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This week was a busy one. We put up our tree and holiday decorations, did our holiday card photo shoot and ordered cards, had two doctor's appointments, work, and checking in on my mom. I'm writing this Friday at 5pm and I am ready to go to bed right now! It was a lot, but I took some time for myself. While commitments caused me to miss the gym twice this week, I got a much-needed manicure, a haircut and color, and fit in a few meditation sessions. I have 99% of my gift shopping finished and hope to start wrapping presents this weekend if I get the chance. There were a few points this week where I almost broke, but I powered through and am feeling positive. This can be a very stressful and emotional time of the year for many, please be sure you're taking care of yourself. Even if you only have time for a 10-minute walk alone (even without your phone or music), seek those moments to be able to get through. You deserve it, and you can't care for others properly if you don't care for yourself first!
Thank you DC Refined for featuring me in your piece about what DC fashion bloggers wear in winter. You can see the whole gallery at this link.
My friend Tashira has by far the best gift guide; all the items she's sharing are from small women-owned businesses. Tashira has excellent taste and her photographs truly highlight the work from these talented entrepreneurs.
Cindy Gallop is one of my heroes, and I love her piece for TueNight on why we should #SayOurAge.
No you're not going blind if you're seeing more floaters in your vision. You're just getting older. (The Cut)
I had the opportunity to try out RedThread, a company that doesn't sell clothing by size, but by your individual body. You choose the garment, picks some specifications for fit, answer a few questions, and then with the power of your phone's camera a few photos are taken to customize the clothing. There's no issue with your height, your size, or your shape; each piece is made just for you. RedThread currently offers four wardrobe basics but I can see this company growing and adding to their collection; this is the kind of size freedom that is currently missing in the fashion industry.
I love reading about other people's beauty routines, I love David Beckham, so needless to say, I loved this profile. (Into the Gloss)
Likely you've heard Michelle Obama's thoughts on the ‘Lean In' movement; Michelle Singletary weighs in for the Washington Post (spoiler alert, she agrees).
Great feature on Lauri Freedman, the head of product development at the Whitney Museum. Rarely do I read one of these “what I wear to work” posts and find it relatable. There's so many great nuggets in this about fashion, style, going back to work after a couple decades at home, and much more. (The Cut)
This Weekend's Reader Question
“I’m a huge fan & have been reading your blog for many years now (you once did an outfit post about a red & white striped dress I was unsure of how to style!). I’ve noticed in the past month or two that multiple bloggers are doing lots of posts with Amazon, especially the clothing options.
In the past, you’ve shared Amazon finds with us, but this is different. These bloggers are doing almost weekly posts with Amazon. Since you are so transparent and upfront with your readers, I thought I’d ask about it. I’m not asking as a complaint; more out of curiosity since it’s suddenly happening very frequently.”
With this being the biggest shopping season of the year, I'm not surprised that most of the questions heading my way are about affiliate links and how bloggers make money! And yes, it's not just you, every blogger is really pushing Amazon super hard. It's because Amazon is really pushing to be a fashion destination. Their biggest competition is Walmart, and Walmart has acquired ELOQUII, Bonobos, Shoes.com, ModCloth, Moosejaw, and more to build themselves up as an online fashion destination. Amazon is taking a different route, and using bloggers to promote it.
Amazon has a few ways they are incentivizing bloggers to promote their fashion by awarding Amazon gift cards for making sales goals, gifting Amazon-brand clothing for reviews, sponsoring posts, and offering higher commissions when bloggers sell from certain categories. It can prove quite lucrative if you have the kind of audience that will shop Amazon for fashion. I do not have that audience. With the analytics I have for Amazon, I can see what you click on, and what you end up buying. You're more likely to buy a mascara on Amazon than Ulta, you'll purchase a body brush or a silk pillowcase from Amazon but buy a name brand dress from a well-known department store. And you all really really really like Harry Potter.
I don't like recommending that which I wouldn't myself purchase and I've had a mixed experience with Amazon for fashion. While I think it's fantastic for finding that size and width of shoe that isn't available anywhere else, a good way to score good prices on things like Ex-Officio or SmartWool, and I love getting novelty trendy fashion accessories for less, I have also ended up with some serious duds. If I recommend duds, I lose your trust. I also lose the commission, as you'll return the purchase and Amazon will delete that affiliate sale from my account. As with any other affiliate program, I only use it to promote what I truly think is worth your time and money.
For Your Entertainment
For all who say good music is dead and everything is techno beats and repetitive lyrics, I bring you Maggie Rogers. I may be partial because she's a fellow Marylander, but she is incredibly talented and writes songs that make you feel. Yes, she writes her music, plays several instruments including the harp, piano, and guitar and is on the cusp of being a super big deal.
Always appreciate your honesty and forthrightness.
I know there’s been quite a few recommendations for Rent the Runway and such during the “wear it once” holiday time of year, so here’s hoping you have a chance to check these folks out here in Seattle, once they’re up and running.
Alison Gary says
Oooh Armoire sounds fantastic, thank you for sharing this!
Linda B says
Alison, I just want to say I love your Weekend Reads posts. There is always at least one of these reads that really inspires me and gives me new ideas. Thanks for all the effort you put into these posts.
I hope you got some downtime this weekend, or will today!
Alison Gary says
Thank you Linda!
That’s almost exactly how I use Amazon–price comparison for an item I already know I want, lots of non-clothing items, some beauty products, searching for a size unavailable from another retailer, and maybe some cheaper accessories that I know won’t last forever (though I’m trying to limit my fast-fashion choices). And I do like Harry Potter!
I’m a couple months shy of a move to DC (from Japan) so the DC fashion blogger piece is extra relevant.Gives me some sense of the vibe in my soon-to-be home!
Alison Gary says
I hope you love this city as much as I do!
I appreciate your transparency on the business of blogging!
Wishing your mother the best of care and better times ahead.
Alison Gary says
Hello and thanks for answering my question! The Amazon-fashion thing is interesting. I’ve ordered a few clothing items recently and had fairly good luck, but I made sure the free return option was there. Their pricing has to be paid attention to as well. Depending on color, size, etc., the price can be different on the same item. Nordstrom’s is definitely easier. I hope you & your family have a restful & enjoyable weekend!
Alison Gary says
I’ve seen that too, you have to be super careful as the prices are sometimes higher than at department stores. Also, they come from different sellers with different quality of packaging. But you’re right there are some great items especially if there are free returns. Thank you!
Listening to Maggie Rogers now.Was she on SNL a few weeks ago?
Alison Gary says
She was and I think she was AMAZING!! So glad she’s getting the attention she deserves!