#whatiwore 2019w28 + Sunday links

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

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

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:

#whatiwore 2019w16 + Sunday links

Here, a spoonful of informed and furious:

1. I haven’t participated in any of these yet but even my introvert self is getting there: (a) Climate Change Protests Disrupt London Fashion Week; (b) First Strike; (c) suggestions on how to prep and disseminate from Body Politic / Extinction Rebellion; (d) No More Excuses.

2. Why it might make sense to dress formally when protesting: Wearing a Suit Makes People Think Differently. I actually vaguely recall a protest initiative where people marched dressed in their best… and how it impressed both media and the police. In UK, I think, but cannot seem to find to find it… Help me, please, if you know what I’m talking about!

3. The Earth Day is coming and the Fashion Revolution Week is coming, and you will read the same articles again and again. Like these: (a) My Year of No Shopping; (b) How online shopping and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders; (c) Waste Colonialism; (d) Your HnM addiction is wreaking havoc on the environment. Here’s how to break it; (e) Is This the End of Recycling?; and some people like to inject a bit of hope, so we are back talking about plastic-eating bacteria that might or might not be in the market in a couple of years (f) Hello, Little Microbe. Doesn’t This Jacket Look Yummy?

4. And there are always more plastics to worry about: (a) Should We Worry About Little Plastic Produce Stickers?; (b) The truth about fruit stickers because no article that starts with ‘the truth’ will ever tell anything nice; (c) Esta empresa española está revolucionando el mundo del etiquetado de alimentos. Fun fact, these people tell that the laser-tagging technology was invented to prevent melon theft in supermarkets, i.e. people paying for more expensive melons as if they’d be the cheaper kind

5. And some more analysis of ‘why fashion so ugly?’: How Sound Branding Changed Fashion.

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Red flea sweater.

What I was writing about two years ago: Persuasion or #fuckfastfashion, but gently.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w16 + Sunday links (aka what I wore to the KonMari consultant seminar).

What I was wearing two years ago: How I pack or #whatiwore 2017w16 (my minimalist travel outfit planning illustrated).

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What do the designated days of activism mean to you? Do they serve as an additional impetus? A means to reach out? Or are you slightly irritated that suddenly, once a year, everybody is so keen on sustainability just to forget it tomorrow?

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

#whatiwore 2019w15 + Sunday links

A detail: Here you have a little garment story. First, at the February Swap I picked up this small Benetton 78% wool and 22% angora sweater. It had a rip at the front – somebody had clearly once pinned a brooch on it and unraveled it – that I was afraid to try and fix, but Mara is not afraid of anything, so she bravely mended this beauty:


Then, after less than ten wears (and two hand washes), I noticed that my little swap sweater was piling very quickly. Well, that is cheap wool mixes for you… So I shaved it. With this thing. C invested in one recently, and I am very impressed. However, as he remarked, a few more shaves and I won’t have any sweater left.


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But now, here’s a hearty soup for the brain:

1. On the complicated relations between price and value in fashion: Untruisms: You Get What You Pay For.

2. Ever heard of ‘ecocide’? I hadn’t either until I read George’s column about the work or Polly Higgins (1, 2): Law of Nature.

3. There are certain types of information I always find delightful, one of them is ‘look at this lady you never heard of before who run her fashion business (after some horrible shit happened and she had to make her own living)’, so ta-dah: Hansi Originals and Hansi Landis.

4. If you are dumbfounded by how people create their uniforms (pro tip: whatever stuff you have on that chair that you don’t even put back in your wardrobe because you are wearing the same thing tomorrow *is* your uniform!), here, Caroline will tell you how: Spring style: My uniform for warmer days.

5. Before you stash away your winter stuff, this: I’d Like To Try To Fumigate This Here Sweater: Dealing With Moths, Without Pesticides and A Textile Conservator Explains How To Deal With Clothes Moths.

6. Then, in denim news: (a) Kingpins to Require Denim Exhibitors to Meet Supply Chain Standards; (b) What Does Levi’s Impending IPO Have To Do With Your Leggings? (c) New Levi’s® Wellthread™ x Outerknown Features Groundbreaking Cottonized Hemp; (d) and I cannot help but applaud this brilliant advocacy strategy: Levi’s Leather Patches Come Under Fire by Peta (who are now their shareholders).

7. And just for history fun and a reminder that most writing people have written questionable stuff just to earn their living: The Walt Whitman Method for Acquiring a Manly Chest and Avoiding Syphilitic Taint.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Yes, there are garments that I’ve never washed. From that list I’ve now washed the red flea sweater and my mom’s Monton bird skirt.

What I was writing about two years ago: Journey on Hobbit Feet.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w15 + Sunday links. OK, I’m repeating the yellow scarf, the No Pasarán t-shirt in its current incarnation, Liisa’s black velvet skirt, and my mom’s Monton bird skirt. Boom!

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w15. Oh, this is one of the rare weeks that 0 garments coincide with the respective week from two years ago… See, even my wardrobe changes.

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What are your knit-care experiences? Piling upon first wear from garments you thought were a good investment? Or a random thrift find or a hand-me-down that exceeds all expectations? Any moth catastrophes to grieve?

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

#whatiwore 2019w14 + Sunday links

A detail: As my stuff is pretty randomly acquired, I’m very excited to see any of my choices worn by other people or suggested in editorials. Also, I think that coinciding outfits have to be celebrated and not avoided; those people ought to be your friends, at least your aesthetics and/or ethics coincide. I still squeal when I see anybody wearing Veja. So imagine my surprise seeing this in the EasyJet in-flight magazine:

The sweater is made in Lithuania of ‘pure new wool’. And I’m really unimpressed by the ‘designed and developed in Norway’ and ‘worn by Norwegians since 1853’ shit, btw. My mom bought it for me in 2015, 32 wears since. I wear it at home (no heating Barcelona winter, remember) or out and about when I’m feeling under the weather. It’s very warm, very bulky, and piles a lot. An example of me wearing it, here.

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Here, maybe your brain wants a nibble?

1. I finally listened to the Articles of Interest, a podcast mini-series from 99% Invisible, lauded as the ‘the Smartest Podcast On Fashion’ by Put This On. Well, it is not as brainy as I expected, but my expectations have been corrupted by years of academic papers… Nope, this is well done edutainment. My favorite episode is the one about pockets, a true ode to pockets as key elements of freedom. And my main historical discovery – also from the pockets episode – is the work of Bernard Rudofsky and his “Are Clothes Modern?” MOMA curation in 1944. Talk about a powerful graphic, illustrating all the useless tailoring that was still the norm for a well-dressed gentleman as recently as in 1940s:

2. Another topic the Articles of Interest touch upon – in the episode on plaid, of course – is the confusing world of majority appropriation of minority fashions making it harder to signal allegiance, this piece dwells on that in much more detail – Straight Copying: How Gay Fashion Goes Mainstream.

3. Before you get a Frida t-shirt or sth like that, just pause for a moment and think. And read this bit from the incredible (insert a heart-eye emoji) Laurie Penny: The real history of women wouldn’t look quite so nice on a tote bag.

4. I am tickled when harmless items cause controversy, when people love or hate something with such intensity (think crocs!), so: The Much Maligned Cargo Pant.

5. And today’s main course goes to fashion in corporate cultures and how sometimes ‘casual’ can be very suffocating too: (a) Interviewing at a startup; (b) Inside the Mirrortocracy; (c) What It Means to Be Professional; (d) The New Business Casual Is Still Uptight; (e) What’s Next, Big Shorts? Goldman Sachs Relaxes Dress Code; (f) A Relatable Casual Uniform.

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What I was writing about a year ago: After (first) 3 months of the big spreadsheet. You can compare this with the first trimester of 2019 here.

What I was writing about two years ago: Constant Gardener: Edit your wardrobe!

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w14 + Sunday links. The only garment that coincides? My Street One ‘No pasarán’ jacket.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w14. Again, only one garment coincides – my mom’s gray cardigan.

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The London trip reminded me about that weird trick our mind does about weather: even if you look up the forecast in your destination, you don’t really believe it until you step out and realize that it truly is 10ºC less or sth. I had packed relatively OK – although a winter hat would have felt nice – and my 3-dresses-for-5-days logic has been tested so many times… My ‘how I pack’ post is here, but what are your wardrobe planning strategies for trips? Are you the tight planner (which means that a stain, rip or rain can ruin it all) or the ‘just in case’ checked-in luggage fan that brings many things home equally fresh because at the end you didn’t feel like wearing them?

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

#whatiwore 2019w13 + Sunday links

Here, a stone soup of brain food:

1. In ‘online retail is changing everything news’: Why It Doesn’t Seem To Matter That Amazon Will Soon Be The Largest American Clothing Retailer and Sales for the “Amazon Coat” Were $5 Million in January 2019, Alone.

2. On the limits of tailoring and re-tailoring garments which mostly comes down to the scarcity of great tailoring skills and our inability and/or unwillingness to pay for it (which is obviously linked to the disappearance of these skills): On Respoke. I witnessed a much lowers scale problem of this kind this week in the studio I’m learning to sew. A guy who works at the bar next door came in with a jacket he had purchased new online and asked Carmen’s advice for changing the shoulder line… it turned into a lecture on why that was nearly impossible (i.e. implied significant changes and adding fabric + taking out and then putting back in a layer of well sewn lining just to access it all) and hinged on finding and paying a very skilled tailor who would be (a) willing to take up such labor and (b) vouch for the result. You see, while the neighborhood Yaya Costurera ladies will happily shorten your hems and change your zippers, very fine modifications are not really what they are there for. tl;dr: if you’ve found a great tailor, hold on to them as if your life depended on it, because your wardrobe actually might.

3. On men and men’s fashion: How Two Men Are Reshaping Men’s Style Media and With Menswear Revenues Expected to Outpace Women’s, Chanel Wants in.

4. Stories of happy wool: The Journey of Wool through Woolgatherer Carding Mill (with very educational photos what happens to wool ‘from bale to bedding’; yes, you also learn new words) and Heavenly Soft Yarn at Valhalla Farms (this has pictures of alpacas, so also very good).

5. And in ‘fashion as business’ news: (a) Blockchain Applications Could Help the Fashion Industry Address its Most Significant Challenges; (b) the companies about which you shouldn’t feel sorry for: The 10 Most Valuable Fashion Brands in the World 2019; (c) on the logic of sales: Fashion retailers are trapped in a vicious cycle; (d) a short history of fashion as business: The Very Serious Business Of Fashion.

6. How much do you know about zippers as technology? The Humble Zipper is at the Center of an Almost $20 Billion Global Battle and The Great Denim Debate: Button Versus Zipper.

7. The jeans that went to Woodstock are still around… this is why I love Heddels Fade section: Levi’s 646 (50 Years, Unknown Washes).

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What I was writing about a year ago – Guest Post: Marina’s Wardrobe Reset 2018.

What I was writing about two years ago: Vision-building for your wardrobe.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w13 + Sunday links. Still wearing? Green patterned secondhand top, the Street One jacket, and Kristīne’s pale pink ruffle blouse.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w13. The same as this week? Kristīne’s pale pink ruffle blouse, my mom’s black dress, and the Hummel jacket.

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What have been your experiences with tailoring services? Do you have that one magical professional you’d entrust your rarest fashion treasures? Or have you suffered in hands of inexperienced tailors?

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

#whatiwore 2019w12 + Sunday links

Here, baby, eat, you look hungry:

1. There was a time when influencers were called socialites and they weren’t paid because that would have been vulgar: Lee Radziwill, the Original Influencer and Marella Agnelli, Society’s ‘Last Swan’ and a Passionate Gardener, Is Dead at 91.

2. While we’re on celebrities, I find it very cute when the NYT complains about Lady Gaga being to classy and boring: Lady Gaga’s Long Road to That Giant Diamond Necklace. On related red carpet news, At the Grammys, Sisters Dressing for Themselves (oh, I loved Cardi B’s pearl oyster costume!) and Who Are You Wearing and Where Did They Donate?

3. And here is a bunch of sexism in fashion news, just if you were missing a couple of reminders: (a) Has #MeToo changed what we wear to work? (b) The Mess of Modern Power Dressing; (c) Women Were Granted Just 4 Percent of Patents in the U.S. Over the Past Decade; (d) Women Finally Get Their Own World Cup Soccer Style.

4. “On Turnbull’s theory, cathedrals aren’t just building sites. They are laboratories. In methods such as this, the thinking and making are one and the same. Craft is design”: Craft as Design.

5. “Technology is essentially about creating utility and spreading it over billions of people. Fashion is about creating a moment, a trend, a romance and spreading it across a small amount of influential people”: Is Apple Saying Goodbye to Fashion?

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What I was writing about a year ago – #100wears: Trench.

What I was writing about two years ago: My minimalist well-being routine.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w12 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w12. Still the same: the red flea sweater and the gray cardigan.

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Are there any classical red carpet/showbiz outfits that have inspired you (maybe indirectly but still)? Rihanna’s nude look? JLo’s navel décolletage? Avrile Lavigne’s neckties? Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday? Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby?

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

#whatiwore 2019w11 + Sunday links

Here, the brain nom-noms are in:

1. No-plastic people reflecting (in Spanish): ¿Merece la pena [vivir sin plástico]? and – for those who still haven’t connected the dots and think that balloons are cute – ¿Lanzarías basura al cielo?

2. An example how local action brings meaning and results – “A world-changing experiment in London’s poorest borough shows how to break out of our disastrous spiral of alienation” – Mutually Assured Salvation.

3. Even you are against animal fibers in fashion (me? that’s another post…), you have to know why people have been using them for so long and still do: The Other Kind of Cashmere. And for a bit more practical tips on one type of animal-derived materials from people who go as far as to remind that “leather is just another type of skin […] and, like your own skin, it needs to be moisturized every so often” (that is bad taste imho): The Do’s and Dont’s of Breaking In a New Pair of Leather Boots.

4. I started following The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman very recently (it is paywalled after a few free articles per month but you can get around it with ‘private browsing’ that any decent browser will provide you with) and, while the actual reviews of catwalk shows do not touch me, there are a lot of pieces I read with interest and link here. And the whole logic of high fashion is one of most fascinating aspects of it: (a) Why We Cover High Fashion; (b) When a Fashion Statement Has Real Meaning; and, by The Fashion Law but still in line with my interest in the twisted world of high fashion, (c) What Can the Fashion Industry Learn from a Legal Squabble Over Video Games & Tattoos?

5. And that peculiar genre of fashion essay bringing together the history of battlefield medicine, childhood memories, and raincoats: On Nostalgia and Raincoats.

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What I was writing about a year ago: My sustainability fails.

What I was writing about two years ago – Baby Steps: Detoxing A Wardrobe Takes Time.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w11 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w11. Not that many items coincide (only the gray dress and the big scarf) but you can see what the No Pasarán t-shirt was like before it became an applique.

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Those white pants is a new thing for me… What are you looking forward to wear this spring? New cuts? New colors? New mix’n’matches? Or just baring some skin will be enough?

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

#whatiwore 2019w10 + Sunday links

A bowl of brain food for everybody! You are welcome.

1. The International Women’s Day was on March 8, so this is the time of the year for a public service announcement that fashion is an incredibly sexist industry, starting from the gender imbalance among famous designers and unattainable beauty standards down to all girls and women doing the dyeing, cutting, sewing, packing… while being paid painfully low wages and navigating a world of discrimination and exploitation. Exhibit (a) She for She – Why Fast Fashion is a Feminist Issue; (b) Does Your Feminist T-Shirt Empower The Women Who Made It? + more on the Spice Girls t-shirt scandal: How do you know if your clothes are being made ethically? (c) Why Fashion Matters for International Women’s Day; (d) Brands Need Different Priorities on International Women’s Day. The most robust strategy is to wear your old t-shirt again and again to show your solidarity for their work (mend it if need be, or make your own) instead of falling for the pinkwashing pop feminism sells!

2. If you want the politics of it, here: (a) Bangladesh Government set to throw away Accord achievements; (b) What a Modern Slavery Law Means for the Fashion Industry; (c) Fashion Revolution Statement on House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Report: Fixing Fashion. tl;dr is that efforts are concentrated in making the ‘my supply chain is so complex, I didn’t know’ defense impossible which is a very reasonable step.

3. To restate the obvious, here you have Louise from Miss Pandora reminding that being a feminist does not preclude dressing in a way typically perceived as feminine (in French and English): Le féminisme, la féminité et moi. I already talked about the subversive power of pink here – The Pink Post: Instrumental and subversive uses of the traditionally feminine.

(The only downside of that Louise’s post was learning that HnM released a William Morris collection last year; who was the idiot managing his estate that allowed this desecration of the legacy of a radical socialist reformer?)

4. Apparently a victory for the textile engineering geeks: Synthetic spider silk is finally appearing in products consumers can buy. No, better don’t tell me why a wristwatch band would be the place you’d apply ‘biosteel’… the article does offer more reasonable uses, though.

5. Just for fun and to open a thinking space about the relationship between the author and the public persona we all project: Literary Hoaxes and the Ethics of Authorship.

+ an extra for the Latvian-speakers (čau!) from yours truly: 8. marts bez tulpītēm un jociņiem par Marsu un Venēru.

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What I was writing about a year ago – Some things change: My bag now and 10 years ago.

What I was writing about two years ago: To All New Arrivals (Winter 2017), We Love You.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w10 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w10.

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What’s the utopian fashion innovation you’d welcome most? Self cleaning fibers? True no waste circular reuse? Self-lacing Back to the Future shoes for those difficult mornings?

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

#whatiwore 2019w09 + Sunday links

A note on the last outfit 1: Yes, the WAG top is still here, despite me almost discarding it before the February Swap. What happened was that I had already published that on Wednesday and Kristīne had already volunteered to adopt it when the inspiration struck. Yes, the little black dress (2008, HnM) is the perfect match for it. No fussing around the shoulder straps and the neckline of the dress while having all that skirt volume. And no need to redo the knot of the top or adjust the place where the skirt and top meets as it stays put atop of the dress. The LBD is probably living its last year as the ribbing of the top is starting to come apart, so we’ll see what the future brings… but so far these two are staying together for occasions when the floral corduroy bolero is a bit too much.

A note on the last outfit 2: This was the rare (first?) occasion when I took an outfit photo before actually wearing it. Typically I take my photos before leaving home or post factum. And, of course, weather decided not to cooperate! So my actual outer shell for Sunday ended up being my mom’s Ilse Jacobsen raincoat and wellies. It’s not a hand-me-down, I just borrowed it for a day. I have to admit that it brought me back to my thinking about getting a Stutterheim raincoat. But then I remembered that it rains rarely in Barcelona, so I don’t really need one… but I felt like a happy Pusheen while it lasted.

Nom-nom-nom, here comes your reading matter!

1. On racial representation in fashion: (a) Is Fashion All Blond? A Spoof Takes Aim + photos from the shoot that 1996 article refers to: Karl Lagerfeld’s Awesomely Weird “Scarlett ‘N The Hood” Photo Shoot; (b) Conspicuous by Their Presence + a more philosphical question about the use of bodies in fashion media – The big picture: models in Charles James gowns, New York, 1948.

2. And in other Lagerfeld-related news, well, he passed. So now you get to learn about him: (a) Karl Lagerfeld, 1933-2019; (b) Karl Lagerfeld, Designer Who Defined Luxury Fashion, Is Dead; (c) The Last Designer; (d) Resale Searches, Demand for Chanel Products is Up on the Heels of Lagerfeld’s Death; (e) remember him making sneakers legitimate haute couture? At Chanel, Look at the Shoes! (f) After Karl Lagerfeld, What’s Next for Chanel and Fendi? (g) Karl Lagerfeld’s Death Puts a Women Back at the Helm of Fashion’s Most Established, Respected House.

3. Another write-up about Patagonia… no wonder, their products, their ethics, and their workplace culture are truly droolworthy – Behind Patagonia: Clothes, for the Outdoors. A strong backbone and 0 bullshit policy seem to be more common among outdoors apparel manufacturers, take this as another example – L.L.Bean: America’s Maine Outdoor Clothing Manufacturer.

4. And a dusting of the KonMari media frenzy: (a) The Joy Of Sparking Joy: A Kondo Scale For Clothing Enthusiasts; (b) (in Spanish) while not overtly a KonMari adept (she’s selling her own method, so that would be a marketing no-no), Alicia spills the beans on the changing ‘spark joy’ click-point, suggesting that 5 rounds (in 2 years or so) of repeated full-on tidying is around right to settle for a ‘never again’ state of tidy: Cuánto se tarda en ordenar una casa; (c) What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’ – tl;dr: its animistic base that all things have a soul/spirit.

5. And, just for lavishly beautiful pictures of a completely unsustainable lifestyle, Louise from Miss Pandora took the Le Venise-Simplon-Orient-Express. Oh, my!

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What I was writing about a year ago – The reading matter: part 2 – Save and sustain.

What I was writing about two years ago: Is There a Winter in Barcelona? A Winter 2017 recap.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w09 + Sunday links. Heh, most of the usual winter suspects are still active…

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w9. First days of March in 2017 were clearly warmer than in 2018. And some of those garments are gone: the wrap skirt, the minion t-shirt, Julie’s linen dress, and my red denim jacket.

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What has the weather done for you lately? Any fashion despairs or wins? Is the spring there yet?

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