Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 3/6/15

Weekly Kitty:


We tried putting Harriet’s hammock on top of our armoire. She loves being up high. Still don’t have a good solution for getting her up/down on her own, but we’re working on it! I am currently her personal elevator.

Extra credit: Visited with Trinknitty’s new puppy last weekend. What a doll. (More photos of Uli on Trin’s blog.)

Rachelle shows us how a hot pink dress can be styled to look totally badass.

Thanks to Rebecca for letting me know about ButchBaby, a soon-to-be-launched site that offers maternity wear (or “alternity” as the founders call it – love!) for pregnant masculine, transgender, and queer individuals. Or really anyone looking for butch and/or gender-neutral maternity-wear options.

In 2013, Sharon had a double mastectomy. Then she launched her personal style blog The Breastless Years. Her style is bold and funky and truly fabulous.

Model-activist Bethann Hardison is praising agencies that really do book women of color instead of the ones that claim they will … maybe … someday.

In examining paintings titled “Portrait of a Woman,” this author concludes that we modern women are totally failing. At everything. After all, where are our tiny sad unicorns and beehive crowns?

I’m honored by this shout-out in Seamwork magazine!

What does classic mean to you?

“Our cultural discussion of fat bodies and how we clothe them has nothing to do with health concerns, the obesity epidemic, or the comfort of fat people. It has everything to do with what we expect from women, what we’ve been told by the fashion industry, and the value we place on ‘perfect’ bodies. The reason these people do not want to see a fat body in a bikini is because traditionally, that garment is something a woman earns by proving herself attractive enough to exist.”

Local teacher, knitter, and fiber artist Steven Berg is always doing amazing things. Now, he’s planning to chronicle some of those amazing things in a TV series.

I love the look of two slightly different earrings worn as a pair, so these designs from Nikki Coupee are right up my alley.

Angie offers several tips for keeping your personal style fresh during the last dismal weeks of a long winter.

Many prominent body image advocacy groups have held photo shoots encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to pose nude. This author asks if this practice might send the wrong message. At least to some.

Wendy makes over-the-knee boots look easy and chic.

Love this super easy tutorial for making your own tinted lip balm.

In Western cultures women of a certain age are not revered. They are subjected to the swipe of a metaphorical hand that casts them aside and signifies to them that they have all but expired.”

Related: Madonna fell at the Brit awards and it was instantly attributed to her age.

I overdyed a few t-shirts this week and was reminded how FABULOUS the iDye line is for deep, true colors.

Black lipstick returns. Are you thrilled or nonplussed? Few people are neutral about black lipstick. I don’t think I’d wear it myself, but here’s proof it can look glam and gorgeous.

I’ve been fascinated by front/back earrings and ear jackets for a while now. Finally took the plunge and ordered these from Baublebar. We’ll see how they look in person. And on me.

Breathtaking geometric and linear tattoos from Berlin-based tattoo artist Chaim Machlev

How 25 years of Photoshop changed the way we see reality

This graphic tee and midi skirt outfit is just delightful. And makes me long for warm weather!

This is a tough and heartbreaking read, but explores so many important emotional issues. “Everyone’s response to my fatter body made me confront the reasons that I had fallen in love with my smaller body. When I realized that I loved my body more than others loved it, I had to critically think about my internalized fatphobia. I had to start actively and intentionally rejecting the oppressive ways in which society talks about fat bodies. I had to challenge myself to always find love and happiness within myself.”

Kiah looks smoking hot in her two-tone dress, bold belt and ankle-strap heels.

Mental Floss explores 10 misconceptions about makeup. I’d never even heard of most of these, honestly, but still found the short video interesting. And amusing.

Wearing head-to-toe black can feel like a cop-out, but it can also feel intentional and stylish.

I’ve fallen hard for the Boho/rocker vibe of Lucky Brand jewelry, and many pieces are on deep discount right now. Love the look of these double teardrop earrings.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case about dress, religion, and discrimination. Abercrombie chose not to hire a Muslim woman who attended her job interview in a headscarf, and evidence has been brought to light that the decision was, at least in part, because of her headscarf.

I can definitely relate to the $100 dilemma. (Via Recovering Shopaholic)

Love the balance of sleek and chunky in Rowan’s cozy layers.

Androgyny was my gateway into aligning my spirit with my presentation. I eased my way into it by wearing jeans that were just a little too tight; my hair always just a little too long. I was testing the waters of what it was going to be like to make gender non-conforming fashion choices in my community.”

In 2009, Alexandra Peng launched TC Charton, the first North American eyewear brand designed specifically for Asian faces.

And from the Department of Random: Baby sloth talk.

**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: 2/27/15

Weekly kitty:


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 See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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Lovely Links: 2/20/15

Weekly Kitty:


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, 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 See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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