#whatiwore 2018w49 + Sunday links

Nom-nom-nom, said the little gray cells:

1. A bit of indigo fetish just for you: True Blue and Indigo Witches + raw, traceable wool fetish, too – Fleece patrol: How organic wool from Patagonia is creating sustainable luxury.

2. Funny fashion tips (and obsessions) around maintenance of hegemonic masculinities: My Father’s Fashion Tips and The Most Flattering Sweater?

3. The horrible stories of visible and undeniable pollution created by textile industry in loosely controlled places: (a) Bangladesh Pollution, Told in Colors and Smells, (b) The denim capital of the world: So polluted you can’t give the houses away, and (c) Dying for Meaning.

4. One of those weird, chain-of-unintended-consequences stories how politics created fashion structures in XVII century and how climate change is making it unviable now – The King of Couture: How Louis XIV invented fashion as we know it and Are Fashion Seasons Outdated?

5. And to put some fire in making nice, authentic for you – not necessarily ones made of 1940s originals, though – wardrobes Five Reasons Vintage Clothing Is Not Just “Old Used Clothes” (Even Though It Kind of Is), and Building a Vintage Closet: a few quick notes, and Building a vintage closet, Step 1: Who are you? There’s a whole series of these there…

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What I was writing about a year ago: #KonMari for advanced minimalists.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w49 + Sunday links.

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I am more and more astonished about the collective wish to play winter here, and my willingness to take part. It has been sunny and oscillating between 16-18ºC lately, and streets are full with winter jackets and boots. (OK, and sunglasses too.) Of course, those are not thick enough for a really cold winter, but is very clearly not the same clothing that one wears when a Latvian summer hits exactly the same temperatures, or when a Spaniard travels to Scandinavia in August. And I should know better. I have had enough of those 10ºC summers. But there you have me, wearing wool tights in 18ºC and being cranky about sweating too much. Weird… Yes, yes, climate change, wool nostalgia manufactured by marketing, clinging to the picture book ideas what winter is, the paradoxical life of being cold inside (the no-heating life, anybody?) and warm outside, but I still find it a bit disturbing when there’s a mass market for poorly filled puffy jackets that have a winter look but keeps you warm to the level that a Latvian spring coat would.

Are people faking winter where you live or do you get a real one?

#whatiwore 2018w48 + Sunday links

Because your gray cells deserve a feast:

1. And because ’tis the season: 12 Easy Ideas for a Sustainable(ish) Christmas.

2. And to reduce the stress and increase the lifespan of your most festive (hence usually the most exposed to stain catastrophes) garments: How to Remove (Almost) Every Stain from Your Clothes.

3. Oh, funny story for 2018: Victoria’s Secret Is Trying to Change With the Times. Or Is It? D-oh!

4. And on the other side of sex-segregated dressing and gendered narratives: The Sneaky Way Clothing Brands Hooked Men on Stretch Jeans.

5. Of course, this section wouldn’t be true to itself without some climate pessimism and tales on how the world is going down the toilet in a hand basket, courtesy of George Monbiot: In a World of Their Own and Hopeless Realism.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Stop browsing fast fashion, browse the internet instead.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w48 + Sunday links.

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Do you have any plans for sustainable-ing Christmas? Less love miles? Less gifts? Less decoration? In my family this is the first year – after several years of discussions about such possibility – when the agreement is to not to give presents… We’ll see how that will go. So far it has been quite relaxing as the pressure to think up something reasonably fun, useful and sustainable for people who already have it all has been lifted.

#whatiwore 2018w09 + Sunday links

Only when done with editing I realized I’m wearing the same flea market sweater (2015) in all four outfits… well, that sweater has more than #100wears and doesn’t care about few more.

A random update: I just back-upped my 2017 outfit photos, the separate photos and the Photoshop files… It’s 1664 items and 13.98 GB in total. And those weren’t even full 52 weeks, only February-December… the 9999 photo cycle of my camera was complete in mid-November. I wonder what kind of archiving people doing this kind of blogging for decades do. I’m probably keeping too many ‘could do’ photos. Will see if the total of 2018 will be smaller.

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Brain-food, brain-food, what a good idea! It’s free and the little grey cells love it:

You know I love garment stories. So does Patagonia with their Worn Wear initiative and so many other people. Here are just two inspirations to wear your garments to threads: The Wedding Jacket and The Joy Of Wearing Out A Piece Of Gear.

In line with my ranting and raving about paid content in ethical fashion, here you have Leah from Style Wise uncovering several layers of issues: Is Social Good Marketing Just Another Form of Greenwashing?

And a pinch of practical feminist inspiration before March 8: A Story of a Fuck Off Fund (yeah, I just went against all that good advice and blew mine on Marie Kondo consultant training) and Thing My Mom Said: “What If He Finds a New Wife?”

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Also, it was my name day this week. Archana from To Universe With Love made me a gift of linking to my #100wears series and sending some nice traffic my way, and also re-baptized my ‘Lizzie’. In 30 years that people have been approaching my name creatively, that’s a new one. Even in Latvia I got mixed up with Elīza’s and got my macron snubbed resulting in a pronunciation my mother never intended, but the 10 years I’ve been living far away from people who can pronounce my name properly has been an interesting experience… the most I can get out of Spaniards on a good day is Luise (fun fact: Catalan native speakers can pronounce a proper ‘z’ while Castilian-speakers cannot; neither can deal with the almost singing part of accent on the first syllable followed by a macron), but these days I’m also reacting to Luisa, Luis (which is a male name, btw), Elise, Lucy… The best one I’ve got is Lucille.

When Quvenzhané Wallis emerged as everybody’s darling five years ago, this quote accompanied some of the writing about the difficulty press had in learning to pronounce her name:

After all these years of trying to explain my name and having to settle on suboptimal versions – and that’s what most names get when crossing borders – I’m really not sure I agree with that. I have wished to be Anna or Marta, and not having to repeat my name three times to every stranger.

Does your name travel easy or do you have alternatives for each language you speak? (Mine are Luīze – Louise – Luise – Луиза) Have you ever wished for a different name, or have you actually changed yours for a one you like more (be it formally or informally)?

#whatiwore 2018w08 + Sunday links

This time the brain food is more of a ‘go think about this’ and not ‘go, learn’, but it’s cold and dark outside, so you might have some time on your hands:

The inclusiveness of the all vegan-zero waste-minimalism stuff is a big one… More questions than answers you can get from Ariana on the very pronounced gender bias of these movements at least when it comes to the social-media-visible people and from Francesca on intersectionality and on cultural appropriation because these are the whitest, Westernest and most middle class hypes alive (because it doesn’t count when poor people and entire societies have lived minimal and zero waste for hundreds if not thousands of years).

And from George who still serves us the horrors of late capitalism and then offers some possibilities to exit that shit, here you have the thought I already shared in my last swap recap: “I would love to hear people reply, when asked what they do: I volunteer at the food bank and run marathons. In my time off, I work for money”.

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So I found winter in Rīga… and re-affirmed the usefulness of my winter gear, of woolen socks and reliable public transportation. Have you re-assessed anything – possessions, habits, stuff you were taking for granted – due to weather lately? Or just lately?

#whatiwore 2018w07 + Sunday links

Here, feed the little gray cells:

Now We Know! Fashion Is the 5th Most Polluting Industry, Equal to Livestock. In case you were spending nights awake, wondering…

Electricity Map – Live CO2 emissions of electricity consumption, not for all the world, but interesting nonetheless, showing ‘in real-time where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it’ and taking into account the international energy markets of countries importing and exporting electricity.

I drool every time Mr. Money Mustache reveals one of his projects and lament having close to zero practical skills. Here’s one of the examples: My DIY Solar Power Setup – Free Energy for Life.

And for your viewing pleasure (and decluttering inspiration), Jaye Schlesinger’s series ‘Possessed’ where she painted everything left after KonMari-ing her belongings + a Spark Joy podcast episode with her explaining the project.

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Have you found any new podcast inspirations lately? Do you have a listening routine for everyday chores: podcasts, youtubers, audiobooks, music? And what are the skills that you are at awe with when other people turn out to have them?

#whatiwore 2018w06 + Sunday links

Winter hunger for more info? I’ve got you covered:

(In Spanish) ¿Bolsas de papel o de plástico? and ¿Plástico o vidrio? These great #zeroplastic people are actually taking the step beyond the usual discourse of swapping ‘this for that’ and questioning to what extent the easy swaps are more sustainable, in this case plastic bags vs. paper bags and plastic vs. glass. The short answer: any item of one use only is a bad idea!

Fashion and feminist-washing? The Fashion Law is ON the case with Fashion’s Push for #MeToo is Ignoring a Significant Number of Women and Spare Me Your Protest Fashion and Show Me Your Employment Contracts.

What are your little everyday choices that soothe your climate change guilt? Well, here you have them ordered by efficiency:

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Which individual sustainability choices have you – consciously or serendipitously – adopted? Less children, no car, less flights (I’m working on this one in 2018!), changing your electricity provider (in my to-do list), or eating more plants?

#whatiwore 2018w05 + Sunday links

This post marks a new year in the weekly outfit world – it’s Nº53. You can see them all via this link or on Pinterest! And on we go with the brain-food:

On sartorial butterfly effects: The Marie Antoinette Dress That Ignited the Slave Trade. Allows you to appreciate the pros of a multi-polar world when one dress (or dress-wearer) doesn’t have that much trendsetting power. Oh, no, wait, the fucking Kardashians & Co… + now we all have the power to ignite slave or – in the best cases – almost slave labor while eating brioche fruit flown in from faraway lands ans swiping left.

Menstrual cups are still a novelty or what? They just keep popping up in my feeds, see examples here and here, and on display in our local pharmacy. I’ve had mine since the winter 2012/2013 (this one, because C’s sister was getting one and Fleurcup does this pay-for-1-get-2 thing so she offered giving me the other one), I had to cut the ‘stem’ part off to make it comfortable and have been happy since. My cup is dark brown now because I do not obsess about cleaning it. It’s fine, only my cervix sees it and he doesn’t care!
What truly strikes me every time somebody writes about menstrual cups is the ‘oh, it was scary, oh, you get to go to places you have never been to’ tone. Really? Are we really missing so much sexuality education that people with cervixes don’t know how to locate them?
Nevermind, tl;dr – try a menstrual cup if you haven’t yet, especially if you are not sure about your basic anatomy, and get your hand in there! It’s about the time you understood where all that blood came from.

A little fun Buzzfeed piece Here’s Why Clothing Sizes Are The Way They Are that so beautifully reveals the naïveté of early applications of social research. Serious and dedicated people going out there and doing thousands of measurements just to have the results completely off because their sampling was shit.

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What are your (sustainable) menstrual product preferences? Hand-made reusable pads, eco-tampons, period undies, a cup, or just bleeding all over the place your moon goddess magic? Was there ever a life-changing switch (that one for me was the change from maxi pads to tampons some 15 years ago)?
Additional dysmenorrhea pro-tip (I have street cred for painful periods, I’ve been taken to hospital in an ambulance): forget the anti-inflammatory analgesics and look for antispasmodics. Not for nothing those are called menstrual cramps!

#whatiwore 2018w04 + Sunday links

So we went looking for winter some 1800km north-east. Didn’t find much of that but enough potatoes and pickles! That explains the delays in your weekly brain-food portion, though:

Archana’s Little Blue Book, following the logic that “every woman has a book’s worth style memoirs inside of her. And her book is unique and a result of her style journey. […] Here is mine.” Her blog is one of the most recent additions to my regular reading, take this post as a nice example why.

Move over, hygge, because seems that mottanai is the new cool concept borrowed from a language we don’ speak. Be prepared for a new deluge of books using that one as the catch in 2018!

Another The Fashion Law gem on the marketing strategies of luxury brands: The 24 Anti-Laws of Marketing. Basically on how to push products via scarcity and snobbery. Cool.

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The Hamburg trip showed how some garments I don’t wear in Barcelona become priceless when in appropriate setting. Namely, my fluffy coat and the woolen tights as opposed to the stay-up stockings. A friendly reminder: stay-up stockings are not really made for below 10ºC temperatures, especially if you are going for long walks!
What are your garments that have revealed themselves only under certain conditions?

#whatiwore 2018w03 + Sunday links

Starving little gray cells? I have just the treat for you:

This week has been very exciting over at The Fashion Law. They’ve been running a series of posts “dedicated to exploring the state of influencer marketing” and it’s oh-so-disgusting-but-breathtaking! Here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

And from new to old – Of aristocratic, blue blood and old money style tells you exactly that: why Prince Charles will always look the part and the Kardashians will never be classy… My favorite take-away, no surprises, is “old is good, old is better than new”.

And now a food-for-thought that annoyed me – and it’s not a write-up, but a happily finished crowdfunding – this stuff (in Spanish)! So this guy – a BA in marketing student – has just charmed the pants off all the Catalan media claiming that he is launching *the first* sustainable fashion app and people gave him 23k to do that. While there are several nice aspects to his dealings: (a) raising the issue in general, (b) moving the focus towards physical shops instead of (as per usual) ignoring the thousands of miles our ethical packages fly after being purchased, and (c) local production as the locus of being labeled “ethical”. However, these are the sources of my annoyance: (a) claiming that this will be “the first sustainable fashion app in Spain” would have been enough to make it true… but no! he had to consistently stick to “the first” (see Good On You for a counterfactual), (b) the whole endeavor ignores anything before the last assembling, no word about materials, supply chains, etc. (c) no reliance on international certification, instead it’s “we’ll check ourselves”, trust in the brands and “maybe we’ll make our own certification system”. Gosh! The only question left is if starting as if from 0 is true or feigned ignorance…

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What annoys you the most in the ethical fashion sub-scene? The prices, the snobbery, or just how easily one can claim herself to be an expert? (I know, I know very well… my case exactly!) What kind of ethical fashion crowdfunding would you happily give your money to?

#whatiwore 2018w02 + Sunday links (the 100th post!)

This post marks a blogging achievement unlocked: it’s the 100th post on this blog! It has been almost a year and I’ve cared enough throughout these 50 weeks to make myself write two posts per week every week. I’m still not sure how many of my friends have unfollowed me on Facebook because of the continuous sharing of new posts, but I feel very proud of myself! Exactly proud enough to keep calm and carry on.

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And… brain-food, brain-food, who asked for an extra helping of brain-food?

$20 Jeans, $800 Tees: In Fashion, Prices Are Out of Control: Well, yes, yes, they are! We live in an absurd world where the same functional item may cost 1$ and 950$… and even that high price-tag does not assure you that people who made it were paid a living wage, mind you!

Continuing with the price topic – If Your Jeans Are Cheaper Than This, You’ve Got A Problem – in a nutshell: “if you find a pair of jeans that is selling full retail price for below $100 — and especially $20, do your sisters in Bangladesh, China, and India a solid and walk away”.

Why You Should Embrace (Genuine) Materialism & Buy Less Stuff This Year: the author differentiates between consumerism and materialism, reclaiming the latter as genuinely caring for your things, their origin, etc. This is obviously bending philosophy backwards as materialism already has a meaning – “a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions” – but this low-brow reframing for the millennials who supposedly don’t know better is cute. Would be even cuter if we’d take it seriously and stop buying the stupid shit we don’t need.

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Do you have any 2017 routines that are starting to bear fruit? Or new routines you are incorporating in your life this January?

#whatiwore 2018w01 + Sunday links

The holidays are over, I’m getting back to my everyday routine and to my thesis… And the ultimate indicator of style change towards slightly more sober choices is that dressing as if Gudrun Sjoden would have chosen my outfit does not bring the same satisfaction as it used to. Oh, well! it will hopefully come back after the next 30 years.

Also, back to brain food, because the little grey cells are starving by now, although all of these make me heart sink exactly as in this Awkward Yeti comic:

If you are feeling too upbeat about future and “a happy new year”, go read some Monbiot. The Unseen World just repeats the basics of how fucked we are and how utterly incapable to address it.

This IPPF boast about the work their member association is doing with garment workers in Cambodia just confirms how exploitation is the new normal: Bringing sexual and reproductive healthcare to garment factory workers in Cambodia. So the efforts go into harm reduction withing the boundaries of the status quo and trying to convince the factory bosses who “are often afraid that letting NGOs or unions into the factories will create problems such as mobilising and inspiring the workers to advocate for better conditions” about the benefits of basic sexuality education and access to services.

The Truth About Outfit Repetition: “There Are Real Issues at Play Here” – Oh, the idiocy of people who have it all (and of the title editor, too): “the pressure to wear a different outfit every time [we] go out”. There is nothing to take apart, we should get our shit together and all follow the superbly crafted advice of Robin Williams:

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Did you feel any style shifts in 2017? Do you think there are any coming in 2018? What are your old-age style fantasies? (Unsurprisingly, I want to be Iris Apfel when I grow up…)

To All New Arrivals (Winter 2017), We Love You

This is going to be a chat about arrivals and departures of items to and from my winter wardrobe (Barcelona, November 2016 – February 2017). I was quite flexible, allowing things to come in and flow out. Ended up being the same number, but that’s a coincidence, I swear.

8 IN!

New to me:

1. Black sparkly headband, birthday gift from C’s mom. A rather “sober” addition to my headband collection. A keeper for at least a while.

Not counted in the spreadsheet (welcome to my complex system): birthday gift from C – a cien colores scarf from Cáceres region and sunglasses, a birthday gift from my Mom.

2. Woolen fast fashion sweater (made in Madagascar!) I snatched from C and then swapped away before tailoring to fit me better (so you also see it in the “Out” list). Served me well for two weeks, though.

3. Muroexe boots. You can read about my wet-weather footwear struggles here. C had followed these people for a long time, so he suggested I get these boots during the sales and stop whining about my feet hurting. It worked.

4. Fast fashion (made in Turkey) lace dress Liisa had brought to January Swap. This has received an extensive wear throughout February to comply with my obsession to wear everything at least 10 times. Did it! And brought some serious bridesmaid’s look to my office.

5. Velvet skater skirt Liisa had brought to January Swap (indeed, I like her stuff!). A friend of hers in Estonia made it, so it’s slow, homemade fashion. Also warm, comfy and flattering. High (read: natural) waists have been intriguing me for a while, but I never found the right piece to practice it. After all, I came of age during the time of boot cuts and low-low waistlines. Again, this piece got a lot of wear in February due to 10-time rule.

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The pieces I pulled out of my non-seasonal box were:

6. My Mom’s hand-me-down wrap skirt emerged from the box, to replace the green flared skirt.

7. I got out the pink outrageous trench to do a low-key Little Red Riding Hood fancy dress and then decided I needed to stick with it for 10 times. During those I realized that this modified fast fashion wonder had become too much even for me. So, out it went. I really hope it has found a more extravagant new owner.

Pictures from when the little trench was still white. There is no photographic evidence of my dye job.

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8. Black White Veja Taua got pulled out of the rubbish bag and worn for a week. Then, having confirmed that they were indeed falling apart, out they went.

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8 OUT!

1. C’s woolen sweater went to January Clothes’ Swap and found a new owner.

2. The pink trench went to January Clothes’ Swap, nobody wanted it so to Banc Expropriat’s Tienda Gratis it went.

3. The green flared skirt (bought second hand in Riga in 2006) felt very worn and used, and went to January Clothes’ Swap. Nobody wanted it there, so to Banc Expropriat’s Tienda Gratis it went.

4. C’s hand-me-down fake denim pants were not keeping their shape, even after all the tailoring. So bye-bye and it ended up in Banc Expropriat’s Tienda Gratis.

5. Vivienne Westwood x Melissa boots had the same destiny, because boots causing suffering is not OK, no matter how pretty.

6. Julie’s hand-me-down cardigan got an unmendable hole and went to Roba Amiga container.

7. Black White Veja Taua also went directly to the orange container.

8. I got in touch with reality, and the white knitted vest finally went to rest in the orange container. It had my winter staple for many years (and my Mom’s before that), but no garment lasts forever.

So there was a lot of movement in my winter wardrobe. I got three very basic winter staples: the lace dress, the velvet skirt and my new winter boots + some cute adornments. And I let go of several items that were either not working for me or beyond repair. Success!