Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Thirteen

Nov 9, 2023

From nail polish to jewelry for Moms to shape wear for the holiday party circuit, this week has several questions that we might all like answers to.  And at the end, a thank you from a reader, and a thank you to all of you.

Hello, 

I need a little help finding something you posted to Instagram.  You were wearing a brown nail polish in a video.  What was it again?

Leslie

Hmmm…I think OPI Bonfire Serenade, a cafe au last shade, is the color I was wearing.  I also wear Cliffside Karaoke, which is a darker chocolate color.  Both can be found here.

Hey Abra,

Odd request, but I’m looking for your help finding a statement jewelry piece that is work-friendly. I’d like to buy myself something special to commemorate a year of breastfeeding/pumping for my son (and to celebrate being DONE!) I’m grossed out by jewelry made out of actual breastmilk, which is apparently a thing…this would ideally be a ring, bracelet, or necklace.

Thanks for your help! -Liz

Congratulations on getting through the year. That’s a big milestone.

I’ve also been searching for a piece of jewelry to commemorate Sloane’s birth.  So much of the jewelry for Moms is cutesy, which isn’t really my style, or cheap, which isn’t how I want to remember my daughter.  I bought this necklace at the Anniversary Sale, but returned it.  If I ultimately go that way, I want to have it engraved on their website.  I also keep looking at this bracelet from the Rellery.  I really like it, but I wonder if I will long term.

Personally, I’ve been thinking more and more about buying a piece of jewelry that I really love and will wear often, and just calling it my Sloane jewelry.  This cushion diamond pendant from Mejuri caught my eye.  It’s dainty in a really pretty way.

This Monica Vinader bracelet is a great option because you can change out the charms, but you don’t need to add them if you want a simpler look.  I like the idea of the chunky bracelet with this small kite-shaped charm.  For something similar in a lower price point, try this Missoma Axiom bracelet.

My suggestion would be to go to a store where you like the jewelry and search for something you’ll love wearing.

Hi Belle,

I’ve fallen prey to the 90’s satin skirt revival and gotten a mid-length forest green one from Quince. I like it a lot but I’m struggling with what to wear with it. I feel like I want a slightly oversized sweater, but I’m not sure how to do this in a non-sloppy way. My office is business casual and I’m in my late 40s. Any ideas?

Katherine

I would keep the colors the same or in the same color family.  Quince has a sage sweater that I really like.  This soft green, sage sweater from H&M is also great. This Free People Luna sweater comes in a similar forest green color.  Or if you want a contrasting color in the same color family, try this yellow-green sweater from BR.

Jean from Extra Petite has tips for tucking sweaters into slimmer bottoms and making it look chic.  I find her fit tips are the best ones out there because she really takes the time to teach you how to style things.

Abra,

Do you have any recommendations for eye patches?  I felt like I saw you wearing some recently and they were pink?

Cici

These eye patches from Topicals are the only ones I’ve noticed a measurable difference with.  They definitely depuff, and they lighten my circles just slightly.

As some of you never remember, I used to use “gold” patches from Amazon until my eye doctor asked me to stop.  He said there’s no way to know what is in most of the products purchased on Amazon, and he cautioned against them.  I threw the rest of mine in the bin.

Hi Abra, love your work — especially your honesty about things that work and don’t.

I’m heading into the holidays a little heavier than I want to be, and was hoping you could make some recs of holiday attire that lets you feel a little special without drawing a flashing light to fluffy areas.

Thanks for considering, Kate

I am also entering the winter a little heavier than I want to be, and it’s tough.  I find that the way to camouflage areas you’re concerned about is tailoring.  Most of my weight is in my torso right now, so I buy the items to fit that area and tailor them elsewhere.  I think we get caught up in the idea that tailoring is expensive or a hassle, but as our body’s change, you can no longer rely on numerical sizes (if you ever could).  So I buy most of my clothes at Nordstrom now so that I can have them tailored easily,  I order for store pickup and try them on there.

As for pieces that I’m looking at for holiday gatherings, the dress I shared Monday with an empire waist detail is a nice option.  This shimmer pleat dress from Ann Taylor would be flattering on many body types.  I also like this dotted tulle skirt from Ann Taylor; it would be lovely with a simple black sweater.  Another really easy holiday look is cream pants with a cream sweater and pearl earrings.  It’s the kind of blank canvas that lets a great hairstyle and well-done makeup shine.

Also, I am not a big fan of shape wear.  I don’t want to squeezed into a tight corset or sucked into a compression short all night.  But shape wear that provides a little smoothing and isn’t uncomfortable to wear is a welcome addition to my wardrobe.  I’m not trying to look thinner, I just need things smoothed a bit.  These slip shorts from Jockey are my pick.

Abra,

Love the website redesign! I’ve been following your blog since the early days, and wanted to share that you have such a wonderful wit and warmth that I know has fostered incredible loyalty in this community. Truly, reading your posts is like spending time with my funniest, coolest friend.

I’m right behind you in age (41 in December), with a six-year old and a career in law, and wanted to thank you for making so many of us feel seen and supported. Even when things are going well, it can be incredibly hard and feel unsustainable (I made equity partner a few years ago, and think daily “okay, but seriously, how much longer can I do this incredibly demanding job even if I love my clients and my team?”)

Thank you for all you do. We love having your voice as part of our lives, and we are here for you.

Best regards, Selina

This was an extremely kind note. It’s not easy most days to find time to writ this blog or create other content, and be a lawyer, and be a Mom.  But I love it, and the main reason why is because I have met the best people (virtually and in real life) thanks to this site.  And it’s just fun to have a place to hang out and call home.  So thank you to all of you for making this the best experience over the past 15 years.

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  1. Another Emily says:

    To commemorate my daughter’s birth, I bought a beautiful necklace that I wanted regardless and never would’ve given myself permission to but – that happened to contain her birthstone. It isn’t “birthstone jewelry” but just a piece I loved that was her birthstone. Our second is due in February and I’m thinking I will ask the designer to add another stone somewhere on the chain!

    https://heatherjstudios.com/collections/neck/products/droplet-necklace

  2. Allison says:

    I have that same green silk skirt from Quince, and also struggled with what to pair with it. I eventually found a sweater at Old Navy that matches the color perfectly and is loose but slightly cropped so you don’t need to deal with tucking it in, or you can tuck it into the band of your bra)
    . I usually steer clear of synthetic sweaters but the color match was too good to pass up! Sorry for the long URL: https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=7289090120002&vid=1&tid=onpl000078&kwid=1&ap=7&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAo7KqBhDhARIsAKhZ4uieJrWoIvXSl2qgsiOQR_6V_8AH4w2PEQ1IWymbaYzbPiaLHZwf8AkaAsGUEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds#pdp-page-content

  3. BN says:

    Thank you so much for the eye patch rec! I just finished my last box of the gold ones you previously recommended and was going to buy more, but will now try out these instead. Thanks!

  4. Anon says:

    Your doctor is right to caution against buying beauty products from Amazon.
    I previously worked for a number of beauty brands at HQ level (many of the best sellers you see in Sephora….) and we NEVER sold any of these products on Amazon. Nor was Amazon ever an authorised retailer or stockist.
    yet our products were continually sold on Amazon by unauthorised/grey market vendors……or even worse they could be a completely counterfeit product made from cat poo (!) packaged in an identical box . It’s very hard for consumers to ensure that they are buying a 100% new, unused, authentic and legitimate beauty products on Amazon, and frankly Amazon do not care about these
    issues. It’s an eye opener Once you’ve worked in-house at certain brands, as you learn that Amazon is the Wild West for certain products 🙁

    • Anna says:

      I once ordered my usual Dr. Jart+ bb cream from Amazon and it was a completely different color. It looked like it might have been an Asian version as it advertised whitening properties, but still, it wasn’t what I was promised. Never again.

      • Anon says:

        I’m not surprised by this as Dr Jart, which is a brand owned by Estée Lauder Group, does not have Amazon as an authorised stockist ( I work for a similar beauty corporation, so very familiar with authorised stockists) I actively avoid buying certain products from Amazon always, as its a wild mess of unauthorised stockists

  5. Jennifer says:

    I second Selina’s comment!

  6. Betsy says:

    I too had issues finding jewelry that reminded me of my kids but wasn’t cutesy. Enter a locket from Vana Chupp-https://vanachuppstudio.com/collections/lockets. All in, mine was about $1000. More than I wanted to spend, but I wear it daily and my kids LOVE it.

  7. mxj says:

    I am team “buy a piece of jewelry you really love and will wear often” and call it your “kid” jewelry. I’ve gotten pieces that I like and imbued them with meaning not tied to their name, initial, birthstone, etc. (No shade to those things; just not my style.)The first is a ring with three stones (symbolizing becoming a family of 3); the second is a watch (not sure about the symbolism other than it took me longer to get pregnant with her than with baby 1 haha). I’m currently on the hunt for the baby #3 piece.

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