I would avoid jean shorts or any skirt/dress that doesn’t give you much bum-coverage when sitting down – those red plastic seats get hot and sticky. Abra is 100% on the money with closed-toed shoes. If you decide to not wear boots, just be aware that whatever pair you do choose will likely get very, very dirty (so not your favorite/most expensive sneakers). I usually wore jeans and a ‘going out’ or fun top. A good layering option could be a chambray button down or a jean jacket – Western but not playing dress up.

    CFD recently implemented a new bag policy – it has to be small OR clear. I moved away from Cheyenne a year ago but just checked the line-up – if you can get tickets to Paul Cauthen I highly recommend. His voice is absolutely incredible. I think the bull-riding events are more fun than the regular rodeo.

    For work things, I’d bet most folks, men and women, will be in what I consider Western business – jeans or a business-casual dress and a blazer. Few people ever wear full suits unless they are in court. I hope you enjoy Wyoming! Cheyenne has put in some work to revitalize downtown, you can find cool shops if you spend some time wandering around. The Metropolitan is a good spot and Paramount Ballroom has great cocktails.

  3. AAK says:

    “A step stool to replace the one the drywall guy made disappear.”
    I read this post earlier today and this line is still on my mind. I’m not sure you meant it this way, but it feels unnecessary to knock on a tradesman in this post and reads as if you feel he’s either careless or took it on purpose. Have you reached out to try to get it back? Maybe it got mixed up with his tools? Everyone makes mistakes, big projects are chaotic, and starting from the most generous interpretation when things go wrong will make the world a kinder place for us all.

    • Belle says:

      It’s a running joke between our contractor and us that every time the dry wall guy comes to the house our step stool disappears. He removes it from our garage to borrow it, it gets covered in drywall paste, and his guys assume they brought it when they pack up. It’s not a big deal, it just gets a little frustrating to keep replacing it, but we all have a good sense of humor about it which is why I said “disappear” and not “stole,” because I don’t think his intent is ever to walk off with it, it just happens.

  4. Pam says:

    i have a recommendation for lingerie that is more inclusive – age wise and size wise. Thistle & Spire. Check it out.

  5. Julia says:

    Re the rodeo question – if you decide to get new pair of boots or boot-type shoes, may I suggest giving Ariat a serious look? As a rider, Ariat is my go-to for English and Western boots. Because of their quality and range of styles, I’ve found that they serve well in other contexts. You might find a pair of paddock boots that work great for commuting in cooler months. And your feet will thank you if you happen to get stepped on by fellow concert goers or the random hooved animal flying by (hey, it’s a rodeo, and animals get loose!).

    • Belle says:

      Ariat is a great boot brand, that’s where mine are from. I just wasn’t sure how much someone going just once might want to spend.

    • Anne says:

      Second the plug for Ariat. I rode hunters, so my paddock boots were always Ariats, as are my cowboy boots. Their round or square toed ropers are the most comfortable shoes I own and last forever. Also, if you need a hat, look into SunBody hats. The Reata is western without being a cowboy hat and does its job as a Sun hat.

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