#whatiwore 2019w36 + Sunday links

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Orden a Tres podcast

The Orden a Tres podcast is on holiday this week, so use this opportunity to catch up with all episodes you haven’t listened to yet. As you know, on PodBean, Spotify, Stitcher, or iTunes.

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And here comes your bowl of brain porridge:

1. I’m really not sure how I feel about this… Made on the Inside, Worn on the Outside: ‘Brands are using prison labor to provide inmates with jobs and training. But is it possible — and ethical — to build a profitable fashion business behind bars?’

2. On the secret life of fabric scraps: Why are fashion supply chains so wasteful? ‘Consumer textile waste may be the larger problem, but the pre-consumer supply chain has its own wasteful practices built in to the way garments are designed and produced.’

3. I’ve seen so many love letters to Phoebe Philo that I assume I’m just not getting something… but this one alos has birks and how men’s toes became showable: How Philo Made Me Love Sandals.

4. A very soft intro to Montessori education: Can a Playroom Makeover Make My Kids Over? ‘Simone Davies, a teacher and author, helped make over my kids’ playroom using Montessori educational principles like creating a sense of peace and instilling autonomy in children.’

5. Many things come down to fragile masculinities, as we all recently learnt that a common reason for not recycling among men is that it’s not masculine/hetero enough, this, (in Spanish) ¿Es el zero waste cosa de mujeres? and (on online fashion communities) Why Are Fit Pics Headless?

6. I’m not sure if I buy the argument completely, but it is an interesting research question… Traditional Dresses as Resistance: ‘Rarámuri women in Chihuahua, Mexico, have made an indigenous style of dress a means of fighting assimilation.’

7. And the oh-so-common-but-still-very-valid observation that perceptions of the same stories, characters, and style change with time: Ripley Revisited. Bear in mind that the aesthetics of Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) is apparently sacred to many millennial menswear enthusiasts. It is a beautiful movie, though.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Fix it! Liisa bag and swap t-shirt. About the minion bag that became owl bag… and the little t-shirt that very recently became knickers!

What I was writing about two years ago: September swap + my outgoing pieces. That was a fun swap, many of those garments had been torturing me for years, being just there between ‘I can make this work’ and ‘ugh, but do I really want to?’ Out! was the correct answer.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w36 + Sunday links. Also this week: birks and Veja Wata Pierre, c’est ça!

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w36. Still wore this week: Kristīne’s stripe skirt, Veja Arcade sneakers, and my mom’s gingham dress.

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Are you ready for the ‘new year’? Are you – like me – an adult that never gave up thinking in academic years and making plans/resolutions for September-May? What are you starting anew this September?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w35 + Sunday links

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Orden a Tres podcast

Your favorite podcast combining KonMari method™ and Spanish is still here, this week chatting about the kitchen komono: Ep 7. Más komono: Komono de cocina. You can also listen us on Spotify, Stitcher, and – finally! – iTunes.

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Here, feed the brain! The new schoolyear is almost here, so have an extra portion of what this blog is all about:

1. The walk of shame is nothing when you have the CO2 calculator for your air travel… Apparently, all my ‘lifestyle’ stuff gets me the rough equivalent of two round trips to Rīga per year. And, of course, the ‘this buys me’ logic is a fallacy as we have no rights to those emissions to begin with. Ouch.

2. As for interesting pieces on fashion production, covering the range from best practices to ‘ugh, really?’:

(a) a very reasonable 4 things brands should do for the environment instead of launching a new sustainable line;
(b) from the best practice shelf comes Inside the Denim Factory Your Favorite Sustainable Brands Use Loyally;
(c) How Ethical are Haute Couture Brands? The short answer: ‘not at all, unless stated otherwise’;
(d) the feminist reminder The Impact of Fast Fashion on Women in Developing Nations;
(e) and the horror reminder: Report: Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee seamstresses harassed, abused. Again, unless you know it is different, assume that these are the conditions that all (fast) fashion is made.

3. On why discourse and greenwashing is not the same as reality:

(a) H&M, Zara, and other fashion brands are tricking shoppers with vague sustainability claims;
(b) The Problem with “Sustainability”? It Doesn’t Really Mean Anything;
(c) Fast Fashion’s “Sustainability” Endeavors Need to Be About More than Fabrics, Recycling;
(d) And – finally! – sb on the absurdity of ‘sustainable’ influencer economy: Why I’m No Longer Accepting Free Clothes or Paid Collabs.

4. The climate breakdown is stil ON:

(a) It’s raining plastic: Microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains;
(b) (in Spanish) Los piroplásticos: una nueva forma de contaminación por plástico;
(c) Ash to Ashes: Thanks to shocking failures of government, every tree, almost everywhere, is now threatened by killer plagues.

5. And our food choices are part of that problem America’s Obsession With Beef Is Killing Leather (that one is very weirdly written, though) and
Spectre at the Feast: The livestock industry is trashing the living world, and free-range, pasture-fed meat is the worst offender.

6. At the same time, Lady Gaga, Tyra Banks and the Disneyfication of Fashion: ‘Welcome to the Disneyfication of style: the convergence of entertainment, consumption and experience in a single, sensation-filled high/low extravaganza. Everyone has been on something of a roller coaster lately, after all. This just makes it official.’

7. And for at least some fun and symbolic value of fashion, At the U.S. Open, It’s What You Wear (keep an open search tab to look up the outfits mentioned, that will enhance your reader experience) and Serena Williams Won’t Be Silenced; Her Clothes Are Doing the Talking.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Swap masterpost, or all the resources so far. In preparation for the September 14th swap, there you have all the key steps to prep for the best swap!

What I was writing about two years ago: #100wears: The Red Denim Jacket launching the #100wears series.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w35 + Sunday links. Also this week: my mom’s dark blue silk dress, Veja Wata Pierre, my mom’s gingham dress, the beige #memade midi skirt, and birks, of course.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w35 + Sunday links. Still wore this week: my mom’s little lace blouse, my mom’s gingham dress, pearl earrings, my mom’s dark blue silk dress…

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How do you balance all the overwhelmingly hopeless news with some basic drive to go on living? And adorning that with some frivolous fashion? We are a long way from a jute sack uniform… or are we?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w34 + Sunday links

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Orden a Tres podcast

This week’s podcast episode is dedicated to komono, the miscellanea category of KonMari method™: Ep 6. La tercera categoría del método KonMari™: Komono. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

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And for the English-reading gray cells,

1. Those funny cases when a notion changes its meaning completely: In Defense of the Boot Cut.

2. Probably because I don’t understand the importance of brand dressing, I also do not understand counterfeit economy. But this: 71 Percent of American Gen-Zers are Buying Counterfeits, Compared to 84 Percent of Their Chinese Counterparts. Especially together with this: Shoppers admit to feeling guilty for buying fast fashion. Dear consumers, why are you so weird?

3. And bits from the even more confusing influencer economy: Rampant Influencer Fraud is Costing Brands More than $1 Billion Each Year.

4. Cute but unclear what good this will bring now: England region plans world-first for climate change teaching.

5. There are sneakerheads that exact copies of *very* historical sneakers: Basketball’s First Shoe and the Re-birth of Colchester Rubber Company and Colchester Rubber co. National Treasure 1892 High Top Review. And to add some teenage-typical wear suggestions, Thrashin’: The Case For One Sneaker All Summer Long.

6. In case you’ve been forgetting why ‘made in China’ is often very problematic: Cotton On and Target investigate suppliers after forced labour of Uyghurs exposed in China’s Xinjiang and Schoolchildren in China work overnight to produce Amazon Alexa devices.

7. People writing out loud that summer is not good for being stylish: Take The Heat: Summer Sucks For Clothes and Looking Forward to Fall.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Beyond repair: White zipper blouse and lyocell shorts. The beginning of goodbye posts to garments that are, well, beyond repair.

What I was writing about two years ago: Is Sustainable Fashion a Privileged Affair? Yes, and…

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w34 + Sunday links. Also wore this week: birks and Veja Wata Pierre.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w34 + Sunday links. And still wearing: birks, my mom’s lace blouse, the silk maxi.

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Do you agree with those claiming that summer is bad for good style? Or are you a happy summer dresser?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w33 + Sunday links

A detail A: Ha! I need more summer-appropriate tops. As this summer has unexpectedly turned me into a pants-wearing creature (pockets! no chub rub!), my current two summer tops are falling short. I had volunteered for a couple of bar shifts at Festa Major de Gràcia bar at carrer Ciudad Real without realizing that everything I wore for that will reek of spilled beer and need urgent washing. Then I dropped my lunch on the clean one, and ended up borrowing C’s gray stripes for my Saturday shift. So getting another summer top goes on my swap wishlist. If you have the right one for me, bring it along on September 14th!

A detail B: The Barcelona summer is being quite hard for me, so I took advantage of Liisa visiting me between her adventures to do a 4-in-1: (a) fulfill the undershave fantasies I’ve been having for a while, (b) have the therapeutic effect of a hairstyle change, (c) with no hairs sticking to my neck, it is indeed breezier, and (d) I saved quite few euros by having a trusted friend to operate the razor on my balcony. I’m very satisfied.

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Orden a Tres podcast

This week’s Orden a Tres podcast will take you to the tedious but oh-so-satisfactory-afterwards paper category. In Spanish, as always, Ep 5. La tercera categoría del método KonMari™: Papeles. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

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And to nourish the little gray cells:

1. Marina sent me Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage. To get you in the mood, a couple of quotes below and the following: (a) The Case for Reparations, (b) The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, and (c) the Combahee River Collective and their statement.




2. On the real life problem of bioplastics: (in Spanish) ¿Es la tarjeta de Triodos Bank biodegradable? Again and again, bioplastics biodegrade but do so properly in controlled facilities made exactly for that not in your balcony compost. So here goes advice for reducing your plastic, the usual ones: (in Spanish) ¿Cómo vivir sin plástico? Pasos básicos.

3. Workwear and Gender focusing on Emilie Casiez’s style and citing 1973 NYT’s Androgynous World. As usual, about women appropriating the menswear, not the other way around (except for the honorary mentions of Prince, Hendrix and Bowie). Also, as usual, without mentioning that the capacity for such appropriation depends on the body type. While I’m against the notion of ‘flattering’ and such, the same silhouette Casiez is wearing would look very different on me (and so many other people). Anyways, it’s a menswear blog and the whole point of this is ‘examples of how masculine attire can be worn in a feminine manner […] a treasure trove of menswear inspiration’. Oh, never mind, it’s clearly not my aesthetic anyways…

4. Does Extinction Rebellion Have the Solution to the Climate Crisis? The wrong question, imho, as XR are the only ones being honest and constructive about the climate emergency.

5. Eager for some depressing shit? Here, ‘as I struggled to carve out time in my crowded days for writing, a colleague suggested I read a book about the daily rituals of great artists. But instead of offering me the inspiration I’d hoped for, what struck me most about these creative geniuses – mostly men – was not their schedules and daily routines, but those of the women in their lives. Their wives protected them from interruptions; their housekeepers and maids brought them breakfast and coffee at odd hours; their nannies kept their children out of their hair. Martha Freud not only laid out Sigmund’s clothes every morning, she even put the toothpaste on his toothbrush. Marcel Proust’s housekeeper, Celeste, not only brought him his daily coffee, croissants, newspapers and mail on a silver tray, but was always on hand whenever he wanted to chat, sometimes for hours. Some women are mentioned only for what they put up with, like Karl Marx’s wife – unnamed in the book – who lived in squalor with the surviving three of their six children while he spent his days writing at the British Museum.’

6. More proof that (high) fashion is reckless and untrustworthy? Saint Laurent incident underlines environmental cost of fashion shows.

7. One of the weirdest fraud schemes I’ve heard about: Counterfeit Jeans and the Rise of the $24 Billion Returns Fraud Economy. People are strange…

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Vegan Birkenstock Gizeh. Heh, they are now at 240 wears, and refuse to fall apart. Not pretty, though.

What I was writing about two years ago: Capsule wardrobes trans-seasonally and beyond seasonality. That time my reading skills failed me… but brought an interesting idea.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w33 + Sunday links. Also wearing this week: the birks and my mom’s silver bracelet

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w33 + Sunday links. Was wearing also this week: the birks. Although the little denim shorts + little white top formula was the same, those were other garments. Note to self: that clearly is the summer formula!

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What have you been wearing most this summer? Do you have a summer outfit formula? The slight difference between a formula and a uniform being that formula = this type of x + this type of y (little denim shorts and little white top) while uniform = x + y (exactly this top which I have in 5 copies + these shorts which I have 2 of every day of summer).

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w32 + Sunday links

A detail: Giulia left Barcelona for good… 🙁 but I got a pair of hand-me-down denim shorts (and the unexpected knowledge that we fit into the same shorts) among other bits for the September swap. They are already well worn in, repaired and in need of some new patches. I’m up for the job!




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Orden a Tres podcast

This week for your simultaneous KonMari and Spanish lesson, a podcast episode on the second category in the method, books: Ep 4. La segunda categoría del método KonMari™: Libros. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

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And a spoonful of brainfood, of course:

1. I already shared this, but all of us should read it again: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation. And this: Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?

2. Yes, exactly as Marie Kondo would tell you, sometimes garments become sentimental items and are not really clothing anymore (and have to be treated accordingly): Cost Per Wear and the Nostalgia Variable.

3. If you haven’t red Laurie Penny, drop everything and do that: her books, her opinion pieces (this one, for example; or this one), interviews with her… She is one of my role models, and those are scarce these days.

4. Ugh, they are watching us and we are not looking good: Retailers Are Judging Consumers by Using Secret “Surveillance Scores,” Per New FTC Complaint and Consumers Will Spend More than $3 Billion on Single-Use Outfits This Summer, Alone. I can’t even…

5. Here, have a beautiful – and truly cool – visual respite: Jazz Style Behind The Scenes: Photographs Of Milt Hinton.

6. A series of articles trying to convince us that keeping sheep and using wool is the best thing ever: (a) Shearing and Welfare: Why are Sheep Sheared? (b) Inside the Shearing Shed with Kinkade Shearing; and (c) Choreography and Skill: How Sheep are Sheared. If you are sitting on the same hedge as I am – liking wool but not the idea of any animal agriculture, hence a Gordian knot alright – it’s always good to learn more about it.

7. Cleaning as therapy, akin to anxiety baking? Or just dealing with grime that keeps accumulating? Well, start by switching to white vinegar: Natural Alternatives for a Greener and Cleaner Home.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Book review: The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi. Oh, there is magic in the message ‘you are surrounded by stuff you don’t need and don’t care about, discard it’…

What I was writing about two years ago: The Future of Riga capsule. It’s an ongoing thing, I just revised it again… Despite my unwillingness to have things laying around unused for such long stretches of time, the comfort of not having to pack any clothing for Rīga trips is priceless. So I still have a full capsule for all occasions (including harsh winters, harsh summers, and opera)…

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w32 + Sunday links. Also wore this week: birks.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w32 + Sunday links. Nothing! The interim conclusion: my summer wardrobe has been heavily updated (and the corresponding 2017 week was spent in Rīga, so see the Rīga capsule note above).

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Do you have any mini-capsule laying around somewhere, in other countries, in other cities? Gardening clothes in the summer house or your adolescent stuff at your parents’ place? I can’t be the only one…

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w31 + Sunday links

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Orden a Tres podcast

Starting this week, in Orden a Tres we are starting an overview of the all five key categories of possessions in KonMari™ method. So this week it’s all about clothing, selecting – and honing the ‘joy-meter’ – and storing them. We also share the extent to which we ourselves follow all the guidelines of the method. Here you have it: Ep 3. La primera categoría del método KonMari™: Ropa. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

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And reading matter too for those little gray cells:

1. A bit of American (and current tarrif) issues but still a reasonable explanation of how difficult it gets when one wants to create locally: The retail complexities of ‘Made in America’.

2. Although sponsored content, still one of the fluffy hopeful stories of garment business well done: Soorty is Pioneering Recycled Fabrics and Water-Free Garment Dyeing.

3. My sociologist self is so fascinated by the digital influencer economy… because that stuff is just bizarre: Why Are the Disclosure Rules for Influencers’ Sponsored Content so Different Than They Are for TV Product Placements?

4. And also fascinated by tech billionaires and digital monopolies: Warehouses at LWT and Amazon is Turning 25: Here’s How it Changed the World and What We Can Expect for the Future.

5. And apparently now the weird ‘new green’ trend that media is discovering is the simple fact that we are overwashing our garments, so (a) The Extraordinarily Sexist History of Laundry Detergent Commercials, (b) The next big thing in fashion? Not washing your clothes, (c) Is Stella McCartney right – should we stop washing our clothes? (d) Cleaning our clothes too much is bad for the planet, and (e) 100 days in one dress.

6. And some of that very detailed sartorial knowledge (of top menswear blogs): You Should Wear An Extended Shoulder and Shirt Anatomy 101: Collars, Hems, and All the Parts in Between. Knowledge as power and knowledge as care alright.

7. Plus some sportswear fanboying: The Unassuming Sweatshirt and Before The Bad Boys: Inspiration From Wimbledon In The Early 1970s.

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What I was writing about a year ago: The decision fatigue of sustainable living. The summer in Barcelona certainly is tiring, also for the ideals – and practices – of sustainable living…

What I was writing about two years ago: My take on “formal” and dressing up out of a capsule. trying to tell again and again, to myself and others that there is no need to get new garments for special occasions. True story.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w31 + Sunday links. Also wore this week: my mom’s dark blue dress, the birks, and the Veja Wata Pierre.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w31 + Sunday links. Still wearing this week: my mom’s dark blue silk dress and the Street One jacket, although refashioned.

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What do you think of the ‘stop overwashing’ suggestion? Are you overwashing? Is that just a habit to throw everything in the hamper or do you really feel it definitely unfresh after just one wear? I’ve already done my part of this advocacy in 2017 and 2018: Breathe deeply, it’s clean enough and Yes, there are garments that I’ve never washed.

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w30 + Sunday links

How it looked at the moment (thanks, mom!):



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Orden a Tres podcast

In this week’s Orden a Tres episode we follow up on a joke we made in last week’s episode calling KonMari™ method one’s own personal Feng Shui… so we had our first guest ever – certified Feng Shui consultant Mercedes García – explaining how intuitive also Feng Shui can be. Here: Feng Shui flexible con Mercedes García. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

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And now a bit of summery gazpacho and ice cream for your brain:

1. You might have wondered… How Forecasters Predict Fashion Trends. Yes, much of that is self-fulfilling prophecies.

2. After having read JUNK: Digging Through America’s Love Affair With Stuff, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? story was one that I was most interested in… so here you have NPR How I Built This episode about Brian Scudamore who created the service and Spark Joy podcast episode with Long Island Franchise Partner Brian Heiser. Still only the best impressions about that company.

3. One of those weird stories of fashion appropriation and unintended uses: The History of Timberland: Waterproof Boots and Rap Royalty. And another one: The History of the Tank Top: From Swimming Pools to the Silver Screen and Beyond.

4. #istayontheground (most of the time): (in Spanish) El aumento de las emisiones aéreas alienta un movimiento ‘antivuelos’ and Una hora en avión, dos en tren: la iniciativa ecológica para prohibir los vuelos cortos. And continuing on traffic, all the hilarious ways how car producers try to persuade millenials and gen-z that we need cars (because we have stopped buying them, hah): Urban Jungle. Also, remember who the real enemies are: Snake Oil.

5. The new Academic year is coming, maybe uniform is the right choice for you: These 4 designers wear the same thing every day. Here’s how to copy their look.

6. Ba-na-na-na-na-na-na… Left Field’s Latest Jeans are Literally Bananas, and it is not a crazy innovation. ‘Banana fiber harvested from the pseudostems and leaves of the plant has been used for textiles in Asia since at least the 13th century’, wikipedia dixit.

7. And for some cute menswear trolling, Just to be Safe on ‘zipper entrapped penis injuries’. Happy – and accident free – July to you too!

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What I was writing about a year ago: Liliana’s guest post Me, My Clothes and My Club. Remember to follow her FB page Green Swap Club!

What I was writing about two years ago: How to survive summer heat in Barcelona. Still very relevant. This week, even in Rīga.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w30 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w30 + Sunday links. As this week I’ve been working on these two dresses I’m taming – and, curiously enough, wearing sneakers and not birks – no items coincide between this week and the ones one and two years ago.

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In this summer heat (at least where I am at), are you wearing the same stuff you were wearing last summer or are your wardrobe heroes new-to-you?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w29 + Sunday links

How it looked at the moment (I’ve been vacationing with my mom, hence the paparazzi shots):


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Orden a Tres podcast

With the podcast it took us until the second substantial episode to start talking about what makes KonMari™ stand out among other organizing and mindfulness practices, here: Método KonMari y sus beneficios You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

And here comes the brain food, as always:

1. Just in case you didn’t have enough reasons to drool after Patagonia, have their videos about how great wearing to shreds and fixing your garments are: Patagonia | Worn Wear. This level of love and dedication to garments is what we need, not only to pieces that guarantee your survival in hostile environment, but also the everyday stuff. To get you even more inspired to learn some repair skills: I’m fed up with iPhone feudalism – viva the repair revolution! and Mending hearts: how a ‘repair economy’ creates a kinder, more caring community. And this guy who has the right make-do attitude while blaming Marie Kondo for all the evils: The life-changing magic of making do. For real, you can write about consumerism without blaming her…

2. All those plastic-looking disposables that have a ‘biodegradable’ or ‘compostable’ printed on? Yes, read up: What’s your biodegradable coffee cup made of – and how biodegradable is it?

3. A climate change adaptation researcher answering her friends’ questions on the climate emergency: Ask Me Anything. Mostly on USA Pacific area as that is her area of expertise, but very interesting anyways.

4. And a dash of Elizabeth Suzann just to reinforce the idea that clothing can be ethical, comfy and liberating: ES x Motherhood.

5. ‘Consumers feel that luxury brands have not upheld their end of the bargain to justify their premium price with clearly superior quality goods’… hah, color me surprised! YouGov Affluent Survey: “There Used to Be a Huge Gap Between Mass Brands and Luxury Brands”.

6. What to wear when it’s so hot you can’t even imagine wearing anything? (a) Things I’m Excited to Wear This Summer; (b) Warm Weather Collection: Midweight Linen and Silk Crepe, and (c) ough Love, Summer of Workwear. And to make some summer plans that earn you karma points, (in Spanish) Beneficios de limpiar la playa.

7. The politics of fashion: Dolce & Gabbana’s Expanded Sizing “Proves They’re Really about Selling Clothing,” Not Just Leveraging it. Funny how even in principle good news – wider range of people fitting in garments is a good thing, even if those are elitist, ultra-expensive, unethically made clothes – make us doubt the calculations behind them… Ugh, capitalism!

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Veja Arcade sneakers. The weird chunky sneakers that didn’t become my favorites but are being worn to shreds anyway. 196 wears and counting.

What I was writing about two years ago: Lessons learnt from the Fashion Revolution MOOC. tl;dr? Pretty useless indeed.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w29 + Sunday links. Also wearing this week: only the birks.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w29 + Sunday links. Repeating this week: still only the birks.

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How is your own ‘worn wear’ revolution going? Any exciting new skills or deep wardrobe finds? What would be the garment-related skill you’d like to acquire most?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w28 + Sunday links

Orden a Tres podcast

This week’s episode of our first podcast in *Spanish* dedicated to all things Marie Kondo, Orden a Tres, is a powerful meditation to get you in touch with your future self and make that vision we talked about in last week’s episode. So close your eyes and let Andrea lead you into it: Visualización del Yo futuro You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

Nom-nom-nom, the brain said after swallowing all this:

1. Hah, even the new trends often come from old garments: How Thrift Stores Drive Fashion.

2. Oh, when people love designing this much (and are this clear about what exactly they are doing): ‘My cuts are minimal and simple, but not cold. The hand of the maker is celebrated, not erased, and our fabrics are understated but full of texture and life. This collection is no different, and in that vein I’m especially fond of the finishing technique on the hems and necklines of these garments. Organic, bias cut rolled edges trim all of the openings – a finish that honors the nature of the material and gels perfectly with the story behind the garment. This trim doesn’t interfere with or contradict the nature of the fabric – it feels more like an extension of the way the material wants to behave naturally. Continuous, organic form; deference to the nature of the medium; evoking emotion with simplified shape – that’s the story of each of these garments. The silhouettes we love in materials that enhance their form, not hinder it.’

3. Kate Fletcher has been part of establishing the Union for Concerned Researchers in Fashion and has given a mini-interview to Lucy Siegle about it: Cause For Concern – The Researchers Calling For Fashion Change. Heart-eyes! because all her writing is like this: ‘the other issues are around a lowering of expectations around the consumer’s ideas around garments. If the message is that clothing can be endlessly recycled, that’s a sign that it is disposable. All in all, there’s a constant undermining of the idea that clothes are precious and that you should take care of them and that they have an intrinsic value. […] The truth is, it’s predicated on consumption. Both consuming a new piece and then recycling it again and then consuming a new piece and that idea is fundamentally at odds with the finite limit nature of the resource base.’

4. On style, and taste, and courage to do (and dress) your own thing: The Spotlight Effect & Style Anxiety and On Taste.

5. I’ve been writing with fountain pens only for more than ten years now, this explains some of the reasons pretty well: The Joy of Fountain Pens. My favorite, however, is the bulky and decidedly non-elegant yet so comfy Faber-Castell Scribolino. My current one has lasted me so long that some of the coating has come off exactly in places where I put the most pressure.

6. Well, if you are somebody like me, a ritualistic and zealous recycler, you won’t like this: We’re Buying Into a Giant Lie About Plastic. Most important point being that separating your garbage does not mean that it gets to be recycled as there are so many intermediate steps…

7. On cities, city planning, and how certain urban dynamics drive or asphyxiate the emergence of new exciting fashion: The Closure of Fashion Cities.

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What I was writing about a year ago: After 6 months of the big spreadsheet.

What I was writing about two years ago: Garment makers and fixers, I salute you. This is a true love story to the women of my family who have been sourcing, making, and fixing for much longer than it has been in vogue. Also, an explanation why to me all this minimalism, voluntary frugality, and upcycling comes so easy… this has been the basic setup for generations of Latvian women.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w28 + Sunday links. Repeating this week: the silk maxi, my mom’s silk dress, and the birks.

What I was wearing two years ago: my mom’s silk dress and lace top, the birks.

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Do you have any favorite writing tools? The perfect pen, the greatest highlighter, the one and only planner that you cannot imagine replacing? Tell me about them, I’m all ears…

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w27 + Sunday links

Orden a Tres podcast

The podcast is *on*! We – me and Andrea and Louise – are having so much fun making Orden a Tres, and here you have the first substantial episode talking about the importance of curating your future vision before starting a tyding festival: La importancia de la visión en el método KonMari™. You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

Here, nourish the brain:

1. If you ever need a reminder or a good education site to forward to friends just finding their way out of fast fashion, the people from Clean Clothes Campaign will explain.

2. Just the cutest irritated response column on the municipality of Barcelona – in 2011, with the previous mayor, this is old stuff – claiming to have launched the first vertical garden in Barcelona. Well, this lady knows better and tells you where to find the truly first one, clearly a fascinating building: (in Spanish) ¿El primer jardín vertical de Barcelona? An urban trip, anybody?

3. Beanie weather is far away in Europe, but learning can be good even if you won’t be wearing it anytime soon, so History of the Watch Cap: From Monmouth to The Monkees and the Wikipedia entry for the Phrygian cap. I thought myself rather well informed and here I am, discovering the glorious history of the knit hat…

4. For a chilling and moving read about something you probably never though about: What Do Doctors Owe To The Dead People They Dissect?

5. One of those funny news about people looking for solutions that would be as comfortable as disposable packaging but more sustainable: A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform. Cute, but don’t hold your breath… or, well, prove me wrong!

6. And if you like your anti-consumerism messages from Vogue, this: Is There Really Such a Thing as “Ethical Consumerism”? tl;dr? NO, obviously.

7. More edutainment: What your skirt length can tell you about the economy? What wiki says? Hemline index, also Men’s underwear index. The research papers referenced are these:

van Baardwijk, Marjolein and Philip Hans Franses. 2010. The hemline and the economy: Is there any match? (No. EI 2010-40). Report / Econometric Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam (pp. 1–11). Erasmus School of Economics.

van Baardwijk, Marjolein and Philip Hans Franses. 2012. “Hemlines and the Economy: Which Goes Down First?,” Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting, International Institute of Forecasters, issue 26, pages 27-28, Summer.

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What I was writing about a year ago: 2018 first half money talk, or how expensive an ethical wardrobe is?

What I was writing about two years ago: How expensive is an ethical wardrobe? 2017 first half money talk. Out of my frustration about the money-silence in ethical blogging (and way too many ‘the brand sent me this as a gift’) come these posts. Also, fun data.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w27 + Sunday links. Repeating this week: my mom’s dark blue silk dress, the silk maxi, Kristīne’s M’n’S blue kaftan, and the birks.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w27 + Sunday links. Also wearing this week: my mom’s dark blue silk dress and the birks.

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Have you observed any recent fashion moves that coincide with bigger economical-socio-political trends? Do you think there is sth going on there or was only an industrialist phenomenon that died out in the postmodernity?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w26 + Sunday links

Orden a Tres podcast

The great novelty of this week is that – together with two other KonMari™ consultants, Andrea and Louise – we have started the first podcast in *Spanish* dedicated to all things Marie Kondo: Orden a Tres. If you listen to Spanish (or are working on improving it), here you have the first episode introducing ourselves and how the podcast came along: Bienvenidos!! Quienes somos? You can also listen us on Spotify and Stitcher.

Here, a spoonful of brain food:

1. I’ve followed the work of Gemma Correll for years – and given and received enough of her stuff as presents – so this was too good to be true: Welcome to Menstrualand, the world’s first period theme park.

2. This is paradoxical to write her and in English, but… in case you read Latvian (and haven’t read this already), this: Vieta, kur izdzīvot.

On a related note, Stephen mentioned Latvia for the first time ever and not as anything good, of course. The American embassy in Latvia, among other embassies, had requested a permission to fly the pride flag during June. In this case, not only to demonstrate their general stance in an EU country where it is still needed (!), but – I imagine because I wasn’t able to find anything on their homepage about it – in response to the recent refusal of the Latvian parliament to legalize same-sex unions. Trump administration said no, and we got a Colbert joke about gray skittles instead.

3. To take that bitter taste away, here, have an optimistic palate cleanser: Wear Sunscreen by Mary Schmich. Still needs reminding that Baz Luhrmann didn’t write it, and nor did Kurt Vonnegut: “Wear Sunscreen”: The Story Behind the Commencement Speech That Kurt Vonnegut Never Gave.

4. This is almost a fashion blog, so let’s refine our vocabularies: The Types of Pockets, a Pocket Dictionary.

5. And some garment construction ABC from BuzzFeed: Here’s How To Tell If A Piece Of Clothing Is Actually Well-Made. I’d argue a couple of these – especially the one about avoiding rayon! – but it’s OK if you are feeling clueless and want to establish some criteria for your future acquisitions. On the rayon point, here’s the counterargument from people who actually pay attention to detail and fabrics: Rayon: Summer’s Magical Fabric.

6. A couple of cute craftsmanship stories, you should know by then that I adore such tales of ethics and pursuit of quality: Logging the History of Dayton Boots, a Canadian Heritage Staple and Modern Cotton Blends the Best in Their Quest for the Perfect T-Shirt.

7. While so far most consumer behavior research seemed to suggest that, at least in apparel, people said that sustainability mattered but then did not invest in it, this one suggest otherwise: Research: Actually, Consumers Do Buy Sustainable Products. It is about everyday supermarket items, though, not the slow fashion premium price, but ‘consumers are voting with their dollars — against unsustainable brands […] the legacy companies that will thrive are those that accept this shift and are willing to pivot’ is a soothing idea.

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What I was writing about a year ago: The time squeeze of sustainability attempts and blogging. Hah! I’ve experienced similar frustration this year – with the thesis revisions and such – but didn’t even bother to create content out of that frustration.

What I was writing about two years ago: #30wears and 18 months of counting, the first thing on outfit repetition and wardrobe tracking.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w26 + Sunday links. Look at that outfit repetition! Wore this week: my mom’s dark blue silk dress, the silk maxi skirt, Veja Wata Pierre, birks.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w26 + Sunday links. Repeating so much: my mom’s dark blue silk dress, my mom’s gingham dress, my mom’s black M’n’s black, the silk maxi skirt, the red wooden bead necklace.

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Where do you stand on regenerated fabrics – called rayon, viscose, modal, lyocell depending on the original wood pulp used and the producer – aye or nay? Have had any experiences putting you squarely into one camp or the other? I’m writing this fully clad in viscose, so I’ve already made my mind up…

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w25 + Sunday links

A detail: I’m finally acting upon my urge to dumpster dive! This week alone I have picked up from garbage a fun fabric that will become something awesome and a jade plant that clearly needed a new home and repotting. The poor thing has cigarette butts in its pot! My absolutely inexpert reasoning is to use the common sense, get a good look before you bring it home, wash all fabrics at 60ºC (if they dissolve in the process, well, bad luck; this yellow one just tinted a couple of my tea towels), and be happy! Think about how things magically slip in and out of being ‘garbage’, one moment its somebody’s possession, then it’s garbage, then, suddenly, it’s a useful thing again…



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Here, feed the brain:

1. For my stitching inspiration – yeah, that craze is still on, I wish I could spend all my time doing it – starting with the one that has moved me the most, repeatedly (a) Paint Splotch Embroidery by Olya Glagoleva and Lisa Smirnova; (b) Graceful Figures and Shimmering Peacocks Embroidered on Tulle are Inspired by Haute Couture; (c) Intricate Landscapes and Tiny Houses ‘Painted’ With Multi-Colored Thread; (d) Richly Textured Portraits of Native Arctic Residents and European Explorers by Preta Wolzak; (e) Joyful Embroidered Photographs Embellished with Colorful Floral Motifs by Aline Brant; (f) Inner Worlds Revealed in Michelle Kingdom’s Intricate Narrative Embroideries; (g) Self Portraits Embroidered With Images of Blood Vessels, Bones, and Muscle Tissue by Juana Gómez; (h) Garden Vegetable and Plant Embroideries by Veselka Bulkan; (i) Colorfully Embroidered Vintage Photos of Artists and Cultural Icons by Victoria Villasana, and especially this (j) A Seamstress’s Autobiographical Text Embroidered Onto Her 19th-Century Straitjacket.

2. The quirkiest thing: fashion education exists! And they seem to be realizing that the lessons taught so far haven’t been optimal: (a) Do you really need a degree to work in fashion? and (b) How Fashion Schools Are Tackling the Sustainability Puzzle.

3. Although it’s not the right season to be thinking about duffle coats here in Barcelona, these history lessons are always fascinating: The History of the Duffle Coat.

4. I’ve run into one of those annoying ‘I want to be like you when I grow up’ role models… Oh, Lucy Clayton! She has a podcast dedicated to fancy dress, a TEDx talk on the political importance of fancy dress… and she is the CEO of Community Clothing. Dude, I’m in awe!

5. And a couple of links on a topic I know very little of but like the tone of these articles: (a) Bitcoin as big oil: The next big environmental fight? and (b) Why I won’t Touch Cryptocurrencies and Neither Should You.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Body positivity, the average user’s guide. This is the post I am most proud of out of all 230+ posts I’ve written here, and, as we are surely heading into another record heat summer in Europe, I invite you to be kind to your body. Also, How to survive summer heat in Barcelona.

What I was writing about two years ago: Heirlooms in the age of fast fashion: Do they still make any?

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w25 + Sunday links. Funny, I’m repeating only the shoes this week, the Birks and Veja Wata Pierre.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w25 + Sunday links. Oh, most of these things are gone, either because of their age or poor fit. The Dana Zēberga ‘Russian’ set is still here, though, this one:

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Do you ever pick things from garbage? What have been your best finds? Or are you afraid of bringing bedbugs and bad karma into your place? Tell me! I keep seeing discarded garments on the pavement, and try to come up with an idea on how to organize a serious rescue program… All input welcome!

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w24 + Sunday links

A detail: I got a sudden embroidery urge last week – inspired by my craftivist friends and ‘I wish we were friends’ Mara, Kate, Ezra, Liisa, Liza – and went all in on it. I got a bunch of beautiful Made in Spain 100% cotton threads through local classified ads, and my eyes have suffered since then. Now my problem is doing anything else when all I really want to do is to sit there and stitch while listening Harry Potter audiobooks. Threadpainting is such a pleasure!


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And a couple of nibbles for the brain:

1. Let’s begin with a ‘all is fucked up’ reminder: The end of the Arctic as we know it. And usually it would come accompanied by bullshit like 6 Small Ways To Make A Big Difference This World Oceans Day on reducing one-use plastic and turning off your AC… but I suggest you listen to George first: “Here, life is collapsing even faster than on land. The main cause, the report makes clear, is not plastic. It is not pollution, not climate breakdown, not even the acidification of the ocean. It is fishing. Because commercial fishing is the most important factor, this is the one we talk about least. […] The fishing industry is protected by a combination of brute power and bucolic fantasy. When you hear the word fisherman, what picture comes to mind? Someone who looks like Captain Birdseye: white beard, twinkly eyes, sitting on a little red boat chugging merrily across a sparkling sea? If so, your image of the industry might need updating. […] Save your plastic bags by all means, but if you really want to make a difference, stop eating fish.”

2. The usual refresher on fibers and textiles: (a) Shifting the Impact of our Clothing: Tips from the Fibershed Community; (b) What Are the Most Sustainable Fabrics? and (c) Know Your Product: A Quick Guide to Organic Cotton.

3. For a weird anthropological story about the 1990s, It Smelled Like Gen X Spirit: “It was billed as “one for all,” though what that really meant was one for all in this age group, and was greeted as revolutionary. In point of fact, the first perfumes were genderless, and only in the 1930s did the sexes start getting separated. It was then that it occurred to beauty companies that marketing to men might be lucrative. That is to say, CK One wasn’t the first unisex fragrance; it was the first openly marketed unisex fragrance. Which, with its whiff of cynicism, was in itself somehow very Gen X. That was no accident: According to Mr. Fremont, the original brief came from an extensive study Calvin Klein had conducted on what would appeal to this particular disaffected consumer group. […] It was criticized by those who didn’t like it for ultimately being, as one review went, “so intent on being gender-neutral from a perfume aesthetics perspective, that it literally comprises notes that act to neutralize each other, making the most anonymous and androgynous of beige pleasantries ever smelled at the time.”” I’ve never really understood perfumes, so this is just a bizarre alien tale for me… A carefully crafted scent reflecting and defining its decade? Fascinating!

4. Is Fast Fashion A Class Issue? Obviously, yes, but it’s also more complicated than just blaming poor people for wanting cheap things… The piece has some sound points from my new favorite Dilys Williams. Like so: “This is not proof of a democratised fashion industry – this is evidence that fashion is now regarded as disposable – as a cheap commodity not worthy of our love or care […] As humans, we are stimulated by novelty and curiosity but an overstimulation, running on adrenalin, is not healthy. We are undervaluing fashion.”

5. And a couple of cute stories just to calm your anxiety a bit: (a) Weaving as a Way of Life at Oakland Fiber and (b) Forget fast fashion: Slow style pioneers on the clothes they’ve worn for decades.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Train travel long distance in Europe. One of my favorite last years posts and experiences! Lesson learnt?! Trains are great and I want to take them more often.

What I was writing about two years ago: The wardrobe ins and outs of spring 2017. My attempts to do a formal capsule and document it all…

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w24 + Sunday links. Also wore this week: Zara swap cardigan, my mom’s silk dress, Veja Wata Pierre sneakers.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w24 + Sunday links. As those outfits are mostly from the Riga capsule before much of it went away, no coincidences!

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Have you ever caught a crafting fever when all you could think about was to steal some hours for your projects? Which is *your* craft? And have you ever felt a sudden urge to start doing sth you have no idea of? That’s me and embroidery right there…

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w23 + Sunday links

Here, the first summer gazpacho for the little gray cells:

1. An honest look at courtroom dressing to influence the outcome: Does This Dress Make Me Look Guilty? “Her legal team was concerned that an appearance in Rikers Island prison garb would make her look guilty and prejudice the jury against her […] Just because it’s obvious doesn’t make it less effective.”

2. Oh, the beautiful difference when the fashion critic at large is serious and respectful and when she cannot hold her sarcasm…

Exhibit A: “Rihanna will become the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison, and her line will be the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987. It joins such storied heritage brands as Dior, Givenchy, Celine and Fendi and positions Rihanna as a breakthrough designer on a number of levels […] Mr. Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits. I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together […] Fenty, however, has made inclusivity of all kinds — size, race, gender identity — part of its identity from the beginning. […] LVMH’s first foray into original couture, Lacroix, did not end too well; it sold the brand in 2005, and the name is now largely associated with an unrelated sparkling water. Whether this story will rewrite the playbook of luxury remains to be seen. But the first chapter is about to begin.”

Exhibit B: “‘Yes, it may appeal to a small niche, but I think it’s worth doing regardless of its consumer potential,’ Mr. Sarkozy said — also with a straight face. It was hard to tell if he was in the midst of the most thoroughly considered conspiracy to hoax the fashion gullible since Laura Albert created JT Leroy and fooled the literary world — a test of how elastic is the desire for a famous face and an insider product — or if he meant what he said. […] The company is backed by the Spanish billionaire Juan Roig, the president of the Mercadona supermarket chain. […] The men were photographed in conversation with Mr. Sarkozy in return for shoes. Though Dr. Pinker normally wears cowboy boots, he said he quite liked the loafers.” The preposterous shoes in question can be looked at here.

3. The pleasure of doing a facepalm for the ultra-pure vegans (no wonder we are at the butt of so many jokes, much of that is deserved) and reading some reasonable ones: On Privilege, Priorities, and Processed Foods in Vegan Diets. “And while a steady diet of highly processed foods isn’t the best choice for health, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat only whole plant foods if you want to be healthy. That’s a perspective that plays to fears around food choices. It burdens people with undue worry about whether every single bite of food they take will protect or harm their health. Eating is not quite that precarious. If you are consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber plus foods that provide healthy fats, enjoying a fast food veggie burger once or twice a month is not going to make or break your health.”

Additional links from that article: Should We Condemn Hampton Creek and Impossible Foods for Animal Testing? and Yes, the Impossible Burger is vegan. Bah, now I want a Burger King burger, and they are not rolling those out in Spain anytime soon… it took three (!) years for the vegan Ben & Jerry’s to get here, after all.

An additional old one but good one one the ‘clean eating’ fallacy: Clean is for underwear, not food.

4. And just because it makes me giggle (yes, absurdly immature!), the whole culture around penises and tailoring: (a) Dressing Left; (b) Sir, Which Side Do You Hang?; and (c) 5 Theories For Men Dressing To The Left Or Right.

5. I am very tired of graphic t-shirts by now, but some people can still celebrate them alright: Is Your Tshirt Cooler Than You? and The Most Expressive Garment. I’ll take a break for a while in an aesthetic place where garments do not shout weird phrases at me… For such inspiration, see these beautiful people doing amazing stuff before neon performance fabrics – and slogan t-shirts – started to litter the view: The Amazing Style of British Cyclists.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Style mood board: me-me-me! Oh, the naughty idea that my own archives contain enough style inspiration already…

What I was writing about two years ago: Adventures of the spring 2017 capsule.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w23 + Sunday links. Wore also this week: Veja Wata sneakers, …

What I was wearing two years ago: Come, fund us! + #whatiwore23. Also, that time when I decided not to be a pirate and asked my friends to donate me money so that I could legally screen The True Cost. They did, and I will love them forever for that.

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What’s your take on the graphic tees (and sweatshirts, and pouches, and tote bags), aye or nay? Do you have that one favorite message you’d enjoy wearing all the time?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w22 + Sunday links

A detail: After my May 1st sunstroke, my goal for summer 2019 is to have no more! I already shared my last major sunburn – July 2016 – photos here, and this time it was a much smaller surface although maybe even a more idiotic. How stupid does one have to be to go walk the Catalan country side on a sunny May day without a hat and with one’s hair combed back? Well, me-stupid…

The result was the one any reasonable person would have predicted, a f*ing headburn and a headache alright. Here, have fun at my itchy and scaly expense:

So I’m clearly back to the square one of my ‘vete por la sombra, hija!’ mission. All the sunburnt tourists on my metro line are helping to keep my morale high and, since Saturday, proudly wearing my official sunhat. In my journey through all possible clothes’ swaps in Barcelona, we were at Glow Yoga with Mara… and this mysterious beauty apparently is no less than from the studio owner’s mom, if not made in Argentina then at least one that has resided there. Oh, how I love a fun garment story! And a quirky Latvian brooch + a Tate Modern badge elevates it just a notch to try to signal that this is not a beach hat. I’m tracking the wears, and have promised myself to wear it at all times until October. Will keep you updated.

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And now for the grey cells who haven’t been cooked yet:

1. Talking about cute garment stories, I would like all outlets filled with quality sentimental content as this one: Suresh Singh’s Tank Top.

2. And a quaint pattern history about that time when US military thought they could camouflage from (early) night vision technology by using a new camouflage pattern: Who Made That Strange Pixelated Camo?

3. What happens when upcycling comes to buildings: Hotel Project Would Revive Embodiment of Jet Age at Kennedy Airport and T.W.A. Hotel: You May Want to Stay at Kennedy Airport. By Choice. Seriously. Although this is clearly a very special case, it still warms my heart… I’ve never been able to digest that destroying old buildings and building new ones in their place is cheaper than restoring the old ones.

4. The complicated topic which I prefer to read instead of writing about: Finding the Beauty in Cultural Appropriation and Appropriating or Appreciating Indigenous Fashion: Playing Dress-Up? + how Dior is trying to do it right: Dior and the Line Between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation and Feminism, Marrakech and Diana Ross: the second coming of Dior.

5. And in Marie Kondo news, (a) National Geographic doing a curious spin on the plastic problem and blaming her for disturbing all that plastic shit that has been peacefully decaying in people’s homes: Marie Kondo helps declutter homes. What does that mean for plastic waste? Weird… (b) If you needed male endorsement for KonMari, this is an excerpt from Cortex #84 Radiating Anxiety, and (c) on hiring a KonMari consultant as a sound financial choice: The Marie Kondo effect: should you hire a professional declutterer?

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What I was writing about a year ago: Book review: Second Skin by India Flint. This is a great one for any fiber lover…

What I was writing about two years ago: May [2017] Swap recap. The third one, we were so young, so innocent!

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w22 + Sunday links. The same as this week: the WAG skirt, Veja Wata sneakers, Kristīne’s ‘sailor’ skirt, the ban.do feather headband.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w22. Still wearing: Kristīne’s ‘sailor’ skirt, the ban.do feather headband, the pearl earrings. I find the fact that the week 22 has felt summery in the previous years too somehow reassuring… I was raised on the meteorological calendar, and June 1 is when my summer starts (we have an ongoing discussion about this at home because C believes only in astronomical seasons).

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What’s your summer well being resolution strategy to be implemented? A hat, a sunscreen, going to the beach more or going to the beach less? Are you any good at knowing the destructive side of sun and protecting yourself adequately?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w21 + Sunday links

A detail: the Dana Zeberga wooden ‘Russian’ set is my by far most complemented thing, people go crazy for it. Happened again this week! ‘Oh, how pretty… Oh, what is it made from… Oh, where is it from… Oh, so beautiful…’ Indeed, it is. Latvian design ftw!

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And your weekly porridge so that you would grow bigger and stronger, and defeat patriarchy *and* climate breakdown:

1. Ugh, I’m a bit confused about how many people make basic fast fashion primers and feel good about themselves… I might scream the next time I come across one of these. Anyways, in case you wanted some: (a) Why fast fashion should slow down from Science Weekly podcast; (b) How To Make Fashion Sustainable; (c) 6 things fast fashion has to do now to help stop climate change; (d) BBC New Year Solutions: Clothes.

I wrote down a Dilys Williams quote from this one, though: ‘I am wearing vintage although I bought it new’. That’s the sustainability goal and the rest is rubbish.

You already know my napkin-fitting strategy for detoxing your wardrobe: (train your mind to) acquire less – use up and make it last – replace with used – when truly needing new, buy ethical and well made. Boom, that’s it!

From the same BBC podcast came the assertion that plastic microfibers are mostly shed during the first few cycles of washing… which seems logical because those fabrics would be new, unmoved, still full of factory dust, hanging thread, etc. Also, it’s hopeful because that would mean that using for longer your synthetics would be a good practice. However, my intuition would be an inverse-u shape when at some point those fibers weaken and start to break down… Or don’t they ever because they are plastic, and plastic is (almost) forever?

I found this referencing this study saying that ‘all garments shed more when they are brand new’. The actual paper (published in 2016) also says that ‘there are currently no peer reviewed publications that compare the quantity of fibres released from common fabrics due to laundering’, so they are the first ones. From the outset they assume that new garments shed more: ‘Any initial spike in fibre loss from new clothes was reduced by washing each fabric four times before recording any data’. And those first times shedding looked like this:

Then there is exactly what I was looking for: ‘Microfiber Masses Recovered from Conventional Machine Washing of New or Aged Garments’. So, ‘the mass of recovered fibers increased significantly after aging (p < 0.001). On average, aging resulted in 25% more fibers recovered. Visual inspection of the jackets indicated that there was fraying on the aged jackets, which could lead to the increased mass of recovered fibers’. So the inverse-u does sound reasonable after all… This is all polyester, though. And the wear and tear is mechanical. And then you have this paper from 2019 citing the previous two and reminding that ‘Relating experimental test results to the wide range of real-life domestic or commercial laundry practices is difficult, and variations in conduct of the testing and in measurement techniques and protocols makes com- paring outcomes of different experiments extremely complex’. So it’s all bad… just try not washing. For some garments an airing or a cold hand-rinse can be enough.

The BBC did the part about where most of garments’ footprint comes from unsatisfactorily unnuanced and do not publish a long list of show notes with links, that’s why you just got a ladle-full of scientific papers: the footprint really depends on the type of garment and user behavior around them. There are ones that are smallish but often washed at high temperatures (underwear, t-shirts) whose most footprint will be from all that laundering, however, exactly the heavy trousers example given is less likely to be among those, especially if people are reasonable about (and, hopefully, among those who believe that going 6 months without washing one’s jeans is the way to go). If there are idiots out there doing hot, long cycles + dryer every two days for their heavy white jeans… could be true. My thinking about this is shaped by Kate Fletcher’s books this one in particular.

tl;dr: When it gets down to calculating impact of individual pieces, it is ultra-complicated. That’s why I try to stay away from the big estimates of this many tonnes, such percent of all CO2, nth most polluting industry. It’s just statistical prudence.

2. Just to add insult to injury: HnM Is Sitting On $4.3 Billion Worth Of Unsold Stock and Forever 21 ‘steals’ anti-fast-fashion artist’s work.

3. The celebrity event supposedly about fashion called Met Gala (What? The Met Gala 2019: Everything You Want to Know) happened… and even the NYT fashion people sound like they feel meh about it: “What is camp, by this definition? It is dress gone so far into the realm of costume that it may never find its way home. It is an unabashed attempt to break the internet. The dress code may have been “studied triviality,” but its expression was most often “extravagant literalism.”” Exhibits (a) Extreme One-Upmanship on the Met Gala’s Red Carpet; (b) ‘Camp’ at the Met, as Rich as It Is Frustrating; and (c) The Cannes Red Carpet Is So Much Better Than the Met Gala or the Oscars: “The Met is a costume ball, and there’s so much riding on the Oscars, but Cannes is where you can establish personality”.

4. As counterpoints to so much triviality, here: (a) on the reasons to keep an archive of women’s everyday clothing and its ‘museum potential’: Should These Clothes Be Saved? (also a story about how much difference one dedicated lady can make, hell yeah!) and (b) I made a 16th century shirt and it taught me about the crisis of fast fashion. Indeed, learning to (hand!) sew has an enormous potential to open people’s eyes. It’s very hard to consume garments as if they were disposable once you know how much work goes into creating one.

5. And just for fun: The Somewhat Sinister And Rebellious History Behind Your Striped Shirt.

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Kaftan. Oh, #100wears, how much I love you! Unfortunately, few garments live past that in good health. The kaftan came apart in late 2018, and has been waiting in my fabric stash to become a pair of shorts since then.

What I was writing about two years ago: Get to know your fibers (and stop cutting the tags). A suggestion to explore the fabric composition tags in your wardrobe just to know what exactly – or what mysterious fiber mixes – are your garments made of.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w21 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w21. The same as this week: Veja Arcade sneakers! A bit uneventful week, I was too busy pushing the wears for the Liisa lace top and C’s jeans.

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Do you find the big statistics beneficial (as in propelling you into action), too scary, too imprecise or just impossible to grasp? Do you have a favorite one that you love to tell people? So, numbers that shock people into action (although they might be imprecise), aye or nay?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w20 + Sunday links

Oh, I’m sure that exhausting brain gymnastics and doom’n’gloom is what you came here for… cheers!

1. Here, a dose of varying kinds of climate realism: (a) Safia Minney’s first podcast episode with George Monbiot on his “Environmental Breakdown and How to Stop It” and (b) Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes podcast episode on “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells. Wallace-Well’s original article that he then turned into a book is here: The Uninhabitable Earth.

2. In the recurring section of ‘ugh, I cannot believe we are still debating this shit’: The Criminalization of Women’s Bodies Is All About Conservative Male Power by Laurie Penny. And some additional sound parenting advice from Feminist Ire: How to talk to your children about abortion.

3. Why do we all have to be beautiful? bubbled up in my feeds, and I wish I had something intelligent to add. I offer you these instead: (a) Nina Simone’s Face; (b) Incomparable Lightness of Being Ugly and (c) a whole line-up of men (!) who made a point via their not conventionally handsome features: Pablo, Georges, Bill, Jacques. Among women, Diana Vreeland comes immediately in mind for having announced her conscious decision – helped by social class, mind you – to rise above the beauty trap in favor of style/elegance/whatddayacallit, although her lifelong work probably trapped millions of women exactly there.

4. Because every week should be fashion revolution week in your head: (a) Who Made My Clothes? And Other Important Questions, (b) Less is More: Can Sustainability And Profit Co-Exist? (the key for me here was this quote: “the top three reasons for implementing sustainability targets in business today are driven by the desire to grow revenue (39%), reduce costs (35%), and/or protect their brand (30%)”), (c) Will a 1p tax solve the problems caused by that £5 dress?

5. Style development advice 101: Support Stores That Bring You Value and Developing Your Eye.

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What I was writing about a year ago: May (6th!) Clothes’ Swap Recap. Turns out that the little gray Zara cardigan has been with us for a year now, after one fix (though requiring another one soon) and 83 wears later.

What I was writing about two years ago: Let it go, let go (of non-serving restrictions). Basically, on how self-imposed restrictions can be helpful and transformational but maybe need not to be taken overly seriously when they start to affect the quality of your life. Especially with minimalist, zero-waste, no purchase inclinations… you go, girl, but remember to be kind to yourself while doing it!

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w20 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w20. Still wearing this week: Veja Arcade sneakers and the No-pasarán t-shirt in its glorious transformation.

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I’m low on uplifting stuff and climate optimism this week. Where do you look for a ray of hope in such moments? Resources I should read, people I should follow, anything good and sustainable anywhere that has sparked joy to you recently?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w19 + Sunday links

A detail: The swap morning elevator selfie!

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And the Sunday picnic of information nom-noms is here:

1. This is just a fun story illustrating a million possible ways how brands that do not update their designs create happiness exactly because of not doing it: My Brother Lost His Pants. My own complaints about Veja just making new designs and not bringing back my favorite sneaker ever, are here.

2. And just a bit of technological musings comparing people’s fear of automatic elevators in 1940s and our fear of driverless cars: Pushing the right buttons. Technology is so outlandish until it is suddenly so commonplace…

3. This is the weird story Sunday, so The Weird and Glorious Culture Shock of “Take Ivy” about the man who went on replicating inexistent styles until they became their own reality in fashion. Basically, the magic that might happen – though usually doesn’t – when you copy an aesthetic without knowing what’s behind it.

4. This could be one of most intriguing headlines ever: When Their Trademarks Are Used, the Hells Angels Resort Not to Violence but to High-Profile Lawsuits. Indeed, I didn’t know either that Hells Angels is a registered trademark…

5. When the answer is simpler than you expected (but that doesn’t make it more feasible because of political reasons): Rewild the World.

6. A mediation on how some pictures of anonymous people come to illustrate whole social / political movements, partly due to how those depicted are dressed: ‘It’s Going to Be the Image of the Revolution’.

7. Ugh, there is so much to say about the Notre-Dame fire and aftermath, and so much has been said. But here you have a bit on the symbolic importance for the fashion world (Woven Into the Fabrics of France) juxtaposed with the lavish promises of donations for rebuilding: French Titans’ Pledges to Notre-Dame Pass €850 Million. And a piece from a couple of years ago describing the symbolic value of such gestures (and how that symbolic value can be turned into euros) – ‘you have to think about exactly how you are engaging with the consumer […] the new model is representing something a whole lot deeper and more meaningful to consumers’ – For the Wolf of Luxury, a Chance to Be a Lamb.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Swap VI and the problem with the threadbare. Complaining about how having fewer things make them wear out sooner, that’s just pure statistics.

What I was writing about two years ago: We shall swap again. Explaining the logic of who leaves my wardrobe to go and be swapped away…

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w19 + Sunday links. Also, showing off my first #memade garment ever!

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w19. Still wearing: my mom’s gray cardigan and Monton bird skirt, and Veja Arcade sneakers.

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How did you feel about the Notre-Dame donations? What would you change in the world with €850 million euros? Which sustainability cause you wish the extra rich would start throwing their money at?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w18 + Sunday links

A detail: The 10th (!) swap is coming next Saturday. And these two pieces are leaving my wardrobe for sure… The fake ‘vans’ turned out to be too thin-soled for any reasonable walking, and the cutback top is too complicated to wear. The shape is great but that cut is clearly meant for the no bra people. I just end up readjusting it all the time to hide the bra, and who has time for that? So these two, among many others, will be up for grabs on May 11. See you there!

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Are here come the brain nom-noms:

1. I’ve been thinking a lot about the extent to which some entrepreneurships are made possible by families and significant others, and this popped up in my internets: “Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.

2. One of those random heritage brand stories (and an interview!) on myth creation: The J. Peterman Company: Uncommonly Good Stuff From An Uncommonly Interesting Man. And another one: The North Face: From Summits to Sidewalks. And another one: The Harrington Jacket: A Hit Across the Pond. Fashion history is a fascinating subject, especially if one goes item by item! Like so: Fatigue Fashion: History of the OG-107 Trousers.

3. If you want a reminder on what to hate vehemently, here ‘Cars are ruining our lives. We should cut their use by 90% over the next 10 years’: Auto-Destruct.

4. I had never thought of how a good billboard can be amplified n-fold by people appreciating it and posting that on social media. However, marketing people had thought about it: The Beauty of a Billboard in the Age of Instagram.

5. In hopeful news section, this sounds too good to be true (fingers crossed, though): Fast-fashion retailers like Zara and HnM have a new threat: the $24 billion used clothes market + pro tips on buying second-hand online: Emerging Markets.

6. If you were ever looking for a fashion essay that brings together Samuel Beckett, la Résistance, and the history of industrial chemistry just to talk about ochre, here you have it: The Color of Roussillon, France. I can’t help but love it, this is how I want to write when I grow up…

7. And to crush your aspiration to cure everything with some reusable bags: Your cotton tote is pretty much the worst replacement for a plastic bag.

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What I was writing about a year ago: #FashionRevolution Fix it! workshop + easy fixes. We had a blast doing some basic hand-sewn fixes exactly a year ago, let’s see if another one happens soon…

What I was writing about two years ago: Style ebb and flow, me and others. From that time when I spent a couple of hours in the Chicago Midway International Airport meditating on what I wear and why… mostly on how I don’t do it for anybody else’s pleasure but my own.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w18 + Sunday links. Still going strong: Hummel Madelaine jacket, Street One jacket and the now-reborn No pasarán t-shirt, Veja Arcade, the red wooden necklace, my mom’s gray cardigan and her gingham dress.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w18. Even two years after, my mom’s gray cardigan, Veja Arcade, No pasarán t-shirt, and Liisa’s black lace top coincide.

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Have you been swapping lately? Any interesting newcomers, any long-needed partings? Do you have those special friends or family members whose wardrobes you keep an eye on for when they are tired of their stuff? Or do you suspect that you are that person with the wardrobe that others are hoping to raid?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee!

#whatiwore 2019w17 + Sunday links

Here, feed the brain:

1. I still don’t have a properly formed sociological opinion about the KonMari fever and all other homemaker-influencers, but it will probably be something along the lines of ‘try to control a least a bit of your life (as the economy in unpredictable and the planet is down the toilet)’ mixed with it being an easier field for women’s entrepreneurship: What the rise of the ‘cleanfluencer’ tells us about women’s lives in 2019.

2. Because I find this explosive mix of niche fashion anthropologies and a fashion giant trying to restrict who can wear their wares hilarious: (a) Patagonia Drops Co-Branded Fleece Vests; (b) Patagonia Is Cracking Down on the Wall Street Uniform; (c) Are Bankers and Venture Capitalists Really Getting Fleeced by Patagonia? and the actual evidence that the conflict is real (d) Midtown Uniform Instagram account.

3. The fashion casualization stuff still appears on my feeds, so here you go: (a) a  historical one on East India Company enduring English garments in highly inappropriate weather for stupid reasons: Idiotic Pride; (b) Casual Friday and the ‘End of the Office Dress Code’; (c) Why American Workers Now Dress So Casually; (d) The Origins of Business Casual; (e) on how fashion advice is routine in politics: Hey, Governor, What Are You Wearing?; (e) and how we are probably all ending up in tights and onesies: It’s Possible Leggings Are the Future. Deal With It.

4. Just for fun and footwear history: (a) History of Wellington Boots: From Battlefields to Potato Fields; (b) Horses to Hollywood to High Fashion: The History of the Cowboy Boot; (c) How the Air Jordan 1 Became the New Chuck Taylor; (d) Nike’s Air Jordan was a key turning point in menswear.

5. And a couple of ladies whose job you might want to have: Kelly Harrington: 100% Denim and Dress For A Role: Style Lessons From A Costume Designer Keri Langerman.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Luīze goes to KonMari Consultant Seminar.

What I was writing about two years ago: Breathe deeply, it’s clean enough.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w17 + Sunday links. Still repeating: Inga’s PhD dress and Liisa’s skater skirt. Also, Veja Arcade sneakers.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w17. So many still in rotation: Hummel Madelaine, the Indian Prince shirt, Veja Arcade, Inga’s PhD dress, Ginta’s MnS black dress…

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What are your 2 cents on the fashion casualization? Do you think it would be fun going back to wearing little white gloves every time you leave home and starchy underskirt? Or are you among those who cannot wait until it will be acceptable to get married and/or buried in your yoga pants?

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Also, the tipjar is available if you ever feel like buying me a coffee: