Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 2/27/15

Weekly kitty:

smo

Smooches. (First seen on Instagram.)

Here’s a sampling of what happens when #askhermore actually hits the red carpet.

Related: 12 Women Who Had the Perfect Response to Sexist Questions (Via Capitol Hill Style)

I had an absolute BLAST talking with my friend and colleague Anupama Pasricha’s class on Sociocultural Aspects of Dress at St. Kate’s this week – photo evidence here, including my signature wild hand gestures.

In that class we talked about makeup and expectations, and I pointed out that I had on BB cream, concealer, powder, blush, brow pencil, eyeliner, and mascara which constituted what fashion mags call no-makeup makeup. In a new video series, Molly Soda explores the inherent absurdity of dropping tons of money on looking “natural,” and questions the very concept of how we define “natural.”

Laura’s reversible two-plaid scarf looks stylish and cozy.

Are high fashion designers devolving into aggregators?

This post provides food for thought about identity and professional dressing norms. I enjoy changing up what I wear from occasion to occasion and environment to environment, and I think that doing so shifts my emotions and focus in constructive ways. But I can see how – for those who are disinterested in style as an expressive medium or who feel confined by dressing expectations – it could feel very constrictive. (Cheers to Mollie for the link.)

Holy crap do I ever want to hang out with Shugs & Fats. Here, they explore how to spot a feminist on the street. Hilariously.

Audrey’s bold outfit shows how bright colors and deep blacks can work beautifully together.

“It’s 2015, and — surprise, surprise — women in the legal profession continue to be judged based on the merits of their outfits instead of the merits of their legal arguments. Over the course of the past five years, women have been lectured on “what not to wear” by bar associations, Biglaw firms, law schools, and even federal judges.”

I’m a seasoned Amazon shopper, but this was news to me: Amazon has a coupon page and a hub called Gold Box Deals, both of which show you some of the best bargains on the site.

Jewelry can be extremely powerful, emotional, and sentimental.

Frustrated by recent online slurs against groundbreaking plus-size model Tess Munster (AKA Holliday) by other plus-sized women, Shay asks her readership, “How is it we say we want to see women on the larger side of plus, but when we do, we don’t like it?

This week’s Sudden Death poll pitted red against blue. Loved the responses!

Anyone ordered from SmartGlamour? They did a truly diverse NYFW show, every item is fully customizable from XXS to 6X, and they have a popup shop planned for March 6 in the East Village.

Carrie Brownstein muses on how your city of residence can affect your style.

Tortoiseshell hair. It’s a thing. Apparently.

In my Star Tribune column, I talked about utilizing colorful handbags, styling midi skirts, and leather vs. pleather for boots.

“I’ve struggled my whole life with the size, shape and weight of my body. The biggest single difference has been adopting Intuitive Eating with my amazing nutritionist over the past year. But after that, it’s sewing. You know when you look in the mirror and think “ugh, I look terrible”? 90% of the time that’s your clothes. They’re too tight, things are bulging, or maybe they’re too loose and boxy. Once you can make clothes to fit, you learn that anyone can look good.” (Thanks, LaPriel)

Artisans from India and Ethopia contributed vibrant designs for these Tarrrik scarves.

Love the detailing on Tiffany’s striped sweater – those intersecting panels make the piece so much more eye-catching.

Jessica has assembled a guide to vendors and styles that carry sizes 4X and larger for Skorch Magazine. The magazine is free, but you have to register to view full articles.

Black, red, and leopard will always be one of my favorite combinations.

It’s easy to be hesitant when fashion makes such an obvious attempt to be more inclusive. These are images that are intrinsically share-worthy, and when 99% of fashion shows are experienced through photographs and social media, anything to increase clicks is fair game. But the diversity ‘trend’ — it doesn’t have to mean something negative, so we might has well call it that — does seem to have its roots in the right place.”

Lucy dressed to blend in, then began dressing to explore her creativity. Now, she gets called out when her outfits aren’t creative or weird enough to meet the new expectations of her peers and even teachers. FRUSTRATING.

My search for high-waisted, distressed-but-not-ridiculously-so skinny jeans ended with this pair from Gap Factory. And they’re only $30!

I’ve never successfully pulled it off myself, so I’m all the more impressed by Dana’s collared-blouse-under-dress ensemble. She’s totally rocking it.

More masterful layering: Turtleneck, dress, and tartan skirt. Amazing.

An important reminder about compliments.

On the Fox 9 Buzz, I offered cold-weather styling tips for tunics.

And from the Department of Random: Everything in Paper’s Sunday Funnies roundup from last week. Especially the red pandas. But also DJ Arch Junior. And Nicki’s hilarious side-eye. OK, really, all of it.

Additionally: The Atlantic explains why Minneapolis is a fabulous place to live. Also see our mayor’s response to the article.

Finally: I LOVED this video about the Olinguito and how new species are discovered.

**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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Lovely Links: 2/20/15

Weekly Kitty:

hammock

We unearthed the old cat hammock, intending to Craigslist it. Harriet had other ideas.

“When you think of being body positive, you probably think of loving the parts of your body that society tells you to hate: your thighs, your hips, or your stomach. But would you ever think to include your acne on the list of things to love about yourself? As the body’s largest organ, our skin deserves to be loved just as much as the muscle, fat, and bones it covers.”

For the first time ever, a model with Down Syndrome walked at New York Fashion Week.

A question I’ve often pondered myself: Why is it that some people love clothes but hate interior design, and others vice versa? Since both are rooted in a love of aesthetics and design, you’d think they’d go hand-in-hand for everyone. But they definitely don’t.

Sheila is bold and beautiful in head-to-toe red. Including leather pants.

Costume designers of “Empire,” The Honourable Woman,” and “Jane the Virgin” share insights on how fashion helps drive the stories and personalities of their female leads.

Show me a body part, I’ll show you someone who’s making money by telling women that theirs looks wrong and they need to fix it. Tone it, work it out, tan it, bleach it, tattoo it, lipo it, remove all the hair, lose every bit of jiggle.”

This sweatshirt just might be the softest, comfiest thing I own.

Few of my clients have reported back about their experience with plus-size brand Kiyonna, so I was glad to see that Amanda adores her lace Kiyonna dress.

15 New York women talk about their most wasteful wardrobe purchases. High heels showed up more than once.

Are we finally living in a post-trend universe?

This long but incredibly moving personal essay about self-acceptance, the politics of dieting, and finding personal balance is harsh at times, but a much-needed illustration of how highly thinness is prized in our culture. (Via Yum & Yuk)

On About.com, I gave some tips for avoiding fakes on eBay, and suggested some resources for edgy style staples.

If you like the look of distressed denim but can’t fathom paying for already-ruined jeans, check out this post which compares four DIY denim distressing techniques.

“Authenticity” is a tricky little buzzword these days. Amber puts it under the microscope as she asks, “Are fashion bloggers fake?

Blazing bright accents add energy to a simple jeans-and-tee ensemble.

“If you’ve made it to 50 and still need to consult articles on how to dress appropriately then you are so missing out on one of the best things about being over 50. One of the best things about getting older is realizing that we don’t have to spend our energy worrying what other people think and we get to be comfortable in our own skin with our own freak flags.” (Via YLF)

I get the occasional request for domestically made denim, and was thrilled to see this roundup of made-in-the-U.S. denim brands and resources.

A creative take on layering: Bustiers over button-fronts.

Over on Mad Mimi, I talked about the value of regular features in email newsletters.

Charlotte writes candidly about feeling judged by shopkeepers in stores and the challenges of dressing expressively as a plus-sized woman.

Also refreshingly candid: Liz Jones explains why she quit her job as Editor-in-Chief at “Marie Claire.” She did it because she’s sick of how fashion magazines portray women, and alarmed that her fellow editors have been so resistant to embracing body diversity.

Jonesing for these burgundy coated high-waisted skinnies, doubly so since Nordstrom gives 5% of net profits to organizations that work to empower women and girls.

An interesting little roundup of quotes on the value of dressing up in a dressed-down world.

Tips from Une Femme on scarf storage and care.

Emily explains how she rebelled against being told she was too big, too loud, too different, and too much.

“Self-care means, for me, just checking in with myself in whatever capacity that requires. Sometimes it means just looking in the mirror for an extended period of time and remembering that I am not just a brain. I am a person with a body I have to take care of and acknowledge.”

A delightfully tongue-in-cheek explanation for why famous women are swanning around Fashion Week sans tights.

Pale pink and gray make a sophisticated yet laid-back pairing, and great for adding softness to late winter outfits.

Gender neutral fashion design is on the rise. I, for one, am thrilled by this shift.

Thought-provoking musings on Annie Lennox, Madonna, and “acting your age.”

Love this story of permission, body reclamation, and a hexagonal tattoo.

Sidenote: If you are not aware of Gamergate, here is an upsetting summary from the perspective of one of its most visible victims. (Discusses threats of violence and rape.) I am sickened and terrified by how it is all unfolding, and enraged by the lack of support from law enforcement and website owners. But I feel like Gamergate merits attention and discussion because it serves as an important reminder that misogyny is alive and well, and fostered by online anonymity. I certainly hope that these events have an impact on how online hate and harassment are dealt with in the future.

And since that probably depressed the hell out of you, here’s the hilarious Valentine’s Day edition of Bad Chart Thursday. What exactly WOULD Meat Loaf do for love? A question for the ages.

**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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Lovely Links: 2/13/15

Weekly Kitty:

tinybox

Box inspector Harriet is on the job. P.S. This article about the feline box obsession.

Love this fantastic take on a casual Valentine’s Day outfit.

The holy grail of shoes for many: Flats with arch support.

Feel like neutrals are classy but dull? Here are eight all-neutral outfits that are anything but boring.

“When the average customer hovers around a size 14, and the plus-size market is growing in numbers, casting a net towards the so-called ‘in-betweenies’ might be the way to bridge the gap for plus retailers. Hey Gorgeous is one of the first online retailers to enter this specific space, but as interest in the market grows, it might not be the last.”

Sewists are you reading Seamwork? This phenomenal online magazine has tutorials, patterns (for sale), and stunning photographs featuring wonderfully diverse model.

Wow. Check out the pixel hair coloring trend. (Via Hair Romance)

Such a great way to style a smaller, square scarf.

So many of us love black but it doesn’t quite love us back. Here are three simple ways to incorporate black garments into your outfits even if it isn’t your best color. (My suggestions – many of which overlap with those put forth by Imogen’s post – here.)

On the Fox 9 Buzz this week, I offered some tips for styling slouchy pants.

How can one shoe have so many things going on at once? Boggles the mind.

“Fashion incites because, uniquely, it displays deeply held beliefs and bodily secrets, using materials optimized for attraction and surfaces. We say who we are when we dress, even if there are things we try never to say at all.”

In September, Athleta will launch a designer collaboration with Derek Lam. (Via YLF)

Gracey’s cape is incredible, and she looks incredible in it. The end.

I recently switched to this Tarte brow pencil, and I’m thrilled with it. Spoolie brush end, self-sharpening with a tiny but sturdy point, goes on easy and looks natural.

“… using singular they is far more than a way to respect friends who have gender identities outside the binary. Singular they has exciting potential to be part of a radical shift in the dominant gender culture. Changing the culture may seem like a mighty task for one little pronoun. But actually, it wouldn’t be the first time that a pronoun was near the center of a momentous cultural shift.”

How helpful is the maxim “Buy what you love” in curating a versatile wardrobe?

Even a fit-and-flare devotee such as myself can appreciate a great sheath, and this riff off the Black Halo Jackie O dress is a truly great sheath.

Darlene reports in on the state of the big bust clothing landscape. Interestingly, she says that the American market is drying up while European markets are holding steady or expanding. Check out her Clothing for Big Busts resource page, too.

This minimalist wardrobe FAQ is FASCINATING. And I love that it delves into the misconceptions that minimalist wardrobes must have less than X pieces and that you must dress in a minimalist style to have a minimalist closet.

Vaguely related: Natalie talks about why she loves having a small wardrobe that’s mostly stocked with basics.

22-year-old Karlie Kloss and 93-year-old Iris Apfel co-star in the new Kate Spade campaign.

My dresses are languishing right now, but I’m still tempted by this simple, elegant A-line knit dress. Well played, Gap.

‘Female’ as a noun erases the subject—making ‘female’ the subject of the sentence. In the most technical sense, it’s correct, but by employing this word that is usually an adjective as a noun, you’re reducing her whole personhood to the confines of that adjective.”

The top five reasons we hold onto clothes we don’t like, want, or need.

I’d heard that editors have declared the age of the skinny jean to be over, but not yet heard of the replacement style for it-denim fans: The “strinny.” Yep.

Do you engage in tiny rebellions when it comes to style or body image?

Some of these garment and accessory examples are a little obvious – yep, that’s definitely a bra – but I totally geek out over infographics like this.

On About.com I offered my picks for high-quality tights and rounded up some online tools for sale and markdown tracking.

Basic self-care isn’t just an indulgence. It is an act of survival. It helps you function better, be better, feel better.”

What a fantastic way to style a faux side-shave.

Musings on the smear-ability of lipstick, and how it reflects the expectation that women wear makeup but pretend that they haven’t.

Alyson offers her tips for wearing leggings in a grown-up way. I loved this quote from the piece, “I cheer on anyone who wears clothes others have deemed unsuitable for older women, to whom leggings are a two-fingered salute in fabric form.”

For its February/March issue, BUST magazine featured models from ALDA, a coalition of models pushing for more body diversity.

Is couture relevant? From a marketing standpoint, it just might be.

Another great question that stands unanswered: Are we over The Red Carpet and its associated sexist pageantry? The Mani Cam snub has sparked discussion.

I’ve been craving a leather bag that looks beat-up in just the right way. This Frye bag would be it, if it didn’t cost a small fortune.

Oh Alison, you are so smokin’ hot in your black jumpsuit.

A short history of women fussing with our eyebrows.

**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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