Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: For Low-Effort Weekends

Dear Belle,

What do you wear around the house? For realz, tho.

A Curious Reader

When I opened this e-mail, I laughed so hard.  Why?  Because so many bloggers post photos of their “lounging around the house” attire that are WHOLLY UNREALISTIC.  Their makeup and hair are perfectly styled.  They’re wearing $150 lounge sets from Eberjey.  And they’re sitting on their perfectly rumpled, duvet-covered bed, sipping a latte from a chic coffee mug, and reading a fresh New York Times and heavily dog-eared copy of Vogue.

Come to my apartment at 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and you’ll find me asleep. (Don’t judge; I have no children, no boyfriend, and nowhere to be.)  Come back at 11:00, however, and you’ll find me sitting on my couch with a Constitutional Law textbook on my lap and bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit in my hand (Because McD’s for breakfast is my only standing Saturday appointment.).  What will I be wearing?


Zella Leggings, an Everlane t-shirt, and a sweatshirt (Maybe it’s Athleta. Maybe it’s Old Navy. Depends on whether I did laundry that week.).  My hair will be in a ponytail.  My face will be bare, shiny, and acne-covered. This is called making no effort. #realtalk

Now let’s say, for some reason, I have to go outside but I don’t intend to see anyone.  For a quick errand or a grocery store run, I don’t gussy up too much, but I make a low-effort.

A little dry shampoo and a ball cap, and my hair is done.  If the ponytail’s looking lifeless, I might tease it a bit and curl the ends.  Two minutes on this, tops.

For the makeup, I’ll apply a little bit of concealer, a light swash of mineral powder, some blush, and mascara.  Basically, I want to be prepared in case I run into my ex-boyfriend, but I don’t want to apply a full-face that I have to scrub off later.  Maybe I’ll spritz a little perfume if I want to pretend I’m trying.

As for the clothes, I’m going to put on a bra because my very southern Mother lives in head.  Over the leggings and sweatshirt, I’ll wear a field jacket with big pockets, because I’m not bringing a purse.  On my feet, I’ll either wear metallic flats or sneakers.  And I am definitely putting on a pair of small earrings and some aviator sunglasses.

Some of you may think this is more effort than you want to put in, but this is as dressed down as I get for a public outing.  This is what I wore when I rushed myself to the ER with chest pains back in October, so my commitment to making some effort is pretty strong.  You never know who you’ll meet when you’re just picking up milk or if they’ll send a cute resident to examine your x-rays, and I like to know I look good-enough even when I’m not trying to look my best.



  1. Sara says:

    Glad I’m not the only one! Except my field jacket is a running jacket.

    March 5, 2015/Reply
  2. Monica says:

    This made me laugh! I’m a very casual person, but my husband is always like ‘why can’t you just go like that?’. Running shorts and a tank top are okay at home, but I’m not going out like that, unless I’m running! The other day he tried to leave the house in a pair of basketball shorts for a close-friends kids party, and I had to pull the, ‘you’re going like that?’ routine. He did change, grudgingly, but claimed his friend would be dressed the same. I won that bet, and he didn’t look like a slob. Wins for everybody!

    This is the first I remember hearing about chest pains, hope it wasn’t anything serious!

    March 5, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Sometimes anemia can cause chest pains, that’s how they figured out I was really anemic. It was kind of scary because I also had numbness in my arms. Not cool. I did learn that chest pains is the ER magic word though, you jump to the front of the line if they think you might be having a heart attack.

      March 5, 2015/Reply
  3. Ann says:

    This is the best post I’ve seen on here so far. Belle: She’s just like us!

    March 5, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Ha! Love it.

      March 5, 2015/Reply
      • Erika says:

        I second Ann’s comment. You continue to be my favorite blog.

        March 5, 2015/Reply
  4. Meghan says:

    I love this. I have a very similar routine and a scarily similar weekend outfit.

    I made the mistake of not doing my regular “I’m super lazy but I should probably put some slight effort into myself” look on literally one occasion, before meeting my now-fiance for sushi at our regular spot one night last spring. No mascara, no jewelry, nothing. He proposed. Now I never leave the house without mascara (even though he constantly reminds me I won’t get proposed to again!).

    March 5, 2015/Reply
  5. SJS says:

    Speaking from experience, in a couple or three decades you won’t regret listening to your mother about wearing a bra when in public–because the support of a bra now will reduce the sagging later–especially if you wear underwire bras (a key tip from my college roommate).

    March 5, 2015/Reply
  6. LS says:

    This is why I’ve been a loyal reader for 6 years. Two awesome posts today. Thank you Belle!

    March 5, 2015/Reply
  7. caitlyn says:

    Glad the docs figured out the reason causing your chest pain!
    I loved this post. I had to laugh because your version of dressed down is my “middle of the road” between dressed down and ready for work.

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  8. NSB says:

    Long time reader – never posted, but I love this post! Mostly because it was my New Years Resolution (or really mid-winter resolution) to start looking more reasonable when I leave the house. So now I have advice from someone trustworthy on what is appropriate to leave the house in!

    Thanks for all the work with the blog and keeping it going through law school! I can’t imagine that is easy at all – but is so much appreciated!

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  9. Allison says:

    I have a question on your thoughts on leggings. My NYC friends are insistent that leggings had their moment and they are over, and now not even ‘norm-core’ but just for out of touch moms. This makes me sad because they are so comfortable, even though mine are a total cat hair magnet. Thoughts? Also, love your blog!

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  10. Madeline Vied says:

    This post makes me so happy. I love your honesty and your biting wit.

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  11. Sarah says:

    This may be my favorite post, ever. I’ve been an everyday reader since 2011, when I first moved to D.C. post grad. Thank you for the real sharing, and honestly, I even got some good tips out of the read! I definitely feel naked if I don’t have earrings in if I leave the house.

    Looking forward to reading for many years to come.

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  12. Lou says:

    Love this. Soul sistah. Thanks for keeping it real.

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  13. Corporate Attorney says:

    My inner southern mother is why I never leave the house without earrings. Seriously.

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  14. Nancy says:

    I love this!!!!!!!
    Stay healthy, Girl!

    March 6, 2015/Reply
  15. GR says:

    I’m all about this post! Thanks!

    March 7, 2015/Reply
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