Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sweet for Girls, Rockin' for Boys

I've been doing a lot of thinking about our society's current view on women and women's roles lately. Fashion magazines have always been a good impetus to start my blood boiling about issues surrounding women and what it is considered to be appropriate in terms of how we look, how we dress, our body shapes and the sort of lifestyle and jobs we should have. I've also been examining lifestyle blogs lately, and how those are related to the current surge of neo domesticity in our culture, so there has been a constant swirling of images and text in my head that in so many ways does not seem different from media portrayals of women back in the supposedly archaic 50's.

Just the other day at work, my co-worker and I were angrily discussing an Instyle "Makeover" issue. In it, there were "tips" on everything from how to wear your hair to how to act properly on facebook—all of which seem like an updated version of those horrific books from half a century ago that instructed women on how to be proper, mostly to get a man (because this is, after all, the most important goal for a woman to have). The section on remaking your online presence had me spitting nails—did you know, for instance, that according to an online dating website, 60% of men prefer straight to curly hair? Racial implications aside, Instyle suggests that you should then only use pictures of yourself with straight hair, unless your aim is to go for that meager 40% of men. Also, a study done by Psychology Today suggests that 305 friends on facebook is the golden number, so you better start either weeding out the filler or asking everyone you've ever met to be your "friend," should you not have that number under your profile pic (of yourself with straight hair. Also: there were instructions as to how to pose in your online pictures...and of course they had to do with looking "coy."). You can check out more of these super tips here!

Most hilarious was a pull quote that followed this article by the apparently new "style icon" Rachel Bilson about how important it is for a woman to love everything about herself—even the bad parts!

Oh my bad, I just spent 60 pages reading about how everything about myself is wrong and should be fixed.

It isn't just grown women who are still being instructed as to how to act in order to ultimately get a man. As seen in the Holiday 2011 Gap Kids ad campaign, little girls are still supposed to be sweet! And, on the flip side, boys are ROCKIN'! Oh, and it is also all about how kids "want candy." Take THAT Michelle Obama! (NOTE: this is not the original ad I saw in the most recent issue of Lucky magazine. As it turns out, it is really difficult to find actual print ads online...but here is a promo piece with the message, as well as the photo that was accompanied by similar text in the ad I originally saw).

Just more reasons, I suppose, to make sure that I get to see Miss Representation sooner than later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Farewell Ironing Board Collective!

I did my last post for the Ironing Board Collective on a rather contentious subject in the critical, feminist writing world—Jane magazine. Now,  I know that many had major grudges towards the publication, but I loved it, and miss it dearly. Sure it exhibited many of the insulting pitfalls that plague most mainstream women's magazines, but there was something about it that no other publication has been able to capture. Read about my further musings on the publication here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Behind on the times...but here are some posts!

The past couple months have flown by and it is hard to believe that my stint writing at the Ironing Board Collective is coming to an end next week! I must be getting old, at the rate time is going.

Here is what I've been getting up to on the IBC the past few weeks:

Week #3: Bully Blondes: Kate Hudson and the Rom Com (as influenced by my viewing of Something Borrowed)

Week #4: The American Way: Growing up and getting "malled" by consumerism (all about the M.O.A., Claire's, Auntie Anne's and Hot Topic. Not to be missed).

Week #5: Viva Sookie Stackhouse! Anti-style icon (everyone's favorite smutty vampire romance/mystery novel heroine/ tv show character)

Week #6: Shoes Oh My God Shoes: the case for comfort (a.k.a. heels are bullshit)

Week #7 (after you write "week" that many times, it starts to look weird): Sew What? Handmade for everyone! (influence by my recent trip to the North Shore, I am going to start sewing all of my clothing by hand)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall 2011 Issue of C.L.A.P. out!

The third issue of the progressive women's zine I founded and edit, C.L.A.P. (Creative Ladies are Powerful) is out! This is our first "theme" issue, so many of the articles (all contributed by local, creative women) focus on careers/jobs/life choices. Back to school indeed! For more details, check it out here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Posts on the Ironing Board Collective

There has been so much going on lately that I haven't even been able to keep up on posting about my newest posts on the Ironing Board Collective! It's been a great experience writing for them so far. I've also been enjoying the other guest blogger's pieces as well, and definitely recommend checking them out.

In the meantime, here is what I have been doing for the IBC so far.

First, I wrote about a subject that is near and dear to my heart—magazines. Specifically fashion magazines, specifically about what I do and do not like in fashion magazines. I plan on writing at least a couple more pieces focusing on magazines, but this was a good starting piece.

This week, I took on local giant Target and mused about the massive buzz over their just released Missoni by Target line. Check that one out here.

Got a lot going on this week—finishing up an article for Minnesota Meetings and Events, have another piece in the works and putting together the fall issue of C.L.A.P., which will be released Sept. 23rd. So much going on, but it is all fabulous!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Guest Blogging on the Ironing Board Collective!

Design by Briarmade Designs

I am so amazingly stoked guest blog for the equally amazing Ironing Board Collective over the next couple of months! For those of you unfamiliar with the IBC, it is a sweet blog all about discussing fashion in a more cultural/philosophical/critical context than your typical "look at the outfit I put together from Forever 21 and photographed with my iphone" fashion blog. For September and October, the main writers of the blog will be joined by five of us guest bloggers. I'll be sharing my thoughts and ideas about mainstream fashion and fashion journalism on Thursdays, so be sure to check it out!

To see a bit more about the guest bloggers, check out everyone's info here!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mighty Swell is...well, Mighty Swell!

Photo of Meghan McAndrews and Rae Danneman by Dajana Bartulović

Here is my post on the Dressing Room blog about last weekend's Mighty Swell sale. Meghan and Rae are super sweet ladies that didn't get discouraged by the stress that really comes with opening an Etsy shop focusing on vintage. They are also huge supporters of C.L.A.P. (Creative Ladies are Powerful), the zine which I founded and edit (and, as an extra plug, if anyone wants to contribute to the fall issue, email me at creativeladiesarepowerful@gmail.com!). Alright, now I need to go ready some more about Mormon mom blogs/read the insane comments on the salon.com article about said articles/want to get violent about the anger against women being anti-religion/"children"/domesticity (since you know, the Women's Movement happened, things are totally fine)/ponder how in this wholly anti-intelligent, independent female world one can even freely express their opinions without being deemed as some sort of harlot or "bitch" or "over-educated snob"/go to bed, because tomorrow (well today) is another day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tiny Collars and New York Fashion

I am in New York right now, visiting some of my most lovely and dearest friends. Though I didn't quite hack it as an actual New Yorker six years ago (though I do have to say that a visit to my old employer, Magnolia Bakery, was certainly surreal), I love coming to the city for many reasons, one of which is checking out people's fashion.

As Laurie assured me that it was not worth packing anything along the lines of pants or long sleeves, given the recent heat wave, and as I cleverly utilized my little birthday suitcase for this trip, I did not bring extraneous clothing. Upon coming to the city, however, I have found myself wishing there were some items in my closet here with me now. If only there was a way to magically transport all of my closet with me whenever I travel. Here's to hoping technology makes some rather large advances in this realm.

Among the pieces I have wished I brought with me:
Levi's Denim Vest
My Levi's denim vest that my friend Carly convinced me to purchase thrifting several years ago.

My Osborn booties.
Black Lace-up Boots
My witchy lace-up black booties.
Snap Leather Gap Mini Skirt
And...after a viewing of the film known on Netflix simply as "Girly"* (1970), my recently purchased Gap brown suede snap-up mini skirt. This movie also made me wish that I lived in the 70's, that I looked good in eyeliner and that my hair would grow longer than mid-boob length.

I also did a wee bit of "shopping" this afternoon with my friends Aaron and Eduardo, though I am not really sure you can refer to it as shopping considering the fact that I bought nothing and only succeeded in peeing at Crate and Barrel. Among my observations of barreling down Broadway with five million other people:

1. At first, I was really impressed by Uniqlo's button-ups with "tiny collars." Until today, I had never set foot in the store, and while I was severely underwhelmed, I did announce to Aaron that I "liked their tiny collars."

Then, we went into Topshop, Club Monaco and Zara. Here, and in every proceeding store window, I realized that "tiny collars" are now the new thing that all these shops have ripped off, I am assuming from some big name designer (who I am too lazy to google right now). So disappointing.

2. Topshop is much more expensive here than it seemed in London eight years ago. Maybe it was because at that time, I had no problem blowing my entire life savings on pseudo euro-trash fashion that would end up in the garbage or donation bin years later. Still, I was rather shocked that, unlike H&M, Topshop did not adjust their prices to American currencies after jumping over to the colonies. Perhaps this was a way to maintain their mystique as "Topshop,**" but regardless, no matter how much I was drooling over that yellow poly button-up short sleeved blouse with scalloped edging, or that floor length kelly green pleated skirt, I will not, and cannot, justify spending $70 plus for each piece.

3. Lines on Broadway are, like, crazy busy. So much so that they prevented me from making a, in hindsight, rather unwise purchase of size 10 (and yet pinchy, figure that one out) dirty tan leather elf shoes from Zara.

4. Fucking Urban Outfitters.

5. They sell Tom's at Whole Foods. Considering how much my dogs are barking after making rather poor shoe packing decisions, I am going to head there tomorrow in an attempt to rest them on some pillowy-like, socially-conscious shoes, despite my previous railings against them after my first pair wore out after three months.

6. Nothing beats buying clothes resale or thrifted. Tomorrow Laurie, my blogging partner from Operation Sparkle, and I will be hitting up some of her choice shops so that I can feel what she feels when she attempts the sport of thrifting in NYC. Wish us luck.

*Otherwise known in the real world as "Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly"
**Considering how dirty I feel every time I now step into an H&M, this strategy must have worked.

City Pages: Vintage Shopping in Northeast Grows with New Shops

So I almost died of heat stroke from (stupidly) biking all over creation the other Tuesday working on this story (uncovering breaking news guys!), but all in all, it was a nice experience. Nothing like having a working excuse to check out new vintage shops in town.

Check out my piece on Bologna Vintage (a relatively new shop I hadn't visited) and Northeast Vintage (a brand-spankin' new store) here.

And remember: if you are going to bike across the city the day after getting a terrible sun burn and drinking a bunch, make sure that you bring buttloads of water with you. And an umbrella. And maybe you should just drive.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

City Pages: The Midwest Vintage Show beats Etsy on charm

This past weekend, I attended the Midwest Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show and Sale at the State Fairgrounds, a occasional expo I've been meaning to go to for years. Here I cover the event for the City Pages Dressing Blog: The Midwest Vintage Show beats Etsy on charm

If you want the check out my amazing photographing skills (or if you would like to see some of the treasures I spotted at the sale), here is a slide show from the event (please try to ignore the fuzzy vertical photos, still getting the hang of sizing for these matters): The Midwest Vintage Show slide show

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's My Birthday, Crank it Up!

To properly commemorate the radio station of my childhood, WIXX*, I have blessed my very special birthday post with a reference to said station. Beyond my undying love for all that is the 101.1 fm frequency in Green Bay, here are the fashion highlights of my birthday, as inspired by my work at Everyday People.

Vintage Floral Suitcase

First off, there is a lifestyle/crafty/fashion blog that I love to hate that got me in the mood for vintage luggage. I am also blaming my inkling for said travelware on my friend Lisa Luck, who suggested that I write about it for my post on Retro Rama. The day after my birthday, I just had to buy the amazing vintage suitcase that had been taunting me for MONTHS at work. I can't wait to bring this on my future summer vacay to New York, even if it only holds about half the amount of clothing I want to bring.** It reminds me of something I would find in my Grandmother Pat's basement, which makes me love it even more.

I have also been in LOVE with scarves wrapped as headbands, as inspired by my co-worker Lindsay's stylings on our most recent windows at work.

Finally, the other day at work, I saw a really cute customer wearing an equally cute sundress—not a major surprise during this time of year. Where she gained mega points, however, was for her bright neon-ish red stocking socks with her slip-ons. I have been a major fan of little stocking socks with shoes for sometime now, but her color explosion burst the whole thing into another realm of happiness.

(like this, but more modern)

I just love, love seeing people who make me want to dress weird. It is a total birthday (and work day!) delight!

*to show your full support for the station's best dj of my childhood, please become a fan of Americans for Steve Louizos, which I may or may not have started.
**Gotta impress those New Yorkers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rewind turns five, expands to south Minneapolis

, a super fantastic vintage shop that pretty much solidified my love for Northeast Minneapolis years ago, is celebrating their fifth anniversary by expanding to a new storefront in south Minneapolis. Closer to my house. Sort of. I don't know if I can handle it. Check out my coverage of the new shop for the City Pages Dressing Room blog here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

RetroRama proves to be totally worth the parking hassle

Yesterday I picked up my good, and willing, friend Lisa Luck, to accompany me to the annual RetroRama vintage fashion event. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. Getting dressed for such an event is quite nerve racking, especially when you are dealing with the lines of what is appropriate (decidedly vintage) and what is actually you (for me, not 50's cocktail looks). After much deliberation, I decided upon an extremely vintage frock my grandmother had found in the basement of a house she put up for auction (so vintage, in fact, that it ripped several times through out the course of the evening and had to be held together with my slip straps) and a "modern" headband from the lovely ladies of Witt & Lore.

Other than picking Lisa up about thirty minutes late, we arrived in style after sitting in traffic for a good twenty minutes, trying to park. After adjusting the car about five times, with the parking attendant and five RetroRama go-ers watching, we were set to go!

The evening turned out to be quite fabulous, from multiple run-ins with people we (especially Lisa) know, to many an enjoyable conversation with people enjoying the generous libations. All in all, I think it was a fabulous first entry into the RetroRama world. To see my full report, check it out here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Blogging about Retro Rama for City Pages!

I am so very excited to announce (ahem) that I am going to be covering the annual RetroRama event at the Minnesota History Center for City Page's Dressing Room blog! For a look at the details, please check out my post on the event here. Now I have to go find a suitable outfit.