Archive for June, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
Jane Birkin could deploy the simplest of pieces for the deathliest of chic like nobody’s business.
- 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)
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.
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.
Silk tees are just a beat more elegant than their cotton counterparts, and I like the longer sleeves here.
If not leopard print sunglasses during the summer, then when?
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.
- 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)