#whatiwore 2019w08 + Sunday links

Here, your grey cells will (burp and) thank you afterwards:

1. If you like being retold the obvious (but maybe catching a nice upcycling idea meanwhile): What’s Behind the Rise of Upcycled Garments?

2. Meanwhile, in racialized cosmetics news: Rwanda is the Third African Nation to Take a Stand on Skin-Lightening Products.

3. It’s always so cute when people write about stuff they are bewitched by, in this case, tailoring and leather: Making Bespoke Leather Jackets.

4. George Monbiot on toxic masculinity causing, apart from other stuff you had already thought about, higher mortality, mental health issues, and barriers for mitigating climate change: Testeria.

5. Alden Wicker observing (and excusing) our – as a society – lost ability to take care of our clothing: The spare button represents all the ways we fail to be good consumers and Put This On illustrating the usual procrastination around mending – Style & Fashion Drawings: Emergency Denim Repair. And the rather more uplifting (because those people dress dapper and buy investment pieces) reaction from Die, Workwear! – How We Lost Our Ability to Mend – that sends you back to your sewing kit.

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What I was writing about a year ago – #100wears: Arcopedico wedge ballerinas.

What I was writing about two years ago: Why We Swap and How.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w08 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w8.

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Where are you on the mender-procrastinator gradient? Do you mend, do you collect it all and then never fix it, or have you lost all hope and assume that torn pieces are just done for you?

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

#whatiwore 2019w07 + Sunday links

Here, fill the little mind attic:

1. Uniforms are a good idea for many people – and so many of you already have it down to a pair of dark skinnies and a t-shirt – so maybe embrace it (no, it’s not for men only): Five Reasons To Wear The Same Thing Every Day and An interview with a guy who wears the same thing every day. I tried a dresses-only period and clearly crave more diversity, you can read more about it here and here.

2. I never thought I’d dedicate a whole mini-section to Rihanna, but after seeing a completely honestly asked ‘Is Rihanna the Coco Chanel of the 21st century?‘ in the NYT, well, let’s go: (a) A Splashy Entrance by Rihanna Puts Chinese Designers in the Spotlight; (b) Kim K., J-Lo, Beyoncé [and Rihanna] Undress for Success With the Naked Look; (c) A Lawsuit Between Puma and Forever 21 Poses an Interesting Question About Celebrity “Creative Directors”; (d) Rihanna Files $75 Million Lawsuit Against Her Dad Over His “Egregious” Use of Their Last Name; (e) UPDATED: LVMH and Rihanna in “Secret Talks” to Launch Luxury Label.

3. As if fast fashion wasn’t sinister enough on its own, here, get some debt on to of it: Buying a new purse? This startup wants to help you pay for it — but could also get you into debt.

4. An n-th reminder on Living More Sustainably: Clothing. The usual key points include buying less, buying better, buying used, fixing when needed, and – this one you don’t see that much, but you should – shopping in brick-and-mortar, so that you would be sure about the fit and not sending packages back and forth. As in: No online shopping company can figure out how to quit this one plastic bag and Your online shopping has a startling hidden cost.

5. One of those weird fashion stories of ‘how can it be that (once) a key industry in Scotland depends on Himalayan goats?’: It’s more than just money, it’s cashmere and The Last Of Good Scottish Cashmere: William Lockie.

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What I was writing about a year ago: A year of blogging and adjusting expectations.

What I was writing about two years ago: My Wardrobe, Part 2: How I Build and Track My Seasonal Capsules.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w07 + Sunday links.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w7.

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Have you tried the uniform-dressing? Or maybe you have a hidden uniform – what Anuschka Rees calls ‘outfit formulas’ – not the same items necessarily but several similar mix’n’match pieces (for example, (a couple of) dark skinnies, (several) low-hem tops, a pair of oxfords or a pair of chukkas + aleather jacket)? Putting it differently, if you would have to chose a uniform for next 3 months, what would that be? Or does the very thought of a uniform give you goosebumps?

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

#whatiwore 2019w06 + Sunday links

Also, the Saturday swap outfit and the stuff that makes swap happen:

And the brain nom-noms are served, bon appétit!

1. On time and fashion (and, surprise, how fast fashion has ruined it all): How Tempo is Changing Fashion + an example of someone from very high shelves going against that crazy whirlwind: Meet Your Favorite Fashion Designer’s Favorite Vintage Dealer + an ode to wearing the same things for a long time (the best form of resistance!): The Joy Of Old Clothes.

2. If you want some objective reasons for feeling sorry for yourself (and a whole generation): How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation.

3. (American) politics and fashion: (a) George H.W. Bush, the Original Sock Diplomat, (b) Nancy Pelosi’s Coat Catches Fire, (c) Why Covering Nancy Pelosi’s Hot Pink Dress Isn’t Sexist, (d) Finally Revealed! Trump’s Reasoning Behind His Extra Long Ties, and (e) The Lessons of the Women in White at the State of the Union Address.

4. If you have been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and swooning over the 1950s recreation (those dresses! those coats! the outrageous headpieces!), among other things, this: New York’s Lost Department Stores.

5. But if winter still has you craving everything warm and fluffy, here, have some fleece history: The Mill That Invented Synthetic Fleece and Caught By The Fuzz: A Brief History Of Fleece.

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What I was writing about a year ago: February 2018 (5th!) Clothes’ Swap Recap.

What I was writing about two years ago – My Wardrobe, Part 1: What Do I Have and How Did I Get Here.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w06 + Sunday links. The hair was long but the clothing was pretty much the same…

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w6. Oh, the very beginnings! Those first outfit photos have more visual interest than these, I think, (within the same set of limits) I was experimenting more back then.

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What are your outfit photo preferences? Breathtaking or mundane? I know very well the appeal of beautiful editorials… An example from my feeds would be Rebecca at A Clothes Horse! Or Louise at Miss Pandora. But I have no plans of going anywhere from my bedroom wall. This is a statistical and historic exercise, not an aesthetic one necessarily. Fun fact: the simpler the photo the harder to hide any imperfections in fit.

#whatiwore 2019w05 + Sunday links

I haven’t done a proper close-up session yet, but the golden sparkly snitch-like thing I’m wearing is a gift from Giulia. Her obviously very talented and nimble-fingered cousin makes those and calls the endeavor Little Bit Bijoux. I have the one with golden leaves, and it’s gorgeous.

Feed the brain and start a fire!

1. A little something for the wool fetishists among us, a whole bed: Dreams of Sheep at Shepherd’s Dream. And more pastoral ideals and scenery: Fully Engaged Farming at Sophie’s Icelandic Sheep.

2. OK, I’m a bit beyond the moment the ugly (but expected) truth about #twinning and the 10-year-challenge became very clear… If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it, hah! And always, always remember that uploading a photo to any platform means gifting them all rights to it, unless otherwise specified: Did You Read PopSugar’s Terms Before Submitting Your Selfie?

3. On how sometimes we prefer discomfort because we interpret it as ‘the thing is working’ aka ‘it should feel this way when I’m doing it right’: On Comfort. This is about a toothpaste mostly (and then about suits), but I can think of many pieces of feminine-wear that tells you that the right pain is what you are looking for… Don’t get me started on high heels and waist training!

4. A little thing that apparently is not unique to me: asking for *everything* once you start exploring tailor-made options… The author suggests embracing it: Get it out of your system.

5. The big thing in sustainable fashion activism during January was Bangladesh. First, Bangladesh ordered Accord to leave: As international factory safety group ordered to leave Bangladesh, garment workers fear return to deadly work conditions. And then workers took to the streets: Bangladesh garment manufacturers raise workers’ pay amid violent clashes with police and These Women Make Your Zara Jeans. Now, They’re Demanding to Be Paid Fairly.

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This section is expanding because now Un Armario Verde is two years old and we can, accordingly, go two years back in posts, so:

What I was writing about a year ago – The reading matter: Part 1 – Art and inspo.

What I was writing about two years ago – The Minimalist Wardrobe Masterpost: What Do People Do and Why?

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w05 + Sunday links. My winter silhouettes haven’t really changed, but I’m skipping the red stockings this winter.

What I was wearing two years ago: #whatiwore 2017w5. Well, the trench and the Hummel atleisure jacket are still here…

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Have your style and wardrobe contents changed a lot in the last two years? Is there a high turnover rate in your wardrobe? What are the garments or styles you have been wearing for a long time now?

#whatiwore 2019w04 + Sunday links

Yeah, I fixed a hand-me-down dress and then wore it all week… But of course! For me that always has been a sign of a beautiful new friendship: wanting to spend together all the time possible.

But meanwhile, here, feed the little gray cells:

1. By now you should know if your winter boots are performing up to your expectations. Want to know what makes a great boot? Here, take a detailed analysis from people who know what they are talking about (and are ready to use a saw to make convincing visuals): We Cut 5 Great Boots in Half to See What Makes a Quality Pair.

2. OK, so you grown blasé to the fact that very poorly paid people, including children made your fast fashion garments… How about slave labor, does that move you a bit? Did a slave make your sneakers? The answer is: Probably. Or prison labor? Prisoners in a Chinese Internment Camp Made Clothes for a Major U.S. Apparel Supplier.

3. I just love those love letter posts dedicated to ‘the one right thing’ my favorite menswear blogs produce so often. Here you have yet another story of a great company that once was world-famous in one particular product – The History Behind Stetson: The Quintessential Cowboy Hat. And if you want an even more subtler specialty product, here, have this one: Those Lovely Neapolitan Trousers. In my ideal world we would tell such stories about each detail, each garment and each brand we wear..

4. On the other hand, the stupid marketing missteps in fashion are just mind-blowing. I keep thinking about the fact that all these campaigns and products pass through at least a couple of meetings with at least a couple of supposedly professional people approving this shit… Fashion’s Year in Cultural Don’ts.

5. One of those little promising news: The Denim Industry Inches Toward a Circular Economy as Mills Adopt Recycled Fibers. No word about the fact how they are planning to take apart some of those mixed-fiber fabrics to use again after this cycle… But that’s the next step, I guess.

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What I was writing about a year ago: right in time for the upcoming February swap, Wardrobe pruning for minimalists: KonMari stairway to heaven.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2018w04 + Sunday links. Ha! Even with the same new dress and new leggings, I’m still repeating the trench, the cape, the red flea sweater, the Muroexe boots and the previous incarnation of the little red beanie.

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How do you start relationships with new (to you) garments? Wearing all the time? Saving for special occasions? Dry cleaning or washing the moment they cross your doorstep? Do you have any rituals, especially for pre-loved garments to clear out the previous wearer and fill it with you? I normally don’t do anything, assuming that the best way to replace odors and spirits is to impose a new one – mine. However, with this dress is was a bit special as it still smelled of my mom as I was refashioning and wearing it for the first times. That brought me right back to my childhood when I used to smell her sweaters if I was missing her while she was traveling.

#whatiwore 2019w03 + Sunday links

Braaain-braaain-braaain, feed the braaain…

1. Just a beautiful story of crafty people making beautiful things + the magic that wool is: A Family History in Hats.

2. So, with the new KonMari-mania going around thanks to Netflix (this is a reasonable review + get the basis of Kondo’s method explained in a 15-point clickbait list here)… Some organizing basics from Spanish professional organizers + a very ironic list of ‘buy this stuff to make sure you get rid of stuff’: (in Spanish) Cinco claves para ordenar tu casa de una vez por todas.

3. And a BuzzFeed sermon on being organized as the socially responsible thing to do: Being Organized Is A Gift I Give Myself And Other People. While I’m typically better at giving sermons than appreciating them, this: “Being flaky isn’t cute; it’s disrespectful. This isn’t the intention, of course. (And, in fact, most of the disorganized people I know are actually trying to make too many people happy.) But the reality is that being close to someone who is consistently all over the place requires a tremendous amount of emotional labor”.

4. I don’t know who threw the bomb, but people in many places, including the f*ing Wall Street Journal, have suddenly – and simultaneously – grasped the problematic choice between real and faux fur. Gosh, get a second-hand anything and let it go… Examples: (a) Real Fur vs. Fake Fur: The Latest Dilemma for Socially Conscious Consumers; (b) Fashion or Faux Pas: The Conversation About Fur Became Far More Nuanced in 2018; (c) Real Fur is Bad for Animals. Fake Fur is Bad for the Earth. What the Hell Do We Do Now?

5. For pure pleasure, City Hermit: The Style Of Allen Ginsberg. And to throw in some contrast from the squares ‘who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse and the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion‘, an ode to the same flannel: Better than Wool Flannel Trousers.

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Bik Bok parka.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2018w03 + Sunday links.

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I’m still trying to figure out if I want to say anything new about the ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo‘ whirlpool, aside from the fact that everybody thinks it’s hilarious to forward me all possible coverage of it… Anyways, have you seen it? Has it inspired you to empty your wardrobe and see how big your mountain is? Or are you the one sharing the jokes? The best one I’ve seen so far (in Spanish) was about Marie Kondo suggesting people keep only three relatives. Captures the spirit of her method quite precisely, imho, especially after the Holiday season.

#whatiwore 2019w02 + Sunday links

It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within – not without.” But first you have to feed those little gray cells:

1. Some basic tricks our minds (and retailers) play against us: 10 Situations When We Lose Our Common Sense and Buy Useless Stuff.

2. Mending has some serious benefits – Mending as a philosophy of life: 9 reasons for why it’s worth it. My favorite being ‘Mending is prefect for practicing imperfection’. The whole blog is a cute gem full of thoughtfulness and sustainable ideas, unfortunately inactive since September 2018, offering posts titled What makes a garment repair-worthy? and Mending knits: 3 favourite darns.

3. The internet classic on second shifts and all mental work that goes into maintaining a household, typically done by women: You should’ve asked by Emma Clit.

4. In 2018 I started to follow – and learned a lot – from several menswear blogs: Heddels (especially remarkable for their Fade of the Day section showcasing worn out garments), Put This On, and Die, Workwear! Maybe I just haven’t found the right women’s fashion blogs for this time in my life but I’m really enjoying the historical and aesthetic obsessions of these people. And then I found this: ‘Every once in a while, I’ll hear a woman say how she wishes a piece of menswear could be made for the female form, or how she’s excited to see one of her favorite designers take inspiration from the men’s aisle. Which is funny because, just as often, I find myself inspired by what women today are wearing. As society has wrestled with the concept of gender over the last hundred years, fashion has followed. And while there’s been a bit push and pull – from the strictly gender delineated world of gray flannel suits and A-frame skirts, to the space-age unisex uniforms of the late 1960s – we’re now at a point where gender takes on a much more complex and nuanced meaning in terms of how clothing is worn’.

5. For a contrast with menswear (or, depending how you look at it, to combine with their beloved knit ties), here you have a lady who did the impossible – made the crochet look glamorous: Greta Plattry. Here you have a couple of write-ups about her and photos of her designs from the glorious 1950s – 1, 2, 3 (the third link gives you also the original prices and the conversion in today’s dollars; gives you a thought about casual swimwear as investment pieces and the radical change clothing prices have undergone in last 50+ years).

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What I was writing about a year ago: The capsule is dead, long live the spreadsheet!

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2018w02 + Sunday links (the 100th post!).

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Do you have menswear inspirations? Or blogs you read for a once-removed value? For example, for me the menswear blogs are teaching to pay attention to detail that somehow are easier to gloss over in women’s fashion. Anyways, all new reading suggestions will be appreciated.

#whatiwore 2019w01 + Sunday links

The year might be new, but the brain has to be fed:

1. I am still a sucker for a good fashion anecdote, obviously, especially if it’s about somebody’s whim becoming an unexpected hit: Bernstein’s Folly. Or protest fashion that then loses its meaning – Wretched Excess: The Rebellion of the Wide-Leg Pant. Or just completely weird ideas, like having designated drinking jackets as to not to ruin the good suits – Ivy Workwear Style Via Princeton University’s Beer Jackets.

2. A short look at the gilets jaunes from a purely fashion point of view: The Power of the Yellow Vest.

3. If the Holiday season has tired your liver, kidneys, and/or brain and you have been entertaining the idea to never ever consume something again, turns out that Vice (!) has a whole straight edge section (!) dedicated to ‘the drugs are bad, mkay’: (a) Smoking Weed Can Be a Lot of Fun, But Let’s Not Pretend it Doesn’t Fuck You Up; (b) When Partying Becomes a Problem: How I Managed to Quit Drink and Drugs; (c) How Giving Up Drink and Drugs in Your Twenties Can Change Your Life; (d) This Is Why Gen Z Isn’t Into Drink or Drugs; (e) Quitting Alcohol Doesn’t Have to Be the End of Your Social Life. The funniest and scariest cultural changes in substance abuse I found there were the pressures stemming from the footprints such behavior leaves on one’s social media: it all will be photographed if not filmed, will project a ‘bad’ image, your prospective employers will be able to see it, your puffy face will look uglier in the selfies… and, in this competitive economy where serious people start to prepare for their career in the kindergarten, ain’t nobody got time for that anyways.

4. I don’t own anything Elizabeth Suzanne, their aesthetics are mostly not really my style, and I know that their way of working implies a price point inaccessible to most, but I just can’t help but love the way they do business: 2018: A Reflection and Recap and 2018 Holiday FAQs.

5. Those who have made a new year’s resolution to travel more, don’t. It’s a dirty business. Literally. (In Spanish) Cada turista contamina al día en Barcelona el equivalente a conducir 410 kilómetros. Go to a library and read  a book instead!

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What I was writing about a year ago: How expensive is an ethical wardrobe? 2017 second half money talk.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2018w01 + Sunday links.

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So, what are your new year’s resolutions? Teetotalism or getting a beer jacket? More travel or more books? Doing more or contaminating less?

#whatiwore 2018w52 + Sunday links

Om-nom-nom, here we go with a nice hefty portion of brain food to finish off 2018:

1. People either ignore them on hate them these days, but once they were all the rage – Artificial Intelligence: A Guide To Synthetic Fibers.

2. And if you are going to proclaim yourself as a natural fiber person, The Types of Cottons You Should Know.

3. Ha! The consistent theft and forgery of design can be a good thing for fostering in-house production and integrated supply chains at least at the highest shelves of fashion industry: Fashion’s Notoriously Controlling Luxury Brands Are Busy Bringing Everything They Can In-House.

4. And more garment history so that you would have an idea about the history behind an now-ubiquitous design: The Boot That Became “The Chelsea”.

5. It has been 120 years since Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class and 40 since Bourdieu’s Distinction, and still our fashion choices tell our politics and social class by a mile away: Cambridge Analytica Used Fashion Tastes to Identify Right-Wing Voters and Cambridge Analytica Used Consumers’ Fashion Preferences to Target Them with Pro-Trump Messaging.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Fashion, sustainability and tidying books I read in 2017.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w52.

Also, this is the 200th blog post at Un Armario Verde en 100th #whatiwore post. You can scroll through all those posts here (if you want the weird Mediterranean seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn) or see them all at a glance on Pinterest here. All together it looks rather spectacular, and the data lover in me squeals alright about such abundance of consistent data.

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What do you think your fashion choices tell about you? Could you be politically targeted due to your looks or would that be a total miss? Do you camouflage or express your true self via clothing, ehm, wearing your heart on your actual sleeves?

#whatiwore 2018w51 + Sunday links

Nom-nom-nom…

1. If you wanted a reminder why fast fashion is not a good idea neither as a gift nor as a last minute sequin dress provider: (a) Global garment workers exploited as big brands pressure suppliers: Report; (b) 5 Years After Pay Pledge, HnM Still Isn’t Paying Laborers a “Living Wage”; (c) Bangladesh to eject safety inspectors brought in after Rana Plaza disaster. Stay away from those people! + also, The Biggest Fake News in Fashion, aka ‘fashion as we know it is bad for the environment and pollutes a lot, but we cannot really say that it is the second most polluting industry’.

2. And if you wanted a suggestion list for your 2018 resolutions: Ten simple ways to act on climate change. Yes, you already know these by heart but have you actually tried to apply these to your life? All 10? Half? Just 3? Let me remind you that the 4 most effective on the individual level are: having less children, going car free, flying less, and switching to plant-based diet.

3. A long(ish) read on the sudden appearance (in the common social consciousness) of one of the trendiest sustainability issues: The plastic backlash: what’s behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference?

4. And just for historical fashion fun – The Pilgrims: The Original Sadd Boys [for whom black was too daring of a color].

5. An occasional uplifting piece of new that is supposed to make us feel hopeful about fashion: The UK workers’ co-op filling in fast fashion’s gaps and here you can buy from that co-op: Community Clothing.

And as a community service: In Mapping, Size Matters + more about Gall–Peters projection. Because you are old enough to know that maps are political and that Africa is bigger than Greenland or Europe. You are welcome!

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What I was writing about a year ago: 7 dresses x 3 months: Lessons learnt.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w51.

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Have you already prepared your 2019 resolutions/goals? Are you giving up something? Are you starting something new? Did your 2018 sustainability resolutions work out?

#whatiwore 2018w50 + Sunday links

Hello there, we specialize in the best brain food around here:

1. Knowing my tireless advocacy work for laundering less – proof 1, proof 2 – I recommend this cute BuzzFeed survey of figuring out how much of a cleanliness freak are you in comparison with (let’s not talk about the survey design or its representativity) the average American millennial: Ok, This Poll Is The Place To Confess How Often You Actually Wash These Things. Obviously, I don’t mean to say that the average person is right, just to point out that there is a lot of heterogeneity in habits that still allows survival and that critical judgement has to be applied.

2. Feminist analysis from when subtle, symbolic sexism in politics was a worry – The Princess Effect: How women’s magazines demean powerful women—even when they’re trying to celebrate them. Oh, 2014, I miss you!

3. I keep coming across excerpts from Alison Matthews David’s Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present and it looks delicious. Take a look: 7 Ways Victorian Fashion Could Kill You. Into 2018 reading list it goes!

4. And continuing on the topic on trusting your own judgement: the glory of a minimalist purge (of quite an extreme case, I’d dare to say) in I Surrendered My Wardrobe and the equally true story how a tiny wardrobe might be only a temporary therapy instead of a permanent solution for your true self in The Anxiety of the Minimalist Closet. Relax and do you at your own pace, if you are suffering from millennial shit anxieties you probably still have at least 50 healthy years to live, you have time to explore all kinds of dressing. I, of course, recommend a step-wise reduction and greening of your wardrobe…

5. And a party pooper which might or might not renew your sustainability pledges for the next year: Does Climate Change Mean You Should Fly Less? Yeah, Maybe. For me the balance between individual and collective action is the hardest part of the whole sustainability thing. I’m still figuring it out (17 flights in 2016, 23 in 2017, 8 in 2018 but 2019 already looks like a fly-a-lot year…) but starting to think is.. well, a beginning.

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Hummel Madelaine Zip Jacket.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w50 + Sunday links.

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How do you deal with the ‘personal responsibility’ vs. ‘only massive social/political action can achieve the CO2 cut we need’? Is your propulsion towards radical lifestyle changes, community organizing, or just existential dread under the blanket? What to you do when the existential dread and helplessness comes?

#whatiwore 2018w49 + Sunday links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w48 + Sunday links

Because your gray cells deserve a feast:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#whatiwore 2018w47 + Sunday links

Feed the little gray cells:

1. OK, the retail might be working very hard to reinvent itself, but this is just weird: “Going to a store […] should feel like going to a hotel or resort, where you are taking away a memory because you are touched by an emotion you want to revisit […] As a retailer, this means “you are not serving a person who needs an item,” […] You are serving a person who needs an experience”: Libraries, Gardens, Museums. Oh, and a Clothing Store.

2. When the way how we use our body parts change, also this happens: Surgery students ‘losing dexterity to stitch patients’. Apparently stitcher robots are not really here yet…

3. And the other reason to praise – or at least explain the surge of – the hands-on crafts is their mental health benefits (in Spanish): Las manualidades son el nuevo yoga para la paz mental: Lettering.

4. George Monbiot got on the quit meat bandwagon only after imagining animal-less meat. Here’s another sprinkle of his futuristic excitement, in this case about synthesizing all food: “a group of Finnish researchers has been producing food without either animals or plants. Their only ingredients are hydrogen-oxidising bacteria, electricity from solar panels, a small amount of water, carbon dioxide drawn from the air, nitrogen and trace quantities of minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and zinc. The food they have produced is 50 to 60% protein, the rest is carbohydrate and fat. […] They use electricity from solar panels to electrolyse water, producing hydrogen, that feeds bacteria (which turn it back into water). Unlike other forms of microbial protein (such as Quorn), it requires no carbohydrate feedstock – in other words, no plants.”

5. Lessons from the plastic-free people (in Spanish): Tres años viviendo sin plástico and – with focus on our unwillingness to trouble others – Sin plástico y sin vergüenza.

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What I was writing about a year ago: How to Survive *Winter* in Barcelona.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w47 + Sunday links.

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What are the sustainability practices that make you feel like a burden? Asking to weight your own containers at the bulk bins? Telling that you don’t eat this, this, this, and that at a social gathering? Asking where and under what conditions was this made? Having to lie about what you did with people’s last year’s presents?

#whatiwore 2018w46 + Sunday links

The best brain food for the best people:

1. Mid-term elections in US, Melania Trump’s fashion choices, Michelle Obama’s book tour, and the season 6 of House of Cards have brought a series of NYT articles (♥ Vanessa Friedman) on the meaning of dress while in office: (a) Melania Trump: Out of Africa, Still in Costume, (b) The First Female President Will Not Carry a Handbag, (c) Dressing Michelle Obama, Then and Now, and (d) The Congressional Uniform Is About to Change.

2. And these two weird-for-me articles (trigger warnings for restrictive beauty standards and class bias) speak to the same interaction between appearance and how people treat one in line with their reading of our appearances: Why do attractive people dress well? I interviewed a random stranger to find out and How to become an International Woman of Mystery.

3. Can you beat Bill Gates’ score on this climate change quiz? And after that, Climate change and the 75% problem. Major takeaway points: cut meat and dairy, reduce your consumption of new things, rethink all those internet purchases, think about making your dwelling more energy efficient…

4. The McKinsey report about how ‘nearshoring’ – still outsourcing to cheaper places but doing it closer so that the production would shorten even more the sketch-to-shelf cycle – is the new business-smart thing to do fashion popped up in my feeds again (this was the first time): In an age of super-fast fashion, Mexico and Turkey may be the new China. Ugh, when relatively good things happen for the wrong reasons…

5. This: Please Stop Clearing Out Your Wardrobe In The Name Of Sustainability. Again and again, every conversation about sustainability has to begin with the fact that the most sustainable thing to do is to wear out things you already have, even if they came from fast fashion brands that you now loathe. Paradoxically enough, wearing your fast fashion stuff a lot is a way of sticking it to them! My advice on this, here – Baby Steps: Detoxing A Wardrobe Takes Time.

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What I was writing about a year ago: The Pink Post: Instrumental and subversive uses of the traditionally feminine.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w46 + Sunday links.

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Have you had to curb your impulse to throw away anything that said H’n’M or Zara on it after your first exposure to problems with fast fashion? What did you do? Do you happily pick up fast fashion items at swaps or second hand shops or do you shun them? Do you ever think about this paradox of you wearing and hence representing a brand you do not agree with at all while doing the most sustainable thing possible in giving the most possible wears to their garments?

#whatiwore 2018w45 + Sunday links

Brain food, brain food, what a good idea:

1. Urbanism and fashion industry, oh, yes: Is NYC’s garment district unraveling? and How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town. And, in similar vein, some innovation in how to get their fashion to people (still moving parcels around but at least not with new garments): WeWork Is Getting Into Workplace Fashion With Rent the Runway.

2. Today is the Best Time in Fashion: “Fashion has become closer to modern art. Whereas both forms were once ruled by strict classical ideas, the space is now free with untrammeled creativity and multidirectional experimentation, where people can both celebrate beauty as well as ideas that challenge traditional notions of beauty.”

3. When politics and ethical/sustainable fashion might or might not come together: Made in USA and the Rise of Nationalism.

4. What the ultrarich do if they have similar long term vision of future as I do: How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse.

5. Structural disadvantages in the industry: The Most Diverse Fashion Season Ever on the Runway, but Not the Front Row and What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion.

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What I was writing about a year ago – #100wears: Ginta’s gray cardigan.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w45 + Sunday links.

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The weather is confusing, there is a lot of work (at work, ha), the blog is a bit backlogged, and my links are very USA-centric. Yes. How are you do doing?

#whatiwore 2018w44 + Sunday links

Ho-ho-ho, brain food for everybody!

1. I am so not gen-Z, I have no intuitive understanding of the streetwear aesthetics. Hence, (a) The Season of Peak Sneaker Silliness, (b) How America Became a Nation of Yoga Pants, and (c) Is the Streetwear Bubble About to Burst?

2. Because time by time you just need a tongue-in-cheek anarchist essay: The Abolition of Work by Bob Black.

3. And a reminder that gender has always been what people made of it: A Brief History of Unisex Fashion + a contemporary high fashion example: Céline, Hedi Slimane, and the Grown-Up Woman.

4. And one of the beautiful contingencies when technology and new social mores attached to them push away the old: How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women + a contemporary experiment (mentioned in the article) that shows how far we’ve gone since then: Bikes and Bloomers.

5. And this stuff that I’ve never really understood – Hermès CEO: “People Still Want Things That Not a Lot of People Can Get”.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Curating the 100% comfort wardrobe.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w44 + Sunday links.

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What are the trends that you do not understand? Does it make you feel old or just out of touch, or just proudly individual? Are your arguments more about (a) lack of practicality, (b) ridicule, or (c) sheer ugliness?

#whatiwore 2018w43 + Sunday links

Here, feed the brain:

1. While most articles about uniform dressing emphasize reduction of decision fatigue and tech millionaires, this 2014 piece turns the argument on its head and talks about uniforms as ‘a stance against trends’ and ‘a consistent recognizable foundation’: The Case for Uniforms. The most inspirational example mentioned is Diane Pernet from A Shaded View on Fashion.

2. On disinhibited creation: Why you should make useless things.

3. I’m such a sucker for ‘look at this person who single-handedly and with great dignity revived an old industry and is doing great’, so: A Legacy of Production at Valley Oak Wool & Fiber Mill. Also, the microscopic-precision handiwork for high fashion as a solution for the youth unemployment (and stupid non-jobs of the digital economy): Teenagers, Forget Engineering. Your Future Is Craft.

4. And I cannot resist a detailed history of a classic and local working class garment when boy fashionistas are fangirling about them: The Other Fisherman Sweater.

5. For our scary future section, How to edit a human. This one comes with a side dish of the dirty business that science often is, in this case making clear also the difference in opportunities for worldwide recognition that funding/location bring to labs and research groups, or how a bunch of genius Lithuanians won’t ever get a Nobel.

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What I was writing about a year ago: An Educational afternoon – The True Cost and Upcycling Barcelona.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w43 + Sunday links + Old #ootd.

Other old posts you might enjoy: Adventures of the spring 2017 capsule and The wardrobe ins and outs of spring 2017.

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Do you have any favorite type of stories among the sustainability usuals? Are you more touched by stories of independent wool farmers in West or underprivileged women’s cooperatives in South? Materials, dyes, sewing – which stories you save for special weekend moments of enjoyment? Share some of your favorites, please.

#whatiwore 2018w42 + Sunday links

The Friday outfit is a story of comfort vs. stupid ideas about what’s appropriate… That hoodie, well, actually two of those – organic cotton, made in India, stamped with the corporate identity of the company C works for – appeared in our home after a work event that C went to. First I tried to get him to discard both of them because ‘you don’t need them’, then I accepted that he really was using it around the house, then I started to wear the other one myself noting how warm and fluffy it is… and on Friday I went out on the street with it.
Only to the swimming pool and back, and it was raining, but I had sworn to myself not to wear this one outside… But knowing winters in Barcelona and how all I want to wear to the pool – and that’s three times a week and just down the block – is something comfy and adequate for weather, it will now be my gym uniform. And it has a hood to make up for my unwillingness to blow dry my hair. A win for the ‘relax and be casual’ team.

Lesson learnt I consider myself a tiny step closer to: Letting go, of course, and following the sirens of comfort.

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Now that you are all comfy, under a blanket and with a cup of warm something, here:

1. The typical reminders of all the offshoring problems and onshoring complexities: Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage? and American Manufacturing Doesn’t Have to Die. And just to put a sinister spin on that, out of the Dark side a big consulting company: Is apparel manufacturing coming home? The ironic part is that for them – and people they serve – it’s not about ethics but about a balance between production/shipping costs and timing. So their conclusion is that producing in Mexico for US market or Turkey for EU market makes a lot of sense (and customers love it, too) but not really on situ production, that would be waaay too expensive…

2. In the news of ‘animals we are not exploiting yet that have a great potential’- New Artificial Spider Silk: Stronger Than Steel and 98 Percent Water. Be calm, it’s about replicating ‘the spider technology’ not cramming masses of spiders together and making them work for us, no, we do that mostly with mammals, humans and otherwise, not spiders. Not yet, at least.

3. History time! And about the seasonal wares, no less. The Trench Coat: Before, During, and After the Trenches and From Cavalry to Coco Chanel: The Cardigan Unbuttoned.

4. To bring you back – or for the first time – to William Morris and ‘Some Hints on Pattern-Designing‘ (1881) among his other writings, here are some guidelines from him:

“We ought to get to understand the value of intelligent work, the work of men’s hands guided by their brains, and to take that, though it be rough, rather than the unintelligent work of machines or slaves, though it be delicate;
to refuse altogether to use machine-made work unless where the nature of the thing made compels it, or where the machine does what mere human suffering would otherwise have to do;
to have a high standard of excellence in wares and not to accept makeshifts for the real thing, but rather to go without;
to have no ornament merely for fashion’s sake, but only because we really think it beautiful, otherwise to go without it;
not to live in an ugly and squalid place (such as London) for the sake of mere excitement or the like, but only because our duties bind us to it;
to treat the natural beauty of the earth as a holy thing not to be rashly dealt with for any consideration;
to treat with the utmost care whatever of architecture and the like is left us of the times of art.

I deny that it can ever be our own to do as we like with; it is the property of the world, that we hold in trust for those that come after us.”

5. And I encourage you, yes, repeatedly, to do some pattern play. It’s not 19th century anymore and any basic image editing software can bring you and your doodles a lot of joy. Here is one way to do it: Pattern Play with Jeanetta: How to Create a Pattern in the style of William Morris. As a proof, my 5-minute pattern from mandalas that were in my 2017 agenda:


Or how this:

Becomes that:

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Veja Taua… Oh, I miss them dearly! And I am stalking some random leftover pairs on Amazon hoping they will still be there when my October salary comes in. Those sneakers were so good, I’m now ready to buy two new pairs and just have them sitting in my wardrobe waiting for the current Wata to wear out. After three pairs worn to shreds, I think that’s an informed decision.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w42 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: We shall swap again and May Swap recap.

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Have you had any comfort vs. ‘propriety’ dilemmas or insights lately? Which one do you typically gravitate towards?

#whatiwore 2018w41 + Sunday links

Here, your little brain attic needs more stuff:

1. Trust your own judgement in aesthetics! Surviving your critics.

2. I’m not sure if this is relevant anymore. It might be that fast fashion collabs with big names has given way to influencer collabs long ago, but still – in 2012 people were writing op-eds on Making The Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations.

3. A little PSA for those residing in Spain and decluttering: (just in case you were in doubt) you don’t have to keep the boxes of electronics in case the guarantee… the only case when you need the box is to return the recently bought item to get your money back during those 15 days when that can be done. Sources (in Spanish): 1, 2.

4. And to provoke a bit, here you have GoodOnYou asking Is Silk Sustainable? and answering with a suggestion to snack on some crunchy larvae after turning their cocoons into silk. Just to order a bit: Is conventional silk vegan? NO. Can it be? Yes, but it’s more expensive. Would silk worms enjoy high quality of life if we’d just leave them alone? According to human criteria, not really. Is animal welfare the only concern about silk? No, human welfare is also not that cool in conventional silk production, including child labor. Solution? Look through your grandma’s wardrobe or your favorite local vintage shop for second-hand silk.

5. This article is a bit of hodge-podge of data, but the graph of reminding how chemical-intensive is apparel production is nice:

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What I was writing about a year ago: Autumn capsule = 3 months and 7 dresses.

What I was wearing a year ago (see if any items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w41 + Sunday links (looks that a year ago the weather was even more ridiculously balmy).

Another old post you might enjoy: How I pack or #whatiwore 2017w16.

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What are your favorite animal welfare issues? The ones worth talking about? For me, industrial farming is a clear-cut issue: close that shit down and consume maybe a little meat if you are one of those ‘I just can’t quit it’ people, but honey and wool are my new favorite enmeshed issues I have no clear opinion about. They combine animal ‘exploitation’ and husbandry at its best, ha! And it is possible to do it very well and very badly… also, if we end up truly killing off all the bees, we – especially those of us not willing to live only on potatoes, rice, wheat, corn and the New World veggiesare fucked alright. Go, read Generation A.