Weekend Reads #43

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Blogging isn't what it used to be. And with everything in life that changes and evolves, we can complain and live in the past or embrace it and find ways to have it improve us or our lives. I've been blogging since 2005, I'm a straight up blogging dinosaur and I don't miss the old days though I do find it takes more and more to keep up with the the ever-changing influencer world. When I decided to go full time with blogging, one of my goals was to blog six days a week. More time to dedicate to blogging, more content! But as blogging has become more complex with more administrative needs, I'm finding I have to choose between content and making this site function well, stay engaged with you all, and getting my “office work” completed on time. After long thought, I have decided to pare down to four days a week for content. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and to continue these Weekend Reads. Occasionally there may be more, and in the future, I hope to return to six days a week, but for now, I am going to practice what I preach. Quality, not quantity.

In exchange, I will be reviving my newsletters. I'll have a variety so you can pick what is best for you – a daily email with the latest blog post, a weekly digest, a monthly newsletter offering content different from what is already on the blog. Look for that in the coming weeks. I also have the Wardrobe Oxygen Community on Facebook, where discussions take place about beauty, shoes, travel, and right now there's a thread where women are talking about the Universal Standard Mystery Boxes and swapping items. Also on Instagram, I share content different from the blog in both the feed and Instagram Stories. I encourage you to join me in these places and continue to provide feedback so I can make Wardrobe Oxygen a great destination!

February WO2 Bestsellers

I shared this last month and many of you loved it so I'll continue this feature of the featured items that were the most popular with Wardrobe Oxygen readers. Did you purchase any of these items? Share your review in the comments!

  1. Universal Standard Mystery Boxes: This was a promotion Universal Standard had one weekend and based off feedback in the W02 Community many of you are receiving your boxes this week! Let me know what you think of them, what did you receive?
  2. Talbots Striped Tee: I see you all love stripes as much as I do! I wore this top in this post and it's a favorite in my wardrobe. Three colors, misses, petite, plus, and plus petite and a great price too!
  3. Lands' End Tugless Suit: I shared my suit in this post and it (plus the awesome sale price) inspired many of you to take the plunge.
  4. Dagne Dover ‘Dakota' Backpack: Dagne Dover bags are usually in my top 10 every month, but this backpack made the top 5 likely due to my travel post.  I do love this bag…
  5. LOFT Leopard Print Sweater: My Weekend Reads get the highest traffic and the highest number of clicks on links.  This was a quick mention in my sale alert but a great piece (available in regular and plus); I'd love to hear from those who bought it what you think of it!

Sale Alert

Weekend Reads

Finally some good news for J. Crew, a company that often disappoints yet I just can't quit. They've tapped Chris Benz as head of Womenswear Design.  Benz worked at J. Crew before, back in the aughts under Jenna Lyons before he went to create his own label. I think this is a very smart move for the brand. (BoF)

Continuing with the retail news… head to DSW for great prices on footwear… and a manicure? (Fast Company)

Curious how this will affect the brands… Gap splitting into two publicly-traded companies, one for Old Navy and one for the rest of the Gap brands (Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, Hill City). (NPR)

Woah. Have you ever reported content on Facebook or Instagram? Meet the Facebook moderators, people who have to view all that reported content day in and out. I can't even imagine such a job. (The Verge)

We live in a world where many people feel entitled to luxury. Treating oneself has become the norm. Saving money to buy, well, pretty much anything, feels like an outdated notion. And that’s where premium mediocre swoops in…” A serious burn by Eugene Rabkin for Business of Fashion.  Can't say he's wrong…

Oh, it only took 175 years… women are now performing in Harvard's Hasty Pudding theater group. (Boston.com)

Who didn't sing along to this song while riding in the car, getting ready for a night out, camping with friends, or chilling with friends sometime during their teen or young adult years? I specifically have a memory of being in a room at my sorority house with older sisters, I may have been a pledge or a newly initiated sister. My friend and I were sitting on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed while the sisters were finishing getting ready, putting on makeup, choosing what flannel to tie around their waist.  And this song came on and all three of them stopped to sing along and invited us to join in and it's a lasting image of what being in a sorority was for me. On the 30th anniversary of “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls. (Stereogum)

I don't report a lot on fashion week because I believe more in style than fashion and trends.  However, since what is on the runway trickles down to the malls, I think it's important to have a general idea of what's going on.  I fully agree with Cathy Horyn's opinion on Dior and feel it will trickle down to where those feminist slogan t-shirts will become as cliche as the one saying you know guac costs extra.  It means nothing if there isn't action to go along with it. Buy your message shirts from retailers that give back to causes you care about.  And don't just wear it, act on it.  Donations, letters to politicians, participate in marches, start difficult conversations, volunteer your time… a t-shirt won't change the world, especially if it costs $700. (The Cut)

While we're on this topic… (Jezebel)

A fantastic, heartfelt interview with Michael J. Fox. (NY Times)

Another fantastic intereview with a fantastic person, this time Stevie Nicks. (Rolling Stone)

We were discussing gray hair in the WO2 Community on Facebook, I dye my hair because I prefer to, I like the effect just like I like mascara and lipstick.  But I support people choosing to rock their gray, whether it's a few glistening strands or full-on silver vixen. This piece from Refinery29 featuring women with gray hair is gorgeous, inspiring, and stunningly beautiful women and styling. (R29)

If I didn't need another reason to love her… Frances McDormand wore acid yellow Birkenstocks to the Oscars (Vogue) Thanks to Krista for emailing me this factoid first! And if you want to be cool like Frances (and me who owns four pairs) I've pulled some of my favorite Birks currently available online:

For Your Entertainment

I'm too old to have been into the Disney Channel, so I didn't “get” into any of the Jonas Brothers until they broke up and did their own individual things. But the brothers are back together with a super catchy song and a decadent fashion-y video featuring their real-life significant others as their love interests. I expect this song to be everywhere this spring.

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. There’s an edge to your style that I’m not sure I can pull off in clothing. But I loooove that edge and your (and Karl’s) knowledge in the “For Your Entertainment” music choices. It’s exactly the guidance I need to find some of the good stuff in the vastness. Loving X Ambassadors and Karen O and DangerMouse. Thank you!

  2. I do still save up for expensive items that I want. I don’t care if that thinking is old school. For example, the non-profit I work for does not have the budget to send me to work related conferences and trainings. They don’t ask me to go to those events. So if I think I will benefit from going, I have to pay for it. I do. Sometimes I have to save for many months to afford the airfare and the hotel. The upside is that I will have all travel and conference expenses paid off before I go. Then I can just relax. enjoy the travel part, learn, and network.

    Stores used to have something called layaway. The customer would pick out an item, pay a little down, make arrangements to make periodic payments and the store would hold it aside until the item was paid off. It worked really well for Christmas presents. I prefer that method to instant gratification which is to “buy” it right this minute with the credit card and then pay on the credit card plus interest.

  3. Eugene Rabkin is not wrong about so-called luxury and mediocrity.

    Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster is an entire book on the topic. Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture and Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion touch on the topic also. Just remember that marketers are using all kinds of tricks to get you to part with your money. All the more reason to trust ethical bloggers like Allie. Good photography, a beautiful thin model, and a glowing description on a website tells you little to nothing about how that garment is going to work for you.

  4. I firmly believe that women should do what they want with their hair. Having said that, showcasing women in their 60s and 80s who have silver hair is hardly revolutionary.
    MOST women have gray by their late 30s and most women would be almost fully gray by 50. Until we normalize aging, we haven’t “won”– it will still be not really OK to simply look the age you are.

  5. Just bought some Veja sneakers to try! Thanks for the tip on Net-A-Porter! Great reads as always.

  6. Oh, that beautiful brown leather jacket at the GAP! How I covet it! Not in my price range either but a girl can dream. 🙂

  7. So excited Weekend Reads is continuing—it’s my favorite treat on Saturday mornings! I read through it quickly (ok, I do stop & look at the clothes links!) & then go back throughout the day to devour the articles. And I can already tell you that I may end up with a dress from Old Navy & some shorts from the Gap! Indigo Girls: I came across that article a few days ago & have been listening to them nonstop since. Their songs really get to me & hold up well over the years (30–wow!).

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  8. I am so glad you are keeping weekend reads! I love starting my saturday (pre or post gym) with coffee, music and your blog!

      1. Agree re: Weekend Reads. It is now my favorite part of your blog.

        Alison, you and I definitely agree on that Old Navy dress and the BR maxi dress. I had just pinned both for myself — as potential dress options for a not-so-formal afternoon-into-evening summer wedding.
        I also love what you wrote about the Gap shirt dress needing better styling. I often want to re-style and re-pose, at least, half of the Gap items.

        Question for you — you and I have similar height and weight. I don’t buy BR items very often, since I’m frustrated with the lack of petite sizing. When I do try the regular sizing, it usually doesn’t fit right — too long and lanky. How do you find the right items for you? Or do you tailor them after.

        I’ve even found J.Crew petite sizing frustrating — even in petite, the torsos and sleeves are often too long.

        I like the look of the compression leggings with mesh cutouts, but I feel like I need to shave my legs to wear them. Can’t bother sometimes.

        1. I just realized for the BR maxi dress, I could find the petite under the petite section. It’s odd they don’t show it in the regular sizing section, just the tall one.

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