Bliss Thru Shopping: Gov. Paul LePage, dressed for joy

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Six years ago, in March 2006 when Bliss was a mere one month old, Bag Lady and Good-Buy Girl dressed Gov. John Baldacci.

Literarily.

You know. With words.

Around the State House, word was that the governor was updating his wardrobe and debuting a few new threads. Longtime sharp dresser, no question, but we felt he didn’t go quite far enough (“A darker oxford does not a makeover make”) and took the liberty of adding splashes of color, a straight-leg jean and an ivory, washed-silk, Don Johnson-inspired sport coat.

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All of which brings Bliss to Gov. Paul LePage.

We’ve heard no rumors of new duds, nor have we particular quibbles with his wardrobe; the suit is clearly his thing. It’s just that, while neat and professionally attired, the governor, in public at least, rarely has the appearance of a man happy at work. No dressing for joy there. (And, yes, Bag Lady gets that things are fiscally sour, but a French-cuff dress shirt isn’t going to make things worse.)

So, could a few new clothes a happier man make? Mayhaps. Naturally, there was only one place to go and here it was, right in our backyard.

Marden’s.

* Ashlord & Brooks London black tie with tiny white polka dots, $4.99

There’s no better way to ease into joy than with an unexpected necktie.

* Oscar de la Renta smoke-colored sweater, $8.88

Zipper-neck, clean lines and a great color. It says, “Perfect for a ‘Capitol for a Day’ event” and, “It originally retailed for $65!” Worth listening to.

* Avalanche yellow fleece, $7.99

Zipper-front, gray patches on the shoulders, two pockets and super-soft. It has what Brad Goreski would call POC, pop of color. Anyone else watching “It’s a Brad, Brad World” on Bravo? Bag Lady is loving it. Mr. Bag Lady is, well, along for the ride. A good sport, that one.

* Mossimo brown jacket, $9.99

Thin-knit, almost runner-style, in chocolate brown with mustard stripes at the collar. Somewhere between “Happy Days” and the new “90210.” Basically, very hip.

* Florsheim leather penny loafer, $19.99

In a brown/wine color and there’s room for a coin in the leather strip across the toe. Pick a pair of pennies from a favorite year, insert, pair with jeans, stroll. A ready-made Saturday afternoon.

Best find: In a Bliss first, it’s a three-way tie. I believe that’s allowed once every six years.

Keep reading and try to pick just one.

Best #1: P.dot interaction orange-striped, long sleeve, V-neck sweater, $3.99

Orange without being ORANGE. That matters. The four thin stripes are gray and darker gray, around the arms and around the back. Easily worn with gray slacks, not black, so it’s not all Halloweeny. Also matters.

Best #2: Silver Rider down winter coat, $5

A green/gray color, just puffy enough to be down, with a white and navy stripe at the neck. An amazing jacket and a sweet sweater for less than $10? The start of fiscal merriment.

Best #3: Walk-Over navy suede derby shoe with green accents, $24.99

The same shoe — the same shoe — has an MSRP of $249 on the manufacturer’s website. The only difference is the green laces on the Marden’s pairs. Frankly, green laces give it that much more kick.

Think twice: The same style Walk-Overs were available in pink or white. Bag Lady can’t in good conscience endorse either of those for the gubernatorial foot. There’s whimsy and then there’s, well, a pink suede derby shoe.

Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who change styles every season) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at baglady@sunjournal.com.

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