+ Three Ways

Two Ways: The Campaign Tee


From Left, Earrings: Givenchy Aqua Glass Studs ($26) Watch: Michael Kors Chronograph ($250) Bag: Ivanka Trump Ava Satchel ($150) Shoes: Anne Klein Zya Pumps ($99) Blouse: Iris & Ink Bow Blouse ($125) Trousers: J.CREW Hutton Trouser ($148)

From Right, Tights: Navy Fleece Lined Tights ($6) Wallet: Cell Phone Wallet ($95) Boots: Crown Vintage Riding Boot ($140) Sunglasses: Ray Ban Aviator ($194) Earrings: Estelle Studs ($122) Necklace: Reiss Plaque Necklace ($75) T-Shirt: J.CREW T-Shirt ($78) Vest: Excursion Quilted Vet ($110) Skirt: Citizens Denim Skirt ($155)

Polyvore Set Here.

For Fundraisers.  The vast majority of events on the campaign trail are casual–t-shirt and jeans casual. Sometimes a staffer will be asked to attend a nice event (fundraiser, cocktail hour, VIP reception, dinner, etc.) happening prior to a rally, debate or speech.  For these occasions you need a nice outfit that can be worn without the t-shirt, but that doesn’t look weird when you put the t-shirt on over it.  (I once tried to wear a t-shirt over a Black Halo cowl neck dress, it didn’t work.)

Here, I created a classic outfit with an easy trouser, a feminine blouse and a statement bag.  On second look, I would probably add a belt (like this leopard print one) and tuck in the blouse.  It’s simple, elegant and could be worn to any work event short of a cocktail hour.

I love red and gray together and this Ava satchel is a great statement piece.  (This Lulu satchel is a good alternative at $42.)  For the jewelry, a big, bracelet watch and a set of pearl earrings keep it stylish and simple.  Also, I love the way an ivory or white blouse looks with pearl earrings. 

For the hair, I would wear it up, but uncomplicated.  You don’t want to go to put the t-shirt on over your outfit and screw up your hair.  For the makeup, a sheer pink nail, a hint of red on the lips and some black eyeliner should do it.

If you want to go more casual, you can create a similar outfit with a pair of khaki chinos and a button up shirt with a small print.  It looks nice, but not as dressy.

For Doorbelling.  Knocking on doors, dropping lit, attending outdoor events and sitting in the basement of campaign headquarters making cold calls is how you will spend most of your time on the trail.  This outfit is appropriate for all of those occasions.

A denim skirt is  great addition to a casual or casual work wardrobe.  I recommend that you buy one without the zipper and flap in the front.  Why?  Well, no matter how skinny you are these closures will stick out and make you look paunchy.  Not cool. This skirt from Yoox has a flat front as does this skirt from NYDJ as does this skirt from Ann Taylor.

I am so glad that J.Crew made an outerwear vest that doesn’t make a woman look like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.  This quilted one is great for brisk autumn weather, especially if a wool coat would be too much because you’ll be outside walking around.  If you need a cheaper option, Old Navy has somethin similar for $20.

In addition to the vest, I chose a fleece-lined tight for a little extra warmth.  I’d also throw on a wool sock if it’s cold where you are.  And the knee high boots will help keep your calves warm.

The necklace from Reiss is so great, with a red thread woven into the chain. (I also like this Gorjana Pendant.)  The pyramid earrings are equally chic with a chiseled, imperfect texture.  Lastly, I chose a cell phone wallet from Brahmin too keep the bulk to a minimum.  I’d also pack a chapstick and some hand sanitizer in your pockets.

For the hair, choose a style that will keep your hair out of your face in case the wind is blowing.  For the makeup, keep it light, some tinted moisturizer, a pink blush, a shadow with a hint of shimmer.  I don’t recommend looking to “done” when you’re campaigning.



  1. taylor says:

    Have you ever knocked on doors before? A denim skirt, seriously?

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    Yeaaaah, that denim skirt looks crazy uncomfortable. Though that cut of skirt tends to ride up or bunch on me. Plus, I wouldn't want something that restrictive when getting in and out of a car a bajillion times. Skinnies would be much more practical with those boots.

    Also, that t shirt is actually a cute cut. I've never seen a campaign shirt that flattering. I need to know what to do with standard issue, loose fitting, t shirts or the xxl's that I end up getting stuck with.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    I've knocked on doors in five elections now. I've worn a denim skirt for three of them. I've never had trouble.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  4. Huh? says:

    Ladies, I do everything in skirts. I literally mean everything. Every day, for every occasion.

    Knocking on doors and getting in and out of cars is not impossible, or even the slightest bit difficult in a skirt. If you don't want to, that's a different issue and doesn't really merit a sarcastic comment on a fashion blog.

    -signed: If I can do high school P.E. in a skirt, you can walk around knocking on doors.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  5. SES says:

    I tend to wear skirts and dresses for everything, so I agree that a denim skirt would work for knocking on doors (which I've done before as well). Without the negative tone as an above commenter, I am curious about how to make an ill-fitting (meaning large and unflattering) campaign (or other staff/logo) type tshirt or polo look good.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  6. BB says:

    If you don't want to wear a skirt, just swap in some skinny jeans, and don't wear the tights (unless you're campaigning in Alaska, or along the northern border of the US). In 2004, I had to staff a presidential rally in a big field (being staff, dress code was business casual), and then immediately take volunteers door knocking in the surrounding neighborhoods. This outfit would have been so much better than what I actually threw on that morning.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  7. Anna says:

    I wasn't being sarcastic. I love skirts, but at least for me, a pencil skirt in a thick fabric like denim tends to ride up and bunch around my hips when I sit and stand (in fact, all denim skirts, even minis, ride up unless they're big enough to rest on my hip bone). And as happens when I wear tights under pencil skirts to work, the tights and skirt rub together so the tights slide down more easily or the skirt ends up side ways, and I have to adjust more often. I don't mind it so much when I'm at work and can fix the skirt at my desk or when I walk past a restroom, but I know it would bug me on the trail. An A line skirt would be totally different story. A-line skirts with tights are just about my favorite thing.

    I wasn't complaining about the fact that it was a skirt. I was commenting on the shape of the skirt. If it works for your body, great. I just think all the adjusting would drive me nuts.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  8. Dulcinea says:

    I too would love some tips on making the bulky, shapeless, and oversized tees more flattering! They always seem to run out of smalls and extra smalls before I get to them.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  9. helen says:

    second outfit is very cute, but the first one? red, white, blue, grey, AND leopard? ugh.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  10. Katie says:

    I love the Ann Taylor denim mini. And it's so affordable!

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  11. Ellen says:

    If you get the right denim skirt it is a GREAT option. A few years ago I got a denim pencil skirt from J Crew that has a similar side zip and some stretch it in and is VERY comfortable.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  12. Belle says:

    helen: It's grey leopard. And once you put on the tee, you won't see it anymore. It's just to give the first look a finished quality, as opposed to hey, I threw this blouse on.

    October 11, 2012/Reply
  13. Ella says:

    Re bulky, shapeless tees: assuming you don't have time to visit a tailor, you can still take a little of the shapelessness out in a pinch with a hair band.

    Remember how women used to make a ponytail-like thing with a scrunchie on the side of their tshirts in the 80s and early 90s? Do that with a regular pontytail holder, but do it directly in the back and then tuck in the tail part. It will at least change the burlap sack shape into something that sorta resembles a blouse top tucked in. This method works better than tucking an oversized shirt since that causes serious bunching problems.

    No, it's not a perfect solution, but at least you won't look like you're trying to pass the shirt off as a dress.

    Obviously it will work a little better with the doorbelling outfit than the other one since the vest will cover the back where you used the ponytail holder.

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  14. Maharani says:

    You can actually have a tee shirt tailored. Mine never fit properly and are usually too long. I understand it can cost a bit, which is a point to consider when shopping on a budget, but might be worth thinking about for a campaign shirt you will be wearing a lot for a specific reason.

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  15. Maharani says:

    Anna: your denim skirt sounds like it might need tailoring as well. If it fitted correctly it wouldnt do what you describe. I have one I wear a lot-it needed hemming and the fabric lifted at the front of the waist so it doesnt make horizontal creases over my stomach (all my skirts need this fix). Fits like a dream now and drapes correctly. I would certainly wear it for doorbelling, with tights and flat boots. It is knee length and getting out of cars is fine.

    October 12, 2012/Reply
  16. CE says:

    where is the Reagan Bush T-shirt from?

    October 15, 2012/Reply