#100wears: Hummel Madelaine Zip Jacket

October 2010 – Sitges, Spain.

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#100wears is the most beloved garment section where I show off the longevity of items I’ve worn at least 100 times and urge to elevate the rather low #30wears aspiration. Basically, a love song, a poem, a “there are some garments so good I can’t stop wearing them”.

May 2009 – Cambridge, UK.

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Item: Hummel Madelaine Zip Jacket.
Obtained in: 2009.
How? Bought new in a TK Maxx in London, UK.
Made in: Turkey.
Made of: 80% polyester, 20% cotton.

June 2009 – Rīga, Latvia.

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This fast fashion athleisure wear wonder is perfect. Warm enough as a layer that adds zero bulkiness, very flattering (yeah, I said it!) cut, zipper pockets perfect for travel and going out, washes perfectly, the little wink to princess sleeves at the shoulders, and people overlook its sporty nature due to the sober color combination. It has been with me pretty much everywhere with me since we first met, and, although it has seen a seamstress a few times, all that wear is barely visible.

April 2010 – Salamanca, Spain.

June 2011 – Ghent, Belgium.

July 2012 – Washington DC, USA.

April 2013 – Salamanca, Spain.

June 2015 – London, UK.

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As you can see, I have kept people distracted with big earrings, pins, brooches and extravagant head decorations, so that the athletic intentions of this jacket would go unnoticed. Although, the only time I gave a serious try to running – September 2015 in Copenhagen – Madelaine was part of my outfit: it’s warm, practical (the pockets!), and makes me feel very good. If all fast fashion behaved this well for so many years, we’d be having a totally different conversation.

November 2016/December 2017 – Barcelona, Spain.

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Do you have any garments that were meant for a specific activity – sports, pajamas (well, I wore this nightgown as a dress for a while), underwear, beachwear – that you loved so much that you re-purposed it? What types of items fall into your #100wears?

#whatiwore 2017w49 + Sunday links

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Let’s start this week’s link list with eye candy instead of brain food – Stella Jean: Wax & Stripes: A personal journey. If my getting dressed maxim is that an outfit starts with four different patterns, Stella seems to start with *at least four different African waxprints*. Oh, wow! Enjoy these and then run to Pinterest to get some more.

Fashion’s Interest in Alternative Fabrics Keeps Growing – New fiber news are almost always exciting at first and disappointing afterwards. I find it very cutesy every time an article introducing pinapple “leather”, orange peel “silk”, and fish skin “leather” (not linking, I find that one pretty disgusting), while the actual answer is reduction, real recycling, and then rethinking of virgin fibers. But reclaiming garbage is always nice (while looking into the actual energy required to extract the fibers, etc.)!

Talking about creating fibers from garbage, here’s an example: How Companies ‘Seeing Goldmines in Landfills’ Are Refashioning Textiles.

And looking really into future of (any! think about electronics, too) supply chain transparency: Blockchain to enable transparency in the fashion supply chain.

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Which novelty fiber do you find the most exciting? What was the last time you read one of those and exclaimed “Really?! You can make textiles out of *that*?” Mine were the fish skin stuff mentioned above (yuck!) and discovering that banana fibers have been used for silky textiles for centuries.

#KonMari for advanced minimalists


My first konmari tidying spree in 2016 resulted in giving my adolescent bedroom back to my parents.
Well, better late – at the ripe age of 28 – than never.

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I spent November under the spell of Marie Kondo books. I had already read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” last year, but now I binged through all three of them. Apart from enjoying them a lot, I have some reflections and suggestions on how to approach the (now somewhat subdued) “does it spark joy?” fever.

For anybody curious about the whole thing, I’d suggest this order of reading:

1. The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: Being manga, it’s a very short read – you’ll be done with this in a couple of hours and will have either curiosity about the whole “method” or none at all. However, I do see how this less esoteric than “The Life-Changing Magic…” and clearly young-adult-professional-women-looking-for-love targeting book could put some of us off. Kondo comes across as the love fairy that will discipline you into throwing out your sentimental garbage, hence opening space for the handsome neighbor next door.

2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The classical best seller that has filled Instagram. It’s short and follows the classical self-help book outlay of tracing the protagonist’s steps until they see the light and can now share it with the rest of the mortals. Kondo comes across as a spiritual teacher with a rigid “method” that you should follow without complaint in order to reach clutter free nirvana. While Kondo always repeats that relapse rate for her private clients is 0%, I am willing to bet that the great majority of people who read this one stayed with “oh, sounds interesting but a bit too harsh” and never did anything and the other ones did some purging of the obvious clutter and left it at that.

3. Spark Joy: This one is my favorite and has a very distinct tone from the other two. Kondo repeats the basic tenants of her method but also accepts all kinds of bending of the rules as far as you stick to things and practices that “spark joy”. This book is the real talk of “we are all weird”, going as far as the author revealing that her animistic relationship with objects is probably due to her difficulty of relating to humans. Boom! The stern fairy godmother just became vulnerable and human, although still suggesting ordering our lives along the lines of a slightly modified William Morris‘ maxim of “Have nothing in your houses [i.e. your lives] that you do not know to be [indispensably] useful, or believe to be beautiful [i.e. spark joy].”

Lettering by Kelly Cummings.

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Now, not to be counted among those “nice idea” people, I can proceed to lessons learnt and musings for future:

Having toyed (i.e. binge reading) with minimalism and capsule wardrobes since 2014, I have much less stuff to begin with. These are both good and bad news when thinking about a proper KonMari tidying festival. The good news are that the physical threshold of gathering my stuff in our living room by categories is a relatively easy task. On the other hand, my “joy-meter” is off and I don’t have a heap of little loved clothing to fine tune it. After several years of becoming what Kondo calls “a discarding machine” – and describes it as one of the tidying pathologies one can fall into – I’m able to rationalize throwing away almost anything.

Very few things are *perfect*. True indispensability and great design are very rare. If all my possessions are to be measured against the *ideal*, basically everything goes, and I’m left with the problem of finding the perfect replacements. The alternative explanation would be that my ~55 item wardrobe is already paired down to a reasonable level of joyfulness (and I have no 0 joy items to feel the difference) while I expect a joy-gasm just from opening my wardrobe. That’s one of the problems with an author promising *magic* – a lot of self doubt: if I’m not feeling the magic, is it because I’m doing it wrong or am I living the magic already without realizing it?

Objectively, the quantity of possessions and clutter we have is rather low. There are few black holes of stuff that would benefit from airing out, but overall we are kicking ass in not accumulating useless shit. To enhance the magic, here are some of my future tidying plans extracted from “Spark Joy”:

A) Following Kondo’s and C’s example, I’m ditching the seasonal wardrobe overhauls and the big plastic box for out-of-season clothing. Everything will be visible, foldables will be folded in the drawer below, the plastic box will get another job, and we’ll see how it all will work out:

So going from this

To this

Which in reality means this as we share the hanger space:
an ecosystem with natural limits

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B) I’m using my vacations in Riga to review (again!) my possessions left there, in line with Kondo’s warning to never ever send stuff to our parents’ homes. Thankfully, my parents live far away and their flat is small, so there’s little to no sense to store my things in Riga. My resolution stays the same as in August: only the indispensables that shouldn’t be moved back and forth (parka, rubber boots, winter boots, a dressing gown, and few more).

C) I’ve done a partial joy-check with my books, and oh! that was hard. Having been raised by bibliophiles and having always aspired to have as many as possible, I took a deep breath and did my first division into “stays”, “will see”, and “out” trying to base it on the joy factor only… I’m still not sure how to go about books that can’t possibly bring joy due to their content. Global crises, totalitarian crimes, failing humanitarian aid schemes will never make a joyful read… I already realized it in Riga with my novel collection: it is much easier to sort out fiction this way!

D) I intend to carry out a full tidying festival focusing on joy instead of discarding. Only when I’m done – my plan is to give myself a very generous permission to *keep*, to use this process to reaffirm my love for my things (C could tell you that I’m often very careless with my possessions) via the positive focus of choosing what to keep instead of focusing on throwing away – with my own stuff, I’ll move towards our common komono.

E) For the household clutter and “maybe someday”, Kondo suggests mapping out the storage spaces to identify where to look. I’ve done that on paper already, and even in our tiny flat there are several pockets of mystery and miscellany to be tackled: rarely used cupboards, boxes under the bed, boxes on top of the wardrobe, items we “inherited” from the previous tenant and never started to use or threw out, etc. Again and again, I’m grateful of having a small flat with little storage space, I have no idea how people with n-bedrooms, basement, attic, and a garage do it. Oh, wait, they don’t!

F) To either put full stop on my KonMari fever or to enter the sect forever, I’m planning to do her consultant training this spring. The price is ridiculous, several of my loved ones have doubted my sanity, and I am aware that the most likely outcome of the course will be slight disappointment and a depleted savings account. But I want to do it. It will be my 30th birthday present to myself. Some people jump with parachutes or swim with sharks, why can’t I spoil myself with a Japanese decluttering seminar?

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Have you done any decluttering campaign with your possessions? How did that go? Have you read any of Kondo’s books? Did they spur you into action or did you find her method too extreme?

#whatiwore 2017w48 + Sunday links

As a cold weather public service announcement, here you have a step-by-step of my favorite way to tie the big ethnographic scarves:

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As I’ve suggested an under-blanket strike against fast fashion earlier this week, here is some reading matter that may become handy while you are keeping your body warm and your brain well fed:

Modest Dressing, as a Virtue – an interesting take on modest (as opposed to the body shape emphasizing way of dressing for women) clothing as being both class- and feminist statement signalling our way out of the traditionally feminine.

To the Lady Who Mistook Me for the Help at the National Book Awards – A slightly fictionalized biographic essay on the intersections of race, class, and black polyester. There is no way of arguing ourselves out of the fact that fashion is a class marker…

This Is How Big Oil Will Die – Not about fashion (but about the auto- and oil industry instead), this is a very nicely argued piece on how Big Oil will become obsolete thanks to technology that already exists and market forces. I’m not so optimistic for a similar sea change when it comes to fashion, because the superiority of sustainable fashion stems from moral choices not being cheaper for the consumer. It could be the final touch to not making any new polyester ever again but recycling it indefinitely, though.

These Are The 6 Types of Minimalists. Which One Are You? – Half jokingly but makes sense (as in previous internet debates that vegan is not necessarily eco, etc.) to remember that one thing does not equal another. So minimalist aesthetic is not the same as conscious reduction of number of possessions to keep only those that spark joy or living out of one suitcase nomad-style. They might overlap but not necessarily

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What are your cold weather tricks? Have you had to go out and look for warmer garments ad-hoc? Have youstarted thinking about resolutions for 2018?

Stop browsing fast fashion, browse the internet instead

One of the most powerful tricks up fast fashion’s sleeve is the magic of browsing. If you have time to kill, here you have the carefully arranged – often with the help of up and coming artists – flagship stores and the “I’ll only take a look while I’m waiting”… Especially when it’s cold outside and the idea of a *new* big furry hat seems like a very good one!

So, following the steps of John and Yoko, I’m suggesting a bed-in against fast fashion and physical fashion browsing as a pass-time. Curl up under a blanket with your favorite device and browse the internet instead of badly made and fugly (for real, often the stuff these people sell really offend my aesthetic sensibilities) polyester garments. And for finders keepers and future reference, my not at all revolutionary suggestion is using Pinterest. Especially for hoarding visual inspiration it makes so much more sense than bookmarking stuff in your browser or any other link collector I’ve tried.

So these are my fashion-related uses of Pinterest (+ a wide array of other boards for feminist pins, interesting books and cute animals):

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Gathering my own #wiw pictures

An exercise in vanity and a better overview of the unending repetition in my wardrobe. It has been almost a year now of a weekly outfit post, and my fashion consistencies and inclinations are very clear at this point.

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Visual fashion inspiration for cold and warm weather

Not aspiring to replicate or “buy the outfit”, but when a photo calls my attention as fashion inspiration, to one of the following boards it goes, depending on the approximate (Mediterranean) season it would be appropriate for:

or

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A reality-check exercise of what you feel like wearing

I did this one last December picking out from my cold weather inspo board the looks that I would happily wear, taking account the current aesthetic cravings, weather and lifestyle. Comparing this with what I’ve been wearing both last and this cold seasons, you can see that my leaning towards knee-length patterned dresses or top + flared skirt combos, opaque tights and fun sneakers for winter hasn’t changed:

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Reasonable and ethical show board, because hobbit feet

Something in my heart that has been dealing with footwear struggles for many years has pushed me towards a small but robust shoe board. It is a merged have- and wish-list, and, as always with these exercises, my preferences are clear:

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A fashion-related link-depository

I bookmark in my browser only the links I have to deal with: upcoming Sunday brain-food, Wiki pages I want to read, etc. Reviewed links I want to keep go into a Pinterest board. The two fashion related I have are for news and for taking note of ethical brands. For brands I pin an item or two that both reflect the offer of the brand and that I find most appealing, so that a quick look through the board could tell me where to go for sports bras and where for wax print dresses.

and

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The caveats to all this are that:
(a) Pinterest is clearly for puritan aesthetics, so uploading naughty pictures may make you lose all you boards (repinning is safe, so do that) and the criteria are not really clear. If you want naked people and stuff, get a Tumblr, we all know that, right?
(b) once you are done with your reality-checked desires, real-life browsing might be needed, especially if you are looking for second-hand options (always better than virgin fibres!). So when you have a clear vision and an approximate (un)shopping list, get out of the bed and go visit your community swaps (or organize one) or second-hand dealers!

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Do you browse fashion stores out of boredom? How do you collect your fashion inspiration? And how do you organize your links?

#whatiwore 2017w47 + Sunday links

While I’m rethinking my wardrobe strategies for the next year – because January 1 is such a nice day to start new things and ways – here you have some textile and garment-related brain food (that can easily be turned into advice and New Year’s resolutions, btw):

Caring is caring (!) and, in case of the most washed items of our wardrobes, the most resource intensive period of the lives of our garments, so here are two (1 and 2) lists of care tips + my own.

From the girl who inspired my pink post, here comes a meditation on make-up (in Russian): Её изумрудные брови: Как яркий макияж изменил мои отношения с внешностью. Although I’ve left make-up behind for good long time ago, this is the perspective I’d like to impart on people like fairy dust: whatever self-expression, including fashion and make-up, is great as far as you are doing it for yourself! Make-up for fun and playing is a great idea if you feel like it, make-up for “concealing” and “putting on an *acceptable* face” tends to be a sign of internalized toxic patriarchy.

Reflecting a frequent conversation in our household, Why despite my best efforts even my friends buy fast fashion: The confessions of an ethical fashion CEO goes through all the usual suspects that our friends and family hide behind after we have sermoned them about the evils of fast fashion. Here is my take on that.

As a special bonus, this is the project that the author of the above piece runs. It brings together info on the ethics and sustainability of brands, have a look!

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What are your garment goals for 2017? Already decided and written down, or still wide open and smelling of future?

How to Survive *Winter* in Barcelona

Temperatures fluctuate, and you never know which mild winter you are getting.

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While I am complaining about the “fake winter” again, the midday 15-20ºC does not change the fact that we have no heating at home… OK, there is the hot air option on the AC and a little electrical heater but our windows are poorly isolated, ceiling is high, and we have tile floors, so we use neither. Hence getting out of under the blanket is a major life challenge from November till February.

The key is to get warm and comfy (read: under-blanket appropriate) as soon as possible after coming back home. This means a sports bra, leggings, woolen socks and a hoodie or a sweater. Looks like this:

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Although, to be honest, quite often this is the complete look:

I didn’t chose any of these infantile patterns – the hoodie is a gift from my mom and blanket came from C’s mom – but they only reinforce my resolution to be like Greg from Over the Garden Wall when I grow up.

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The major *winter* challenge is to overcome the stupor and the wish to stay under the blanket forever. In mornings I wake up to have breakfast with C, and afterwards get warm – instead of going back to bed – with a (typically) shortish yoga practice. When I feel too lazy for creative yoga and want instructions, I turn to doyogawithme.com. My favorite instructor there is Sarah Jane Steele (try her yin classes when feeling impossibly stiff) and my current go-to class is this 23 minute hatha flow.

Evenings are easier as there are things to do, meals to prep, and the local swimming pool is still 26ºC. I don’t use hair dryers, but I bring a hat to cover my hair on my way home! The swimming pool routine also helps to make sure that I get at least two showers per week.

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My minor – outdoors – challenge is to adjust to temperature changes due to movement. Cycling to work (downhill) is cold and breezy, coming back (uphill) is hot and sweaty + all the associated risks with then hanging out all sweaty and getting a nasty cold. Prevent pneumonias instead of treating them! Hat, gloves, and sunglasses (the sun is still here and going strong!) are my friends. So are woolen mix tights. I had given up tights for several years, and have no intention to going back to the typical transparent plastic, but I admit that a cashmere mix is much better than my previous combination of stay-ups and biker shorts under dresses (for warmth and for not showing the lacy parts of the stay-ups to all other drivers).

I still haven’t got a proper winter coat in Barcelona, because I – DO – NOT – NEED – ONE. I have two winter coats of varying warmth in Riga but they just don’t make any sense here. For the coldest days – around 10ºC – I will layer my trench with a wool sweater and be toasty enough.

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Despite my wish to go almost product-free in skincare (= soap + coconut oil + deodorant), November won and I made a big Lavera order. Oh, a hand cream and a lip balm can bring so much pleasure in life! Sweet almond oil also entered in my routine as supposedly better oil for the face as the coconut. Feels nice and smells delicious indeed. Coconut is still here for the rest of the body after the swimming pool chlorine.

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The summer fruits are out, but apples and citruses are IN. And the same goes for soups (miso is our lazy favorite) partly replacing salads. It’s Mediterranean, our CSA box has lettuce year-round!

My big cold weather switch is not going close to cold water and drinking a copious amount of herbal teas instead. My grandma’s magic are my favorites, but I haven’t been in Riga since August, so I’m long out of Latvian herbs. I spent the previous winter emptying local herbalist’s nettle reserves, but after a trip to Cape Town I’m back to rooibos all day. And as a special treat a colleague brought me two packages of this Swedish magic of passiflora, lavender, lemon balm, and mint.

Latvian heather full of grandma love.

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Rooibos is more robust than the herbs, so I leave it in the thermos for many hours, and just add hot water and more tea as I wish. Most herbs won’t stand this kind of treatment and become yucky after a couple of hours.

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So far I haven’t got a proper snot-and-bed time this, but if need be, here are the hankies (the only textile items I iron!) and the possibility to set up a little home office from the bed.


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Enjoy the season and tell me how you deal with cold weather, be it real or fake winters!


#whatiwore 2017w46 + Sunday links

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While I’m faking winter at 17ºC, you get some brain food:

Jewellery and its ugly underbelly is not my hot topic (I own three silver pieces and have no plans to acquire more) but Inside the ‘conflict-free’ diamond scam costing online buyers millions will tell you about the diamond sourcing issues and – and this does apply as a very crude version of greenwashing – how consumers’ desires for more ethical wares can be turned into scams. Lesson learned: research your supply lines and maybe stay away from especially hard-to-track commodities. Although, when you think about all our electronics, ugh…

A dark irony lies behind Western outcries about pollution in other countries: before those jobs were shipped overseas, the same dirty industries were polluting much closer to home (although, mostly on a much lower scale as the demand for the goods was lower, local, and the prices much higher). In Upstate New York, Leather’s Long Shadow dives into the history of Gloversville, NY and the consequences of the industrial downturn.

El ‘low cost’ multiplica los residuos textiles (in Spanish) – Catalan press chiming in on how both the amount of textile waste and the efforts to recycle it are growing, and putting emphasis on sorting and recycling creating jobs for people in risk of social exclusion. The overall picture is grim, and the social impetus that the article puts the emphasis on is “please, don’t put your textiles in the garbage that goes to the landfill” instead of “stop acquiring virgin textiles”. A novelty for me was learning that there is an association – ASIRTEX, Asociación Ibérica de Reciclaje Téxtil – that brings together companies dedicated to textile recycling. Although their homepage is exceedingly vague, and the focus seems to be on downcycling and shipping textiles away, I’ll be looking into their activities.

And if you missed the piece on East African countries fighting back against our textile waste and problems it could bring to them, here you have another one on the same conflict: Africa vs the USA: A Secondhand Clothing Showdown

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How is your fall capsule going? Do you have a real winter or are you faking (or are you an Australian enjoy spring)? What are the key pieces keeping you warm?

The Pink Post: Instrumental and subversive uses of the traditionally feminine

Yes, pink, florals, and pearls look good on me!

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I hadn’t though much about the significance that might me ascribed to the aesthetics of my style until I came across (via the amazing illustrator Ezra W. Smith!) this post (in Russian!) that apparently shook Russian internets to their core.

Long story short: the article is called “My armour: How I learnt to love pink (and myself with it)” and filed under “Experiment” label. There journalist and pundit Dasha Evans-Radova describes how she realized that pink was a color she had been (unconsciously) ignoring in her life due to the derogatory significance assigned to it (infantile, too sweet, too feminine, stupid), and set up to analyze this lack and integrate pink in her life. The results can be seen here, and I got thinking…

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Trying to be true to third wave feminist notion of individualism and cross-sectionality that could be sloganized as “you do you”, I haven’t wrote much about my aesthetic preferences. The focus of this blog is ethics of fashion and not looks – while my #wiw posts do show a set of clear preferences in case you are interested – and so it will stay. However, #grownuppinkroutine in combination with Kate Fletcher book I’m reading made me wonder about the signals my wardrobe is sending to passers-by (and my acquaintances and co-workers who have unfollowed me on social media since I started this blog). One of many points that Fletcher makes is how sustainable fashion, having been traumatized by unbleached and shapeless eco-chic of the 90s, now often looks exactly the same as conventional one, hence being invisible as social phenomenon. And this is even more so with second-hand and hand-me-down items. If you are saving fast fashion from the landfill by wearing it, nobody will know that you are not earnestly embracing it. And your conscious investment pieces might look exactly like the newest HnM collection. Yes, shit happens!

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With aesthetics it is easier to signal that your choices are ironic and intended to be transgressions. Mixing and misplacing – think of the now classical combination of floral dresses and work boots (that’s a fashion advice that Caitilin Moran gives in her How to Be a Woman as looking nice on everybody) or how people dress up funny for marathons – is an easy way to signal lightheartedness about the attire. Yet, if you are all in on classical “flattering” cuts, New Look, Mad Men wardrobes, minis, maxis, florals, bodycons, and pearls… Ooops! You might be part of a play you never rehearsed for.

Obviously, this has nothing to do with the hue, cut, or pattern as such. Fashion is a symbols’ game and too much get hoisted upon innocent colors and textiles… but as the basic maxim of sociology would have “if [people] define situations as real, they are real in their consequence“. And, as far as these common notions are internalized, shapes and cuts affect behavior and body language. You are not supposed to feel and act the same way in boyfriend jeans and in a non-elastic super-mini. In this way fashion is a form of social ingeneering that we have consented to (not always, of course, and there have been fashion liberation movements such as Rational dress movement when harem pants were revolutionary).

Donna Mae Mims in action, via classicdriver.com.

The practice that is the most interesting to me – and the one I’ve been semi-consciously practicing more and more – is that of traditionally feminine as camouflage. A good example of this (that I learnt about via Dasha’s original post) is Donna Mae Mims, the first woman to win a Sports Car Club of America national championship. While known as the Pink Lady for her pink cars, helmets, overalls, and described in press as “a delightful blonde with an intriguing smile, well-shaped figure and a laughing sense of humor […] and much like most other members of her sex, she delights in leading men a merry chase”, there’s another side of the story. Mims has described her racing as follows:

“I psych myself. I remove all my makeup. I think stern. I bristle. I don’t talk to anybody. You cannot think nice. Chivalry is dead on the racetrack. You’re out there only for one thing. To win. Nobody remembers second place. […] A lot of the male drivers think I’m out there to prove that I can beat them because they’re men. That isn’t so. They claim that I sometimes charge into the corners, cutting them off. I don’t mean to. I’m just trying to win.”

Boom! You see it, right? Embracing her love for pink and knowing that the feminine appearance will help her navigate the ultra-macho world of racing. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but makes sense to me: if you know that your words or actions go against the grain of patriarchy, it might be useful to ease into it via instrumental use of traditional femininity. That’s working behind enemy lines: everybody let their guard down and then you kill them! Yes, it is unfair for those who have never been interested in pretty dresses and might be attracted to aesthetics with negative social dividends. And I have no honest advice for that, apart from suggesting to bring down capitalism and patriarchy.

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I don’t really care about pink, it’s here, it’s queer, and I like it. The only colors I treat with suspicion are neon (because of class prejudice) and crisp whites (for practical reasons and class prejudice). Beige and grays are not my favorites either, but somehow they always find their way into my wardrobe. Here are some of the other pinks happening in my life:



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What are your relationships with the traditionally feminine and pink? Do you feel the social pressures attached to colors and cuts, or are you oblivious to them? And how do you deal with them?

#whatiwore 2017w45 + Sunday links

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So, winter came temperatures dropped below 20ºC. While we have been moaning about climate change and an incredibly hot October, excel says that in 2016 I started to wear tights on November 3. This year it was November 6, not that much off after all.

Remembering how much comfort I got from listing everything I was wearing while traveling in late April, here is the rundown of the Friday outfit:

Knickers: made by Liisa, organic cotton and hemp mix, I think.
Bra: made in Latvia by Lauma, dubious materials.
Tights: made in Italy by Calzedonia, a wool mix, dubious materials.
Dress: swap find from Laura, 100% poly, made in China.
Cardigan: swap find from Julie, cotton and ramie mix, made in China.
Sneakers: Veja Arcade, made of b-mesh in Brazil.
Cape: wool, made in Portugal, gift from my mom; our seamstress in Riga lined it (with synthetics) for greater warmth.
Scarf: wool, made in Russia, gift from my mom; part of the great Pavlovo Posad tradition.
Barrette: H&M from ~2010.
Ring: silver, made in Latvia, gift from my aunt.
Earrings: cultivated pearls and silver, made in Latvia.
Brooch: artisan market find, made in Latvia.
Pin: “Women’s rights are human right”, from 2013 Women Deliver conference, I think.
Hat: hand-me-down from C.
Brooch on the hat: hand-made gift from my cousin.
Backpack: hand-me-down from my dad, made in China, leather details.

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And to learn through frustration, here is some brain food:

Eco-fashion’s Animal Rights Delusion – Alden Wicker’s clickbait on “hidden stories behind materials” and “inconvenient truths for the animal rights movement” is not much more than affirmation that “vegan” does not mean “eco” the same way as it doesn’t mean “healthy”. D-oh! But it is good to remind ourselves that bringing together wellbeing of all species and sustainable fashion is a challenge that neither “vegan” nor “eco” labels guarantee, and you might have to make some uncomfortable choices between petrochemicals and commodified animals.

How to Buy Nothing, Get Stuff, and Make Friends – Oh, look, a digital outlet that has found out that ICT can help us get the most out of our stuff and divert heaps of trash from the landfill by introducing them in a collaborative economy. True story.

And the main dish for stomach-quenching unease – For Dignity and Development, East Africa Curbs Used Clothes Imports – If developing countries decide that they don’t want our trash anymore, they face harsh consequences! Not totally unexpected but hurts anyway. We have to deal with our garbage at home. Now.

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Have you already switched to cold-weather gear? Are all the layers making you happy? Is your fall capsule keeping up with the weather?