Hats, Ranked By How Much I Enjoy Seeing People Wearing Them

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  1. Church Lady, in Church Crowns-style hat. Bonus points if the hat is part of a monochrome ensemble, where the hat was clearly decided upon FIRST.
  2. Old dude wearing a Kangol. Extra points if it’s with a suit and tie.
  3. Unironic Stetson, when paired with a belt buckle that was achieved through some display of testosterone.
  4. Smiling baby in sun hat. (Tied with cranky baby trying to pull sun hat off and throw it out of the stroller.)
  5. Tween or teen in ironic-cute animal, cartoon, or cartoon-animal knit cap. Earflaps optional, but appreciated.
  6. Full-on vintage perch hat with veil.
  7. Queen Elizabeth II’s hats. All of them. But this one in particular.
  8. Dude in a porkpie hat who knows it’s faintly ridiculous, but is okay with wearing it anyway. [NB: this set should include all wearers of porkpie hats]
  9. Doctor Who in a fez.
  10. Everyone, in propeller beanies.

 

Today's Pattern Story: Vogue 8946

Vogue 8946

 

“Yes, we do have one of the new robotic mannequins in stock, but I’m afraid it’s a refurbished version. It looks lovely, but thinks it is Grace Kelly. But as long as you call it ‘Your Serene Highness’, you should be fine … oh, and don’t make any sudden movements, or it will stab you with a nail file. … Hello? Hello?”

(Today’s pattern from MOMSPatterns.)

London Calling

Liberty of London
[Photo of Liberty of London by Stuart Pinfold, on Flickr]

So I’ll be in London the weekend of May 24-25, and wondered: would anyone like to get together to do sewing-ish type things? Like, perhaps, a fabric crawl or a trip to the V&A, or both? I will 100% absolutely be going to Liberty, Shaukat, and to the V&A, and should probably this time make it into more than one shop before closing time on Goldhawk Road …

Is there anything else I should do/see while I’m there? Usually I just wander around and marvel that EVERY SINGLE CORNER is right out of a book. I keep expecting to run into the Bastables, Crêpe Suzette, or Gabriel Syme …

Book Review: Liberty: British Colour Pattern

Finally, Liberty: British Colour Pattern is available in the US! (Although not *immediately* available; Amazon is showing out-of-stock.)

picture via Liberty blog
picture via Liberty blog

I begged for a copy for Christmas and was duly gratified, but I held off blogging it until it was easier to get. (Of course if you’re in the UK/ROW, you can order it here.)

It’s truly a gorgeous book and includes plenty of pictures of similarly-gorgeous Liberty fabrics:

picture via the Liberty blog
picture via the Liberty blog

In my fevered Liberty dreams, they put out a book such as the “Swatch-Clopedia” that Swatch reseller Squiggly does — every fabric Liberty ever made, listed in all colorways. I don’t care if it cost $300, I would buy it.* And I would certainly buy a “Liberty Annual” … a magalog that listed all the fabrics produced in a year, in all colorways. Liberty fabrics marketing department, are you listening?

This book doesn’t really need a review. If you love Liberty fabrics, you will love this book. If you don’t love Liberty fabrics yet, this book will probably tip you over into loving Liberty fabrics. Either way, you should probably wishlist it now.

*especially if it were arranged by year, with an index by name, and indexes by designer, fiber, weave, and pattern type (small florals, large florals, novelty, geometrics …). Hey, a girl can dream!

Today's Pattern Story: Butterick 5657

Butterick 5657

 

As Reginald swept her into the turn, face contorted in a rictus of merriment, he hissed a warning in her ear. “Keep dancing! For God’s sake, keep dancing! If they realize we’re released from their bizarre mind control, they’ll rend us limb from limb!”

Thanks to Josie Thames who suggested this pattern!

Mainbocher on "Slang Fashion"

“As amusing as slang fashion is, it is not a complete language. I think women should dress as they talk: a basis of grammar, lightened here and there with a sprinkling of argot.”

—Mainbocher, 1967.

As quoted in The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

Thinking About Underwear: Thinx

There are a lot of products out there that operate on the buy-one-give-one (BOGO) model — probably the best known are TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker — but none of them have really sparked my interest, mostly because the “buy one” of the BOGO model hasn’t been something I needed or wanted. After all, it’s not efficient to buy something you don’t want just to give someone else something they need; easier just to contribute directly.

However, I was recently contacted by THINX, which makes women’s underwear and sells it on a BOGO model. Their schtick is that the underwear has built in “protection” (of the anti-leak sort, it’s not electrified or anything) and by buying a pair, you send reusable washable cloth menstrual pads to a girl in the developing world. (Not sure why this is a big deal? Read this. Check out some of Rose George’s writing on this issue, too.) And I figured, hey, everyone needs underwear …

They sent me a couple of (free) pairs to try out, and they were very nice, as underwear goes. I tend to wear either super-cheap Target brand or Hanky Panky, and quality-wise, the Thinx pairs were closer to the higher end of the scale.  They sent me a couple of pairs in size large (42 hip; their sizes go up to a 47 inch hip). They were comfy, and although I didn’t get much of a chance to put the leak-protection to the test, Thinx seemed like an excellent option for women who have irregular cycles and hate having to wear liners every day (or for women who have mild stress incontinence and a bad case of the sneezes). They’re supposed to be antimicrobial as well, but I haven’t yet found my microscope since we moved and wasn’t all that excited about checking that particular claim personally …

The most-absorbent pair (the hiphuggers) are very expensive (>$40); the rest are about the same as a pair of top-of-the-line undies. If you amortize the cost of liners over the life of a pair of THINX … you’re probably better at this kind of math than I am. They do feel very sturdy (not in the “sturdy as a euphemism for ugly” way, honest) and I imagine they would hold up pretty well. They look … exactly like normal underwear. (I wore them to the gym and no one pointed/laughed in the locker room.)  And they only come in black, which makes sense given their purpose. The lining material makes you think they wouldn’t breathe well, but I didn’t notice any problems at all. I think they’d make great travel underwear — they wash and dry fast, and they seem like they wouldn’t feel horrible after a fourteen-hour  plane ride.

My verdict: if you need this particular underwear functionality, Thinx are for you. If you just want to have nice-looking underwear, Thinx may also be for you, and either way, you help girls go to school, so bonus!

PS: In addition to sending me two free pairs, Thinx also offered me an affiliate ad, which you’ll see in the sidebar. If you’d like to buy them directly, the link is here.