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Belle's August Recess Shopping List

Every August, we send our Bosses back to the District Staff and reclaim our lives from the detritus of the legislative process and rejoice in what most people consider a regular workday.  We leave the building for lunch, which during session is a felonious act punishable by death.  We read the newspaper cover to cover, instead of just skimming the headlines for anything related to our Boss or issue area.  We break out the “Recess To Do List,” the tasks, memos, ideas and dreams that you’ve saved for a moment when you might actually have the time.  We sip iced tea, we see our friends, and we enjoy this rare break from the sausage making business.  

This is also, the only time of the year when the staffers in my office are permitted to take two consecutive days off.  Have vacation days, will travel.

As such, this is the time of year when I put my suits away, send my work dresses to the dry cleaners and cart my high heels off to the cobbler.  I will be donning dresses and flats for the reminder of the season.  Or will I?  Because this is usually the time of year when I come face to face with just how limited my casual wardrobe actually is.  

What can I say?  It’s an occupational hazard.

So what do I do when I have six weekend trips scheduled and nothing to wear?  I shop.  But I shop frugally and with purpose, giving the utmost consideration to buying pieces that I can wear today and in October (campaign trail, anyone?).  Here are the five pieces that I’ve either purchased (or desperately need to purchase) for this Recess:

Marc Jacobs Retro Sunglasses (ShopBop, $98)

For the money, Marc Jacobs sunglasses are extremely durable and stylish.  And they go with anything, any day, any season.  

I’m desperate to buy these slightly retro, utterly chic sunglasses. Or should I say, beg my Father to buy them for me.  Hands and knees people, hands and knees.


Ruffle Dress (Gap, $70)

I’ve worn it once and this dress and I are already best friends.  For Summer, I wore it with a neutral sandal, a plaque/menswear belt, and stud earrings.  For Fall, grey tights and pumps with a lavender sweater and grey belt.

Slim Python Belt (Banana Republic, $49)

Because I’m a long torsoed person, skinny belts tend to disappear on me.  So I need something with a little width.  This belt is the perfect compromise.  

Compromise?  Definitely something that only happens during Recess.

Perfect Island Shirt (J.Crew, $78)

The shirt is paisley.  And no, this isn’t a joke.  Despite myself, I love this shirt.  It’s softer than it has any right to be and fits perfectly.

Summer: Lightweight grey trousers, edge sandals, clutch.

Fall: Grey jeans, blush v-neck sweater, long clear stone necklaces.


Camellia Flat Sandal (Moxsie, $77)

Okay, I’m probably not wearing these sandals year round.  Duh.  But I’m a big believer that I can continue to wear sandals until Columbus Day.  That’s right, Columbus Day.  You may not agree, but growing up in a place where 50 degrees was a heat wave, my toes became accustomed to chillier temps.

Summer: Everything

Early Fall: Floral dresses under blazers with scarfs

Late Fall: With skinny jeans and light sweaters, until my NARS Purple Rain pedicure starts to match the hypothermia induced swelling in my toes.


    leave a comment

  1. Rachel says:

    ” until my NARS Purple Rain pedicure starts to math the hypothermia induced swelling in my toes.”

    Took me a while to figure out you meant match.

    August 3, 2010/Reply
  2. VA says:

    Belle, do you have a favorite pair of gray jeans? That’s a trend I’m looking to jump on, but I’m having trouble finding some that aren’t sized for waifish pre-teens.

    August 3, 2010/Reply
  3. Meg says:

    Agreed! I’ve been looking for grey jeans forever and cannot find a pair that are not super skinny. BTW, LOVE the shirt.

    August 3, 2010/Reply
  4. Rory says:

    Macy’s INC line has some great grey skinny jeans. I got a pair there maybe a month ago, and they’re not horrifically expensive, I want to say in the 50-70 buck range.

    August 3, 2010/Reply
  5. Maddie says:

    Belle– love the Sunglasses… and got essentially the EXACT same pair at Target!

    August 3, 2010/Reply