Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 4/10/15

Weekly Kitty:

sun windowsill

Sunbathing Season is fast approaching. Harriet is getting a head start with some windowsill sitting.

Leaders of Today and Tomorrow, the women’s leadership program that I co-chair, is hosting our first big event and fundraiser in May! Would LOVE to see you there.

Denarii Monroe shares three surprising ways she learned to love herself after a lifetime of being ridiculed for her looks.

I know traditional woven button-fronts can be challenging, and although they can be hard to find knit versions can be much easier to fit and wear. Boden has a knit button-front shirt in two printsL.L. Bean has one in 12 colors, Eddie Bauer’s comes in petite and tall sizes, and this style comes in six colors in 1X – 3X.

When I grow up, I want to be Ruth. (Cheers to Deborah for highlighting her gorgeous blog.)

The Curvy Fashionista rounds up 20 lovely plus size floral dresses that are perfect for spring.

Yoga has endowed me with the body confidence that no other exercise – or activity – ever afforded me. It’s made me realise that my body is something to be celebrated and that I should be proud of. I mean, it can’t be an accident that two of the most popular poses are called ‘goddess’ and ‘warrior.’”

Trend-wise, it’s all about the 70s for spring. Angie shares 10 ways to add 70s flair to your outfits.

Remember that #ClothingHasNoGender.

Shainna offers us more visual proof that Lane Bryant has stepped up its game.

In my latest post for Huffington Post Women, I offer a reminder that you have a body.

H&M, Kering and Worn Again have united to create pioneering textile recycling technology: The technology will work by separating and extracting polyester and cotton from old textiles, reducing the amount of clothing that gets dumped on landfill sites every year. (Via The Fashion Law)

The secret to an uncluttered handbag? Unpack everything every single night. Lauren swears by this method now!

“There are countless beautiful, bold, brilliant babes who were the recipient of an unflattering comment that still wander around this earth carrying that criticism like a calling card. Are you one of them?”

Here are five great updos for curly hair that tends to get frizzy. And a reminder that frizz is nothing to be ashamed of.

Erica makes a 70s-era halter wrap dress look incredibly modern.

Love this tribute to 10 trans* models who are changing the fashion landscape as we speak. (Final photo not safe for work viewing.)

Three categories of fashion items that many women buy, but almost never wear

I’ll admit it: I’m considering culottes for spring. This simple black pair just might be the one …

Runner’s face is basically the ‘gaunt, skeletal look you end up with if you run for fun or fitness,’ a terrible affliction that can conveniently be treated through injectables like ‘hyaluronic acid fillers,’ which luckily for those of us with disposable income can be attained at your friendly local plastic surgeon’s office. To summarize: Women should do exercises to get skinny; Then when we get skinny and thus start looking ‘gaunt,’ we should inject shit in our faces to plump them up again; Then we should blend brown powder on our freshly-injected faces so we can go back to looking ‘gaunt’ again.”

This list of style bloggers in their 50s, 60s, and 80s gave me a few new ones to check out!

Feminist Lisa Frank. My inner third-grader and current self are BOTH rejoicing.

My friend and colleague Traci Mann has just released a book titled Secrets from the Eating Lab that promises to be a fascinating read. Traci studies the efficacy of dieting long-term, and her research has been groundbreaking.

You haven’t seen extreme nail art until you’ve watched this adorable stop-motion video.

When it comes to florals, I adore abstract prints and the bold one on Lilli’s wrap dress is right up my alley.

The term plus size, while nothing more than descriptive, serves a business function in the same way that ‘petite’ does. Without a label, however unfortunate, we wouldn’t know that a brand has something to offer us in our size. Since we cannot simply walk (or click) into any store and buy clothing that fits, we need to be shown where we are welcome.”

Joi’s colorblocked look is bold and bright.

Should thrift stores be reserved for those who cannot afford to shop elsewhere? Patti muses on this question.

Can’t quite get comfy with the one statement earring trend, but am starting to warm up to mismatched pairs. This Betsey Johnson pair is both edgy and cute.

What’s your definition of self-care?

Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams has collaborated with her longtime friend and makeup artist, Brian O’Connor, to create a web series called “Kiss Off!” a project that aims to teach people how to use makeup and beauty as sources of self confidence. See the first episode here.

Beth looks sharp in her bright white jumpsuit.

How did L.L. Bean become one of fashion’s hottest companies?

“One of the principles driving the $61 billion weight-loss industries is the notion that fat is inherently unhealthy and that it’s better, health-wise, to be thin, no matter what you have to do to get there. But a growing body of research is beginning to question this paradigm. Does obesity cause ill health, result from it, both, or neither? Does weight loss lead to a longer, healthier life for most people?

I love that a tee shirt declaring “Old is the New Black” exists.

Great tips for styling cowboy boots

Many curvy women will recognize that sometimes observers conflate style with build. (Post contains some mild “Mad Men” spoilers.)

I did a HOW Mad Mimi conversation this week, and you can watch it on YouTube. Talked about blogging, monetization, marketing, and more.

And from the Department of Random: My dear friend and accomplished YA writer Megan Atwood has launched a fantastic blog packed with insightful posts, writing prompts, reviews, and more aimed at writers of books for children and young adults. Her most recent post touches on rejection letters and poser syndrome. Add her to your reader, won’t you?

Also: Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum. (Note pub date. Well played, Smithsonian.)

Additionally: Songs From a Tom Waits Album Where No One Gets Drunk At a Diner

**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: 4/3/15

Weekly Kitty:


Still lovin’ that hammock.

“Carolyn Wysinger takes us on a journey into the corporate workplace, where as the ‘first boi in’ her inventive transgression of gender dress codes also means getting used to ‘the daily stares, the interested glances of some and the disdain of others.'”

Five ways people shame women for their post-pregnancy bodies, and why they need to stop doing so. Have any of you moms experienced these? Thoughts on the author’s opinions?

This tutorial will help you transform just about any structured tote into a functional camera bag.

Love this juxtaposition of a pink print dress and tough accents.

On the Shopping Tips channel of, I wrote about when it makes sense to buy multiples and where to shop for romantic style staples.

If you worry about cropped pant styles shortening your leg line, here are some workarounds. And they are good.

“In wealthy countries around the world, clothes shopping has become a widespread pastime, a powerfully pleasurable and sometimes addictive activity that exists as a constant presence, much like social media. The Internet and the proliferation of inexpensive clothing have made shopping a form of cheap, endlessly available entertainment—one where the point isn’t what you buy so much as it’s the act of shopping itself.”

On the Fox 9 Buzz, I talked about design features that can make high heels more comfortable.

Lizzy offers some wedding guest outfit ideas for women who use wheelchairs.

In this video, four brilliant young women smash through social expectations and stereotypes, especially as they pertain to Halloween costumes and dressing norms. Contains swears. Also contains the hilarious question, “Is the Tooth Fairy a stripper?”

In my Star Tribune column, I wrote about “normcore,” balancing oversized garments, and choosing a leather jacket.

Jeniese, I’m going to need you to lend me those phenomenal velvet burnout peeptoe booties, OK?

Speaking of shoes, here’s a roundup of dress flats with support for those of you in need of comfier work-appropriate footwear.

Responding to this article, Belle muses on why J.Crew is faltering and how it can recover.

Lela Rose’s designs for Lane Bryant look bold, bright, and covetable.

“But here’s the thing: the me at age 32, subjecting morning commuters to my daily progress through the streets with my oily face, rogue hair, and pajamas has a whole lot more self-respect than did the me at age 22, with my full face of makeup and body-con outfit. My self-respect no longer hinges on how I look to others. Today, my self-respect means valuing my health, showing care for my body, and prioritizing my needs above the opinions of passersby.”

Great tips for what to do with your wardrobe cast-offs, including a helpful reminder about how items that no longer work for you can be utterly perfect for others.

My Steve Madden ankle boots are starting to look pretty worn and the Winola style is nearly sold out. This style features the zipper/tassel in back and is equally fun.

For those of you who ALSO have the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” theme song in your head EVERY DAY, a lovely art print.

Here are two opposing views on perfectly lit, perfectly curated online lives: The Minimalist Pixie Dream Girl: Who She Is And Why I Hate Her and Your Minimalist Pixie Dream Girl Does Not Exist.

Over at Rewire, I wrote about the shifting fashions of the early 20th century as they appear in “Mr. Selfridge.”

Grown and Curvy Woman’s roundup of her favorite winter outfits is a great reminder that she has bold, varied, and impeccable style.

Colorism is the reason that European beauty standards are reinforced within communities of color. When these biases are internalized, they can show up as a fear of ‘looking black,’ and trying to look as ‘racially ambiguous,’ or as not-black as possible.”

How to find out if your body is beautiful

You can see an outtake of last week’s outfit featuring the Comfy tunic from LISSA over on her blog.

I know AP contributor Cassie is a fan, but having recently re-watched all of “The X-Files,” I tend to agree that Scully’s style left something to be desired. But although I attributed it to 90s-era fashion, this article points out that Scully may have worn crew-neck tees and oversized suits because – due to a job that involved lots of terrifying government conspiracies, hoaxes, and supernatural phenomena – fashion was the last thing on her mind.

Stripes and distressed white jeans. YES.

I answered community questions from women living with breast cancer on the CureDiva blog.

Soon Marc by Marc Jacobs will be no more.

Cynthia of Cultivated Dreams makes stunning jewelry. Already ordered a necklace, and now drooling over this one, too.

“Although every woman is subjected to these same stupid standards of impossibly skinny waists, busty boobs, and twig-type arms, in Asian American culture, losing weight and being skinny is tantamount to getting good grades. First-generation Asian parents are just as proud of us when we graduate from a top university as when we shed serious pounds.” (Via Thick Dumpling Skin)

Sociological Images compares a recent Refinery 29 post featuring women proudly displaying what is generally considered to be “more” body hair than fits within the current beauty standard, and Kim Kardashian’s body-hair-free nude photoshoot for Paper. How did each handle The Gaze? 

British cartoonist Gemma Correll introduces us to several new body types, including broken slinky, turkey leg, and badly drawn dolphin. Also “trends men hate,” including cubist makeup and dresses made of bees. I think I’m in love with her.

**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: 3/27/15

Weekly Kitty:

black mouse

Internet, meet Black Mouse. Please be sensitive to the fact that Black Mouse is superior to all other cat toys, including the mechanical mouse that zooms around when you wind it up, the little machine that creates a feline-focused laser show, and, of course, other, sub-par, impostor black mice. In the event that Black Mouse should get swatted under a closet door, nearby humans will be suckered into opening said door by heart-rending squeaks from Harriet Kitty.

Kasmira shows how two black and white prints can be complemented by a third, colorful one.

I ADORE this post on how to be naked in places where you need to be naked (like a sauna). Great reminders about body diversity, judgment, unnecessary comments, and privilege. (Via Reading in Skirts)

Real Simple magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary by publishing best ofs and master lists. The printed magazine has a great guide to removing all manner of stains, and a “what to wear for all occasions” grid that has some good tips. Neither are online, but this post on how to dress for any occasion has similar advice.

Never heard of this podiatrist-designed test, but definitely curious: How to measure for your ideal heel height.

Vibrant colors and muted neutrals can play well together in the same outfit.

I’ve become a little bit obsessed with jasper jewelry. This chunky red jasper pendant is right up my alley, as is this sesame jasper cluster charm.

No idea why, but “It” bags fascinate me. Maybe it’s because they’re such a straightforward example of purchasable, label-related status, and yet carrying an “It” bag isn’t generally considered gauche or tacky. Anyway, Paper rounds up the top 10 “It” bags of all time.

On the Fox 9 Buzz, I gave tips for fitting empire-waist dresses.

“The big thing I‘ve learned is that, regardless of the size of my actual butt there will always be some sort of problem. My thighs will never be the right thighs. My skin will never be the right skin. I accept those facts without giving them further thought. The other big thing I’ve learned is that my life is too short to not enjoy my body and how I decorate my body as much as I can.” (Via Balancing Jane)

Reminder about how your outfits relate to the opinions of total strangers

Stacy London’s new show “Love, Lust, or Run” provides makeovers for women with bold, unusual dressing styles. Then strangers get to “rate” their before and after photos. And yet somehow, she seems to be selling this show as being all about personal style and expression. Huh.

The floaty vibe of this chiffon floral maxi is balanced by Kileen’s moto-detailed jacket.

Speaking of moto detailing: eShakti sales are hazardous. With discount and coupon, this moto-detail dress only cost me $40, and that’s WITH customization. That sale is over, but sign up for their newsletter for an instant coupon and notifications of future sales. Sizes 0 – 36W!

Amber reveals 11 things redheads are sick of hearing. Some are UK-specific, but my redheaded Midwestern mom has heard a few of these, too.

On I shared resources for preppy style and stores with the best return policies.

In this episode of The Blind Life, Christine Ha demonstrates how she, as a visually impaired person, applies her own makeup.

“When a woman puts on a foot or a knee or an arm, she often finds that it’s not quite right. Knees are too tall and too stiff, feet don’t fit into shoes, hands are big, ankles don’t bend to accommodate heels. Every step a female amputee takes puts them face to face with the fact that prosthetics is still a male dominated industry.”

Five simple but important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a new wardrobe item

Tanasha is smashing in head-to-toe gray. And I mean head-to-toe: Gray hat and gray boots complete the look.

After decades of makeup artists doing their best to mask real freckles – which have long been considered some kind of “imperfection” that should be downplayed, especially on celebs – faux freckles have now become a thing. Because … oh hell, I don’t know why.  This article points out that naturally freckled Emma Stone appears to have covered her real freckles with makeup and then had fake ones drawn in. So now people without freckles want them and people with them … want non-real ones? The world is so WEIRD, you guys.

Don’t believe me about the weirdness? The Straw Hat Riots of 1922. Eesh.

Most articles that attempt to explain natural coloring – hair, eyes, skin, and the associated contrasts and undertones – are muddled and unhelpful. Here, Maria uses her own portrait as an example and does herself up in winter, spring, summer, and autumn colorings. She also points out that many people aren’t 100% in one season. (Just as most of us aren’t 100% in one body shape category.)

These eco-conscious brands are billed as fast-fashion alternatives. All are considerably spendier than Forever 21, but many fall into the Gap/Banana Republic price range.

Totally re-creating this look once the snow melts: Utility jacket, striped top, jeans, Chucks. Perfection.

Lest we forget the force of nature that is Janelle Monáe: “In general, I was inspired to start Wondaland Records after seeing there was a big absence of female entrepreneurs in the music industry who understand how to develop and market innovative artists, artists who truly care about community and redefining the creative waters in the music industry.”

For years, I’ve used this metallic paint pen to touch up dinged hardware. Mine ran out recently, but bless Amazon for still carrying it!

I agree with the assessment that capsule wardrobes are the new kale. Here are five ways to create a capsule, including Drew Barrymore’s. Did you guys know she’s an editor-at-large for Refinery 29?

The Directrice offers some tailoring tips, and a great reminder that virtually no one can wear everything right off the rack.

Good point: “Street style” is a lie.

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