09 July 2010

Link-tastic! 9 July 2010

My goodness, Fabulous Readers, it's Friday again already!

Franca at Oranges and Apples muses on gender divisions in the crafty world, and it's a subject that bears a lot of thought. The majority of top fashion designers are men, but men are very seldom thought of in terms of home or craft sewing, especially when it comes to making women's garments. There's a lot of history behind why some crafts are "men's" and some are "women's" (and some are perceived as relatively gender-neutral), but why do those divisions persist? Is the supposed lack of interest of fashion to men part of it? Is it related to the home/workplace divide?

WendyB breaks down the price of gold (literally!). Fabulous Husband also makes jewelry, albeit mainly in silver, and has the same issues: silver currently costs over $18 an ounce, but most people's mental total of "what silver jewelry should cost" is based on a price that's less than half that, from just a few years ago. What Wendy doesn't talk about (but has previously, if I recall) is how much time, effort and skill goes into making good jewelry - and how hazardous it is. In order to craft a piece of jewelry, a jeweler will work with 2000°F+ flames, highly toxic chemicals, and power tools that can cause some pretty serious injury.

Is white the answer to summer heat? Maybe not. Cheap JAP delves into history, science, and (of course) thrift stores to see if black is actually cooler. I'm eager to see what she finds to beat the heat!

Of course, if you can hit the beach (or the pool) in this weather, you can stay cool in a swimsuit. Read up on the history and culture of swimming clothes first at Worn Through.

Angie from You Look Fab talks about how to wear tops with skirts. With my skirt-centric wardrobe, I gleefully violate her first "rule" - I find it harder to match trousers and tops than skirts and tops! Of course, to her suggested ways to wear skirts, I'll add with a jacket and layered under a dress or tunic.

Great methodologies from Sal at Already Pretty: inventorying your wardrobe and honing your style and is it flattering

I'm very lucky that every single one of you Fabulous Readers is a kind, good-natured (or at least exceptionally polite) person who would never post a gratuitously nasty comment here. However, I know that other bloggers aren't so lucky. Minh-ha from threadbared and Gretchen from gretchen blogs both look at the unfortunate phenomenon of comments that go beyond disagreement or constructive criticism and into mean personal attacks.

Also from threadbared: Superman saves us from designer knockoffs! He may be the Man of Steel, but is he faster than a speeding fast-fashion merchandiser?

And a little bit of feminist thought to chew over for the weekend: Does Jezebel feed on women's insecurities as much as traditional fashion magazines - just in a different way? Not included in that article: the rebuttal to the original Jezebel post by its subjects.

Have a wonderful weekend, Fabulous Readers!

07 July 2010

The Iron(ed) Blogger

So it appears that my new-found passion for ironed summer clothing is not widely shared. Worry not, Fabulous Readers: I have no intention of becoming an ironing evangelist, especially because a quick tour of my closet revealed that I had very few lightweight, loose-fitting wovens that would benefit from such treatment.

Here's one of the few:

today's outfit, stripy tank top, Gap cotton skirt, John Fluevog sandals
Black-and-white stripy top, FDJ French Dressing, thrifted, remixed
Orange flower-print skirt, Gap, thrifted
Shoes, John Fluevog "Summertime: Haight," remixed
Silver necklace: depths of the jewelry box

The skirt, an XL/Tall, is way too big for me, and has some construction features that make me reluctant to take it in. Normally I'd leave at item that fit me this poorly on the rack, but the super print, lightweight all-cotton fabrication and pockets convinced me to take this one home.

heatwave outfit, fashionable in summer weather, beat the heat

I usually belt it at my waist for a paper-bag effect, but today I was more than happy to let it sit as low on my hips as it wanted and be drapey and airy. Proportions, in this weather, are the least of my concerns.

Oh, yes: the heat wave continues, with temperatures breaking 100° F for a second breezeless, sweltering day. The weather itself is becoming an endurance trial. We're really not accustomed to this weather in New York. Our houses aren't built for it (no AC in mine!) and neither are our wardrobes.

double French braids, rear view of braids, cool summer hairdo

So braids again it was. Next up: gin and tonics and ice cream for dinner.

How do you cope with excessive heat? How do your clothing choices change when the mercury boils?

06 July 2010

Too Darn Hot

I do not do well in hot weather.

fainting blogger, sundress, heatstroke
Dress, Brooklyn Industries, "Kritti"
Shoes, John Fluevog "Laurelei," remixed

So I'm melting in the floatiest, most minimal dresses possible, drinking huge, icy beverages, and trying not to move much. It's even too hot to wear jewelry.

today's outfit, Brooklyn Industries dress, John Fluevog sandals

My hair, thankfully, is continuing its progress toward braidability. I still get wisps at the back of my neck, but at least I can get the majority up and off my skin.

double French braids, cool summer hairdo

This is the new-and-improved version of my favorite blue dress, in... a different color blue (although this one's also a bit shorter, which is nice). I usually don't buy multiples of anything: having two dresses of the same style in the same color family is nigh-unprecedented.

turquoise knit dress, black white beige sandals

I've realized something pretty amazing in the past few days, though. Inspired by some conversation in a meandering thread on the fiber-arts site Ravelry, I tried substituting my tried-and-true summer staples - wee knit dresses like this one and knit camis and tanks - with crisply ironed natural-fiber wovens. Goodness gracious, Fabulous Readers, I was so much cooler.

I know everybody hates ironing. It's a practice that's very out of vogue, at least in my area. I'm finding, though, that it doesn't really take that long to press off a blouse and a skirt, or a little sundress, once you get in the habit of it. Do the clothes stay looking fresh-off-the-board crisp all day long? No, of course not. Does that really matter? The only down side I've really found is that on hot days, the last thing I want to do is be wreathed in a cloud of pressing steam!

I don't have too many summer-weight woven clothes, but the next time I go thrifting, I'm absolutely keeping my eye out for clothes I can press!

Do you iron, or is the very concept loathsome to you?