Weekend Reads #15

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I think the hardest part of blogging is how solitary it is. I'm used to an office setting where I go to get a cup of coffee at the kitchen and bump into a coworker or two. If I'm stuck, I could bounce ideas off my boss or a teammate, and at any time get up and walk to a coworker's cubicle or office to say hi, snag a piece of candy, sit down and chat a bit, head over to District Taco with a group for lunch. Blogging, whether it's in my living room, home office, The Wing, or a coffee shop is still me, alone, with my computer. That's why yesterday was super good for my soul. My friend Angelica hosted an event at Blue Bottle Coffee's Union Market location for a select group of DC influencers and it was an amazing group of positive, friendly folk (and plenty of delicious coffee and snacks!). I met new people, caught up with others I already knew, and after Angelica and another blogger friend Tanvi went over to the actual Union Market for a drink (kombucha and sparkling waters, we're so wild!) and some more shop talk. We three have such different businesses we're running, we're different people with different blogs and online brands, and it was motivating to hear their goals and together discuss ways we can help one another. I personally find all the competition in blogging stupid; we're all so different and it's not like there's a limited number of opportunities out there. By helping one another, we help the quality of content improve across the influencer space, ensure brands aren't taking advantage of us, and blogging doesn't feel like such a solitary existence. I finished the day with yoga and an amazing meal by Karl and feel renewed and ready to face the weekend!

I was recently invited to an event that I couldn't go to because of a scheduling conflict, but if I could I wasn't sure what I would wear.  I was telling my husband I need a Le Smoking, a badass perfectly tailored dressy pantsuit. Something with a bit of shine, a sleek silhouette that doesn't look like Corporate America or “Cool Mom” Mother of the Bride. Something I could wear with a simple cami, maybe even a solid black bra, or even a high-necked blouse. The day after griping about this to my husband, I receive an email from Macy's promoting their new Zoe by Rachel Zoe collection and in it I see a sparkly lady tux. I ask them if they're doing any gifting but they said no, they were just hoping I'd share about the collection on social media and my blog for free. So I decided to order it myself, I got the pants and the jacket in a size 14, the largest size available. Well I'm glad they didn't gift it to me because it doesn't fit.  The jacket sleeves are so snug I can't get them completely on. The jacket is crazy long on me, and the button is low, below my belly button.  The pants are super flared and somehow are too big and too small.  There's no shape to the pants, so they're snug in the bum and gaping at the waist and puckering at the crotch. That being said, the metallic fabric is smooth, the pieces are lined, and they look nice for their pricepoint.

Since the bad Rachel Zoe tux, I started looking for lady tuxes that go larger than a size 10. Wondering, have any of you tried Little Black Tux, Sumissura, or Her Tuxedo? I actually want something out of a shiny fabric, not a classic wool tux with satin lapels but willing to try.

Walmart wants to compete with Everlane. I'm all about a brand competing with Everlane, especially if they have a broader size range, but it's Walmart. I'm trying to see how anything Walmart related can compete with a brand that prides itself on ethical treatment of its workers and transparency…

Um, total #GOALZ via Advanced Style

A lot of you desired a gold ring pouch like the one I've worn on the blog (see in this post) but the brand no longer has this size in gold. I did a bit of searching and found this one from Nina. It's not leather, but it's the same style and would be a perfect little purse for dressy occasions and the price is MUCH nicer than my bag!  In fact, it seems as though the ring pouch is a hot trend this fall, look at all the options I found when researching an upcoming blog post (um, this one is to DIE FOR and I'd buy if I won the lottery!).


Do you live in a home with an open concept/lack of walls? I found this article fascinating about the history of home layouts.  In the article they have a picture of one of the style of homes in my community (not the one I live in but similar); in 2008 we put an addition on the house which took our living/dining room and separate kitchen main floor and made it into an open concept from front to back with only a half wall separating the kitchen. As Emerson gets older I do find times when we had more separate rooms, but I in general love it. I see pluses and minuses to both concepts. What do you think of the open floor plan?

I love this piece about a woman who chose to celebrate her 80th birthday with a tattoo.

I wrote a few weeks ago about female political candidate fashion and what my friend Rosana of DC Style Factory thought of a piece about the subject in the New York Times. It made this feature on Cynthia Nixon's daily life even more interesting to me. A snippet from it, “I like a dress, personally, because it breathes more. But I have a lot of pantsuits and, I have to say, people respond very positively to that because I think we’re still in an era when an elected leader is a person who wears a suit. I think it helps people imagine me in office.”

The best chart I've found to help women dress according to their body shape.

And for your musical enjoyment, one of the latest songs from Death Cab for Cutie. Death Cab is such a specific sound from a specific time in my life and I wasn't feeling the need to hear more of the same with their new album coming out later this month.  But I keep hearing this song on the radio and it's a fresh sound from this band. Dare I say it has a twinge of Flaming Lips to it?

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. The ring bags that Paige Hamilton Design does are also beautiful albeit spendy. But beautiful! And made in the US and really thoughtfully designed by a real-live person named Paige Hamilton 🙂 I never travel without her Isabel crossbody.

  2. I agree there are pluses and minuses to the open concept house layouts. We live in a 1940s apartment building, where the kitchen is separate and sits down the hallway from the living room. My husband is the cook in the family and he often feels isolated and lonely, cooking there, while the rest of the family hangs out in the living room, reading and watching tv. We’ve enjoyed staying in airbnbs where the family or living room sits with the kitchen, because we all hang out together and nobody’s missing out on a conversation.

    I am a firm believer in the bedrooms, office/study and bathrooms being individual, private spaces that are connected by a hallway, away from the common areas. And I think lots of home builders these days stint on the necessary sound insulations of those walls! Worse bathroom I ever visited once — my artist friend lived in a very nice converted warehouse loft. I didn’t realize till I was in the bathroom, peeing, that the walls didn’t extend all the way up to the ceiling! It was more of a bathroom cubicle! YIKES.

  3. Great digest again with interesting finds. We live in an open concept home and I am super happy to have a few rooms that are private where anyone can go and be alone. The whole house open is also a challenge to a clean freak such as myself. That kitchen has to be cleaned up or I’m bothered. 🙂

  4. Alison…i’m interested in your comments re Walmart vs Everlane….i just want to give you some thing to think at about….how do we know that Everane’s factories are ethical? we know because THEY tell us….how do we know that Walmart’s are not (at least not always)? we know because they are tracked and monitared by tons of outsiders….
    (FYI, i’m no fan of Walmart, and i do like and wear Everlane, but….)

  5. I LOVE these roundups you do. Such a curator of interesting things. Goals: get a tattoo and go on more architectural history walks. (Looking cute with all your fashion advice, of course). 🙂

  6. Thanks for the chart on dressing for your body type. You are absolutely right. It IS the best thing ever! Well, next best to you, of course!

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