Weekend Link Roundup

♥ The Free People Hit The Slopes Fleece Jacket that I reviewed here is now on sale at Nordstrom Rack (49% off in five colorways), Revolve (40% off in two colorways), and Zappos (on sale in three colorways). It’s a Free People bestseller so is rarely discounted, so I picked up another (my third!) as I wear the two that I own quite a bit.

In the U.S., Luxury Brands Board Up the Store (The New York Times): “… in New York … a number of elegant luxury boutiques … did not just shutter storefronts … they had them boarded up with vast sheets of plywood, as if in anticipation of riots and civil disobedience … the move by some well-heeled SoHo stores to fortify themselves indicated that preparations for coming weeks are being undertaken with every eventuality in mind.”

Neiman Marcus Considers Bankruptcy to Ease Crushing Debt Load (Bloomberg): “No formal decisions have been made, but Neiman Marcus has held initial talks with lenders about a potential bankruptcy loan … A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would allow the company to keep its doors open, cut its borrowings and close weak stores to minimize costs … Neiman Marcus reported around $38 million in cash as of the second fiscal quarter ended in February … Neiman Marcus had $524 million of outstanding borrowings drawn on a $900 million revolving credit facility … The company’s roughly $500 million of third-lien bonds due 2024 trade around 18 cents on the dollar.”

Amazon Pantry re-opened yesterday after shuttering temporarily last week to address the surge of orders it received. While the selection of “real” food is limited/nonexistent, Amazon Pantry prices for snacks are reasonable (Ruffles, Cheetos, Nutter Butter, Pringles, etc.). There’s even some hand soap available. The free shipping threshold is $35.

What Is It Like to Be a Bee? (Atlas Obscura): “In a human brain, key studies suggest consciousness lies in the midbrain … the structure of the bee brain, which seems to be made up of similar bits to our own, [has] a region responsible for similar tasks. ‘It’s smaller, it’s organized differently, it’s different-shaped, but if you look at the kind of computations it does, it’s doing the same sort of things as the midbrain’ … what it’s actually like to be a bee—its subjective experience of the world—is going to remain elusive. But we’re starting to figure out that it’s probably like something. And that’s not nothing.”

More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection (The New York Times): “While wearing a mask may not necessarily prevent healthy people from getting sick, and it certainly doesn’t replace important measures such as hand-washing or social distancing, it may be better than nothing … studies of influenza pandemics have shown that when high-grade N95 masks are not available, surgical masks do protect people a bit more than not wearing masks at all. And when masks are combined with hand hygiene, they help reduce the transmission of infections … places like Hong Kong and Taiwan that jumped to action early with social distancing and universal mask wearing have gotten their cases under much greater control.”

♥ Shop Nordstrom’s Spring Sale and take up to 40% off select styles, including dozens of Longchamp bags. My picks: Marc Jacobs The Uptown Bag, MCM Essential Monogrammed Leather Satchel, BP. Lula Block Heel Slingback Sandal, Rebecca Minkoff Edie Flap Quilted Bag, Coach Originals Leather Turnlock Pouch, Tory Burch Small Fleming Shoulder Bag, Zella Live In High Waist Leggings, Leith Scoop Neck Midi Dress, Tory Burch Floral Canvas Tote, and Madewell Mixed Chain Crescent Moon Necklace Set.

How to Handle Packages During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Wirecutter): “To be extra-cautious, particularly if you are in a higher-risk group, you can dispose of outer packaging outside of your home and wash your hands immediately after handling. But this is likely not necessary for most people’s handling of most cardboard packages.”

The Mystery of the Millionaire Hermit (Bloomberg): “Many counties in the U.S. have public administrators, though a lot of people don’t know they exist. They operate within the murky ecosystem of public agencies and private businesses that kick into gear when someone dies: locksmiths, biohazard and trauma cleanup services, trash haulers, auctioneers, real estate agents, courts, attorneys, and banks … Even a simple death, something peaceful in your sleep, requires the assistance of an awful lot of people.”

For the Class of 2020, a Job-Eating Virus Recalls the Great Recession (The New York Times): “Historically, college students who graduate into a recession have settled for lower-paying jobs at less prestigious companies than people who finished college even a year earlier. Economists have found that the impact of that bad luck can linger for as long as 10 or 15 years, leading to higher unemployment rates and lower salaries … Whether the class of 2020 will face long-term consequences depends on a range of factors, including the length of the pandemic and the severity of the recession that seems certain to follow. But it doesn’t look good.”

♥ Until 03/29/2020, sale styles are an extra 60% off at J.Crew with code SHOWNOW. Standard shipping is free on all orders for J. Crew Rewards members (membership is free).

Why Your Inner Circle Should Stay Small, and How to Shrink It (HBR): “… being what we call a ‘superconnector’ has nothing to do with supersizing your network. Rather, it’s about surrounding yourself with a carefully curated group of people who you admire and respect and with whom you share common beliefs and values … that core group should be a lot smaller than you think … That doesn’t mean that you should try to populate your inner circle with high-profile contacts whose shine will rub off on you; it means seeking out, and nurturing relationships with good, smart people who … ‘can help you to be a bigger and better version of yourself.’

‘White-Collar Quarantine’ Over Virus Spotlights Class Divide (The New York Times): “In some respects, the pandemic is an equalizer: It can afflict princes and paupers alike … But the American response to the virus is laying bare class divides that are often camouflaged — in access to health care, child care, education, living space, even internet bandwidth … a kind of pandemic caste system is rapidly developing: the rich holed up in vacation properties; the middle class marooned at home with restless children; the working class on the front lines of the economy, stretched to the limit by the demands of work and parenting, if there is even work to be had … the technology … remains out of reach for many Americans. While data on internet access is inexact … 30 percent of households did not have even a slow broadband connection.”

♥ For a limited time, take an extra 50% off sale styles at Anthropologie and up to 40% off select dresses and jewelry. Shipping is free on orders over $50. My picks: Hayden Embroidered Faux Leather Jacket, Byron Lars Carissima Sheath Dress (30% off!), Bias Slip Dress, Arianna Hair Clip, Cozy Striped Duster Kimono, Amber Tiered Tunic, Garden Stories Monogram Bar Soap, Camellia Bow Flats, and Georgina Tiered Shirtdress.

When Romance Is a Scam (The New York Times): “Con artists now find victims on any social media platform — Instagram, Facebook, games like Words With Friends … In 2015, people reported losing $33 million to romance scams; last year, they lost $201 million — more than victims lost to fake lotteries and sweepstakes, impostor frauds or tech support phishing … The median loss for romance fraud victims in their 20s was $770. People in their 50s reported losing twice as much. The losses reached $3,000 for victims in their 60s and $6,450 for those in their 70s.”

The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal (The Atlantic): “When will things return to normal? … when enough of the population—possibly 60 or 80 percent of people—is resistant to COVID-19 … That is the end goal, although no one knows exactly how long it will take to get there. There are two realistic paths to achieving this … One is the development of a vaccine. The other is for the disease to work its way through the population, surely killing many, but also leaving many others—those who contract the disease and then recover—immune.”

Can Women Really Look Like Jennifer Lopez at 50? (The Wall Street Journal): “… the building blocks of beauty—a solid exercise regime and diet—are democratic … Ample research supports … the importance of eating well at this life stage: Encroaching menopause and a corresponding plummet in estrogen stack the deck against women in their 50s hoping to stay slim. And those extra pounds like to weld themselves to our midsections … it’s smart to direct your willpower toward nutrition.”

A Sewing Army, Making Masks for America (The New York Times): “All over the country, homebound Americans are crafting thousands upon thousands of face masks to help shield doctors, nurses and many others from the coronavirus … Homemade masks are no substitute for the high-grade N95 masks … They’re not even as tough as surgical masks … But the D.I.Y. pieces — generally stitched together with a few layers of cotton, elastic straps and, on ambitious designs, a flexible bridge over the nose — offer at least some protection. ‘Better than nothing’ has become a popular phrase in the tight-knit sewing community. Some doctors are wearing the homemade fabrics over surgical or N95 masks, trying to prolong the coveted masks’ limited life spans. Other masks are being handed out at health clinics and nursing homes.”

♥ Recently purchased: Saint Laurent Medium Uptown Cabas Leather Satchel, Nike Air Max 90 SP Metallic Sneaker, LAUREN Ralph Lauren Expedition Down Puffer Parka, J. Crew Rattan Clutch with Chain, J. Crew Pleated Midi Dress, and Ann Taylor Woven Straw Clutch.

Keep social distancing, everyone! I am currently working on another post with more solitary entertainment and activities ideas, so stay tuned.

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