Posts Categorized: recommended reading

Lovely Links: 6/20/14

On June 28 I’ll be doing a reading and signing at Eat My Words in Northeast Minneapolis! Join me at 2 p.m., won’t you?

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Weekly Kitten:

fridge cat

Every time I open the fridge. EVERY TIME. (First seen on Facebook.)

I’m thrilled to have been featured in Minnesota Monthly’s piece on Twin Cities style bloggers!

“‘Orange Is the New Black’ enters a landscape that labels non-thin bodies, at best, unattractive and, at worst, diseased, and inverts the resulting stereotypes with a slew of counterexamples … [The show offers] dozens of three-dimensional portrayals of women with bodies that fall outside the cultural norm. They all have complicated inner lives and diverse wants, goals and desires — both romantic and otherwise.”

Perhaps your luxury fiber of choice should be alpaca, not cashmere. Interesting points. (Thanks, Garrett!)

Fabulous and classy use of multiple neons. Kudos, Grown and Curvy Woman!

Brilliant on so many levels: 15 Lesser-Known Things To Say To A Dress

Yet another personal story highlighting how inappropriate it is to tell skinny and small people to eat more and/or judge them for their bodies.

Suzanne touches on the challenges of dressing when you have fibromyalgia, and also wonders why some bras look great on their own and awkward under clothing.

Here’s how the NYT describes the blog ladypockets:”This ‘ain’t it ridiculous we care about what power women wear, not what they do’ attitude is, as it happens, also being parodied in a new blog called that uses the tropes of women’s mags to mock both the forms themselves and the idea that anyone should pay attention to such things.” (Cheers, Alison)

Two classic combos that never fail: Black and white polka dots with bold red shoes and gorgeous white blouse and stately black pants.

This week the U.S. Senate launched a panel on weight loss consumer fraud. Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is heading the investigation, and has already publicly scolded Dr. Oz for supporting “miracle in a bottle”-style weight loss remedies. Will be interested to see how this unfolds.

Kellie previews the Fall offerings from plus size line Carmakoma, and they are a fabulous mix of trendy and classic.

A woman who truly does not hate her own body explains three steps she took to growing into a positive body image. They might not work for you, but her journey is fascinating.

Great tips for picking sleeve style based on your own figure flattery priorities.

Thanks to Corporette for inviting me to guest post about what to wear for a presentation or TV appearance.

“Dawn Nadeau and Julie Kerwin are teaming up to offer boys and girls a play alternative that looks like a woman but not an object. Last month, they launched their own action figure company, IAmElemental, and have since raised over $160,000 on Kickstarter to jump-start a line of female action figures inspired by everyday “superpowers” like bravery, honesty, persistence, and fear.” (Cheers, Rachel!)

Totally stealing this outfit idea: Gingham shirt with tulle skirt and sparkly necklace. What a fun combo.

Color dictionaries were designed to give people around the world a common vocabulary to describe the colors of everything from rocks and flowers to stars, birds, and postage stamps.”

Erica looks utterly smashing in her cobalt blue short suit.

Wonderful advice on self-care and asking for what you need.

I would very much like to hang out with Grace Choi, who has built a 3D “printer” for makeup because she’s sick to death of the inherent racism of the cosmetics industry.

Reminder: It’s OK to wear fancy clothes for no reason.

Why do we insist on defining ourselves at the expense of another person or group? Is it a weird power dynamic or rather a pack mentality approach to dealing with a person or a group not the same as us? Maybe it’s just an inevitable consequence of all the media images we consume on a daily basis, which emphasize the ‘perfect’ body (which as we know doesn’t exist, see my previous post) that leads us to feel this need to defend ourselves by throwing one another under the proverbial bus.”

Adele is a hand model. She is also hilarious. Loved reading this interview with her about her profession.

It would make me unspeakably happy if Mia would lend me her Tom Waits necklace. Just sayin.

On the Fox 9 Morning Buzz this week we chatted about various ways to make the nautical look work for your tastes and figure.

I stumbled across Print All Over Me, this week, an online shop that provides simple white garments and accessories and allows you to upload your own images that will be digitally printed on them. You can also create your own fabric or buy items using prints that others have uploaded.

An all gray outfit is the perfect backdrop for punchy orange accessories.

A sobering reminder that pre-distressed denim is pretty awful for the environment. Consider thrifting some pre-loved jeans instead!

This one made my head spin: Reimagining Barbie: Villain or Victim?

“… we need to stop pretending that such-and-such is a feminist choice because feminism is about choice and if I’m a feminist then everything I do is automatically feminist. No. That’s not how it works. Wear dresses if you want to. Wear cute shoes and earrings and bright red lipstick. Shave off every hair on your body if that’s what feels right. But please recognize that you don’t do any of those things because you just happen to like doing them. ”

Queen Michelle reminds us that while it’s technically summer in Glasgow, that doesn’t mean it’s warm. Love her sheer black layers.

I fall on the side of being bold and brash in your self-declarations, but this take is interesting: Exactly how confident are you “allowed” to be?

Sad to say, but I agree: More strong female characters are showing up in Hollywood story lines, but they’re becoming tokens. And it’s aggravating.

Could writing help you move away from self-hatred and toward self-love and acceptance? It certainly helped Alex.

Watching Korean culture converge on a single ideal of beauty, Professor C.N. Le shows a process at work around the world. Sobering.

And from the brilliant team that brought you HelloFlo (Cheers Sarah):

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Lovely Links: 6/13/14

I am able to take clients in Milwaukee or Madison on June 21 and June 25
I have availability on in Chicago and surrounding areas June 22, 23, and 24.
If you’re in the Chicagoland area and interested in working with me, please drop me an e-mail.

On June 28 I’ll be doing a reading and signing at Eat My Words in Northeast Minneapolis! Join me at 2 p.m., won’t you?

* * * * *

Weekly Kitten:


A little mid-afternoon spooning and grooming.

The world of comics is fascinating and renowned to be lousy with sexism. Which makes this examination of why the character She-Hulk actually has some feminist leanings all the more fascinating. (Cheers, Sewing Faille!)

This article explains why alpha sizing (small, medium, large vs. numerical) may be great for retailers, but not as helpful for shoppers. (Via YLF)

A glorious tribute to Solange Knowles, whose personal style is colorful, bold, and truly original.

Such a fun and unexpected mix of colors: Black, blush, and red on the gorgeous Ashley Rose.

Thanks to Danielle Dowling for interviewing me for her Making Magic Happen series!

If you’re still a little intimidated by the world of online shopping, take a peek at this post offering solid advice for making online shopping a snap.

“I don’t think anyone’s self image is perfect all the time, and improvements are not perfectly linear. There’s going to be ups and downs in your journey, especially as you go through big life changes, like falling in love, having a baby, getting fired from a job, etc. During your journey, don’t put pressure on yourself to never, ever think a negative thought about your body – focus instead on how you cope with those thoughts and how easily you can let them go. Remember – as with so many things in life – the goal of developing body confidence is PROGRESS, not perfection.”

Audrey’s accessories are stellar, from her cheeky yellow hat and satchel to her side-tied belt and multi-colored Mary Janes.

Patti shares a photo essay that illustrates the many reasons she loves secondhand shopping. And, in many cases, finds it more rewarding than buying new.

My latest piece for the Huffington Post provides a gentle reminder that everyone has bad hair days. Really. Everyone.

Loved reading these 25 points that Rosie does her best to impress upon her body image students each semester.

File under “Gorgeous Gals in Fabulous Frocks”: Psyche in her tomato red shift and Jean in her floral fit-and-flare.

“… by shopping local places, we vote ‘yes’ on the neighborhoods we love and frequent. By shopping at small businesses, we vote ‘yes’ on supporting small artisans, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and consultants. By shopping for ethically-produced and ecologically-friendly clothing, accessories, and goods, we vote ‘yes’ on these practices.”

Let’s geek out, shall we? How Tolkien Characters Would Introduce Themselves in a Matriarchal Society.

This guide to analyzing garment quality is outstanding, and uses a thrifted wool coat as its example. Check the comments, too, for some great reader-submitted suggestions.

Summer brings out my inner cowgirl, so I’m swooning over Katha’s denim jacket, ditsy floral, and boots ensemble.

After tearing up my feet walking around SF, I was thinking I’d better stick to sneaks and socks in the future. But maybe I just need some of Angie’s standby, Bodyglide.

My most recent article for the StarTribune is an interview with the founders of Kidizen, an app that allows you to sell and buy kids clothes on consignment quickly and easily.

Hilarious and unexpected clothing tags. Always wash your butt! (Via Yes and Yes)

Typically, we dudes have a hellacious time confronting our role in sexism. We defensively backpedal all over ourselves, mewling like this is the sort of conversation that only happens among overly sensitive types worthy of oh-so-manly mockery, or mistakenly write off ‘sexism’ as something bigger than all of us—I, personally, am not the one refusing to pay women equally, after all!—when it’s actually all around us in not only obvious ways (like unequal pay), but in tougher-to-spot, more insidious ways, too.”

Never one to shy away from color, Thamarr pulls out the vibrant yellow from her multicolored dress and highlights it in her accessories.

Remixing inspiration galore in this post offering four ways to wear a classic navy sheath dress.

Imogen created a video that shows quite clearly how various top lengths impact your overall silhouette.

Boyfriend jeans and strappy sandals are a great warm-weather pairing.

This week on the Fox 9 Buzz, I offered some tips for wearing scarves in the summertime.

Here’s an innovative new way to cover your dark under-eye circles. Hee hee.

Additional giggles: Western Art History: 500 Years of Women Ignoring Men

Not so sure about the leg warmers suggestion, but these other tips for dressing professionally in a frigid, air-conditioned office are helpful. My own thoughts on the subject here.

“I’ve been blogging about food for 5 years, today. One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that there is no ‘common standard’ when it comes to diet. Between all the chefs, farmers, recovering anorexics, actors, food writers, and all that are in between who I talk to on a regular basis – nobody does it the same. And every body is vastly different. And the way we all feel about our bodies changes, daily, depending on what we eat. AND THERE IS NO NORMAL. So why give that word power?”

As someone who is unwilling to be a “fashion omnivore,” Rebecca outlines the challenges of seeking items that fit her needs and criteria.

And from the Department of Random: Relatively new news to me, Fleetwood Mac was a blues band before Stevie and Lindsey came on the scene. This is a super-slowed-down cover of an early song, done beautifully by Billy Gibbons. (AKA Angela’s dad.)

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Lovely Links: 6/6/14

I am able to take clients in Milwaukee or Madison on June 21 and June 25
I have availability on in Chicago and surrounding areas June 22, 23, and 24.
If you’re in the Chicagoland area and interested in working with me, please drop me an e-mail.

On June 28 I’ll be doing a reading and signing at Eat My Words in Northeast Minneapolis! Join me at 2 p.m., won’t you?

* * * * *

Weekly Kitten:

harriet in basket

Harriet loves her basket. And her toys.

“… it wasn’t until I was pregnant and gave birth that I finally started seeing my body as something strong, powerful, and frankly awesome. And so, one very conscious aspect to raising my son is imparting how I use, display and talk about my body. Girls may have higher rates of eating disorders and more body image issues than boys, but I felt it was still important to tackle these issues as the mother of a son. After all, my son is going to grow up to be a man in this society. It would be great if he understood that the images we see in media and advertising are, for the most part, highly unrealistic.”

Such a fun DIY project: Whip up a mini wardrobe storage unit using two ladders, a couple of planks, and some easy-to-find tools and hardware.

Summer footwear unicorns: Sandals with arch support. And under $90! Those Merrells are my faves.

Masculine of Center offers loads of sartorial inspiration for those who embrace androgynous and tomboy aesthetics.

“I don’t deny that there are Muslim women or women in Muslim countries who are oppressed. But it is the state, and not a headscarf, that is oppressing them. Freedom is not just being able to feel the wind in your hair, it’s being able to make the choice between covering your hair or letting it free.”

Jessica looks chic and sophisticated in this simple outfit of white jeans, navy blazer, and chunky chain necklace.

Fashionista explores how “It” items become … it. Pink coats and wedge sneakers, anyone?

“Whether one thinks body fat jargon is helpful, detrimental, or even cute, Whorf’s theory shows that the media’s labels can affect what we perceive. By coining terms like ‘beer belly,’ ‘saddlebags,’ and ‘thunder thighs’ the media makes us more apt to discern and label these features in ourselves and others.”

A double dose of gorgeous: The curly hair double bun.

I keep forgetting to make you all look at this hilarious snap that LPC took at our recent lunch in San Francisco.

Bad Science Journalism: “Why having ‘blonde’ genes will not make you ditzy”

Gracey is officially my midi skirt icon.

When you fully embrace all that being in your skin means and hold yourself to it, your life is better. You naturally become more patient because you’re not hustling, or trying to be things you’re not, or worried about catching up with other people. You’re just you. And when you’re patient with yourself, you’re more patient with others.”

For those of you who thrive on hard facts and struggle to understand your figure’s unique proportions, Imogen has created a short video explaining how to measure your body proportions.

And for those of you who dig systems, check out this intro to color theory with some great examples of how to build outfits around various groupings.

Audi wore these leopard-print Clarks flats when I was out West visiting her, and I’ve been daydreaming of them ever since.

Yes, you can grow out a pixie cut without spending six months hiding your ‘do underneath various hats.

Lots of people ask Ragen how she learned to love her body. She shares five important realizations that led her down the path of body acceptance and love in this post.

As much as I chafe at those women-over-x-shouldn’t-wear-y absolutist style rules, I do love the idea of sophisticated, elegant, grown-up dressing. We’ve lived, we’ve loved, we know a pinot from a merlot and I embrace that. I don’t want to look like a twenty-something version of myself; I’ve earned the right to be a woman of substance and dress that way. But ‘elegance’ has a new ease, ‘sophistication’ is tempered with a bit of softness. Fussiness is out, a bit of insouciance is in.”

Shoe designer Ffion Angharad Lloyd is about to graduate from London College of Fashion, and holy cats, does she ever design gorgeous shoes.

In the wake of #YesAllWomen, Reluctant Femme made a necklace, and the necklace made some people mad, and they accused her of being a (dun dun duuuuuuun!) “bad feminist.” In this passionate post, she explains how supporting women-run businesses – in her case, indie nail polish companies – is a form of feminism.

Mattie looks marvelous wearing a simple shirtdress that floats over her baby bump.

Such an interesting perspective on the all-black-all-the-time dressing philosophy.

The Closet Feminist highlights three women writers who loved fashion, even though it wasn’t their primary subject.

“Which brings me to the best part about beauty: It’s subjective. Some people don’t care for Linda Evangelista, and though this baffles the shit out of me, it’s also comforting, in a way. What’s beautiful to me might not be to you, and that just means there gets to be a lot more beauty in the world.”

Some people hate their thighs for unexpected reasons. Literary reasons.

Bookending your look with matched colors is a great way to create unity.

Knitting is one of those practices that makes my head spin. Who was the first person to look at a sheep and think, “Hey, if I shaved that thing and then spun its hair into a long tube and then used two sticks to pull a bunch of loops together I COULD HAVE SOCKS”? Answers here (kinda) in the Knitty history of knitting. (Via Final Fashion)

I do believe I’ve finally found my perfect denim skirt.

Since I, too, load about a half-cup of sugar into my coffee – when I can even be bothered to drink the stuff – I adored this article on the shame of sweetness and how food is encoded with gender and cultural messaging.

This week on the Fox 9 Buzz, I shared some tips for crafting monochromatic outfits.

“What research and real-life experience make very clear is that when we can begin to see ourselves for more than our parts and respect our bodies as instruments that can do amazing things for us and for those around us, we get much closer to finding health, fitness and happiness. But in the meantime, millions of us cannot break through the constant messages telling us to survey ourselves at all times and spend all the time, money, and energy necessary to perfect the parts of us in need of perfection.”

If you’ve ever looked at old photos of yourself and realized that how you looked and how you felt about your body were never aligned, this post is for you.

And from the Department of Random: Meet Millie, the mountain-climbing cat. Like housecat cat.

OK, might as well just make it a cat-themed roundup. After all, Hug Your Cat Day was earlier this week. (Cheers for the link, Andrea!)

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