Flight Delay

Friday’s scheduled content will appear on Monday.  My flight is delayed an entire day!  Luckily, I am not quite stranded in Dallas.  Unluckily, I have no cat picture to tide you over this time.

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Bust-Friendly Dress Shirts, Part 2: DD Atelier

DD Atelier is a Russia-based company that makes way more interesting and structured clothing than most bust-friendly retailers do.  I don’t always agree with their choice of fabrics, but that’s a matter of personal preference: everything they make looks youthful and fun even if I’m not personally a fan of gingham.  Also, their clothing fits me really well, once I figured out what my size was.  (This shirt is an 80F, and I originally thought I was an 85D).  For the price, it’s ridiculously well-constructed, and the fabrics and fit are both way nicer than the Pepperberry shirt I bought 8 years ago.  Also, my friends implied that I looked like Neo from The Matrix, which I consider a compliment.

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Ethical Fashion Supporting Actual Native American Artists

I was upset last week to hear that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico does not think that the Navajo Nation, the second-largest Native American tribe in the United States, is famous enough for Urban Outfitters “Navajo”-branded stuff to legally qualify as trademark dilution.  Not a total loss for the Navajo, since they have a pretty compelling case (nonsense language like ‘tribal print’ exists because it’s illegal to pretend that you are selling the products of a particular Native American tribe unless you actually are).   But it’s certainly a blow to, you know, basically any tribe that trademarks their name to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening, because if the Navajo can’t win that argument about their name, then who can?

There’s not much I can do as a private citizen, but I decided I can do these three things:

  1. Suggest that you do not buy stuff from Urban Outfitters or their other brands, Free People and Anthropologie, if you care about human beings.  Urban Outfitters has a long history of doing this sort of thing and also not making clothes in ethical conditions.
  2. Tell you a little about the Navajo and why they should be famous, even if the U.S. District Court does not believe this;
  3. Share with you some actual Native American / First Nations artists whose cool clothing and accessories you can buy

For a more comprehensive list of Native American fashion and accessory designers, check out Beyond Buckskin Boutique’s Buy Native list.  This list is just a curated version of the ones I like the most: I personally tend to like simple things, and a lot of Native art is too intricate for my taste. If you have different taste than me, please do check out Beyond Buckskin’s Buy Native list.

I’ve tried to include options at a variety of price points.

 

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Shoes That Fit: Narrower Heels, Wider Toes

It’s been a while since I’ve written about footwear (mostly because the posts I want to write are either historical research projects or would involve me going to the store to try on shoes I don’t usually wear).  So here’s a popular question I’ve gotten:

How do you find shoes that are wider in the toe but narrower in the heel that also don’t look like clown shoes?

The fact that this is requires a search is ridiculous.  According to the podiatrists I’ve spoken to, most women have wider forefeet and narrower heels.  But women’s shoes are usually built either to have toes that are the same width as their heels or toes that are narrower.  This is especially frustrating to me as someone with a significantly-wider-than-average forefoot but narrow heels, and it’s also frustrating because shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot cause bunions… which are extra-painful if you are wearing shoes that are narrow in the toebox.  But you can find them, and I hope this post makes that process easier for you!

 

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Bust-Friendly Dress Shirts, Part 1: Front Room

A few weeks ago I rounded up the best silk blouses I could find through research– and now I’ve actually tried one of them!

Full disclaimer:  I got this blouse as a gift from the lovely owner of Front Room, Melanie Love.  She did not give this to me for review, although she was aware of the existence of this blog at the time that she gave it to me, and it being a gift from her does not affect the honesty of this review.

This bust-friendly shirt review comes first because apparently, Front Room is closing their web storefront for the summer starting mid-June!  They started a semi-annual sale for their mailing list subscribers on 5/15, and they’ll be extending it to the general public on 5/17.

Front Room, as far as I know, is unique among specifically bust-friendly clothing companies.  Everything they make is not just office-appropriate, but appropriate for a very formal office.  Melanie Love comes from a finance background, so she’s got experience standing uncomfortably next to men in $10,000 suits while “praying the double-sided tape on [her] shirt-front [was] going to hold until the end of the presentation.”  Her clothing is designed for that environment.

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Adulting, Formal-Style: 15″ Laptop Bags That Resemble Purses

There are a lot of purely functional laptop bags out there.  If you’re looking for that, my top recommendation is the Timbuk2 Command, which is super-sturdy and also has a neat feature that makes it easier to take through airport security.  (The water bottle holder is a little small, though.)

However, if you are a professional and/or are at all vain, you might want something more formal-looking.  Structured.  But also, you probably want a bag with actual functioning pockets and/or organization, and maybe one that will not kill your shoulders.  This post is for you!

I have not actually tried any of these bags.  (Largely because right now I do not have a functioning laptop, and getting one is a higher priority than getting a bag for it!)  But, as you’ll see, I have done ridiculous amounts of research into their functionality.

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Awesome, Extremely Expensive Coats: The Nerdy Edition

Have you ever wanted to look like Dante from Devil May Cry?  Rey from Force Awakens?  Link from Zelda?  The entire cast of Assassin’s Creed?  Then you are my people.  Also, there is a company that makes the perfect clothing for you.  It’s nerdy while still somehow looking sophisticated and sharp, and they design stuff that’s super-durable, much of which you can also move around in easily.

…if you have the right figure for it, and/or if you can afford the stuff they make to measure.  I bought one stupendously amazing vest from Volante Design, and the process of trying to get it altered has convinced me I cannot buy any of their stuff unless they make it to my measurements.

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Friday Tea Break: Floating Leaves

I have several favorite tea suppliers, each of which does something different well.  Northern Lights Tea Company sells high-quality sustainability-focused teas (especially their Japanese greens); Tea Source sells at least one tea for everyone, whether you like prize-winning Ceylons or candysweet herbals; Breakaway Matcha sells what I think is the most delicious matcha on the market, albeit at really high prices.

I eventually decided that, if I had to start by recommending just one vendor, I’d recommend Floating Leaves Tea.   This blog is meant to help people find high-quality, reasonably-priced products. Floating Leaves Tea’s Taiwanese oolongs are the best I’ve ever had and incredibly reasonably priced for their quality.  They’re so good, in fact, that they converted a friend who thought she hated oolongs.

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Overly-Comprehensive Reviews: MM LaFleur

I have intensely conflicted feelings about MM.LaFleur.  The idea of looking sharp and professional but having someone else do all the actual work is great; MM.LaFleur’s customer service is excellent; their branding and marketing is brilliant; their clothing is sturdy and conservative enough for any workplace and has a good balance of personality and versatility.  Also, most of their stuff magically looks way better in photographs than I think it actually looks on me.

However, even though I did end up buying some of their stuff, I think I’m too hard to fit and too picky to be their audience.  You’re best off with MM.LaFleur if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of picking work clothes, you’re not especially picky about color, and you have no emotional problem dropping $155-$295 on an article of clothing.

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