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Archive for June, 2014

Made in America: The Girls of a Certain Age list

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Buying American is just good juju all-around: You have the satisfaction of knowing your purchase was produced in a safe, clean factory by workers making a decent* wage, and you’re supporting businesses, many of them on the smaller side, that have chosen to keep production—and jobs—stateside, when shipping them overseas would cost a fraction of what they wind up paying here. This means that prices of American-made products can run a bit higher than what’s produced overseas. But in my experience, so does the quality. Here’s a special pre-Independence Day roundup of some of my favorite domestically-made brands (I say “some” because a few really good ones got left out, so there will almost surely be a Part II). Please do weigh in with any personal—and especially local— favorites in the comments.

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Billykirk Leather and canvas bags, accessories Billykirk specializes in rough-hewn, classic bags and clutches and totes, and even if you don’t think that’s your thing you may be surprised. It’s true that I love everything that contrasts black with blue, but I especially love how the two shades of blue mix with the black leather accents on this waxed satchel.

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Emerson Fry Apparel and accessories It is not overstating matters to say I want every single thing from this line out of New Hampshire, which is very American classic with a nice dose of urban edge thrown in to keep things interesting.

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Essie: Nail polish A friend recommended this deep red called Tomboy No More to me the other day and it’s totally going on my toes next pedi.

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Filson Luggage, outerwear, gear This outdoorsy brand is mostly aimed toward men, but they make fantastic-looking luggage that works for anyone. If I didn’t already own too many rolling carry-ons (have we ever discussed my rolling suitcase problem?) I would totally go for this elegant model.

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Gorjana Jewelry All manner of inexpensive (but not cheap-looking) adornments; a good place to check in when you want to buy something on-trend but don’t want to pay a fortune.

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J Brand Denim Definitely on the very short list of my favorite denim brands. I loathe when anyone swears that one jeans line or another has a “perfect fit”—bodies are so different—but these work on the skinny-assed and wide-of-hip alike.

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JW Hulme Bags The most classic shapes—messenger, tote, saddle—executed brilliantly, and in a variety of sizes and colors. The kind of bag you really will have forever.


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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Makeup Vegan, cruelty-free, really rather fabulous and straight out of the Lower East Side.

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Quoddy: Footwear Ring boots like this insanely great brown suede pair—very coolest-girl-at-prep-school—handmade in Maine.

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Schoolhouse Electric Housewares When I describe this Portland-based outfit as utilitarian twee, I actually mean that as a positive. I’ve bought a couple of lamps from them that I love, and I came very close to snapping up some stools before (dejectedly) accepting that my my kitchen counter isn’t deep enough for any.

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Steven Alan Apparel The only button-down shirts that don’t make me feel shlumpy and unfeminine are Alan’s reverse seam models: they’re shrunken but not in any kind of horrible cropped way—just sort of like a very well-tailored blazer.

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Schott NYC Outerwear You want a straight-up classic  peacoat, you go to Schott. And you can get yourself a pretty damned iconic moto jacket from them while you’re at it too.

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Utility Canvas Canvas bags, quilts, throws Magazines give out a lot of tote bags at events, and by the time I got fired from Lucky, my entire family was totally Lucky-branded. I couldn’t have them all walking around to work and the beach and so forth advertising my former place of employ, so I went to Utility and bought a mess of new, unsullied bags for everyone. I’m an even bigger fan still of their bright and fun quilted blankets and throws.



*Although I hope we can all agree the minimum wage could use some work.


Posted on June 30th, 2014 38 Comments

Monday links

embroidered leaves


  • Somebody embroidered some leaves and it turned out real pretty. (Laughing Squid)
  • This clever gun safety commercial uses sex toys to make its point. Mildly NSFW. (Dangerous Minds)
  • I’m like the last person to post this, but on the off-chance you haven’t seen it: this woman took photos of herself imitating pictures of famous male authors smoking cigarettes and all I have to say is that it’s pretty genius. (Flavorwire)
  • Pablo Escobar’s deadly hippos are running wild in Colombia. (Time)
  • And finally: the top 21 bestselling books of all time, just for laughs. (How Stuff Works)
Posted on June 30th, 2014

Inspiration of the day

Jane Birkin could deploy the simplest of pieces for the deathliest of chic like nobody’s business.

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1. Boy’s tee; 2.Delicate necklace; 3. Bootcut jeans for a somewhat more modest flare; 4. A straw bag like the one Ms. Birkin was rarely without; 5.Ballet flats




Posted on June 26th, 2014 24 Comments

Thursday links




  • Excellent vintage world cup posters (Dangerous Minds)
  • There will be a Scandal-inspired clothing line. (A.V. Club)
  • Genius. (Jezebel)
  • The best and worst TV spinoffs of all time. (Flavorwire)
  • On the heels of Gary Oldman’s profoundly stupid interview in Playboy: more dumb things actors have said in Playboy. (Vulture)




Posted on June 26th, 2014 3 Comments

4ever summer

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Zebra and snake prints have always struck me as the more warm weather-friendly, but the truth is, nothing pops against white like a good leopard print, and frankly I just don’t feel right if I go more than six months without showing you a fresh batch. For reasons I can’t discern, most sleeveless leopard tops are chiffon and sheer, but this one is cotton and nicely opaque.

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A Madewell store just opened up around the corner from my mom’s place about a month ago, and because this could spell big trouble for my wallet, I try to exercise serious self-control on my visits. So I passed on this shift dress recently, but not for any good reason: it’s just the kind of unrestrictive, comfortable and desperately cute piece I like best on the hottest days.

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Silk tees are just a beat more elegant than their cotton counterparts, and I like the longer sleeves here.


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If not leopard print sunglasses during the summer, then when?



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You’ve got to play it really careful with leopard-print heels—things can get really trashy really fast, even if they’re fancy and designer. But these classic Soludos espadrilles are just good fun.

Posted on June 25th, 2014 11 Comments

Tuesday links

welsh cave

  • This trampoline playground—located in an underground Welsh cave—is maybe the funnest/creepiest thing ever. (PSFK)
  • I’m always up for reading about the meanings behind obscure references in rock songs. (Mental Floss)
  • Some days are just like this. (Dangerous Minds)
  • What a delight: Errol Morris interviewed a bunch of Nobel Peace Prize winners and nominees about how important it is that their teams obliterate the competition in the World Cup. (Kottke)
  • File this under: things that couldn’t possibly be real, but are. (Laughing Squid)
Posted on June 24th, 2014 1 Comment