Dressing for Two

From giant Victorian tent dresses to oversized 20th century sacks with drawstring waists, maternity clothes have long been designed to hide women’s pregnancies. They also shame and other women. Stephie Grob Plante’s personal and cultural history of these contentious, temporary items offers reasons for hope amid relics of the status quo.

Source: Racked
Published: Jan 30, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,488 words)

The Things That Come to Those Who Wait

Waiting in line is the thing that seperates us from the animals. We waited in times of scarcity; when there were more people than goods, and soon lines became a “symbol of bloated bureaucracy.” But today waiting is a kind of privilege, where it’s more common to wait in line for a new sneaker or a trendy dessert.

Source: Racked
Published: Jan 17, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,800 words)

Why Aren’t Fashion ‘Disruptors’ Serving Plus-Size Customers?

Apparently making pants for fat people is so radically difficult from making pants for thin people that it will take years of additional R&D.

Source: Racked
Published: Dec 20, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,790 words)

When Bergdorf Served Chitlins and Champagne

The place of overpriced soul food inside luxury retailers reveals a lot about the historical appropriate of black culture and racial politics in America. Blackness, as the author says, “has become both valued and devalued by dominant culture.”
Author: Rikki Byrd
Source: Racked
Published: Nov 8, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,648 words)

Naked Truths

Jamie Lauren Keiles spends a week at a naturist camp to learn “why people get naked.” As she exercises, sun tans, and square dances her way through a week garbed for the most part only in shoes, she gets stripped not only of inhibitions around her own body, but also of notions around naturist intent, learning that most enthusiasts take off their clothes not for sexual reasons, but simply to feel free.

Source: Racked
Published: Jul 25, 2017
Length: 17 minutes (4,419 words)

How to Sell a Billion-Dollar Myth Like a French Girl

The origins and consequences of everyone’s favorite Parisian fantasy.

Source: Racked
Published: Jul 5, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,600 words)

Weddings of the 0.01 Percent

The big, expensive wedding isn’t just about an ostentatious display of wealth—it’s about service. The weddings of the ultra-rich are about the the creation of an entire experience, from the moment you step off the private jet onto a flower-covered personal island, to the final sip of Dom Perignon on a a Mediterranean balcony. Throw in enough money, you might get social media coverage as well.

Source: Racked
Published: Jun 7, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,600 words)

The Grays of Our Lives

The anxiety of choice—what I should do, what I should read, who I should be—has had a curious effect on the world of fashion. Color is out, gray is in. Gray, the midpoint between black and white, has far more than fifty shades; each one communicates a subtle difference in meaning, but all provide an effortless canvas of cool.

Source: Racked
Published: Mar 14, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,700 words)

Beauty Shopping With My Mother, A Former Cultural Revolution Red Guard

A former beauty editor reflects on the differences between the definition of beauty in America and in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where an “unadorned woman was a symbol of liberation from a patriarchal capitalist system.”

Author: Noël Duan
Source: Racked
Published: Jan 19, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,974 words)

Trump, China, and the Ties That Bind

While Donald Trump champions the need to create more jobs in America, he manufactured his ties overseas. One journalist did what labor groups could not: he located the Shengzhou, Chinese factories that made Trump-brand ties and traveled there.

Source: Racked
Published: Oct 5, 2016
Length: 22 minutes (5,614 words)