#whatiwore 2018w13 + Sunday links

A random update: The spring is here, the spring is here! Finally. The weather switch came suddenly and a month later than last year. April and May are the sweetest months to dress for in Barcelona – I crave shedding the extra layers, the temperatures and the humidity are still pleasant, and the outfit formula is short sleeves + a light layer + bare legs. Yes!

So let’s feed the little gray cells meanwhile:

I find the whole stylist/closet app so confusing! Turns out there are people who appreciate that algorithms suggest them combining their skinnies with a t-shirt… I really should talk to somebody who enjoys this kind of service! Until then: Digital Closet Startups Want to Give You the Cher Horowitz Experience.

The notion of modest fashion is making rounds. There was already a NY Times read in December, and it popped up again this week on The Fashion Law: “Muslim Futurists” are Waiting to be Recognized, Embraced by Fashion. While obviously not buying anything on the site they were mentioning, I peaked of what their modest luxury selection looked like. Extremely expensive pretty dresses without too much cleavage or mini. That’s it, folks!

Back to basics: despite all the tempting sustainable fashion brands out there, the best thing that you can do for the sustainability in fashion is to wear the hell out of what you already have. Boom! The fast fashion stuff you already have is waaaay better for the climate than the ethical and sustainable fashion you don’t own yet. Why We Should Wear Clothes Until They’re Worn Out.

And for eudaimonia:

I’m switching to trains instead of planes whenever possible. For my next two trips I’ll be trying this strategy out on routes Barcelona-London-Barcelona and Barcelona-Brussels-London-Barcelona. Here are part of my reasons: (a) Cut your CO2 emissions by taking the train, by up to 90%, (b) Watch Out, Airlines. High Speed Rail Now Rivals Flying on Key Routes, (c) 27 reasons trains are better than planes. Also, I think I will enjoy it much more!

My sociologist self loves unintended consequences! Here you have one: “Concerted Cultivation” and the March For Our Lives.

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What are you most looking forward this spring? What sustainability adventures are waiting for you?

#whatiwore 2018w12 + Sunday links

A random update: I have a beige-minimalist-weird-shape capsule wardrobe fatigue! I know, I know that to each her own but the hegemony of this one aesthetic is overwhelming and depressing. And gives a false image of what a minimalist-in-numbers wardrobe can and cannot be. Here you have a great example of a capsule I’ll never wear from Fête/Life magazine:



Fashion-related brain food for the little gray cells:

Initiatives aimed at giving full information about supply chains involved in their garments: (1) The IOU Project that will show you both weavers and dress-makers of each item they sell, and (2) Where Your Clothing that will show even which cotton farmers the raw material came from.

One of those usual *maybe* hopeful sustainability news: ‘[In US] After rising for 100 years, electricity demand is flat. Utilities are freaking out.‘ My cranky side would just frown at this due to the fact that the consumption should be actually falling because (a) so much electricity-intensive uses have been shipped away to other countries and (b) all appliances gain efficiency with each new model. So who is using all this electricity anyway?

An artsy attempt at an atemporal capsule (somehow looks much better than most sleek-and-beige capsules mentioned above) Standard Issue by Dosa.

Brain food for eudaimonia:

A practice to try – writing therapy! Two different approaches to choose from or to blend according to your needs, Dr. James Pennebaker’s Expressive writing and Julia Cameron’s Morning pages.

For quite some years I’ve summarized a part of my youth with the Geroge W. Bush quote “When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible” (1, 2). Last week on Stephen Colbert I discovered that I could also quote Bukowski to convey the same sentiment: “Oh, I was once young, Oh, I was once unbelievably young!”

#whatiwore 2018w11 + Sunday links

A random update: A person who knows me very little but enough to be aware that we share certain sustainability concerns, asked if I had a lot of clothing as I’m always organizing something clothing related. The logic seemed to be that as I seemed to care a lot about a topic, I necessarily would own a lot of that, ehm, topic… Twisted logic, because it goes the other way: I have so little and approach the incomings with such suspicion that creating spaces that allow to choose carefully and to maintain the already owned is what I truly need. If other people benefit from it, good for them! Yes, you might have guessed, I’m trying to branch out into garment fixing events too…

But until then…

Fashion-related brain food for a rainy spring day:

While I’m mostly pissed off about sponsored content, here you have the other side – Alden Wicker on why content promoting brands should be sponsored and not gifted away by the bloggers. I find all the embedded marketing and sponsored content stuff extremely dodgy and weird, but it’s nice to see people being open about money.

As I am preparing to wander in the fixing and mending, here’s some basic inspiration: The Aesthetics of Mending and kintsugi. Also, this Spark Joy podcast episode featuring Lanecia Rouse Tinsley and her take on wabi sabi.

Behind the very encouraging title of ‘Americans have stopped trying to stuff more clothes into their closets’ the news is that *maybe* the consumption patterns are shifting slightly in the US and that the latest wave of fast fashion since the late 2000s hasn’t been such a change in comparison with the previous decade.

Brain food for eudaimonia:

Thomson, Judith Jarvis. 1976. ‘A defense of abortion.’ In Biomedical Ethics and the Law, pp. 39-54.

Deresiewicz, William. 2007. ‘Love on Campus‘: “Love is a flame, and the good teacher raises in students a burning desire for his or her approval and attention, his or her voice and presence, that is erotic in its urgency and intensity. The professor ignites these feelings just by standing in front of a classroom talking about Shakespeare or anthropology or physics, but the fruits of the mind are that sweet, and intellect has the power to call forth new forces in the soul. Students will sometimes mistake this earthquake for sexual attraction, and the foolish or inexperienced or cynical instructor will exploit that confusion for his or her own gratification. But most professors understand that the art of teaching consists not only of arousing desire but of redirecting it toward its proper object, from the teacher to the thing taught.”

The New Yorker 2016 profile on Martha NussbaumThe Philosopher of Feelings‘ spun me off to her The New Republic pieces and the feminist battles depicted in her ‘The Professor of Parody: The Hip Defeatism of Judith Butler’ (pdf).

#whatiwore 2018w10 + Sunday links

A random update: I saw this job ad in my neighborhood in Rīga this January – ‘seamstresses and pressers needed’. My fantasy is that this is one of those ‘designed in [some cool country], made in EU‘ things. I know, I know it’s much better when businesses outsource to the EU periphery instead of Bangladesh, but it still feels weird when my country is the much-cheaper-and-we-can-still-say-it’s-made-in-EU country. On the other hand, it could be a workshop for an up-and-coming Latvian textile endeavor, who knows…

And brain food to keep the little gray cells round and happy:

Outfit repeating is *in* on the red carpet! And seems that all it took was a couple of persons being unapologetic about the ‘you’ve worn it already’ taboo: Once a Faux Pas, Outfit Repeating Was the Talk of Oscars Fashion and Kate Middleton Isn’t the Only One Repeating Outfits: Vogue Editors on How to Wear a Look Again . . . And Again. Oh, we are such ridiculous animals!

If you need a reminder that community is at least as important as all the constructive steps e can do on our own, here’s George for you: Commonhealth.

The Spark Joy podcast ladies dedicated one to all the derision and myths around KonMari. As I realized after reading all three books, only the third – Spark Joy – actually describes all the way how to stretch Kondo’s system to fit each person. And it is amusing to read passionate criticism from those that clearly (1) have read only the Life Changing Magic if any, (2) have taken it in with the ‘my way or the high way’ tone that that book has, and (3) might have had other expectations for it. This is how you get people who apply it partly but then title their review Why I Absolutely Refuse to KonMari My Life or people who accuse Kondo of not being minimalist or sustainability-focused (something she has never claimed) while suggesting applying her method ruthlessly but with a slightly different overarching question. Relax, it’s a tool not a cult – you can infuse it with your own meaning and take what you need!

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Are you transitioning to spring these days? What are layers you are most eager to shed? (For me the return to canvas sneakers felt especially pleasant this year!) And what are you looking forward to wear?

#whatiwore 2018w09 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w08 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w07 + Sunday links

Here, feed the little gray cells:

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w06 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w05 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w04 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

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