Weekend Link Roundup

November 03, 2017

Topshop Chuck On Blazer // US2 // Chartreuse
▪ For those looking for a drapey blazer, I recently picked up this Topshop jacket which comes in four colors (I am partial to the chartreuse). Topshop generally runs a size small but this style is loose-fitting so you can size down back to your normal size if you want a more tailored fit. The material is lightweight, but not wrinkle-prone. It's a piece that leans casual--a cross between a cardigan and a blazer--but works well for business casual work environments or for the weekend.

Modest Dressing, as a Virtue (The New York Times): "Modest fashion might come across as a humblebrag: You have to be a pretty stylish, pretty good-looking woman to claim ownership of such radical dowdiness ... It can also sometimes seem like an elitist project of sociocultural self-positioning: By embracing the covered-up look, you declare yourself part of a particular psychographic tribe, one whose members don’t just dress for other women, but for a particular subset of other women — those who get it, who are sophisticated enough to understand that opting out of conventional beauty standards makes for its own kind of conceptual, better-than-thou fashion."

▪ (My System 1 answer is no, but I plan to explore this new AT venture in more depth in a future post.) Would You Pay $95 to Rent Ann Taylor? (Racked): "Last month, Infinite Style quietly launched on an independent website. For a monthly fee, including shipping and exchanges, members can rent three pieces of clothing at a time from Ann Taylor’s current season. Jewelry, accessories, Loft, and Lou & Grey aren’t included, but there is an option to buy what you want to keep..."

Christopher Bailey, Burberry Chief Creative Officer, Is Leaving and Burberry Parts Ways With Bailey as New CEO Refashions Brand (The New York Times): "The decision marks a major turning point for Burberry, Britain’s largest luxury brand by sales, which in March reported annual revenues of 2.8 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) ... Mr. Bailey will be the seventh major designer to leave a prominent fashion job since 2015 ... Mr. Bailey’s decision to step away from Burberry, a brand with which he was almost synonymous, underscores a new belief in the fashion world that it is no longer expected, or even desirable, for a designer to remain at a house for a long period of time. And it further redefines that role as less of an aesthetic alchemist and more of an employee with a transferable skill set ... Burberry has made no announcement about a possible successor to Mr. Bailey, and would not commit to a timeline. The questions now become, will the company choose a relative unknown, and will the next stage involve a continuum, or a turnaround?"

Life Inside the RVs of Silicon Valley (Topic): "... a long line of 21st-century covered wagons, all of which are symptoms of some sort of dysfunction: decades of shortsighted NIMBY housing policy in the Bay Area, the long tail of the recession, personal battles, or wages too low to buy space indoors. The innovation capital of the world hasn’t yet solved how to build affordable housing."

A Very Old Man for a Wolf (Outside Online): "OR4’s ancestors didn’t ask to be relocated to the lower 48. And while gray wolves have arguably restored a lost component to western ecosystems, they returned to a place much changed—a place full of people, of fat hornless cattle, of snack-sized sheep, of rubber bullets and range riders and firecrackers and helicopters and tranquilizers and traps and collars and GPS signals and government regulations. OR4 never failed as a wolf. He broke human rules. And in the 21st century, being a competent wolf isn’t enough to stay alive. You must also—impossibly—know your place."

▪ Take 50% off regular-priced items at Banana Republic with code BRCARD50. BR cardholders can use code BRCARD for an extra 10% off. My picks: Italian Superloft Turtleneck Midi Sweater Dress, Suede Trench Shift Dress, Button-Sleeve Top, Feather Touch Ruffle-Cuff Turtleneck, Button-Front Ribbed Sweater Dress, Bow-Neck Ponte Sheath Dress, and Italian Superloft Bow-Cuff Crew.

Americans Are Officially Freaking Out (Bloomberg): "Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation ... A majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said 'they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.' That sentiment spanned generations, including those that lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11."

Promethea Unbound (Atavist): "The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t cover prodigies, and the rationale seems obvious: These children are overequipped for normal achievement. Yet their unique requirements for learning and the extraordinary burdens placed on their families make prodigies resplendent doppelgängers to developmentally challenged children. They can be just as ill-suited to systems meticulously constructed for normalcy, misfits forced to invent their own vermiculate paths to accommodate the demands of brilliance."

A Pill to Make Exercise Obsolete (The New Yorker): "The F.D.A. doesn’t currently recognize metabolic syndrome, let alone lack of exercise, as a disease. Anyone who wants to market an exercise pill must therefore get it approved as a treatment for a disease that does meet the F.D.A.’s criteria, in the hope that, once it is on the market, its use will spread to encompass a wider range of conditions ... Although 516 has not been approved as a drug, plenty of people are taking it. Once the structure of a new compound has been published, chemical-supply laboratories are free to synthesize it for sale ... 516 is easy and relatively cheap to make, and it is readily available online. The earliest adopters were élite athletes looking for an edge. The World Anti-Doping Agency added 516 to its list of prohibited substances in 2009, and testing for it is now routine. Since then, at least six professional cyclists have been suspended after being caught taking the drug. More recently, 516 has become popular among the kind of men—and they are almost all men—who frequent messages boards with names like 'Think Steroids,' 'Swol HQ,' and 'Juiced Muscle.'"

Department Stores Have One Thing Left to Sell: Real Estate (Racked): "... only one way forward for department stores, and that’s reducing their footprints. The US is overstored in general; the number of stores in this country outpaced the demand for them around the year 2000, according to Bloomberg, and yet stores incessantly opened more doors. This, in part with changing shopping behaviors, has created the retail real estate crisis ... it’s imperative for department stores to start seeing the writing on the wall."

We Tried Really Hard To Beat Face ID — And Failed (So Far) (Wired): "'The face of a person is a lot like a key. Just like the ridges of a key in a keyhole, each feature has to fit just so, or you have to accommodate them,' Caragan says. 'As long as things are smaller or fit the same, you can get the eyes right behind the mask. If not, they won’t line up.'"

How the Humble Hospital Scrub Became a $10 Billion Business (Bloomberg): "The humble hospital scrub, ever saggy and often scratchy, is never in style—or out of it, for that matter. Rather, it’s beyond sartorial judgment. Instantly recognizable, it’s simply a given for most of America’s 19 million health-care workers, as essential as latex gloves and bitter cantina coffee. At the moment, almost one in seven U.S. workers falls into the scrub-set, a metric that’s expanding quickly as baby boomers fade into their hip-replacement years ... most of the folks who wear scrubs have to buy their own, despite the fact the job typically requires them, be it a hospital, doctor’s, dentist’s, or veterinarian’s office. Apparel makers can line up discounts and distribution deals, but ultimately the consumer can buy whatever uniform he or she wants, provided it’s the specified color. This little wrinkle in the market, it turns out, presented an opportunity."

▪ Take an extra 25% off clearance styles at Bloomingdale's (offer is online only), no code needed; qualifying styles are flagged with a yellow tag. My picks: Milly Bow Sleeve Mod Dress, Lauren Ralph Lauren Plaid Jacquard Knit Ruana, Kate Spade James Street Sparrow Satchel, Loeffler Randall Satchel Medium Rider, Salvatore Ferragamo Varina Ballet Flats, and Michael Kors Studio Mercer Convertible Large Leather Tote (extra percentage discount does not apply, but the sale color is pretty enough to consider).

What Boredom Does to You (Nautilus): "Boredom is the gateway to mind-wandering, which helps our brains create those new connections that can solve anything from planning dinner to a breakthrough in combating global warming. Researchers have only recently begun to understand the phenomenon of mind-wandering, the activity our brains engage in when we’re doing something boring, or doing nothing at all. Most of the studies on the neuroscience of daydreaming have only been done within the past 10 years. With modern brain-imaging technology, discoveries are emerging every day about what our brains are doing not only when we are deeply engaged in an activity but also when we space out ... When we lose focus on the outside world and drift inward, we’re not shutting down. We’re tapping into a vast trove of memories, imagining future possibilities, dissecting our interactions with other people, and reflecting on who we are. It feels like we are wasting time when we wait for the longest red light in the world to turn green, but the brain is putting ideas and events into perspective ... This gets to the heart of why mind-wandering or daydreaming is different from other forms of cognition. Rather than experiencing, organizing, and understanding things based on how they come to us from the outside world, we do it from within our own cognitive system. That allows for reflection and the ability for greater understanding after the heat of the moment."

What It's Like to Learn You're Going to Die (The Atlantic): "... for most, figuring out how to adapt to living with a life-threatening disease is a difficult but necessary cognitive process ... When patients do emerge on the other side of the existential crisis ... many are better off because of it. These patients are more likely to have a deeper compassion for others and a greater appreciation for the life that remains."

Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These  Teenage Girls Survived. (The New York Times): "According to Unicef, more than 110 children have been used as suicide bombers since the start of the year – at least 76 of them girls. Most were under 15 years old. One girl blew herself up along with a baby strapped to her back ... Far from having been willing participants, the girls described being kidnapped and held hostage, with family members killed during their capture."

This Land Is No Longer Your Land (Bloomberg): "A debate is taking place across the country over preserving land for recreational public use, but most of the attention is focused on vast swaths of historically or scientifically significant terrain ... These disputed trails leading into the Crazy Mountains represent another front in the escalating battle over control of federal territory, and the fighting here is just as contentious as over the monuments. Historic settlement patterns in the American West created a checkerboard pattern of landownership: Public properties are often broken-up plots, resulting in numerous access disputes. According to a 2013 study by the Center for Western Priorities, that dynamic has effectively locked the public out of about 4 million acres of land in Western states; almost half of that blocked public land, or about 2 million acres, is in Montana, according to the study. The push to end public thoroughfare is either an overdue reassertion of private property rights or an openly cynical land snatch, depending which side of the gate you’re standing on."

I Love Spoilers (The Outline): "There has been some research into why certain people like to spoil things for themselves ... spoilers had an 'enhancing' effect on a subject’s enjoyment of a particular story."

DNAinfo and Gothamist Are Shut Down After Vote to Unionize (The New York Times): "... in the financially daunting era of digital journalism, there has been no tougher nut to crack than making local news profitable ... For DNAinfo and Gothamist, the staff’s vote to join the Writers Guild of America East was just part of the decision to close the company ... the decision puts 115 people out of work, both at the New York operations that unionized and at those in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington that did not."

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