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I am writing this from Naples, Florida where I am with the intimates brand Soma. They are celebrating their 15th anniversary and invited 14 influencers to join them. I am super honored to be here. Before coming, I looked at the guest list and it seemed as though everyone had a bigger Instagram following. But Soma is a brand I love working with because not only do I wear and love their product, they respect us. Yes us, because Wardrobe Oxygen is nothing without all of you. We so regularly talk about underpinnings, it makes sense and they see I am more than my Instagram audience. I just got back from a visit to their headquarters where we met with their senior exec team and they got to pick our brains and we had the opportunity to be completely honest with them. I shared what many of you have said in comments, emails and DMs about your intimates pain points, what you love about Soma, and what you don't. It was really cool to have that opportunity, and have them so receptive and looking for ways to be even better for you, their target customer.
I don't think we influencers say thank you often enough. But the only way I can have this job, and such cool opportunities to get the ear of important people at a retailer is because of you. And I want to continue to use that “power” for good, to make shopping a better experience for grown women. So thank you. Thank you for making Wardrobe Oxygen, thank you for speaking your mind, and thank you for your support.
Something I didn't know I needed but now can't wait for – a Jack White and Jack Black collaboration! (Stereogum)
Interesting – Bloomie's is the most recent retailer to offer a clothing rental program. (Retail Touch Points)
If you followed my Instagram Stories from my trip to Florida you may have caught my zebra-print jumpsuit. It's a relatively recent purchase from Banana Republic and you can find it at this link. For reference, I ordered a 14 regular and it's a cropped length on my 5'3″ self that looks best with a pointed-toe flat or a block heel. I was nervous about the back zipper but was able to stay hydrated each time I wore it, if you know what I mean. It's not easy, but it's doable, and especially better with a Zipper Genie. Come fall I think it will be chic with heeled boots that come up under the hem and a leather or denim jacket. And if zebra isn't your scene, Banana has this same jumpsuit in several other colors and patterns.
With so many brick and mortar retailers shuttering these days, Bath & Body Works continues to thrive. A piece on why they are making it work so well. (Business of Fashion)
A sorceress’s kit was discovered in the ashes of Pompeii and it's sooo cool. (Smithsonian)
I'm proud of my friend Carly and the community she has built on Instagram and how together they fought to keep that community of #JustWearTheSuit going. (Shape)
Yet another story of how an innocent person has died because people don't get vaccinated. I can't think of anything more selfish than not being vaccinated and going out in public. (People)
I'm curious to see how this will pan out – Macy’s and second-hand apparel site ThredUp are piloting sales of used clothing in 40 Macy’s stores nationwide. (Retail Dive)
If people don’t have to exist in a binary, then why should fashion? A really interesting piece on nonbinary teenage fashion, I highly recommend it. (New York Times)
Sarah Jane Adams is one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow, and it was no surprise I loved her skincare interview. (Man Repeller)
Can Stacy Abrams save democracy? Click for the badass photo of Abrams by Ethan James Green where she is rocking a wide-leg pantsuit, stay for the badass article. (Vogue)
Didja hear? Aidy Bryant has launched a plus size clothing line. (Refinery29) You can check out the brand, Pauline, at this link.
For Your Entertainment
My daughter is a big fan of Grace VanderWaal. You may recognize her from America's Got Talent, she was the tween with the ukuleke who blew away the judges and won her season. Well, she's now 15 and unlike many young phenoms, she only seems to be getting better. While I don't love this video, I do love this song and am even more excited to see her in concert next month (though I bet my daughter is even more excited than I!). Her voice has really matured and this is a catchy chill song great for a dinner party, driving on a Sunday afternoon, or distracting yourself from a work deliverable.
Thank you for the tip about the Zipper Genie, what a useful item I didn’t know I needed until you wrote about.
And happy to hear that you were invited Soma for their anniversary. For many years I was a giant fan of Soma, in particular, their boy-shorts undies and their Smoothing Shorts shape wear.
My fandom ended when Soma stores started piping (or misting) fragrances in their brick and mortar stores. I am not talking about having bottles of perfumes or lotions for sale within their stores, I am taking about aerosolizing fragrance into the air of their stores. After entering their store I had an asthma attack which resulted in many doses from an emergency inhaler, a trip to the ER, and several days of missed work.
Upon my recovery, a call to the store manager, and emails to corporate where met with a “whatever, its our store policy” type of response. If they ever change their store practices, I may become a customer again, but not with their current store operations. Which is too bad, because I really do like their undies.
Probably too late to add anymore feedback for Soma, but I’ve tried a couple times to get bras from there, and have had fit issues every time. I’m generally a 38G/H, and have bought a Stunning Support and a Vanishing Back (after trying on bunches of other styles), but the straps just won’t. stay. up. I hate having to pull straps back onto my shoulders every 15 minutes. They need to be placed closer to the clasp in the back.
Interesting colab with ThredUp and Macy’s. I was sad to read that Macy’s won’t access ThredUp online returns in store though. I used to order tons from ThredUp, but a bit ago they added a $2 restocking fee per item, which is just too much when you’re a hard to fit size and have to order duplicates of items.
Alison Gary says
This is great feedback I’ll pass on to them. You’re not the first to have mentioned this issue, bras are such a personal thing in more ways than one!
So 15 years is how long I have been bra happy! Minimizer is foolproof.
We have clients in Naples and I hope the traffic was manageable for you.
Alison Gary says
Luckily we spent most of the time at a resort and were driven to any other destinations. My first time in Naples, it’s beautiful!
So glad SOMA invited you, Alison! Their vanishing edge panties & their pajamas are really the best around. Enjoy your time in Florida!
I’m commenting after reading a few of the articles but have to start with Stacy Abrams. My goodness, I do hope she (& other likeminded people) will save democracy! She is interesting and appealing because she seems so normal, while also being incredibly smart. I want our states & our country filled with more women (& men) like her. I live in the South & my state is painfully red. Public education(& other areas too) is regularly demonized and funding is constantly pulled away. It’s so hard and I often feel like curling up & crying/hiding/running away. But that’s not going to make things better, is it? So thank you for that article.
The lady who died in Israel—my gosh, it’s just incredibly sad that something so preventable killed her because of another person’s not getting vaccinated. Heartbreaking.
Bath & Body Works—I remember when they started in the 90’s & I had to do the “buy 2, get 1 free” sale any time I visited one! . While I’m not a fan of their bath & body products as much now, I do enjoy some of their candles, especially during the holiday season.
Alison Gary says
Thank you, and I’m glad you liked the mix of links!
Thanks again for helping me learn about SOMA. I never thought I would look forward to putting on underwear !
Alison Gary says
Isn’t the brand amazing? So many great pieces, but their underwear is some of the best!
I tried Soma’s cooling full coverage bra. I haven’t put it to the ultimate test yet – mowing in AL. But I have worn it. And I’ve got to say it’s the closest to actually comfortable I’ve ever worn. So it’s earned a place in my drawer next to my Wacoal awareness bras.
Oh, and re #JustWearTheSuit. No woman would consider that fat shaming. So why did Instagram?
Well, it could be that as Congress found out in a hearing on facial recognition technology used by Amazon & social media companies, the algorithms are mostly written by white males. And are mostly effective for white males. You can see this questioning 2:00 in the video.
Alison Gary says
Thank you for sharing this video. Facial recognition software scares me in many ways, but this clear racial and gender bias is one of the biggest reasons.
Alison Gary says
Right? It’s surprisingly comfortable and gives a great shape!