Weekly Link Roundup

+ When a Bra Won’t Cut It (The New York Times): “… perhaps bras are the way of the past. The latest frontier in breast containment technology is something far more versatile that allows one to shape their chest according to their ever-evolving physical and sartorial needs, and that can also, in a pinch, be used to seal FedEx packages … Tape allows one to achieve a more lifted look without surgery … Besides its aesthetic promise, the tape is also a product uniquely suited for the social media era … There are only so many ways one can demonstrate taking a bra on and off. But there are infinite ways to apply boob tape.”

+ Amazon Has Been Slashing Private-Label Selection Amid Weak Sales (The Wall Street Journal): “Amazon’s private-label business, with 243,000 products across 45 different house brands as of 2020, has been a source of controversy because it competes with other sellers on its platform. The decision to scale back the house brands resulted partly from disappointing sales for many of the items … It also came as the retail-and-technology giant has faced criticism in recent years from lawmakers and others that it sometimes gives advantages to its own brands at the expense of products sold by other vendors on its site. Over the past six months, Amazon leadership instructed its private-label team to slash the list of items and not to reorder many of them … Executives discussed reducing its private-label assortment in the U.S. by well over half … Amazon has said that its house brands only account for about 1% of its retail sales.”

+ A Big Flashing Signal That Goods Could Get Cheaper Soon (Slate): “The good news is that shipping rates are indeed falling globally, and the supply chain is righting itself … Also encouraging is … a 35 percent reduction in shipping transit times … it’ll likely take more than falling rates to fix the system. The broken supply chain was part of the problem, but more significant issues persist. Generous government stimulus, for instance, helped generate massive demand for goods … and that demand hasn’t abated yet … It will thus likely take some time for inflation to resolve. But when you consider these supply chain improvements combined with the falling costs of wheat, gas, and inputs like copper, you can see a scenario that’s more optimistic than recent headlines suggest.”

+ Will Netflix Ads Be Worth It For Fashion? (The Business of Fashion): “Fashion brands have been increasingly advertising on streaming platforms and Netflix has finally announced its intent to enter the space … To make advertising on Netflix worthwhile to fashion brands … Netflix’s offering will need to be an improvement on existing advertising formats and the company will need to share data and audience insights, which it has historically guarded closely … Depending on what Netflix offers brands, fashion and beauty brands could sponsor content not only in the traditional sense but helping shape storylines altogether … Ultimately, any advertising format on Netflix risks intruding on the viewing experience, creating more distance between brand and consumer in the long run. Getting creative will be essential to avoiding this separation.”

+ Victoria’s Secret and What’s Sexy Now (The New York Times): “… there’s no single answer and certainly no single brand with the answer to what is sexy because that is up to each individual. Yet the dominant images of lingerie are still those of binaries and extremes. It’s either thongs and naughty maids on Jessica Rabbit bodies or comfortable cotton undies in neutral tones on lots of bodies. Victoria’s Secret, the old version, or Dove and Aerie.”

+ Shein’s Rise Was Nearly Overnight. The Backlash Came Just as Fast. (The Wall Street Journal): “… even as the company continues to grow in popularity, a counter-trend is emerging: young people resisting Shein and speaking out against fast fashion. In high-school and college newspapers, in cafeterias, at protests and on social-media platforms, an anti-Shein, pro-sustainability sentiment is fomenting. Much of the online outrage centers around the barrage of new merchandise that feeds haul-video behavior. Because Shein is a secretive company, the full extent of its environmental and ethical impact is unknown.”

+ Sale styles are an extra 40% off at Anthropologie; no code needed, discount taken in cart. Note that all sales are final with the additional discount. Shipping is free on orders over $50.

+ Why the Euro Has Tumbled Near Parity to the US Dollar (Bloomberg): “… a combination of Europe’s front-line exposure to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the European Central Bank’s tardiness in raising interest rates have driven it nearer to parity, or a 1:1 ratio with the dollar. It’s the first time it has sunk to that level since 2002, in the early years of the euro’s existence.”

+ Young Voters Are Fed Up With Their (Much) Older Leaders (The New York Times): “Those older leaders often talk about upholding institutions and restoring norms, while young voters say they are more interested in results. Many expressed a desire for more sweeping changes like a viable third party and a new crop of younger leaders. They’re eager for innovative action on the problems they stand to inherit … rather than returning to what worked in the past.”

+ Why Women Are Dressing Like Jellyfish (The Wall Street Journal): “… jellyfish dresses—great, voluminous things that swish and bounce with every step—are so prevalent this summer … they’re comfortable, versatile and statement-making … women appreciate the breezy freedom they provide.”

+ Why Nordstrom Appears to Be Pivoting Away From Influencers (The Business of Fashion): “The Anniversary Sale is still important to Nordstrom’s top and bottom line — it’s one of the few such events to warrant regular mentions in the company’s quarterly earnings calls. But it has suffered from overexposure in recent years. Every July, consumers’ social media feeds are inundated with creators discussing discounts or sharing products and hauls. Some found the assortment repetitive from year to year, adding to the fatigue. And other retailers have followed Nordstrom’s lead with flashy sales holidays of their own. Google searches for the sale peaked between 2017 and 2019, and have fallen by more than half since then.”

+ He Had a Dark Secret. It Changed His Best Friend’s Life. (The New York Times): “Friendships can be hard to memorialize — relatives, partners, children often take pride of place. But a friendship can be the defining bond in a person’s life, offering a kinship that family cannot, a refuge through lonely, hungry days.”

+ Why Puddle Pants Are the Perfect Antidote to Skinny Jeans (Vogue): “These slouchy slacks are distinguished by their long, pooling length that creates the silhouette of a puddle around the foot and ankle. Though they’re the kind of trend that might make a seamstress shudder, this devil-may-care approach to dragging your hemline along the ground accomplishes a distinct type of effortlessness … The designers that are championing the ascent of puddle pants are those who have historically endorsed the baggy silhouette—Balenciaga’s Demna, Tibi’s Amy Smilovic, and the late Virgil Abloh of Off-White are among the names spearheading this trend.”

+ I Woke Up From a Coma and Couldn’t Escape the Guy Pretending to Be My Boyfriend (Narratively): “My physical deficits are still an everyday part of my life, but I’ve come to accept my disability. Ironically, the trauma of my accident, recovery, and new identity as a disabled person pales in comparison to the effects of Stanley’s destructive presence. I’m suspicious of all romantic partners and don’t trust the motives anyone purports to have. I’m distrustful and resentful. I go to therapy to discern which parts of my skepticism are warranted and which are pure paranoia. Even when I know, am painstakingly shown the truth, it doesn’t feel real or genuine.”

+ Her Ex-Husband Is Suing a Clinic Over the Abortion She Had Four Years Ago (ProPublica): “Across the U.S., people have sued for negligence in the death of a fetus or embryo in cases where a pregnant person has been killed in a car crash or a pregnancy was lost because of alleged wrongdoing by a physician. But a court action claiming the wrongful death of an aborted embryo or fetus is a more novel strategy … this rare tactic could become more common, as anti-abortion groups have signaled their desire to further limit reproductive rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. The Arizona lawsuit and others that may follow could also be an attempt to discourage and intimidate providers and harass plaintiffs’ former romantic partners.”

+ A $100,000 Dress, Perhaps, for the End of the World? (The Wall Street Journal): “Haute couture, with prices that begin around $6,000 for a blouse and hover in the $50,000 to $60,000 range for a dress, can go as high as $1 million for major pieces, remaining out of reach for most fashion fans. But its demographic and influence have broadened markedly. To qualify as haute couture, a designation registered with the French authorities in 1945 (with roots that go back to the 18th-century aristocracy), designers still follow strict rules. They must show at least 25 looks in Paris twice a year, hand-finishing looks on site in separate ateliers for suiting and flowy pieces. But within those parameters, the extravaganza is inching toward inclusivity … Today, the front row is just as likely to include a Chinese investor such as Wendy Yu, an Indian businesswoman like Natasha Poonawalla, or a philanthropist and street-style star such as Swede Fredrik Robertsson … At this past week’s couture shows in Paris, guests included much of the Kardashian clan including Kim Kardashian’s oldest child North West, ‘Selling Sunset’ reality-show star Christine Quinn, Sigourney Weaver, K-Pop artist CL and more.”

+ The 2022 Audubon Photography Awards: Winners and Honorable Mentions

+ Text Your Friends. It Matters More Than You Think. (The New York Times): “… a new study … found people tend to underestimate how much friends like hearing from them … [in] a series of 13 experiments, involving more than 5,900 participants, to … [gauge] how good people are at guessing how much friends value being reached out to, and what kinds of interactions are the most powerful. In some of the experiments, participants reached out to someone they considered to be a friend; in others, they got in touch +with someone they were friendly with but considered a weak tie. Those reaching out were asked to rate how appreciative, happy, pleased and grateful they anticipated the contact would be to hear from them — from not at all to very much. The researchers then asked those on the receiving end of the check-in to rate how much they appreciated the contact. Across all 13 experiments, those who initiated contact significantly underestimated how much it would be appreciated. The more surprising check-ins (from those who hadn’t been in contact recently) tended to be especially powerful.”

+ Nobody Wants to Be in the Office on Fridays (The Washington Post): “The last day of the workweek, once synonymous with long lunches and early departures, has increasingly become a day to skip the office altogether. The trend, which was already brewing before the pandemic, has become widely adopted, even codified, in recent months and is creating new challenges for employers. Just 30 percent of office workers swiped into work on Fridays in June, the least of any weekday, according to Kastle Systems, which provides building security services for 2,600 buildings nationwide. That’s compared to 41 percent on Mondays, the day with the second-lowest turnout, and 50 percent on Tuesdays, when the biggest share of workers are in the office.”

+ Until 07/17, take up to an extra 70% off sale styles at Ann Taylor when you buy 3 or more items. No code needed, discount taken in cart. Shipping is free on orders over $150.

+ You’re Not Allowed to Have the Best Sunscreens in the World (The Atlantic): “While some of the more expensive U.S. products are better than they used to be in terms of texture and how they look on skin, their active ingredients remain stubbornly unchanged … In the U.S., sunscreen is regulated as an over-the-counter drug, which means that the FDA considers all filters, physical or chemical, to be active ingredients that must be evaluated and approved individually before they can be marketed. In general, this type of regulatory regime works out pretty well for the American public … Whether you buy yours at Dollar General or Sephora, it will contain at least one FDA-approved UV filter in a clearly marked concentration. The government currently allows 17 filters in American sunscreens, nine of which are rarely used, because they have undesirable side effects or because cosmetic chemists find them difficult to blend into the kinds of products that people like. The eight that you will find in the products at your local drugstore still leave something to be desired … In Europe, Australia, and much of Asia, sunscreens are regulated as cosmetics or health-bolstering goods, with simpler efficacy and safety standards than those in the U.S. In those markets, several dozen active ingredients are available for use in sunscreens, including some developed in the past decade that have intriguing properties. The allure of these new technologies has drawn Americans to scour the internet for supply lines that skirt FDA notice, which often means buying sunscreen through third-party sellers on Amazon.”

+ Siberia or Japan? Expert Google Maps Players Can Tell at a Glimpse. (The New York Times): “… a game called GeoGuessr. The premise is simple: As you stare at a computer or phone, you’re plopped down somewhere in the world in Google Street View and must guess, as quickly as you can, exactly where you are. You can click to travel down roads and through cities, scanning for distinguishable landmarks or language. The closer you guess, the more points you score … Some of the top features … [used] to distinguish one country from another … are bollards, the posts used as barriers on the sides of roads; telephone poles; license plates; which side of the road the cars are driving on; and soil color . There are other clues … The quality of the image matters — Google filmed different countries using different generations of camera — as does the color of the car being used to record the terrain. A glimpse of a white car in South America, for instance, means you’re in Peru, Bolivia or Chile.”

+ Want a Chic Belt? Skip the Garish Logo (The Wall Street Journal): “Those seeking stealth displays of style will be pleased to learn that discreetly elite belts have resurfaced this season. Labels such as the Row, Savette and Emme Parsons offer subtle versions with sleek hardware … These low-key belts do more than hold up pants. New York stylist Rachael Wang uses her desirably nondescript vintage black belt to cinch blazers, oversize coats and dresses. She views restrained belts as ‘jewelry for the wardrobe,’ and often wears one with a boxy golden buckle in lieu of earrings.”

+ ‘Why Is Everyone Wearing Suits?’: #GentleMinions Has Moviegoers Dressing Up (The New York Times): “… a TikTok trend known as #GentleMinions … has amassed more than 61 million views on the platform. It encourages ‘Minions’ moviegoers to film themselves as they dress up in suits and sunglasses to attend screenings of the latest installment of the ‘Despicable Me’ series … why suits? The precise answer is elusive. Participants are also encouraged to accessorize with bananas, a Minion’s favorite snack, or hold their hands in a steeple pose, Gru’s signature pose … There have been reports of people being disruptive instead of simply looking dapper. The videos also encourage their well-dressed participants to clap enthusiastically throughout the film, which in some cases has gotten out of hand.”

+ Recently purchased: J. Crew Tie-Shoulder Tiered Mini Dress, CHEFMADE Hello Kitty Oven Mitts, Tularosa Poppy Midi Dress, Banana Republic Ramie Mini Dress, Banana Republic Colorblock Cashmere Bralette, Converse Chuck 70 AT-CX, Keepsake The Label Blouson Dress, and Dolce Vita Noles City Slide Sandal.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Hi, I am Elle!

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