Ann Taylor’s new collection is one of my favorites in recent memory. I will be sharing a few outfits next week featuring some styles from this collection, but want to highlight my favorite piece from the collection here: the Tie Waist Midi Wrap Skirt. The skirt fits true to size, though I’d recommend sizing up if you want to wear it with a bulkier top tucked in. The tie belt conceals a lunch belly well, and the machine-washable material (64% polyester, 34% rayon, and 2% spandex) has enough weight to be wrinkle-resistant. Here are my other favorites from the new collection:

Farfetch, Online Retailer, Plans to Go Public as Luxury E-Commerce Grows (The New York Times): “The London-based online luxury marketplace formally unveiled plans on Monday for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange … while a push to grow has prompted a hunt for new revenue streams, and drove sales growth of 59 percent last year to $386 million, the company has not turned a profit since its creation. As investments and costs have increased, losses grew to $68 million in the first half of 2018, compared with $29 million a year earlier.

‘Made in Cambodia’ May Become New Fashion Label With Tariffs Hitting China (Bloomberg): “… cheap labor does not necessarily equal effective production. Cambodia’s productivity rates are low compared to China, making it a challenge to manufacture more elaborate products … Cambodia’s infrastructure is well behind China’s. The nation’s infrastructure ranked 106 out of 137, behind neighbors Vietnam and Laos, in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

Is Clothing Rental The Secret To Making Fashion Sustainable? (The Independent): “The potential value of the clothing rental market in the UK has been estimated at £923m, and the model is already well established for certain items, such as dinner jackets and wedding suits for men.

 Life Is Short. That’s the Point. (The New York Times): “Our time here is but a blip, and when we leave, the great world continues to spin. As such, the appreciation of our own lives has much to do with the ever-increasing awareness of its relative brevity. It is this — an awareness and acceptance of our own mortality — that makes us human. And it is the impetus, I’d argue, for living our lives to the fullest.” (I just ordered “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer“.)

Augmented-Reality Ads Are Headed to Your Social Media Feed (Slate): “In July, Facebook began testing news feed ads with companies such as Michael Kors. In your feed, you might see an ad where a model is wearing a pair of sunglasses: Tap the ad, and you can open up your phone’s camera and try on those shades yourself via AR. Sephora, Bobbi Brown, and L’Oreal are also set to let Facebook and Instagram users tap their ads to try on makeup products and looks. Other companies such as Pottery Barn and Wayfair are also on board to use the technology to show off how homewares may look in your house.

♥  Amazon Has YouTube Envy (Bloomberg): “Amazon in recent months has been pursuing exclusive livestreaming deals with dozens of popular media companies and personalities, many with large followings on YouTube. Twitch is offering minimum guarantees of as much as a few million dollars a year, as well as a share of future advertising sales and subscription revenue.

Why Improving Yourself Isn’t Always Easy (Psychology Today): “Do any of the new self-improvement apps actually work? The short answer is: We don’t really know … humans often ‘don’t know what they don’t know’. This phenomenon of thinking we understand something when we don’t … is terrifyingly common in the field of self-improvement. Most people don’t think they can fix a car, or mend a broken arm, or a cure a physical ailment, but a surprisingly large number of people think that they can fix unhappiness, even if they’ve never formally studied self-improvement in their lives.

The Costs of Motherhood Are Rising, and Catching Women Off Guard (The New York Times): “Since about 1985, no more than 2 percent of female high school seniors said they planned to be ‘homemakers’ at age 30, even though most planned to be mothers. The surveys also found no decline in overall job satisfaction post-baby. Yet consistently, between 15 percent and 18 percent of women have stayed home … The people most surprised by the demands of motherhood were those the researchers least expected: women with college degrees, or those who had babies later, those who had working mothers and those who had assumed they would have careers … The cost of motherhood fell for most of the 20th century because of inventions like dishwashers, formula and the birth control pill. But that’s no longer the case … The cost of child care has increased by 65 percent since the early 1980s. Eighty percent of women breast-feed, up from about half. The number of hours that parents spend on child care has risen, especially for college-educated parents, for whom it has doubled.

Inside Scientologists’ Bizarre Plot to Sell Bogus Meat to the Poor (The Daily Beast): “Senior staff members of Scientology studied sales as part of their recruitment work, and … read a book called Big League Sales Closing Techniques, written in 1971 by a guy named Les Dane. Dane wasn’t a scientologist, but after the book came out, Hubbard made it required reading for all ‘registrars’—the scientology staff members responsible for signing people up.

♥  Greece’s Bailout Is Ending. The Pain Is Far From Over. (The New York Times): “Household incomes fell by over 30 percent, and more than a fifth of people are unable to pay basic expenses like rent, electricity and bank loans. A third of families have at least one unemployed member. And among those who do have a job, in-work poverty has climbed to one of the highest levels in Europe.

 America’s Invisible Pot Addicts (The Atlantic): “The share of adults with [a self-described cannabis-use disorder] has doubled since the early aughts, as the share of cannabis users who consume it daily or near-daily has jumped nearly 50 percent … state and local governments are setting up legal regimes without sufficient public-health protection, with some even warning that the country is replacing one form of reefer madness with another, careening from treating cannabis as if it were as dangerous as heroin to treating it as if it were as benign as kombucha … the lack of federal involvement in legalization has meant that marijuana products are not being safety-tested like pharmaceuticals; measured and dosed like food products; subjected to agricultural-safety and pesticide standards like crops; and held to labeling standards like alcohol.

♥  Why Banks Are Giving Tellers Raises, Instead of Firing Them All (Bloomberg): “It turns out people want to find answers without assistance — until they can’t and immediately want help from a qualified banker. There’s high tolerance for self-service until it fails, and then there’s no tolerance.

Where New York’s Wealthiest Go for the Oddest Finds (Bloomberg): “Passersby are drawn by the oddities in his front window while customers call with requests, hoping Creel can find something in particular. It’s also a paradise for interior designers, who can order one-of-a-kind pieces for extremely wealthy clients. Peacocks are particularly popular, says Creel.

♥  Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It (The New York Times): “There is no question that the hormone is important. Without enough of it, bones can become thin, brittle and misshapen, causing a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. The issue is how much vitamin D is healthy, and what level constitutes deficiency … Enthusiasm for vitamin D among medical experts has dimmed in recent years, as rigorous clinical trials have failed to confirm the benefits suggested by early, preliminary studies. A string of trials has found no evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease or falls in the elderly. And most scientists say there isn’t enough evidence to know if vitamin D can prevent chronic diseases that aren’t related to bones.

Harsh Headlines, Failed Festivals and, Finally, Friends: Pokémon Go, Two Years On (The Guardian): “Pokémon Go is unlikely to be as popular again as it was in 2016, when around 300 million people were playing it. But, ironically, the 60 million who are playing it now are having a better experience, and they are enough to make Pokémon Go a billion-dollar business, as well as a great community of people.

 Recently purchased: Lioness Tell Me Lies Dress (have this other colorway in my cart), Madewell Patch Pocket Pullover Sweater, Ann Taylor Pearlized Double Layer Necklace, and H&M Cashmere Joggers.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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