♥ A trend that I’ve considered dabbling in since last year is the ruffled sock (and statement socks more broadly). I like the idea of these socks worn with a seasonless white sneaker, but the only people who regularly wear them seem to be in pre-K. It doesn’t help that that was the last time I wore them myself. Thoughts? Objections?? Encouragements???
♥ For Nancy Pelosi and the New Women in Congress, Fashion Was a Defiant Statement of Purpose — and Resistance (The Washington Post): “… this is the era of pink pussy hats. The color has been reclaimed and redefined. It is not about patience and calm or the kumbaya balm of we-are-all-equal. The new pink is aglow with outrage and the insistent demand that past wrongs be rectified … These women of the new Congress, some of them, actually a lot of them, did not shy away from using fashion as a tool, from taking that quintessentially female pastime … and turning it to their advantage. They used their attire to lure the cameras, to start tongues wagging and to make viewers reconsider their preconceptions about how Americans are defined, who has the right to lead and, ultimately, what power looks like.”
♥ I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. (HuffPost): “Humanity is rarer than I imagined when I first took the job … Sometimes you know which guys you can’t fight back against. There were a lot of those. Those I never forgot. They seep into your skin like cat piss. But you can’t shower them off. It’s part of why I didn’t mind most people assuming I was a man. Each time I had to calculate the odds of something worse against the odds of getting back to my van.”
♥ I have been enthusiastically shopping Shopbop‘s “sale-on-sale,” (use code HELLO2019 for an extra 25% off) as new styles are added seemingly daily. My picks: Free People So Soft Cozy Peacoat (there are so many great FP styles on sale), Alpha Industries J-4 Impact Fishtail Parka, White + Warren Luxe Hooded Cashmere Cardigan, Sam Edelman Loraine Loafers, Marc Jacobs Notch Collar Coat, Nili Lotan Genevieve Dress, Veronica Beard Leona Dress (more VB styles on sale here), and Diane von Furstenberg Koko Slingback Flats.
♥ Rewards Credit Cards Gained a Fanatic Following—Now Banks Are Pulling Back (The Wall Street Journal): “The ultra-premium rewards of the kind that JPMorgan has championed have turned into financial albatrosses … Consumers have figured out how to game the system, spending just enough to earn generous sign-up bonuses—then abandoning the cards in a drawer. Others pay their bills in full and avoid interest charges and late fees … Rewards costs grew an average of 15% in the third quarter of 2018 from a year earlier at Bank of America Corp. , Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co.”
♥ ‘More Like Reality’: In 2019, Hot DTC Brands Face Pressures to Prove Profitability (Digiday): “According to CB Insights, $3 billion in venture funding has gone to DTC brands since 2012 … With that, top-line growth has been the priority — profitability could come later. But more and more, that engine is running out of fuel … With millions in investment funding, brands like Casper, Hims and Thinx have made a lot of noise in the form of subway takeover ads and performance marketing. With increased competition, the cost of customer acquisition has skyrocketed, so the path to profitability has become even harrier. If a brand spends more to recruit a customer one time than the customer spends in that one purchase, it’s doing so on the faith that the customer will love the brand so much, they’ll buy again, and again, and then tell a few friends about it. That’s the only way the math adds up.”
♥ Where Have All the Vowels Gone? (The New York Times): “Vowels are the distinctive thing now. The lack of them is routine … the more often vowels are dropped, the more people get used to it and make adjustments to rapidly understand implied meanings.”
♥ Economists Focus Too Little on What People Really Care About (The Economist): “… money has diminishing marginal value: the more you have, the less you value an extra dollar. The winner might therefore end up with the apple not because it will bring him more joy, but because his greater wealth means that his bid is less of a sacrifice. Economists are … surprisingly casual about its potential implications: for example, that as inequality rises, the price mechanism may do a worse job of allocating resources.”
♥ The End of Forever (The Atavist Magazine): “The perils of foster care are well documented. The number of placements and the length of time children spend as wards of the state are linked to higher rates of juvenile delinquency and teen pregnancy, and to lower earnings as adults. After an adoption, the risk and uncertainty of foster care is supposed to resolve into a bond with a family that the child will keep for the rest of his or her life. The reality, though, is that adoptions sometimes fall apart, leaving children in a precarious position … Once an adoption is finalized, welfare agencies typically end contact with children and their new families. Adopted children also tend to move and change their names, making it difficult for researchers to gather enough data for rigorous analysis … From 2012 to 2017, the DCF counted 348 dissolutions out of nearly 17,000 adoptions statewide, or roughly 2 percent of the total … Deon’s case is a revealing study of one of the starkest policy choices a society faces: Who should care for children whose parents, including adoptive ones, can’t shoulder the responsibility? In Florida, authorities have made modest efforts to improve post-adoption services. Since 2015, case managers have been required to pick up the phone and conduct a welfare check at the one-year mark. In annual reports to the state legislature, the DCF now flags what it calls preventable disruptions, cases in which services like family counseling might have helped an adoption go through if only they’d been made available.”
♥ Luxury-Goods Industry Has a China Problem (The Wall Street Journal): “Fourth-quarter updates in January will be more closely watched than usual … The Chinese make most of their purchases overseas, where prices are lower than at home. And they are more sensitive to exchange rates than other nationalities … That makes it tough to predict where demand will crop up, meaning luxury companies have to be everywhere … the industry’s overreliance on Chinese spending seems likely to get worse in the long term. By 2025, sales to Chinese citizens will account for close to half of all purchases.”
♥ Sale styles, already up to 60% off, are an extra 25% off at H&M with code 3284 until the end of today. My picks: Mohair-blend Sweater, Wool-blend Coat, Double-breasted Coat, Fine-knit Merino Wool Sweater, Trenchcoat, Knit Turtleneck Sweater, Cashmere-blend Coat, and Long-sleeved Blouse. Shipping is free on orders over $40.
♥ In 2019, Blockchains Will Start to Become Boring (Technology Review): “Although still new to many people, blockchains are a decade in the making, and the crypto world has recovered from massive price declines before. Many of the developers who flooded into the space in 2017 are still working in it; innovative-sounding projects are still alive and even close to bearing fruit. And several big corporations plan to launch major blockchain-based projects in 2019.”
♥ Women’s Magazines Are Dying. Will We Miss Them When They’re Gone? (The Washington Post): “… women’s publications somehow feel much more endangered than the rest, especially now that even the woke online upstarts that once aimed to replace them … are themselves turning off the lights … For generations, women’s magazines filled a complex cultural niche, adopting the voice of a concerned big sister to chide women into keeping up with the current hemlines — but also the current headlines … The magazines’ insistence on the status quo, even as womanhood changed dramatically, led them to irrelevance … What women’s magazines once delivered … can now be found many places online, from the #fitspo posts on Instagram to junior-feminist sites such as Jezebel … some of stuff you once loved can be found online under the same old banners of yore, as legacy titles try to find new life as Web products.”
♥ Harry Reid Has a Few Words for Washington (The New York Times): “In some ways, Washington, under Trump, has devolved into the feral state that Reid, in his misanthropic heart, always knew it could become under the right conditions. Politicians are always claiming to be eternal optimists; Reid is no optimist. ‘I figure, if you’re pessimistic, you’re never disappointed,’ he told me.”
♥ Stitch Fix’s Success Story Is Underappreciated (Bloomberg): “At its core, the service isn’t about sucking you into a subscription, it’s about being one of the main places you go to buy clothes, at whatever intervals you need them. And if Lake is right that its algorithms and stylists can learn to understand just what you want, it could steal more market share from established chains.”
♥ Drugmakers Raise Prices on Hundreds of Medicines (The Wall Street Journal): “Many companies’ increases are relatively modest this year, amid growing public and political pressure on the industry over prices. Yet a few are particularly high, including on some generics, the cheaper alternative to branded accounting for nine out of 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S. … The average increase was 6.3%.”
♥ The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich (The Atlantic): “Celebrities wouldn’t be as distractingly beautiful without dermatologists, estheticians, and the women behind the beauty counters at Bergdorf Goodman. You can drink as much water and wear as much sunscreen as you want, but the most effective skin-care trick is being rich … the answer is a combination of youth, genetic luck, and access to expensive products, treatments, and cosmetic dermatology procedures that few people outside their world could ever hope to experience. But a dozen 20-somethings telling you about their expensive laser treatments would be too depressing for women to read about and too embarrassing for the professionally beautiful to admit.”
♥ Recently purchased: J. Crew Short-Sleeve Trench Dress in Italian Stretch Wool, Maje Vikam Double Breasted Plaid Blazer, Ann Taylor Spotted Full Sweater Skirt, and Kate Spade Large Margaux Leather Satchel.
Have a great weekend, everyone!