Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 11/21/14

Weekly Kitten:


Just a normal day at Chez McGraw. Simon has a packing tape moustache, Harriet’s in a box, and my DVD of “Pitch Perfect” is on the dining room table for no reason at all.

Any other locals attending I AM MPLS or its new sister event I AM ST. PAUL? I’ll be there for the former at First Ave on December 4!

The best tall boots for bunions, thanks to the Barking Dog Shoes team.

“So, as weapons go, a tutu carries as much punch as, well, tulle, but being double-bound, double-loud in my style does makes me feel protected. It’s my childish scream into the clockwork street – I AM NOT YOU! DON’T MAKE ME!”

Lots of retailers offer plus sizes on their websites only, but it turns out Old Navy has several other discriminatory practices, including up-charging for plus-sized jeans for women but charging the same price for men regardless of size. (Via Capitol Hill Style)

Lexy looks smokin’ hot in her vintage cropped red suede jacket.

A reminder from Thick Dumpling Skin and Henri Matisse about the loveliness of women’s bodies. No Photoshop necessary. (Not safe for work viewing.)

Calvin Klein used a size 10 model in a recent underwear campaign. This interview with model Myla Dalbesio includes some interesting points about how the modeling industry still harbors some bizarre and unhealthy ideas about size.

Like Aya, I love, love, love thrifting handmade, one-of-a-kind clothes. The dress she nabbed is stunning.

Do check out #feministprincessbride for a marriage of two wonderful things. (A response to this ridiculousness.)

Andrea finds the most amazing designers. This week, painterly clutches from Tiff Manuell.

On the Fox 9 Buzz this week, we talked about making chunky knits work. And I poked fun at The Row.

CUT for EVANS is a collection born from competition between design students from Nottingham Trent and Kingston University. Two winners, Eve Turley and Ellie Northway, won the £1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to have EVANS include their pieces into the capsule collection.

Poodletail sent me this article about uniforms and decision fatigue. Definitely the perfect route for some, but not all.

Currently obsessed with cowl-neck tunics. I bought this one from Target last year and promptly shrunk it. Now it is reserved for lounge/home wear. I shall not shrink my new one! Also ogling this cool exposed-seam cowl tunic.

Such a marvelous mash-up of elements: Leather skinnies, floppy hat, Breton top, and oversized vest. LOVE.

Anjelica Huston interviewed Lauren Hutton. The two have been friends for decades, and chat about modeling, Diana Vreeland, feminism, and more. (Via That’s Not My Age)

Fairly sure mine would turn out clumpy and unwearable, but still intrigued by this DIY glitter pump tutorial.

These 3D-printed dresses will blow your mind. (Curious to see if a better term evolves. “3D printing” doesn’t quite fit since ink is rarely involved.)

How the Internet Talked About Women’s Bodies This Week. Not exactly an uplifting read, but proof that there’s still SO much work to be done.

Bright yellow pumps add a cheeky pop of color to an otherwise neutral mix. Love that sparkly clutch, too.

I laughed out loud several times, startling Harriet: What happens when you finally start wearing the right bra size?

A leopard-print scarf ties together this elegant outfit of camel and black.

I bought this mini set of Tarte Lipsurgence tints and glosses and am having ALL OF THE FUN trying new colors. The matte ones are surprisingly lovely on.

Huge thanks to my friends at Lee Jeans for this fabulous feature on their blog!

Is plus-sized minimalism possible? Allison responds with a resounding, “Yes.”

And from the Department of Random: Eight West Coasters try classic Minnesota foods. HILARIOUSLY.

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

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Lovely Links: 11/7/14

Weekly Kitten



“’It felt like it was the right time to look at the rise of women in contemporary power roles, and how they view and use fashion to facilitate their place in the world,’ said Donna Loveday, a co-curator, describing the show as one of the most ambitious the [Design Museum in London] has done.” (Cheers, Lisa)

Just like the Budget Babe team, I’m loving the glut of two-tone black and brown bags currently on the market.

Important and often-overlooked point: Try to assemble your outfits in natural light, at least partially. Things can look great under the dim bulbs, and clashy out in the sun.

Reader Sewing Faille pointed me to a series of posts in which three professional photographers discuss photographing each other, and the discomfort inherent in entrusting your image to someone else. Sara’s perspective, Zack’s perspective, Bernard’s perspective.

Wonderful and gentle advice for curbing comparisons between your style/figure and the styles/figures of others.

“Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not ‘spark joy,’ after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.” (Cheers, HM)

Gonna have to try pairing a leopard-print scarf and military jacket myself sometime soon.

Fabulous reader LeAnn wrote a column about body acceptance, mountain climbing, and shifts in self-talk. (She swears a bunch. And I love her for it.)

Have I mentioned lately how much I adore the DevaCurl line of products? I used them even when I was straightening my hair because they’re so amazing for my wavy texture. I use No Poo and One Condition, then a mix of the serum and pomade to style.

Beyonce + Topshop = Athletic streetwear line that’s sure to sell out in seconds.

How do I actually listen to my body?

Ashley looks Boho fabulous in a floaty maxi dress and fringed handbag.

The way media treats female breasts supports the notion that women’s bodies do not belong to ourselves, but to the public. If an actor shows her breasts in a movie, she’ll be asked a million questions about it. If a guy is half-naked, it’s not a big deal, it’s funny, it might not even be brought up.” (Describes surgery)

Related: “I was ashamed that I’d offended somebody or a lot of somebodies at my office and made a woman that was practically a stranger utter the phrase ‘low cut tops.’ I was ashamed because I’d forgotten something I knew before I could put it into words: as a woman, your body is merely on loan to you from the public gaze.” (Discusses disordered eating)

I, too, have heard rumblings that straight-legs are the new skinnies. We shall see.

Lovely Lauren at AsianCajuns turned me on to We Make It Last, a digital magazine about sustainable clothing and style.

Most of us want to feel better about our bodies, but so much advice is nebulous and vague. This post offers a five-step game plan for improving body image that includes awareness, reflection, and active change.

The Barking Dog Shoes team rounds up shoe options for those who suffer from top-of-foot pain.

I thrifted a pair of slouchy leather pants a while back. and am still exploring how to style them. Kela’s slouchy faux-leather pants look amazing with her simple black sweater and printed heels.

“Beyonce, as powerful and secure in her position as she is, isn’t taking a lot of personal risk with ‘Feminist’ in lights. But it’s because she’s secure enough to make that step that others might be inspired to overcome their own reservations. What Annie Lennox* dismisses (nay, criticizes vehemently) as feminism lite, tokenism, self-promotion, is also a woman’s way of embodying feminism to a crowd of screaming girls who admire and want to emulate her — possibly right down to her 20-foot-tall sense of pride in her feminist identity.

Time offers another summary of the bizarre history of women’s clothing sizing practices. A nice reminder that, especially today, sizes are incredibly arbitrary.

Rust orange and cobalt. What a marvelously unexpected color combo.

Painter Aleah Chapin is exhibiting her huge, amazingly realistic paintings showing nude women in many stages of life and aging at The Flowers Gallery in London.  In this article, she and some of her portrait subjects talk about the challenges and body image-fueled fears that accompany the creation such a body of work. (Not safe for work viewing, nudity. Cheers for the link, Kim)

I’ve seen a number of zipper-embellished sweaters lately, but I think Khatu’s is my favorite. And I love how she paired it with polka dot pumps.

Very true: Hourglass-shaped figures are all we see in plus-sized models. Even though the majority of women lack those curves and tend to be more rectangular in shape.

I’ve recommended this long, irregular links necklace to about a dozen clients this year, and now it’s on super sale!

Short-waisted and wondering how to belt? Great guidelines here that still respect your figure-flattery priorities.

Sandra looks smashing in her flirty plaid dress and tall boots. Love that bow clutch, too!

“Much of the criticism around casual dress is gendered: Mark Zuckerberg gets gentle joshing, at most, for his sartorial quirks, but could Marissa Mayer get away with a hoodie and shower shoes? And notice how often the ‘casual dressing at school’ panic is inevitably centered around girls? There’s a reason that women dressing casually threatens the status quo — it’s subversive and the ultimate sign of not caring.”

Apparently, there’s a debate raging over woman vs. female as modifiers.

A moto jacket and floral dress make for a foolproof juxtaposition outfit.

Must-have lists can feel so stifling. Natalie rebels by showing her alternatives to the “classic trench” and “black blazer.”

Charlotte Rampling, Tilda Swinton, and Jessica Lange are now joined by Helen Mirren in the club of over-50 women fronting major cosmetics campaigns.

In other barrier-busting news, transgender model Lea T is Redken’s newest brand muse.

AP contributor Cassie has just launched a new line of jewelry called The Enthusiasts celebrating personal passions, and is donating 10% of her profits to associated charities. Rock!

A cute way to do ankle boots and cuffed jeans with socks. My solution? Pull your socks up, cuff low so the cuff juts against the top of the ankle boot, no one is the wiser. Unless you sit down and cross your legs. See my suggestions on this week’s Fox 9 Buzz segment on ankle boots.

“Look in the mirror and see what’s actually there. Not a comparison to some nonexistent ideal. Look at what’s there. Your flaws make you beautiful. Your dark circles make you beautiful. Once you can see how gorgeous your flaws are, you will be transformed into something much more magical than a pretty princess, holding her breath forever. You will be FORMIDABLE.”

And from the Department of Random: Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say “penguins.”

Additionally: Lacy is taking a calligraphy class. Her contenders for quotes to transcribe cracked me up.

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

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Lovely Links: 10/31/14

Happy Halloween! Here’s one of my favorite late fall, rustling leaves, early darkness songs:

Weekly Kitten


There is a compartment in HM’s camera bag that is perfectly Harriet-sized.

Some fun tips in this post about how to tuck, tie, roll and twist your clothes like a stylist.

Layers of plaid and windowpane with red accents make this outfit eye-catching. Also love this sheer windowpane dress with tough accents.

“Technicolor hair is mainstream now, but back then, it was reserved for freaks and weirdoes. Dyeing my hair pink felt like claiming the label my classmates had given me for my own. I was done trying to change the strangeness that made other kids hate me. Now I was embracing it.” (Discusses self-harm)

Great reminders about the complexities and impact of fat talk, and suggestions for re-routing those thoughts and conversations.

I love the look of split-back tops, but loathe the fussiness. Style Crone found one with a built-in contrasting insert that looks phenomenal on her.

I’m a proud Capricorn, and swooning over these super subtle zodiac rings and necklaces.

“So while the man mentioned in the first paragraph may feel as though he’s doing a good thing by sharing his appreciation for the way women look when they are out for a run – and some women might actually appreciate that too – for me personally, I’d rather not hear it. I’m not out there to look pretty. I’m out there to run.”

E. is all about the cozy knits these days, and I’m right there with her.

At long last, Gap has some high rise skinnies on offer. And they come in three inseam lengths as well as tall and petite cuts. Hoping to try these soon and will report back.

Chastity gives her thoughts on the Kelly Osbourne for HSN line.

The implication is that dressing in a more conventionally feminine way is somehow more frivolous, and can undermine perceptions of a woman’s intellectual and professional skills. Dressing in order to be taken seriously indicates that the spectre of older, more explicit forms of sexism still hovers over us: a woman who adopts a more feminine style is too preoccupied with pretty things to be a serious academic, because a woman can’t be both attractive and intelligent – if indeed she can be intelligent at all.”

What’s the difference between a tint and a tone? Learn more about color terminology right here.

I love everything about this outfit of cognac leather, stripes, and distressed denim. Well played. Jean.

“Sometimes I say chubby or curvy but today I’m going to say it. Fat. There are so many assumptions that come with that word, or when people see fat bodies. That you don’t take care of yourself. That you don’t love yourself. That you are ashamed. That you are not healthy. That fact doesn’t mean that I don’t love myself, that I don’t take care of my body or that I am not worthy. You see, I’m slowly learning how to not be ashamed of it. I’ve spent 15 years of my life bullying myself in the mirror and I’m done. I’m not playing that game anymore.”

Such a fantastic interview with Mode-sty founder, Zahra Aljabri.

I’ve purposely avoided most of the media storm that arose when Renee Z was photographed after drastic plastic surgery, but found LPC’s musings on ageism, beauty obsession, and the need to be recognized compelling.

The sassy asymmetric closure on Jyoti’s sunshine yellow coat makes it even cuter.

Break in case of fabulous.

I made it my fall mission to track down a fabulous metallic leather handbag. This one from Boden turned out to be far too shiny and cheap looking. This Vince Camuto one, however, is perfect – a little weathered, slightly metallic, and wonderfully roomy. (It was 50% off on 6pm when I bought it … fingers crossed it still is by today!)

17 promises to make to your body today. I’m especially fond of #3.

Burgundy and black is such a sleek, chic pairing, especially when there’s a little bit of leather involved. Though black and gold is pretty rockin’, too.

Never forget that you absolutely can wear sleeveless clothes regardless of your size, shape, age, or anything at all.

“I have a feeling that without Rei Kawakubo’s clothes, it would have taken a much longer time to realize I was queer. I identify with her designs because she queers fashion by destabilizing the meaning of clothes and creating her own ideas of what they stand for. I queer sexuality through my incapacity for picking one gender to be attracted to, or assign to myself. Kawakubo’s clothes made me feel brave enough to accept the parts of myself I otherwise thought were too strange to explore.”

Stasia is working on an extensive exploration of body proportions over on Thrift Me Pretty. Parts one and two both have some truly useful tips.

Completely agree that color can be an important element of flattery, but what matters most is how colors make you feel. Black is tough on most complexions, but if you love it, by all means wear it!

And from the Department of Random: A serenade.

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

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