Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lovely Links: 2/28/14

Chicagoans! Would love to see you at my scarf styling workshop! I’ve got 30 ties to teach so far, and am adding new ones each week – rectangles, squares, infinities, and more.

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It is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week this week. Among many moving pieces, is this one: “Looking back now I can’t pinpoint where or how it started. I’ve always been average in terms of weight and height. I didn’t have a traumatic childhood that left me wounded. I was a completely normal girl. That’s what makes eating disorders so uniquely terrifying. Anyone can suffer from them. The purpose of this piece is raise awareness on an issue that affects more women you could even begin to understand. To shed a light on something that so many women silently endure and something so many people don’t take seriously.”

And this resonated with me, as someone who wants to help and cares passionately, but has no direct experience with eating disorders: “I see women dealing with complex, damaging, negative relationships with food and their weight all the time. I have written so much about body image and weight and beauty, and I still don’t know what to say.”

This piece on eating disorder myths is well worth reading, too.

There are still a few NEDA events today and tomorrow, if you’re interested in attending and discussing.

Une Femme explains why clothing, shoe, and accessory comfort has become non-negotiable for her.

My experiences with shoe stretchers hasn’t been terribly positive, but this shoe and boot stretcher looks promising. And Erin says it works for her!

Mixing a camo jacket with a button-front shirt and heels makes for a wonderful juxtaposition. Also love Laura’s dark blue camo pants – what a fun take on this print.

Since we just did a sale picks post on tulle skirts, this roundup of tips for styling your tulle skirt might be helpful. Guidelines, not rules, but good ones to consider!

Swooning over Gabi’s slouchy raspberry jersey pants. And shoes. And jacket. OK, just everything.

Buzzfeed delivers the ultimate fashion quiz. EXCELLENT advice at the end. (With swears. Cheers to Corporette for the tip!)

Examining archetypes and stereotypes as well as strides and frustrations, this post asks how do 50+ women become more visible?

E is a total knockout in this colorblocked, sculptural dress. Seriously, so gorgeous.

The Curvy Fashionista explores the rise of contemporary plus sized fashion, and explains what this segment actually is and what it means to consumers.

At TPT Rewire I wrote about color choices for the three sisters at Downton Abbey and how they reflect the characters’ inner lives.

Clare’s sleek, sophisticated outfit is making me rethink my trepidation over below-the-knee pencil skirts. Wowza.

Related: This post offers a fascinating side-by-side comparison of two Breton tops and midi skirts, examining fit differences.

Kristin explains how participating in clothing swaps is helping improve her body image. (My thoughts on the topic here.)

This asymmetric hem ASOS Curve dress is a stunner.

“A holistic assessment of media needs to include these things to provide a truly comprehensive view of whether media fights or contributes to harmful social attitudes; what good does a woman-centred film do if it’s racist, for example? What if a film doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test but isn’t specifically sexist, and does offer great commentary on disability and social perceptions of disabled people?” (Via Geek Feminism)

Do you know the difference between tints, tones, and shades? (I’ll admit that I’ve been using these terms incorrectly myself!)

Cardigan as makeshift bustier? Brilliant. (Via Red Reiding Hood)

On the Fox 9 Morning Buzz we chatted about making Mary Janes work in modern ways.

Although I’ll admit to tuning out most Oscar fashion coverage, I found this infographic showing every dress ever worn by a Best Actress winner to be fascinating.

Peter wonders if knockoffs are less harmful if you make them yourself at home from scratch. And just for yourself.

This might just be my favorite crop top outfit ever, what with the stripes, florals, moto jacket, and full skirt.

“So many of us strive to achieve one beauty ideal when people don’t perceive things in the same way. Everything is so subjective. It is impossible to please all people with just one aesthetic or sensibility so we should not try to make ourselves over into someone else’s version of ideal.”

Telling someone that she looks better without makeup isn’t always the welcome compliment you might think.

Check out this great take on high-contrast black and white: A flirty lace dress over black opaques.

Also totally love this sexy striped sheath paired with a black leather moto.

“Me: ‘So now you’ve seen some of my fat, you guys. Do you like me less? Do you think I’m not a good mom?’ (They shook their heads, still giggling.) Me: ‘Whew! Because my body feels healthy and good, and that’s what matters to me.'”

The Museum at FIT recently presented A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk. The pioneering exhibition explored the contributions and influence that the lesbian-gay-bisexual–transgender community has had on fashion history.

Giant piles of yes to this marvelously matchy yellow ensemble. Love ya, Lisa.

This fishtail updo is absolutely stunning.

Are you feeling as dry and staticky as I am? Peek at these 10 DIY beauty recipes to heal winter skin and hair for some cold-weather first aid.

Here’s a fascinating way to define and hone your ideas about your personal style: See if you can identify five fully styled looks that you’d wear, just as they are, head to toe.

And from the Department of Random: I think this dog is part cat.

From the Breaking News sub-department: Doctors Diagnose 100% of Americans With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Additionally: Buttermilk, you jerk.

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Shaped Silk Blouses

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Heather requested a few picks for silk blouses with shaped waists, so here we go:

whbm silk blouse

White House Black Market Silk Dot Blouse – was $94, now $39.99

That’s a heck of a deal for 100% silk, friends. This short-sleeved blouse may be a little lightweight to wear on its own now, but throw it under a blazer until spring. Then show off its shape by pairing with some simple slacks and bold red accents. Available in sizes 0 -16 and petite 0 -12. This floaty dot blouse is available in 16 -24, though not silk.

Also love this solid-colored shaped, sleeveless blouse with a bow detail. Even more of a bargain at $21.87!

maxstudio draped georgette blouse

Maxstudio Stretch Georgette Blouse – was $228, now $128

Considerably more expensive, but SO lovely. It’s 95% silk, 5% elastane for a little bit of stretch, so both comfy and warm. This blouse is designed to be worn untucked, and is so eye-catching you won’t need much more than a pair of earrings to complete the look. Available in black and bordeaux in sizes XS – L. Size availability varies by color. This silk-front shirt isn’t quite the same shape, but has a drape-front detail and available in 0X – 3X.

channeled ciel top

Channeled Ciel Top – was $128, now $69.95

With all the peplums around these days, I’m surprised I didn’t find more silk peplum blouses – an easy and on-trend shortcut to waist shaping. This embellished pullover has a fairly high waist and short length, so would likely look fab with a pencil skirt. Available in sizes XS – L. Also in petite sizes XXS – L.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for shaped silk blouses:

  1. Maxstudio – SO many gorgeous options, though pricey ones. This draped bust blouse is stunning.
  2. White House Black Market – Silk and silk blend blouses are a staple for this retailer, and several are shaped.
  3. Wintersilks – A great source for all things silk! This asymmetric tunic is lovely.
  4. eBay – Loving the options for shaped silk blouses. A nice variety of prints and sizes, too.
  5. And, of course, THRIFT STORES! It’ll be hit or miss, for sure, but definitely worth a look. Most modern silk blouses are formless/boxy, but vintage ones were sometimes shaped. (thethriftshopper.com can help you locate stores near you.)

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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How to Donate Your Clothes Like a Champ

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Although we generally focus on the shopping part of the thrift chain, I want to take a moment to talk about donation. If you want to rack up some good thrift karma, learning to be a great clothing donor is a fantastic place to start. Most of these tips are pretty self-explanatory, but since thrift stores can end up as dumping grounds for closet castoffs it’s worth discussing the basics.

Don’t donate ruined stuff

A snag here or small stain there isn’t the end of the world, but clothing that is truly and completely ruined? The thrift store can’t re-sell that any more than you can wear it. Large rips or tears, obvious stains, overwhelming smells, holes, broken and hard to replace closures can be deal-breakers. If you’re donating a high-end or designer item with flaws, shoppers may be more willing to overlook them. But that sweater from H&M with the giant snag across the chest? Use it as a rag, make it into a cat bed, cut off the sleeves and use them as fake socks, or find another way to repurpose it.

Don’t donate dirty stuff

Launder before donating. Please and thank you.

Try to donate before or during the current season

If you purge your entire wardrobe all at once, you’ll have some summer sundresses to jettison alongside your cozy cardigans and old boots. If you have any storage available to you – a basement, crawlspace, or roomy closet – try to focus on giving over your seasonally appropriate stuff. Thrift stores are generally inundated with clothing donations year-round, and if you give them flip-flops in February they will have to store them until someone in your climate will want to buy them. If you’re moving, have no real storage, or really need to clear out your space you can certainly donate at will. But you’ll do your local stores a major favor if you can hang onto the stuff until the right season, or a month or two before.

Consign, too … but consider your choices

Better quality stuff can make you back a bit of money, and that can be essential if you’re strapped for cash or plagued by guilt over an item that was purchased and never worn. But you’ll never make back your full amount, and a never-worn item can be a huge boon to your local charity shop. Don’t feel guilty if you’d rather consign! They’re your clothes and your choices. But if you can afford to throw a gorgeous new goodie into the donation pile on occasion, you’ll be helping others.

Research your causes

Virtually all thrift stores support charity organizations. Do you want to help disabled people find jobs? Support veterans? Give to the church, temple, or mosque? Support research for specific health causes? Most American cities have Goodwill and the Salvation Army, but there might be other charities that can use your donations and fit with your own values and priorities.

What other tips would you share for being a helpful clothing donor?

Image courtesy William Ward

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