Design

Five Fun Things

Five Fun Things

The New Yorker’s new weekly podcast column, written by Sarah Larson, is full of great ideas. Larson’s recent piece about Ear Hustle, a groundbreaking podcast produced by two inmates inside San Quentin State Prison, introduced us to one of the best series we’ve ever heard — honest, engrossing, uplifting, raw, funny, bittersweet. Definitely a must-subscribe.

Five Fun Things

For fans of Korean beauty products (i.e. everyone?), here’s some great news: CVS now carries 100 of the best products that were previously hard to find in the U.S. The selection, curated by K-beauty expert Alicia Yoon, is full of effective and often adorably packaged treasures, like this cult-favorite mask that heats up to open pores and clear out gunk and then cools to calm your skin. You can find all the products online here, or in CVS stores.

Five Fun Things

If you’d like to prolong the life of your clothes, T Magazine recently polled designers and dry cleaners on the best ways to wear, store and clean your favorite items. Iron your shirt collar first! Fold T-shirts instead of hanging them! Never put a swimsuit in the dryer!

Five Fun Things

In exciting collaboration news, designer Clare Vivier paired up with Wallshoppe to create a collection of wallpaper rolls and removable panels, featuring everything from her hand-drawn stripes to these playful eyes. Wouldn’t they look lovely in a tiny bathroom?

Five Fun Things

Also, have you seen a trend and thought, “Nope, not me?” But then, with time and exposure, it grows on you and you couldn’t possibly live without it? That’s been our thought process with Birkenstocks, wide-leg pants… and, now, ruffled-shoulder tops. They’re dramatic, a little bit ’80s and give you the appearance of wings. But then again wouldn’t they look cute with some jeans? Here are a few pretty options: striped, cozy, crisp and jersey.

P.S. More fun things.

(Top photo by Jim Seida/NBC News. Cleaning illustration by Konstantin Kakanias, with animation by Jonathan Eden/T Magazine. Ruffle shirt photo from Madewell.)

  1. Kim says...

    I LOVE Ear Hustle. The stories are so different from what you normally hear, even if you listen to public radio. Some episodes have me laughing out loud and some have left me in tears. They remind us the humanity in everyone. Really enlightening.

  2. I love the making your clothes last longer article. Very thorough!!! Will definitely have to bookmark that one!

    Quick question: do you have a post on affordable petite jeans here at Cup of Jo? It’s so hard to find petite bottoms in general for us short ladies! And jeans are, well, almost impossible. Thanks much in advance!

  3. Sarah K says...

    Eyes in a bathroom? Shudder. Maybe in another room…but I’m not sure. I think they would freak me out.

    I’ve loved birkenstocks forever, and I can get behind the ruffled blouse look on other people but it’s the kind of thing that tends not to look good on me. I have so many peasant-type blouses, as a related example, that I bought because they looked adorable on the hanger and on the model but every time I put one on I just looked frumpy…

  4. I love the way the ruffle tops look in pictures! Especially on skinny-mini girls, but I have an upside down V shape, so I worry I’d look like a linebacker! Haha. Guess I should just order one and try it on.

    I’m super interested in the K-Beauty at CVS, that is so cool. I love trying beauty products from all over the world!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  5. Yvette says...

    Sorry, those ruffle tops are not ” a little bit 80’s”! Unfortunately, I can send you several childhood pics of me wearing those exact same tops. You know what they say, if you are old enough to have worn it the first go around, you are too old to wear it the second go around!

    • Sarah K says...

      Ha! I agree. I’ve had the same reactions to scrunchies (or do they call them something else now?), looser high-waisted jeans, leotards, even overalls. I’ve been there and done that and I don’t care to go back. Plus I’m pretty sure they were not flattering styles then and still aren’t now! I think growing up fashion-wise should involve more of finding out what flatters our actual body types and makes us look our best, vs trying to fit the mold of the latest trend.

  6. Lauren E. says...

    I’m so guilty of fashion growing on me! I will roll my eyes at trends and then by the time I get used to them, they’re passe (but whatever). However, this year I am already on board with winged tops. I bought a ruffly-winged plaid blouse from Zara on super sale and can’t wait to wear it when the temperature in NY drops below 70!

  7. Tanith says...

    CVS has Korean beauty products?? Thank you for sharing that info because otherwise, I never step foot in CVS (we have a local drugstore in Seattle).

    I love that you brought up the fact that fashion trends grow on people; it’s all simply a result of seeing something enough that you start like it; there is study about it on the Adam Ruins Art episode of Adam Ruins Everything. (I can’t get enough of that show haha!)

  8. Yulia says...

    I never thought I’d do culottes, but after your post a couple months ago I tried a pair on a whim. You guys were right! They are so amazingly flattering. I now have three pairs. I thought culottes would make my legs look like squat fabric columns, but if anything culottes elongate and slenderize! I think everyone should at least try on a pair. (For reference: I am 5’2.5″ and petite, but my lower half is a little more sturdily-built than my upper half.)

    For me ruffled blouses are also a no. I don’t think they’re attractive on anyone… but I think what IS neat is that it doesn’t matter. If you like ’em, you do you! You’re going to pull it off if you have the confidence. :)

  9. Jules D says...

    Camouflage everything is coming back. It was a big no back then – early 2000 – and is still a big no now!

  10. Lauren says...

    My wedding dress had a big ruffle that went all the way across and up the front, over one shoulder, and down the other side. Ha, I swear it looked great and I loved it so much! I’m not yet on board with wide leg cropped pants (I’ve recently started to like them on other people though, so it’s probably just a matter of time), cold shoulder tops, and athletic slide sandals.

  11. Sasha says...

    The ruffle blouses remind me of “prairie” style outfits I had in grade school. I had a red calico one, with matching ruffle long skirt, and a lavender high necked one (a particularly bad look on a little girl with chubby cheeks and bangs and a bob). I can’t help but laugh at the idea of grown women wearing ruffles. But to each their own, if it makes you HAPPY. I wear overalls so…..

    Here’s a trend I could get on board with: pockets, usable, comfortable pockets, on ALL women’s and girl’s clothing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES POCKETS. many years ago, i tried on a WEDDING DRESS with pockets and am stick kicking myself that i didn’t get it! :)

    • My wedding dress had pockets and it was the besssttttt. Kept my vows, phone, and lip gloss on me all night!

  12. Emily says...

    As for the last item — I definitely went through that process with Birkenstocks. I never got into wide leg pants, but I have been on the ruffled shirt train since the beginning! I bought a white eyelet ruffled shirt from Madewell in spring and probably wear it a few times per week. It makes me feel so effortlessly put together, yet is still casual enough for me to wear with shorts and sandals!

  13. Oh wow I loved this little list! Definitely going to check out that podcast!!! And for that matter, check out the podcast pieces from NYT. Also loved the piece about clothing– I am weirdly obsessed with taking care of my clothing perfectly :)

  14. Emily R says...

    People actually hang t-shirts?

    • I JUST started to hang my t-shirts, partly to clear up drawer space, partly on the advice of Marie Kondo to hang all your shirts so you can see them, and I have to say that I love it. I never have a weird seam that I debate whether or not I should iron out before leaving the house, and it actually does help me wear more of my shirts.

    • Caroline says...

      This is exactly what I got out of this post too!

    • AzureSong says...

      I’m pretty sure Marie Kondo says to fold T-shirts, but hang blouses. Kondo is the queen of folding!

  15. Laura says...

    One style I’ve never understood is holes in jeans. Never bought them, never will.

  16. Maranda says...

    I would like allllll of the Korean beauty supplies. Looks like I have to make a CVS trip!

  17. Susan says...

    No to the ruffles: they make grown women look ridiculous. I don’t know anyone who really looks like Jane Birkin nowadays. And honestly, she looked silly, too. Let’s leave some things for the little ones.

  18. Laura C. says...

    I don’t know how but I find myself trying to “avoid” trends when I go shopping. I am becoming more and more minimalist, I suppose. I think it is due to my budget, I need classics and then I find out that I am too plain!

  19. keri says...

    nope turn yup trends…. wedges. I was so against wedges, now I can’t get enough of them!!
    I am still waiting for off-the-shoulder tops to remind me of anything other than the little peasants blouse I used to wear at my grandma’s farm when I was 6 though.

  20. Adrienne says...

    I had very high hopes for Ear Hustle. It’s gotten huge promotion from lots of the other great podcasts I listen to regularly which is how I heard about it. For me though it falls pretty flat. It’s not particularly insightful and the banter between the two hosts is a bit clunky and awkward. I find they only share small abrupt snippets from different inmates and it leaves you wanting much more. I think I’ll finish off the season but unless it picks up a bit I think I’ll move on.

  21. Sarah Beth says...

    Ruffled shirts are the one trend I feel the opposite about– I fell for them instantly, and hard. I don’t like embellishment that’s cute or precious, but I think the big ruffles are both girly and cool. My husband does NOT get them, but who cares! I rarely go for trends, but this is one I am ALL IN ON.

  22. LB says...

    I took my husband through Nordstrom the other day on a (very) brief trip. He was comically disgusted at all the ruffle tops, which was a relief, because I am too.

    I got on the skinny jeans bandwagon a few years late and now I love them – just as the world’s baggiest, cropped jeans are back in style! SMH…At least I kept my wide leg jeans from 2004!

  23. Maywyn says...

    Great post
    Circa 1962, a blouse with wide ruffles all the way to the hem, on both sides of the button front was serious fashion (Boston area, maybe just my junior high school). I remember the chore of ironing those ruffles. I wonder sometimes, at my age (65+) if I wore a blouse like that now, how will I feel. Probably, I’d feel what it is like to be No.

  24. Cynthia says...

    The cleaning illustration with animation is unexpected and delightful!

  25. Lily says...

    How do you guys find all this good stuff! Love this blog.

  26. Sydnie says...

    I’m so glad that you recommended Ear Hustle! It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite podcasts. The guys are funny and insightful, and its nice to get a peek into a world that so many of us never will experience, but so heavily inundate our media.
    The show actually inspired me to look into volunteering at a local prison. I’m excited to see what opportunities are there!

    • Lexi Mainland says...

      That sounds great, Sydnie. Keep us posted if you find a way to do that.

  27. I bought a ruffle top and now my husband won’t stop calling me Jerry Seinfeld. Ha!

    • Jody says...

      Haha! We need a round up of funny comments regarding trendy items from significant others.

    • Lisa says...

      Leggings have only just got me, but I’m pregnant and they’re SO COMFORTABLE

  28. Tori says...

    OMG yes to the last one. I end up caving on 99% of the things I “hated” a couple months earlier. Birkentstocks got me, too…

    • Emy Daly says...

      This is how I felt about skinny jeans. I thought only the most attractive figures could possible pull those off! Same with high waist pants but I have just bought my first pair and am loving them.

  29. Natalie says...

    HA! I love the way you described late trend acceptance. I’ve accepted ruffles, birkenstocks and mirrored sunglasses, but there’s two that I just can’t get on board with yet… velvet and cold shoulders. They feel like dance recital costumes from when I was little! But you know I’ll be wearing both these trends next month ;)