#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.

#whatiwore 2018w40 + Sunday links

And a spoonful to maintain the highbrow credentials:

1. When classics talk about frugality, contentment, and how growing income tends to expand desire for consumption: Regrets for my Old Dressing Gown, or A warning to those who have more taste than fortune, a Denis Diderot essay from 1769.

2. On modern art: $1.4 Million Banksy Painting Shredded Immediately After Auction, So What? and Banksy’s Shredded Art Piece Is the World’s First Created During Live Auction.

3. Sometimes style advice for men is much better done (and useful for pretty much everybody): Six Suggestions For Developing Personal Style.

4. Yes, your hate of social media makes all the sense in the world: 10 Things Instagram Users Probably Don’t Know About Instagram (and its Use of Your Photos). Also, More Than Merely a Downtime Activity, We are Addicted to Social Media “Likes” and Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so miserable?

5. And for general education: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump.

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What I was writing about a year ago: September Clothes’ Swap Recap.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w40 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: Is There a Winter in Barcelona? A Winter 2017 recap and To All New Arrivals (Winter 2017), We Love You.

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What have you learnt lately? Anything I should read? Where is the world going?

#whatiwore 2018w39 + Sunday links

Here, feed the gray cells:

1. Because in moments of low spirit I like old and wise people telling me that ‘it’s pragmatic to be optimistic [because you going one with a cause might as well be turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy towards success]’ – Conversations with History: Howard Zinn. Who was Howard Zinn?

2. When fashion gets even faster – Super Nova: Fashion Nova gives the people what they want, and what they want is very tight. Interesting question, though, about the ‘redeeming’ quality of body inclusiveness and the unmentioned contrast with very ‘white’ aesthetics of most sustainable fashion brands.

3. I’m a sucker for proper England/New England preppy, so here is some menswear eye candy: Drake’s Goes Collegiate.

4. ‘Made in EU’ or ‘Made in Italy’ (or any other EU country) does not necessarily mean rosy working conditions, just so you know: The NYT On Italy’s Invisible Labor Class and (the actual piece) Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy.

5. And the plastic shit that will haunt us forever… Plastic Soup + Your Synthetic Clothes Are Hurting The Environment + More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans. Point for reflection: much of synthetics consumption in more sustainable circles is driven by the fitness culture, as exercising in natural fabrics is so paseé… them not being ‘performance fabrics’. And synthetics pick up smells, so the urge to was them is more intense. And then you have the heaps of fast fashion poly, see the Fashion Nova piece above or Material Guide: How Sustainable is Polyester?

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What I was writing about a year ago: Summer 2017 capsule ins and outs.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w39 + Sunday links.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Constant Gardener: Edit your wardrobe!

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When you think a year back from now (or go back to your spreadsheets, wink-wink), how different is your wardrobe now? How much of what you are wearing now were in rotation a year ago? Has your style changed? Your needs and lifestyle? Or garments just wore out?

#whatiwore 2018w38 + Sunday links

Feed the bra-a-a-a-ain…

1. A little altar to Alexandra Elbakyan: Meet the woman who put 50 million stolen articles online so you can read them for free (2016), Science’s pirate queen (2018), Honourable Theft (2018).

2. So, “the government in Bangladesh raised the minimum wage by more than 50 percent last week, the first increase in wages since 2013 [and] garment workers and union organizers are outraged” because it’s still so below any reasonable living standard: Bangladeshi Garment Workers, Unions Say New Minimum Wage is a “Cruel Joke,” Call On Brands to Pay More.

3. One of those happy here-is-an-exciting-innovation-but-we’ll-see if-you-ever-hear-about-it-being-scaled-up-after-all-this-publicity news: Wrangler Implements Potentially Revolutionary ‘Dry Indigo’ Foam-Dye Tech. Not that innovation in dyeing is impossible, just that dyeing also rivers in faraway places is cheaper… and nobody was bothered until now.

4. Just to be clear: if you see a cheap-ish virgin cashmere garment, you do not want it! Why? Tragedy of the Common Cashmere.

5. I never bought into the skinny pant obsession, so I find this list hilarious and very true: Practical Reasons to Wear Wide-Leg Pants. After all, what is a skirt if not one very practical garment with one wide-leg?

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

What I was wearing a year ago (see if any items coincide): #whatiwore 2017w38.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Journey on Hobbit feet.

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What are the trends or must-have garments that you never understood? Is there a garment you’d happily start a boycott of? And was there anything you thought impossible once and then ended up wearing? Remember, around 10 years ago there was the whole thing how leggings were not pants? And then we just accepted it somehow… I still struggle, but I will concede that once you see something a zillion times it imprints in your brain as normal.

#whatiwore 2018w37 + Sunday links

Brain food for everybody:

1. Just for fun, a reinterpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic: Be kind to your tailors. And if you want a more serious reinterpretation, Clarissa is here to help: The Dangerous Old Woman, parts one and two.

2. A weird article linking casual dressing and loss of humility understood as empathy: Dress Up. What we lost in the Casual Revolution.

3. And a couple of articles on the casual revolution in tennis, this sporty mix of class and fashion: The Most Fashionable Rivalries in Men’s Tennis and The Tennis Dress Code Racket.

4. And in the feminist news of the industry: Female-Focused Manual Workwear Is Still an Emerging, But Also Evolving, Market.

5. I cannot resist the idea of completely locally produced clothing. And here you have somebody actually doing it: Rebecca Burgess, the founder of Fibershed, at Conscious Chatter podcast Episode 118 | Fibershed + Regenerative Textile Systems.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Summer 2017 capsule heroes and lessons learned.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2017w37. This is the rare occasion when no garments coincide, as a year ago it was the Mykonos edition and this week was clearly the week of the WAG set.

Anther old post you might enjoy: My minimalist well-being routine.

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While I’m not doing formal seasonal capsules anymore, I sill think in seasons… and this one is getting a bit too long. Are you in the autumn mode already? Or is it a summer forever for you too? By now I am craving scarves and cardigans.

#whatiwore 2018w36 + Sunday links

A random update on… self care: Wednesday (btw, most weeks the outfits go in chronological order Monday to Friday) was difficult for some reason, so I wore a crumply garment with a hole to work, because that was the only thing I did not totally abhor at that moment. The poor old kaftan is really disintegrating – seems that a #100wears feature just destroys garments – but it was either that or staying naked at home. So, in case you need this sometime, take this as my permission slip to be sub-optimally put together if need be. Clothing are just drag anyway. Do what you have to do ♥.

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And, here, have a spoonful for the brain:

1. In line with my Wednesday mood, in defense of not being too polished: Fear Not the Rumples and Sang Froid in American Style, both focused on menswear while I’d say that womenswear need such chillax even more. Although my version of chill is much more chill then what the authors suggest…

2. And the other side of the dress-up / dress-down tension for those who want to dress up but have ‘nowhere to go’ and fear judgement: Put On Your Happy Suit and (a Reddit thread) I love to dress up, but I have nowhere to go…

3. On how much of what you might believe about the prehistorical social structures might be wrong: How to change the course of human history (at least, the part that’s already happened).

4. Have you ever stumbled across just the thing you wanted – a book, movie, album, item – and then just couldn’t get it (because they would not ship, or stream, or it’s out of print, etc.)? I had just that disappointment when reading Fashion Is “an Extremely Wealthy Industry Founded on Unpaid Work” over at The Fashion Law describing a qualitative research book by Giulia Mensitieri… just to discover, as far as I’ve been able to google, that the book only exists in French – Le plus beau métier du monde: Dans les coulisses de l’industrie de la mode. My French is not that good…

5. And a bit on creative work and showing up inspo, in line with the Ira Glass quote below, Be Friends with Failure by Stephen McCranie.

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What I was writing about a year ago: (in perfect synchronization) September swap + my outgoing pieces.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w36.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Style ebb and flow, me and others.

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When do you – if ever – relax the requirements for put-togetherness? I know that sometimes and for some people it actually might work the other way around: that getting put-together on the outside does a bit for the inside too. Are you one of those?

#whatiwore 2018w35 + Sunday links

Your brain will thank you:

1. When a retail giant tries to clean up their act, it’s very complicated to begin with: Walmart Tried To Make Sustainability Affordable. Here’s What Happened.

2. The fashion industry cannot continue doing the same fast fashion thing. And changes needed are massive, not just tweaks in design, dyes or packaging. St. Kate dixit: Towards a future framework for fashion + how ‘greener’ fashion is not really changing much as far as the paradigm stays the same: A dizzying spin on green growth.

3. The fascinating topic on why are we as species so bad at understanding climate shit of our own making: Your brain on climate change: why the threat produces apathy, not action + Climate Change, Disbelief, and the Collision between Human and Geologic Time + European perceptions about climate change + Climate change and ideology.

4. Ha! You and me already knew that women’s fashion is pocket-challenged. Here are some people who actually went out and measured the differences. And I made a Pinterest board dedicated to the topic.

5. Archana’s post on house plants was probably meant to inspire… kind of scared me instead. I sometimes forget that plants are people too. However, I did my first-ever replant this weekend of the jade plant (?) the previous tenant had left behind. It is knotty and used to abandonment, but at least it has more space and a properly holed pot now:

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: The Red Denim Jacket.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w35 + Sunday links.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Baby Steps: Detoxing A Wardrobe Takes Time.

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Do you have green thumbs? Or at least try to develop them? Or has the plant fashion filling Instagram left you indifferent?

#whatiwore 2018w34 + Sunday links

Nom-nom-nom, said the brain:

1. What have the shops done after the (partial) free plastic bag ban in Spain: (in Spanish) ¿Se está aplicando la normativa de cobrar las bolsas de plástico en España? A spoiler: not that much.

2. I am a sucker for unintended consequences, so: The #MeToo Movement Finds an Unlikely Champion on Wall Street.

3. Heh! Why Does Every Lifestyle Startup Look the Same? The clock is running out on this minimalist aesthetic… This: “Rather than being descriptive of the product itself, startup minimalism indicates how that product will be purchased and delivered to the shopper: digitally, easily, inexpensively, and with a smile. It promises no bullshit and no imposition on your busy schedule.”

4. This is a nice working hypothesis for the woo-woo wellness boom: How did wellness become our new religion? And if you want solid reasons to hate Goop, here, you are welcome – Dr. Jen Gunter: I Snuck Into Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Summit To See Just How Bonkers It Was and Goop Forced to Pay $145,000 and Refrain From Making Unsubstantiated Medical Claims.

5. And time for some art! I am a great admirer of William Morris‘ pattern work (and political activities), as for me it brings together just the right dosage of ornamental and ordered. For brainy activities, here you have his writing archive. And for the artsy part: (a) William Morris and wallpaper design at Victoria and Albert Museum; (b) Morris’ 1981 Some Hints on Pattern-Designing; and (c) solid Pinterest-y advice on How to Create a Pattern in the style of William Morris.

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

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w34 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: My Wardrobe, Part 1: What Do I Have and How Did I Get Here and My Wardrobe, Part 2: How I Build and Track My Seasonal Capsules.

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How has your week been? Autumn wishlists ready and colder weather items suddenly seeming so appealing? Or are you the one who wants summer to go forever?

#whatiwore 2018w33 + Sunday links

Feed the brain, feed the brain…

1. Occasionally consumers do have enough power to move something, that happens rarely, though. The title should be ‘If people with money get angry with somebody, they might kill their brand’ instead of Stop buying crap, and companies will stop making crap.

2. Not only Paul Manafort‘s shady deals went on trial, so did his taste in clothes: Did Paul Manafort Secretly Dress Like Steven Seagal? Somebody with time on their hands could write a whole set of papers about (a) the gendered aspects of such ‘taste trials’, i.e., how garment or home décor accumulation is ridiculed because of its association with femininity, a collection of sports cars wouldn’t have raised such amount of scorn; (b) the glee with which media dissected his extraordinary sartorial spending; and (c) how lifestyle aspirations can turn around and become evidence against you.

3. And some more symbolic sartorial politics from USA: The presidential love of denim – an illustrated guide. D-oh, those are not mom jeans, those are president jeans!

4. An unexpected take on mental health and medicating oneself down to the population average: “This is the reason I take these meds, right? So I can live a life that seems relatively normal. Except for one thing: I don’t want to be normal”.

5. In the local news, taking into account that many undocumented migrants in the big Spanish cities end up as street vendors of fake goods and knickknacks constantly harassed by the police and earning criminal records that then make ‘papers’ nearly impossible, there is activism around these issues and much of that involves garments. (In Catalan) Roba que dignifica vides + (in Spanish) the union of street vendors who have launched their own garment line + (in Spanish) and, as an alternative to those economic activities, there is also a cooperative dedicated to African-inspired fashion and catering: Diomcoop / Diambaar. So if you want a waxprint-y something made in Barcelona, those might be the people to get in touch with.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Capsule wardrobes trans-seasonally and beyond seasonality.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w33 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy because the swap is coming: Why We Swap and How.

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Are you ready for the September swap? Oh, yes, it has been too long… And if you are not in Barcelona, make your own! I have plenty of tips here, y también en castellano, por supuesto: He organizado seis intercambios de ropa y ésto es lo que he aprendido.