Weekend Link Roundup

♥ The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started for cardholders today. As always, I’ll be picking up one or two Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Totes as gifts, as I find them extremely functional. In my cart: Leith Tie Front High Rise Wide Leg Crop Pants, Halogen Long Sleeve Wrap Dress, Vince Mixed Cable Wool & Cashmere Blend Sweater, Leith Wrap Minidress, BP. Belted Waffle Knit Henley Jumpsuit, Poppy Finch Pearl Chain Link Choker, Halogen Bishop Sleeve Merino Wool Blend Sweater, and Leith Wide Strap Sleeveless Midi Sweater Dress.

The Battle of Grace Church (The Cut): “The world was a simmering, seething cauldron, one that was only going to get hotter and harder to survive in. If this felt true in general, it felt especially true to the residents of Brooklyn Heights … In the past, parents could pay their way into Grace Church … Now this privilege, like all others, seemed in jeopardy … The wait-list for Grace Church started practically in utero, and even if children were lucky enough to land a spot in one of the coveted morning sessions, it was no longer a guarantee of future success.”

Rising Rents for Millennials Give Rise to a New Breed of Lender (The Wall Street Journal): “Compared with cash-advance loans, which come with annual interest rates as high as 700% in some states, funds from the rent-lending startups are available at much lower cost. Some are competitive with credit-card borrowing rates at less than 20%. That is a big help for those who rely on irregular paychecks or can’t come up with large move-in deposits … The pitfall to such credit is that the loans might encourage some young renters to live beyond their means … Outstanding consumer credit, which doesn’t include mortgage loans, exceeded $4 trillion for the first time last year … A 2017 survey of more than 100,000 renters … showed 3% of those surveyed paid rent with credit cards and 16% said they would do so if their landlords agreed.”

World Trade Center Mall Has a Plan to Get You to Stick Around (Bloomberg): “The mammoth, butterfly-shaped Oculus draws as many as 120 million visits each year … Visitors spend just a little over a half hour on average at the mall … Eager to remain relevant in the rapidly changing world of retail, URW is adding more food choices, seating, pop-up shops, health and wellness options and entertainment … Today, fashion makes up a little less than half of Westfield World Trade Center’s leasable area. URW’s goal is to whittle that down to closer to a third, while boosting other offerings, like eateries.”

The Most Important Metric in Retail (The Business of Fashion): “The key metric is establishing a value per physical media impression … physical retail is no longer simply a product distribution strategy — it’s a customer acquisition strategy for which there is an inherent and attributable return of value. We must account for that value.”

Shopping Can Make You Famous (The New York Times): “Founded in 2011, the social shopping app Depop has cultivated a following of millennial and Gen Z consumers and sellers. Individuals can set up shop by simply uploading photos of their wares, along with product descriptions and prices. It’s a lot like Instagram, insofar as users can follow each other, ‘like’ pieces and find trending items on a discovery page. This year TechCrunch reported that Depop had raised $62 million in funding and that 90 percent of its active users are younger than 26.”

The Case for Declaring a National Climate Emergency (The New Yorker): “By next year, given current policies and potential future energy-market dynamics, the U.S. will have reduced national greenhouse-gas emissions thirteen-to-sixteen per cent below 2005 levels—not the seventeen per cent that seemed modest back in 2009. Much more concerning is the fact that, in what the report regarded as the best possible scenario, in 2025, the U.S. will have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions only nineteen per cent below 2005 levels, which would leave us terrifyingly far from the Paris goal.”

The Inside Story of Kim Kardashian West’s Billion-Dollar Shapewear Bet (The Wall Street Journal): “Kardashian West has built a career around the shape of her body, so her launch of a shapewear brand seems like a perfectly logical evolution. She has been pouring her eye-popping curves into skintight clothing for years, and she has an arsenal of tricks … her new line … will be followed by regular drops of bikini briefs, thongs, molded-wired bras, elastic no-wire bras, waist trainers, bodysuits, tank tops, thermal leggings, briefs in materials from cotton to mesh and, for the holidays, shimmery versions for gift-giving… The concept behind the line is all about inclusivity and diversity … The lingerie will come in nine colors, with more shades to come … in sizes from XXS (size 00) to XXXXL (size 20). Prices will range from $22 to $98.”

We’ve Forgotten How to Dress Like Adults (Racked): “A matronly, dignified dress with an empowering design might be exactly what’s missing from stores. With an expanded cultural understanding of what old age can be, including self-possessed and badass, we might begin to find racks of matronly dresses that shoppers have been sorely missing.”

Passengers Are the New Transportation Industry Influencers (The Atlantic): “Increasingly, decision-makers and policy experts are turning to crowdsourcing methods to create ways to better listen to passengers and gather ideas for improving service, especially for the disadvantaged … Using data and outreach to get rider feedback about transportation system flaws is essential for eliminating inequalities in transit options. For passengers, there’s also more at stake than just a long, inconvenient commute. Research shows that transportation is linked to economic opportunity and upward mobility.”

Amazon Needs Some Prime Numbers (The Wall Street Journal): “This year’s Prime Day … comes just as the company’s gravity-defying growth shows signs of ebbing. Amazon’s latest quarterly report in April saw revenue growth on a year-over-year basis fall below the 20% mark for the first time since 2015. The next report due later this month is expected to show the same … Operating margins hit a record 7.4% in the first quarter and Wall Street expects full-year margins to reach 6.4% this year compared with 5.3% last year. But it isn’t clear if these estimates fully incorporate all the costs Amazon has been incurring lately. It is spending big not only to beef up its delivery infrastructure but to further expand its cloud and media businesses as well. It also said Thursday it will spend over $700 million to retrain one-third of its workforce.”

Are 8 Out of 10 Women Really Wearing the Wrong Bra Size? (The New York Times): “… the idea that 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size … is bunk … the issue was not that people were simply wearing an incorrect size but that they often didn’t know how to check for the best fit … Because there are so many variations in bra styles and sizes, finding a comfortable and supportive fit involves trial and error … But it may also mean accepting that as your body changes during menstruation, pregnancy or regular weight fluctuations, your bra size may change.”

Amazon Commits $700 Million to Retrain Workers in New Skills (The Business of Fashion): “The e-commerce giant, which is increasingly using robots to help sort and deliver packages, said it will retrain 100,000 workers by 2025 to allow employees to move into more highly skilled jobs within the company or find new careers outside of Amazon … The programme would enable employees who work in fulfilment centres to move into technical roles regardless of any previous IT experience … In the tightest labor market in a half-century, Amazon is competing with other companies to hire the best and brightest and could help sidestep that challenge with a renewed emphasis on training.”

Why On Earth Are So Many Millennials Becoming Nuns? (HuffPost): “In 1965, America had 180,000 perpetually professed Catholic sisters, the technical term for women who have pledged their lives to chastity, poverty, obedience and serving the church. By 2010, that number tanked to fewer than 50,000. In 2009, more Catholic sisters in America were over 90 years old than under 60 … After 50 years of decline, the number of young women … going through the long process of becoming a Catholic sister—is substantially increasing. In 2017, 13 percent of women from age 18 to 35 who answered a Georgetown University-affiliated survey of American Catholics reported that they had considered becoming a Catholic sister. That’s more than 900,000 young women, enough to repopulate the corps of ‘women religious’ in a couple of decades, even if only a fraction of them actually go through with it.”

J. Crew Is Preparing to Take Madewell Public (Business Insider): “J. Crew has enlisted Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriters for an IPO of Madewell expected sometime after the U.S. Labor Day holiday in September … The retailer has a debt load of roughly $1.7 billion. It expects Madewell … to be valued by the stock market at significantly more than that … J. Crew will not sell down its entire holding in Madewell right away.”

How Posters Became Art (The New Yorker): “… the history of the poster hasn’t been propelled by the visions of individual artists. Rather, it is a story of collective consciousness, the types of messages, desires, or dreams that circulate in society, whether it’s the nouvelle femme of nineteenth-century Paris, political revolution, or the disturbingly erotic contours of a sports car.”

With His Job Gone, an Autoworker Wonders, ‘What Am I as a Man?’ (The New York Times): “The path to the White House next year runs through places like Lordstown, and Mr. Marsh and many of his neighbors, far from knowing how they will vote, say the G.M. plant shutdown has only left them more at sea politically. They tried voting for Barack Obama, then Mr. Trump. Now they don’t know where to turn.”

Red Wing, Iconic U.S. Shoe Maker, Labors Mightily to Bring Production Home (The Wall Street Journal): “The number of people working in U.S. footwear manufacturing has fallen by more than 50% since 2001, to fewer than 13,000 in 2018, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. Rebuilding U.S. manufacturing presents complex challenges for industries like footwear, electronics and bicycles, where most of the supply chain has moved abroad. Even a company like Red Wing—with a long history of U.S. production, private ownership and control over a key raw material and distribution—makes more than two-thirds of its shoes abroad.”

♥ Recently purchased: Treasure & Bond Pinstripe Oversize Blazer, Ann Taylor Polka Dot Wrap Dress, Cole Haan Grand Crosscourt Sneaker, J. Crew Strappy Block-Heel Sandal in Croc-Embossed Leather, Hoxis Chain Shoulder Handbag, H&M Overall with Tie Belt, and Tailored by Rebecca Taylor Crepe Trousers.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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