A light layer has become a necessity, although to a much lesser extent than you would think by looking at people on the street. Barcelona seems to be craving autumn, and, as people are not getting it, they are faking (and sweating) it. I too ended up underestimating the temperatures and getting my first serious chub rub of the year. So much talking about being smart about heat and sweating, but September got me!
Although, the most worn items of this week have been these:
The summer is almost over, Mykonos confirmed that some of my hot weather garments need new homes, and these were the definite last wears for some of them (oh, little romper, you can’t go away soon enough!). There are two weeks left for this capsule, and Barcelona seems to suggest that I’ll be needing a light jacket over the summer dresses. Oh, finally!
While giving the last rounds to the summer capsule, especially some of the outgoing garments, I’m realizing that this time I will manage to do the at-least-10-wears-per-season with all the pieces. Feels, obviously, rather anti-climatic… Nothing special, I’ve just been wearing my summer stuff.
How did your summer capsule finish? With fireworks or with a meh?
Barcelona and Athens:
And a spoonful for the brain:
Fashion and Animal Welfare: Everything You Should Know Before You Buy – A reminder that much of the conventional fashion items are made of animals and that only very few of those *materials* can be obtained without harming them.
Can you already feel the autumn coming? Is your summer capsule over? Is September a summer or an autumn month where you are at?
Instead of “oh-the-bad-fast-fashion-industry” stories, this week I suggest aesthetic, anthropological, and sociological pleasures:
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011) & Iris (2014) – Two documentaries on women who became style icons by reinventing their looks and ignoring trends. Perfect easy-watching pieces (make sure to get them in HD to appreciate all the details!) for a dose of sartorial inspiration.
The Dress of Women (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Early feminist sociology analyzing and denouncing the ridiculousness of (women’s) fashion. Full of pearls such as “the mere insistence on a totally different costume for men and women is based on this idea—that we should never forget sex” and
The lot of the farmer’s wife was hard, but the lot of no man’s wife was harder. For the unmarried woman life held no opportunities. Hence, within their iron bound limits, women were modified most by this main economic necessity, pleasing man. This effort must perforce express itself in such channels as were allowed; and when we pass the stage of direct labor and service, the way to a man’s heart through his stomach, she found the second road to a man’s heart lay through his eyes.
It is not Beauty that is demanded. It is two things—variety and the visible effort to please. As one honest man explained, the reason men admire paint on a woman is because it shows her ardent wish to attract; and the cruder her performance the more plainly it shows that alone to be her motive.
Google it and the internets will provide!
Travel & Barcelona:
Few pieces of brain-food for this Sunday:
Two Sisters, A Small Room And The World Behind A T-Shirt – Another does of how fast-fashion garment workers live, why they chose those jobs and how, although the choice to work there makes sense for them, they do not wish the same for their children. That’s telling for those loving the argument that garment jobs save people from abject poverty, hence there is no problem with them.
Do Fashion Brands Have a Double Standard When It Comes to Transport Workers? – And just when you though that your plate was already full with fast-fashion problems, here you have another group that you most probably haven’t thought much: transport workers! You are welcome.
Self-Care Interview Series at Golubka Kitchen – One of my favorite cooking blogs has started a series of interviews with other top bloggers about their self-care routines and ways of maintaining sanity. Interesting reads, although most of it comes down to eating well, sleeping enough, and not talking the internets too seriously. Good luck with that! (This is the resolution time for the New Academic Year.)
We have a date for the next swap here in Gràcia! Put it down in your agendas for September 30 and start pruning your wardrobes. If you are not close enough, here are guidelines on how to make a swap in your community.
And our crowdfunding for screening The True Cost is still active! The screening will take place on October 21, and every euro helps. Than you so much!
As even the August news cycle is not what it was, here we go with more brain food:
Natural, Traditional and DIY Dyes from Around the World – A very brief little introduction in the magical (and creepy; see cochineal) world of natural dyes. For daily inspiration in this front, see the IG of Maria Romero and Fragmentario.
The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries – Living in EU (and despite being embroiled in discussions about trans-Atlantic trade agreements) allows us to ignore that tariffs is a force to reckon with. This NPR piece reminds that trade agreements may be the detail that creates or breaks the possibility of competitive exporting, hence the reason for producing.
Fashion Revolution White Paper (2015) – A brief (17 pages) summary of what’s wrong with the fast fashion industry, a good go-to document if you need a serious-enough piece to illuminate somebody about the ills of the modern garment industry. A rather dull read but there are occasions when this is exactly what’s required. The follow-up is a more exciting one.
For the first time since I started pruning my wardrobe in 2014 (read about that here and here), I’m getting the ants-in-the-pants feeling that I’d like to browse through a second-hand shop or two. Things! New-to-me things, please! This has been the 11th week of the summer capsule (7 more to go) and I’ve been traveling, so probably my wardrobe-calm will be back once I’m at home again.
Have you noticed which moments make you likely to browse garments for pleasure? Is it stress, is it anxiety, or is it a real “I have nothing to wear”? How do you deal with those urges: resist, replace with other stimuli, or succumb but minimize the damage by choosing a second-hand shop or a clothes’ swap?
This week’s garment-related brain food:
Why I Wore The Same Outfit Every Day for a Year – Just to hear the “nobody cares if you repeat the outfits” from somebody else. Some of her experiences are very similar to my capsule ones while some of them are very different, yet still all of that confirms that “the rest is drag“.
The Afterlife Of American Clothes – A reminder of what happens with the most of the clothing donated in West: they take a trip South to a whole different market. Just to keep in mind when you are planning the next wardrobe purge. Maybe there is another way than the magical container?
Material Guide: Is Viscose Really Better for the Environment? – Again and again, the fiber dilemma… There’s no perfect solution, so don’t get too excited about your regenerated fibers.
So I’ve been able to wear a jacket again. How is your summer capsule going? Do you have a need for layers in your summer or is it the least amount of clothing possible?
Because learning is living (and a great excuse for not doing):
Label Lingo: Everything You Need to Know About Natural Fabrics – More fiber stuff, as this is the topic that I find most interesting these days and Good on You people are kind enough to provide these little informative posts. Also, to remind ourselves that natural = perfect.
‘Our Industry Follows Poverty’: Success Threatens A T-Shirt Business – I’m still exploring Planet Money documentary-related articles, this one on differences in textile industry working conditions in Colombia and Bangladesh. It is striking that the more efficient of the two factories, the Colombian one, is the one that loses fast fashion costumers (and have to reassess their future) in an industry where labor costs drive the orders.
Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern – I finally got my hands on the book documenting this Brooklyn Museum exhibition (a gazillion thanks, Marina!). A review may or may not follow, but I strongly suggest you explore the biography and aesthetics of this lady: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Such an inspiration!
I’m thrilled by the knowledge that I’ll be able to wear a jacket next Friday… I miss layering so much! Do you also find summer dressing to be the easiest and the most boring at the same time? What’s your favorite season for dressing, all the cozy (but bulky) winter layers or breezy summer stuff (when even that feels too much)?
Because feeding the brain and knowing the cause well is the key:
Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt – A great 5-part NPR documentary project following the making of a fast-fashion cotton jersey t-shirt. At this point it is almost refreshing to have people almost OK with the industry doing this kind of journalism (as opposed to desperate activists – yes, that’s me – decrying the whole industry as rotten). The frame they are giving is also a curious one: instead of shock and disgust they are at awe with the technological side of the whole affair, from the GMO cotton to container shipping. Overall, very informative for its length, especially the first two chapters on cotton and converting into fabric.
Nixon And Kimchi: How The Garment Industry Came To Bangladesh – An additional background story for the above project, giving a glimpse at the Multi Fibre Arrangement (whose expiration in January 1, 2005 caused part of the fast fashion boom as we know it), the calculus that big industry players make when taking decisions and reasons why entrepreneurs bring garment jobs to places.
Our Guide to Caring for Your Clothes and Caring for the Earth – A reminder on garment- and environment-friendly washing practices. You can find my take on the topic here but basics are the same: wash less, wash in cold, and upgrade your detergent.
How is your summer wardrobe doing? Are there things that seemed like a great idea in January but have betrayed your hopes of becoming summer staples? Or the other way around?