Design

Three Fun Things

Doen puffy sleeve blouse

Today, I plead my case for the baby puff sleeve — HEAR ME OUT. The Victorian-era-slash-ultra-80s trend can feel over-the-top, but it was worn by some of the greats: Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C. These days, there are some low-key options — with the teeniest bit of shoulder pleats — that feel modern and fun. A few of my favorite options are textured, V-neck, plaid and midi.

Radishes and butter

Just a casual reminder of summer’s greatest snack trio: radishes, butter and flaky salt. I’ve been stocking up on these ingredients and living my best life.

Have you seen Eighth Grade? Directed by 27-year-old comedian Bo Burnham, the movie follows 13-year-old Kayla, who’s navigating one of life’s most dramatic moments: the last week of middle school. It’s a simple story that captures SOUL-CRUSHING adolescent situations perfectly. (I, too, experienced everything in slow-mo when I saw my eighth-grade crush.) “We believe that this girl and her story deserve to be projected 20 feet tall,” writes Burnham. “Her story is not small to her. Why can’t an epic story about the human condition be about a 13 year-old girl walking into a pool party and not just about some dude with a sword — no offense to dudes or swords?” Yes!

P.S. More fun things, including how to write the best wedding speech.

(Top photo by Doên.)

  1. Sarah F. says...

    I was lucky enough to see Eighth Grade followed by a Q&A session with Bo Burnham and most of the young cast! I cried SO MUCH at certain parts. It took me back to some eighth grade insecurities – I couldn’t believe how they all nailed it. I also loved seeing life through the eyes of someone who is an eighth grader now because of course there are major differences. Needless to say I was embarrassed that I wore bright green mascara that night!

  2. Laura says...

    OK, I love love love the look of those romantic Doen blouses, especially with faded jeans, but how do I pull one off at work? Is there a way to look professional while also super romantic and womanly and dreamy? Or do you just save it for after-hours? I try to imagine myself pairing it with a pencil skirt or formal pants, and it feels like too much – like it needs to be paired with more casual things to balance it out.
    I think I’m overthinking this. :|

    • I’ve had the same thought! I can’t spend that much money on something I can only wear on weekends . . . but I think tucked into a pencil skirt would look quite nice.

    • Stacy S says...

      The Orla shirt that was tagged would look amazing with some skinny ponte pants in maybe like a eggplant or navy color and kitten heels! My work is business casual (maybe a little more casual leaning), so I don’t know if your office is more business, it might be too simple??

  3. Maria says...

    just came from a sneak preview of Eight Grade-it’s SO good and very relatable. Gave me so many flashbacks to my time navigating middle school (early to mid 90’s) and makes me grateful that I’m not in middle school these days where social media is the end-all.

  4. M says...

    Bo Burnham and I went to middle school together! He was a grade above me. It was *very* exciting for my 7th grade self to be cast in the middle school play-he was the lead in “Footloose” (of course!) I am so excited to see his movie….I wonder if he will draw from real experiences.

  5. Stephanie says...

    Eighth Grade looks both divine and so cringe-worthy. (Just like being a teenage girl…) I’m a teacher, and getting to be a part of students’ lives at this age is both a privilege and horrifying. I’m so glad I didn’t get a cell phone or social media until I was 19!
    But I think my favourite, favourite part of that trailer was that it was the Enya music. Unexpected yet perfect!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Stephanie, when the Enya song started playing as she was scrolling through social media and you could see the reflection of her eyes on the screen, I thought, this movie moment will go down in history. Hahahaha. So great, and I’m so jealous I didn’t create it first :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha

  6. shade says...

    I had to stop myself from crying at work just from that trailer alone. Man, 8th grade was HARD.

  7. Justine says...

    What is the proper way to do the radish thing? Do you leave the butter at room temp and then smear on the radish and sprinkle with salt? I saw a recipe in which you coated the radish in butter and put in the fridge to chill … i tried it but would think the room temp butter would be better?

    • d says...

      My preference is for room temperature butter. I just dip and sprinkle. =)
      I think the key to this treat is that all of the ingredients have to be top notch— Really good butter. Farmer’s market radishes. A nice sea salt.

    • Julia says...

      My favorite way to do it is to slice up warm French bread, spread good room temperature butter on each slice, layer with cut up radishes, and sprinkle with sea salt. Might be my favorite snack of all time. Had it for the first time at Prune in the East Village years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

  8. Nina says...

    I didn’t realize the puff sleeve was a trendy thing, I mean beyond the Jerry Seinfeld pirate shirt exaggeration. I like it. But I can’t get on board with the radish, butter, salt thing…I just don’t get it. I’ve tried it. one of my other favorite blogs soulemama.com often mentions it but I think I must be doing it wrong…any tips? just put a tiny bit of butter (I’ve even gotten Kerry and european butter thinking they would be better) but still…it seems gross.

    • Allyson says...

      Oooh I love a good blog recc! Going to soulemama.com now.

  9. Annie says...

    Where’s the fourth fun things? ;)

  10. Summer says...

    I love puff sleeves…..I own one top that has tiny puff sleeves. It is from Jcrew and is about 8 years old and very time I put that shirt on I think of Anne from Anne of Green Gables when Matthew Cuthbert gifts her the blue party dress (w/ puff sleeves) :-)

    • Carrie says...

      OMG, I am right there with you! That is one of my faves. :)

  11. Hannah says...

    I initially read this as puff sleeves for babies which I had not realized was a trend but was prepared to be on board with. Agreed on all fronts that puff sleeves for adults are dreamy and timeless and have felt this way since Anne Shirley was all about them.

    • Quinn says...

      Oh this made me smile. :)

    • Anna says...

      Ha!!

  12. Ann says...

    I laughed at all the exhibits! I loved A Room With A View Sooooo Much!

  13. Ali says...

    Oh my goodness, wasn’t ‘A Room With a View’ the most heart stopping romantic drama ever? The sexual tension makes my stomach drop, even watching it all these years later. Just goes to show, movies don’t need to be explicit to be moving and romantic.

  14. Laura C. says...

    The puff sleeves are coming back? I am pleased! My husband usually tells me that I was born in the wrong century :)

  15. Caitlin says...

    Bo Burnham was my first date with my husband almost 10 years ago. We definitely need to see that movie!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow, that’s so cool!

  16. nadine says...

    I’m italian and I do the same but with olive oil, yum!!
    I keep reading reviews about Eight grade, looking forward to watch it! Quite unrelated, but last week I went to see Sorry to bother you, i recommend it a lot! I first saw it with a friend then I had to go back with my boyfriend..

  17. JCR says...

    “Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now.
    It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress
    with puffed sleeves.”

    “Well, you’ll have to do without your thrill. I hadn’t any
    material to waste on puffed sleeves. I think they are
    ridiculous-looking things anyhow. I prefer the plain,
    sensible ones.”

    “But I’d rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than
    plain and sensible all by myself,” persisted Anne mournfully.

    • Love this quote so much!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Lol!! I relate to Anne’s aunt’s objections.
      Our family used to volunteer as historical interpreters at a local living history farm that portrayed the 1890s-1910s. I sewed the costumes for my little girls and those puff sleeves were hell!!! Lol. So. Much. Freaking. Fabric. It’s insane how much you have to gather up and stitch, and restitch. When they outgrew dresses I was so grumpy! (The actual job was delightful though. One of the very best things we did as a family. Whole afternoons in an old farm house, with many old grandma volunteers, washing laundry on a wash board, or picking flowers or tending chickens, or baking cookies on a wood burning stove, or carding wool, and all the while telling guests about the real family that lived in our house, and hearing over and over from elderly guests “oh my, these little girls are PRECIOUS” with their braids tied with bows and pinafores and black lace up boots, and puffed sleeve dresses). Sorry for the digression, fond memories.

    • Quinn says...

      Love!!

  18. Julia says...

    oh wow, lol i thought i was being original with the puffy shirt comment but after i posted i saw someone else had already said it and it had already been marked exhibit d! ;D I’m not sure how I feel about all these 80s and 90s trends circling around. I have been trying to stay open minded but I am waiting for the simple classic 50s and 60s mod to come back. the mom jeans is my hardest thing to accept. thank you for trying to open my mind to puffy sleeves. if i wore it though I think i’d be grumpin’ with all that fabric.

  19. Claire says...

    These fun things speak to me. I like sleeves. I am in favor of them. For so long it seems like everything has been sleeveless. strapless, or tiny straps, no matter the season or whether it even looks good. Also, as much as I do love fantasy, science fiction, or superhero movies, my favorite stories are about real people living their lives, and I am looking forward to seeing 8th Grade.

  20. Jillian says...

    I’ve tried the baby puff sleeve in more than a few dressing rooms this season. It always goes back on the rack – I love it but I truly look ridiculous in it. However, how STUNNING is Dolly Parton in that photo? Love.

  21. Sarah says...

    Interesting! I’ll have to try this!

  22. Amanda says...

    That Doen top reminds me (in all the best ways) of the plaid blouses my mom wore in the 80’s. LOVE.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha, exhibit d!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha yes!

    • Megan says...

      But I don’t wanna be a pirate!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Omg Minna, you win the internet. I just spit out my tea.

  23. Emma says...

    Stella, honey, no one’s fighting you on the baby puff! Man, I cringed when I read that Bo Burnham is only 27. My god, what have I been doing with my life?

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Same, Emma. Same. 27!?!?

  24. I love this line from movie critic Mara Reinstein http://www.maramovies.com

    “Because unlike eighth grade itself, Eighth Grade deserves to be continually relived.”

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Oh this is so good, Carla!!!!

  25. SK says...

    Eighth Grade is SO GOOD! I saw it at the San Francisco International Film Fest this past spring and it was one of my favorite films from the festival.

  26. I haven’t seen that movie, but it looks right up my alley!! I was a very dramatic teenager, so I think I could definitely relate :)

    • Meg says...

      This made me smile! Thanks Jenny for reminding me about lovely Anne.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Yes!!!! The ultimate!

    • Anne Fan says...

      I came to the comments all set to fight Anne ‘puffed sleeves’ Shirley’s corner and I see you beat me to it!

    • Susan says...

      Totally! Anne Shirley is the first person i think of when i think of puffed sleeves! https://goo.gl/images/JxVn6o

    • Cara M says...

      I’m glad someone else said it, because this is the ultimate reference to puffed sleeves! I can’t understand how much I love Anne of Green Gables – somehow, it always remains relevant!

    • Ashley says...

      Yes! I came here to say the exact same thing. Puff sleeves will always have a place in my heart thanks to Anne Shirley.

  27. Ali says...

    I’m so curious about trying this radish snack, but I must admit I’ve never seen that eaten together! How do you prep it? Just sliced raw with butter spread on top and sprinkled with sea salt?

    • isavoyage says...

      Ali, here in France, it is something we often eat in Spring (radish season). You dip the radish in salt (just a little) and eat it holding it by the green stalk. Once in a while you eat a bite of buttered baguette. Yum !

    • Make sure butter is room temp. Dip radish. Sprinkle with salt. Be happy about the best snack choice you ever made.

    • M says...

      Same. I’m wondering, too!

    • Amanda says...

      Sliced over a layer of butter on crusty bread = rad!

    • Alexandra says...

      Oh, and get European butter, not American butter … it tastes more “buttery” (i.e. it has a way higher fat content)

    • Heather says...

      I came here for radish/butter/salt instructions too!

    • Ali says...

      Yum, thank you for the suggestions. Picking up radishes today to try this! :)