Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: October 31, 2013


1) After the backlash following the 2012 Olympics, Ralph Lauren has announced that 2014’s Olympic gear will be 100% Made In America.  I’m trying to buy more goods that are made in the U.S.A., but it’s tough.  Here is a list of some of the companies that sell Made In America goods.  Luckily, my beloved Hanky Panky thongs are all American.

2) This evening dress from Dagmar is the epitome of effortless elegance.  The marble print is to die for.  Is it too early to start shopping for the 2016 Inaugural Balls?

3) Greg Packer is the most quoted man in the news business.  His name has appeared in so many articles that the Associated Press actually issued a memo asking reporters to seek out other sources.  Awesome. (h/t

4) I love a collarless coat, and no one has a better selection than Kate Spade Saturday.  Whether you’re searching for flame red, baby pink or basic black, Kate has several gorgeous colors and styles.  And while you’re there, don’t miss the Slip-Neck Sweater Dress and Slip-Neck Tee (a steal at $40).

5) Kyle Hendrix was 31 when he lost his battle with cancer.  A farmer from Monticello, Illinois, his community organized a stirring, yet silent, tribute to his life by lining up their tractors, spreaders and combines along the highway.  “Farming communities all over the country may still hold the key to what makes this country a shining beacon in a world of trouble.”

6) I’m a bit neurotic about what I wear to bed.  Mostly, I can’t stand to wear anything on my legs when I sleep.  But finding nightgowns that are comfortable and cozy without making me look like Mrs. Roper is a challenge.  Luckily, Victoria’s Secret is selling a Supersoft Sleepshirt that is sublime.  Just make sure to size down, they run large.

7) Conde Nast is the latest corporation to end its internship program in the face of a lawsuit over compensation.  Not every internship is a valuable experience, but in certain industries (like journalism, government, PR, finance), an internship is the best on-the-job training you will ever receive.  And with more businesses expected to follow Conde Nast’s lead, the internships that help secure jobs in competitive fields may vanish entirely.

8) Have you ever heard of the skincare brand This Works?  I bought their In Transit Camera Close Up treatment, and I am in love.  It’s the perfect thing for reviving tired skin.  And it has me seriously considering their No Wrinkles Night Repair cream.

9) The popularity of baby names by state and year.  Apparently, if you were born in the 1970s, the odds are very good that your name is Jennifer. (h/t Cupcakes and Cashmere)

10) Sometimes, I swear ModCloth is punking us.  How else do you explain this whacked out wall decor, and this Mei Xiang-inspired dress…and these Twee’d beyond all recognition undies.  Their sale section is like a house of horrors designed by the creators of Portlandia.

11) Bonobos, the maker of well-fitting, tush-shaping pants for men, will soon be making trousers for women.  Let no rear-view be left unimproved! Cue the angel chorus!



  1. CH says:

    I’m glad to see unpaid internships generally going the way of the dodo – they privilege the students who already have money/family support, to the exclusion of talented young people who truly cannot afford to work (even for a summer) without compensation.

    October 31, 2013/Reply
    • ohraq says:

      Agree! I see the experience as invaluable but even if granted a coveted spot on the hill or for Conde Nast… there would have been no way for me to finance my living situation for even those few months.

      October 31, 2013/Reply
      • ohraq says:

        forgot to add my real point- interns can do valuable work and learn valuable skills but they have to be compensated in these industries and not simply treated as free workers who can do so bc of their successful parentage

        October 31, 2013/Reply
        • Belle says:

          A lot of the industries, gov’t/magazines, struggle with low, ever-shrinking budgets, so I don’t see full time jobs or bigger checks coming out of situations like this. Some industries, finance/medicine/law, already pay to get the best trainees, but they have infinitely more money than is in your average congressman’s MRA.

          October 31, 2013/Reply
          • Belle says:

            So the net effect could be that students who want internships are driven away from traditionally low paying industries and into more lucrative ones. And what another commenter is trying to prevent, only the privileged coming into these industries, will be almost guaranteed as monied employers suck up the middle class/ working class talent away from the gov’t at an even faster rate.

            October 31, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t agree. Most of my interns, and I also, worked at night and on weekends while we interned. Others interned while in school through programs that allowed them to use student loans to attend summer programs that did school and work. So I get that while there are certainly interns who are coasting on the parental dole and nothing else, it’s not fair to say that everyone is. One of mine worked four days a week, bartended at night and walked dogs so he could afford his WISH housing. He’s now a state director/deputy chief.

      Also, you can read hundreds of testimonials from Conde interns who swear up and down that their paid (but not well-paid) internships were the only reason they were able to get entry-level work in the magazine world, which is highly competitive.

      And last, if you think these companies are going to trade out interns with stipends for staffers with low salaries, I’m betting you’re wrong. So students and fresh grads will lose the best tool for figuring out if a field is for them, having on the job training and establishing those first critical connections.

      When I was hired for full time work 3 years post internship, the Chief said to me, “I remember you. You were on time, you hustled, and you’re overqualified. When I saw your resume come through, I didn’t schedule any more interviews.” That interaction was worth every tanning bed I cleaned, hostess job I worked and peanut butter sandwich I ate for five months.

      October 31, 2013/Reply
      • Ellen says:

        Belle, I could not agree more. After spending six years as a Naval Officer, I took an unpaid internship as a graduate student, waited tables five days a week, and stayed in the reserves, all so I could afford to essentially work for free. Granted, my social life was limited to drinks w my fellow bar staff at 3 am when we closed on Saturday evenings, but the short term pain was 100% worth the long term benefits.

        The experience I got and connections I made, have directly resulted in my current position and the new amazing one I just accepted. It’s not easy to work as am unpaid intern, and you may have no social life, but you can definitely make it work, even if you don’t come from money.

        October 31, 2013/Reply
  2. Mary says:

    I live near Monticello, Illinois. I grew up here, and I moved away never planning on coming back. 12 years later, I returned, and I have to say, it’s hard to beat the community feeling of farm country. I work in the agriculture industry also, and I’m glad to see some positive press about it for once.

    October 31, 2013/Reply
    • Kate says:

      Mary, I grew up in Mahomet, IL in a farming family but now live in Baltimore. These small towns are great communities that truly know how to support and honor their members. I was home this past weekend for my grandfather’s funeral and was reminded yet again how lucky I was to grow up in a farming community.

      November 5, 2013/Reply
  3. LS says:

    Am I crazy or are today’s posts usually on Fridays? Not complaining, just curious!

    October 31, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      No Friday posts this week, so I rearranged the posts.

      October 31, 2013/Reply
  4. Ellis says:

    “[Mod cloth’s] sale section is like a house of horrors designed by the creators of Portlandia.”
    YES. Thanks Belle for your clever wit!

    November 1, 2013/Reply
  5. Julie says:

    Couple reactions:

    1. Very pleased about the USA uniforms. Both that they were made in the US and that they’re super cute!

    2. VS nighties are a god send. I discovered them a year ago and haven’t looked back. The only thing I don’t like are the ones with like “Angel” or “Victoria’s Secret” plastered on the front with sequins and glitter. The one you posted is very nice.

    3. The farmers thing was awesomely touching. Thanks for sharing!

    4. I have to agree with those saying that shutting down the unpaid internships is a good thing. While I hear your point about it shutting down opportunities, in my personal experience unpaid internships are basically a way for an institution to get slave labor out of people they had no intention of ever hiring. There’s absolutely no reason a recent graduate should not be able to find a paid position in the industry of their choice–even if it’s low pay. And if the concern is getting a foot in the door or people discovering whether or not they want to be part of an industry, those questions can be better and more ethically answered by workshops, seminars, and week-long bootcamps hosted by leaders in the industry. For example, I attended a weekend long publishing bootcamp in college and it gave me more information about what publishing on the whole was like, as well as introduced me to more big wigs in the industry, than my unpaid summer internship at a magazine ever did.

    November 1, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      True that there are a lot of bad intern programs out there, I don’t deny that. But I don’t think you should wait until you’re a graduate to intern. I think the perfect time to intern is as a rising sophomore or junior. Take a summer, do it then. It will let you know whether the career path you think you want to be on is the best for you, and let you course correct if it’s not. Plus, if the only thing you can be paid is college credit, then get those credits.

      November 1, 2013/Reply