Lovely Links: 9/12/14

Weekly Kitten

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Slightly blurred due to constant movement, even inside a bag.
(If you enjoy these images, follow me on Instagram for more kitty fun!)

“The retail industry’s own statistics suggest a shift in consumer-spending habits is starting to take root. While Americans are spending more each year on clothes than ever before, the quantity has leveled off since the 2005 peak, according to statistics from the American Apparel & Footwear Association.” (Cheers, Pamela)

Thanks to all of you for your support and insight and general fabulousness in response to this week’s posts about personal style shifts. If you’re interested in seeing another blogger on a similar journey – albeit one that is more focused on moving toward minimalism – do head over to Grechen’s Closet. She’s been a huge inspiration to me. And! She was quoted in the WSJ article linked to directly above!

Queen Michelle might be the only person alive who can make a Snoopy-print dress look badass.

Another favorite representational print this week: The one found on Valerie’s kiss-print matched set.

“Women can do masculinity, then, to reap some of the rewards offered to those who embody it, but there’s a catch: women must maintain their ‘femininity,’ too. Women face gender rules that require that they wear makeup in order to be seen as beautiful and competent. Not doing so brings costs.”

Color lovers: Check out this chart showcasing dozens upon dozens of fun and unexpected color pairings.

Related: This post offers some fun and unusual palettes based on various shades of gray and suggests finding more at Colour Lovers.

Don’t you dare make me feel ashamed of my body. (Thanks, Garrett)

Loved this roundup of plus size bloggers over 40. And Grown & Curvy Woman is asking for more suggestions in her comments, so do swing by and chime in.

“Although the concept of the video game may be strange, it’s stranger that our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable.”

Rocquelle takes borrowing clothes to a whole new level when she styles up her nephew’s plaid shirt. And such a smashing outfit she made with it, too!

My friend and colleague Ellen Lawson has just launched The Flyover, a Midwest-focused fashion and lifestyle website.

Shoes that I will wear indoors until I’m sure I can actually style them: These Rachel Roy studded oxfords. Gorgeous, but challenging. (For me anyway.)

Moms, what are your thoughts about these suggestions for post-partum attire for professionals? They seem mostly sound, but not sure about the shapewear plug …

If your waterfall cardigans aren’t getting much love, check out this quick video which shows a cute and easy way to style a drape-front cardi that also takes some of the volume out of the piece.

Self-care is about taking the time to focus on your own well-being so that you’re emotionally, mentally, and physically energized around your personal and work life.”

On the Fox 9 Buzz this week I shared some tips for wearing leather clothing, including but going beyond traditional leather jackets.

Kellie is most definitely one of my current style icons, and is an absolute master of pairing tough elements with floaty, feminine ones.

What “winter is coming” means to those of us who don’t live in Westeros.

Since we talked about being smooth and firm this week, I think Stasia’s post talking about being a thin person with cellulite is worth reading.

Over on Facebook, I shared a tip for keeping your blazers and jackets from getting stinky. An unusual tip. (Accompanying image may not be safe for work.)

Here’s a fabulous and important response to the “I don’t want my tax dollars going toward fat people’s healthcare costs” argument.

From an interview titled Misty Copeland On Broadening ‘Beauty’ And Being Black In Ballet: “They hear those words from critics — I’m ‘too bulky,’ I’m ‘too busty’ — and then they meet me in person and they say, ‘You look like a ballerina, I don’t understand.’ And I think it’s just something maybe I will never escape from: those people who are narrow-minded. But my mission, my voice, my story, my message is not for them. I think it’s more important to think of the people I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.” (Thanks, Maureen)

Six fun ideas for styling a plaid shirt.

Valuable suggestions for transforming unhealthy self-talk into a constructive and supportive inner monologue.

I totally agree with these four shortcuts to a more current-looking style.

Gretchen decided to wear nothing but neutrals for an entire year. Here, she expresses her frustration and how much she misses wearing color.

Tips and product recommendations for bringing second day curls back to life.

Peter’s tips for downsizing your fabric stash could apply to a closet purge as well. That first tip is incredibly important: “Forgive yourself for accumulating the stuff in the first place.”

Bookmarking this EVERYWHERE: Harper’s has created a guide to correct pronunciation of designer brand names. Part 1 and part 2.

Now that is a swoon-worthy vintage reproduction dress right there.

From a moving essay about anorexia and recovery: “Self-acceptance, I think, should not be deemed ‘radical.’ When you think about it, it’s the least that you can do. Today, I am filled to the brim with passions and imperfections—both of which I choose to embrace.”

Sweaters languishing? Check out this roundup of 10 fun sweater refashioning projects.

As someone who very consciously does not comment on the looks or clothing of little girls, I loved this list: 30 Compliments I’m Going To Give My Daughter (That Will Have Nothing To Do With How She Looks)

And from the Department of Random (though not really): Reader Cheri and I had a quick email exchange about badassery this week, and she sent me a link to this post which sums up the running career of one Cliff Young, who was rightfully featured on a site called Badass of the Week. For some reason, I had seen a video about Cliff recently, but absolutely loved reading this piece, which is full of hilarious profanity and irreverence, but also gobs of respect for Cliffy (as Cheri affectionately called him).

Additionally: My friend Levi wrote a wonderful post about The Battle Against Cynicism. “… modern cynicism is much more about avoiding disappointment and sadness than finding happiness. Cynicism, as it stands now, is about creating a separation or distance from ideas, events, and even people in order to not feel so many feelings.”

And finally:

**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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  • Thank you for including me in your links. 🙂 Glad you like the outfit!

  • Claudia Gray

    The shapewear plug reads okay to me, mostly because women need to get back into their main professional wardrobe at some point – and after buying all those maternity clothes, do you want to buy tons more pieces to bridge the gap between maternity and your average size? Of course your body may change in a more permanent way after giving birth, but even then, women are going to go through a transition during which it’s impractical and cost-prohibitive to have a full range of clothes that fit their fast-changing bodies. Shapewear can help someone get back into their best suit in time for the big meeting, instead of having to go buy something that might not fit her in another two months’ time.

    • Ginger

      That’s what I think. At some point you’ll almost fit into a suit skirt or dress and shapewear will help it work.
      Something she didn’t mention about loose tops is that if you can’t quite get your waistband buttoned a loose top will cover that up.

      If you are in a formal/competitive profession you need to look especially good after returning from maternity leave, so the ability to squeeze into your best suit is worth the discomfort. You can always take the shapewear off later in the day. 🙂

  • Cass314

    Thanks for the links! Some neat outfits and ideas as always.

    However, while I do appreciate the positive body talk you cultivate here, can I ask why you link to pieces with a ton of poorly-sourced scientific misinformation like that Militant Baker link?

    Leaving aside the premise of the blog post (and, let’s be clear here, while people’s taxes pay for things they disagree with all the time, they are also free to vote, lobby, call their congressional representatives, and campaign against these things–and in the end many governments took a belated stand against smoking despite the fact that plenty of that money came from smokers’ taxes), there are a bunch of claims in it which blatantly contradict the very broad consensus in biomedical science.

    I clicked through some of the links in the post “supporting” these claims, and they don’t go to scientific studies–they go to more blog posts. In fact, in many cases, the blog posts themselves link still more blog posts instead of scientific information. One of them links to a page with to zero scientific studies and four more posts on the same blog. Another links to a page with no links out to information at all and which characterizes the scientific consensus on the subject as, literally, “blah blah blah healthy weight blah blah blah.”

    These sorts of claims are really important. I’m a biomedical researcher, and I work not only at the lab bench but regularly in the clinic. We’re talking about people’s health and people’s lives. I’m all for being body positive, regardless of appearance, regardless of health. Everyone deserves to love themselves. But spreading medical misinformation like this is a really sad thing.

    • I appreciate the feedback, Cass. I linked to that post because its author is a writer and Health at Every Size advocate whose work I’ve followed for some time. I’ll admit to not clicking through to all of her supporting links in this particular article because she generally DOES link to actual documented studies, at least on her own blog. I could certainly point to some studies that I’m aware of which present evidence that the link between weight and health is greatly exaggerated, but I can’t honestly remember which ones I found through Ragen and which I’ve discovered through my own readings. But they’re out there, and more seem to be cropping up all the time.

      Ragen stirs the pot, to be sure, and it sounds like she didn’t cite her sources in this case. But although the claims she’s making may contradict the current consensus, evidence is coming to light that challenges that consensus.

      • Cass314

        Thanks for the reply, Sally.

        It’s true that the consensus is evolving in this case. Actually, as someone who’s worked a little in both fields, for analogy’s sake I’d compare it a little bit to the way that the consensus on evolution has “evolved”.

        That is to say, the core ideas actually continue to be supported by more and more evidence as we do more experiments, but as we slowly accumulate more information and get the funding and tools to ask more finely-tuned questions, we find a few areas where we were wrong and a few areas where ideas were mostly right but needed some fine-tuning. At the same time that it’s becoming clear that where the BMI cutoffs are drawn is being used a way more of a blunt instrument than it ever ought to have been (largely by government agencies, to be frank, and less so by actual doctors in the clinic) and that for many people near the borderlines fitness is the most important thing, not weight, we’ve also started finding real, causal evidence (not just extremely strong correlations) for the effects of excess fat and also for the habits that lead to and maintain it.

        It’s a complicated subject, to be sure, because its an active field. I also understand that it’s fraught with emotion because we as a society have shamed people who fall outside the beauty norm for so long. But while we’re getting new evidence that clarifies things at the edges all the time, those same studies bring in still more evidence that supports the central premise. Claiming that the odd study with apparently contradictory conclusions about people with BMIs 25-30 or emerging information about the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness or the like undermines the whole field is like finding out about transposons or about horizontal gene transfer in bacteria and declaring all of evolution to be hogwash, because that’s not real heredity.

        They fit perfectly well into the field, in the end, but it would all look very strange and unbelievable if it were shouted at you by an 11 o’clock news anchor or a science reporter whose background was in a different science fifteen years ago, rather than explained by someone who intimately knows the other studies that comprise the background this study is building on and can read the methodology with a fine-tooth comb.