WORD | The Statement of Omission

I wrote a story for Vogue.com that was published yesterday about why a diamond engagement ring isn't for me. I've been married for almost five years, but it took a recent burglary to really think hard about why I never wore my ring. In one regard, it's an aesthetic choice, I lean more minimal and masculine in style. On the other hand, it's a weightier decision that questions the idea of status and politics and feminism. There's so much nuance that surrounds these decisions: tradition, families, politics, culture, and it's all so hugely personal. There's certainly not a wrong or a right way, but if you're interested, here's my story. Would love to know what your take is too.

SCENE | Lucille & Found

Once in a while I come across someone else's story and it makes me want to drop everything. Mary Hall's is one of them. Before she met her boyfriend, she always dreamed of experiencing America on an undetermined route. She wanted to ramble and roll along the roads of this country really taking the time to soak it in, on bikes, on foot, on surfboards. Her boyfriend Adam shared the same dream, so after dating for six months, they committed to seeing it all through. Two years after they made the pact, they had restored a 1971 Shasta trailer named Lucille and left their 9-5 jobs with all the savings they could muster. The photo journal they keep is almost too much (if you're on the edge of quitting your job and need a nudge, it might set you over), but in addition to the photos Mary has curated a shop based on their finds from town to town and sells her treasures online. I'm looking forward to following Mary and Adam as they continue to make us all jealous in front of our computer screens.

NOISE | The Voyager by Jenny Lewis

Photo by Autumn de Wilde via NPR.

I'm such a fan of Jenny Lewis, so it's no surprise this isn't the first time she's been on the blog, but her new album The Voyager comes out next Tuesday, but exclusively available for a first listen on NPR; Ann Powers wrote up the album so perfectly for that I have nothing really to add except that it's crazy good.  Her video for Just One Of The Guys, a collaboration with Beck, is kind of hilarious and seems more than apt for Tomboy Style.

UNIFORM | Bata Tennis Shoes

For school children of India, the Bata Tennis shoe is ubiquitous. It was introduced in 1936 for Physical Education classes and has since been a favorite. Bata, which was founded in 1894 by Thomas Bata, is celebrating their 120th anniversary this year, part of which involves the re-release of the classic white canvas Bata Tennis shoe ($60) and two new colorways. The shoes are still manufactured in the original factory near Calcutta which Bata opened in 1934 to help fulfill the founder's ambition to "shoe mankind". Bata not only pioneered several shoemaking techniques, but the family company is also known for their corporate responsibility. Owning a pair of Batas feels a little like owning a piece of history, and they look as relevant as anything else on the market.

As part of the relaunch, Bata created this video of the manufacturing process.  [Thanks Knit Wit].

SCENE | Brooklands Race Track, 1936.

Photo of Doreen Evans at Brooklands in 1936 via Flashbak (found via the Hand-Eye Supply blog).

WKND links:

Wanted to say how incredible all the comments were on Monday's post on feminism, you guys are the best. The best.

Favorite new tunes by the band Mt. Si.

Check out the Kickstarter for a book called LOLA that promotes healthy and sustainable choices for girls.

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GEAR | Hand-Eye Supply

There are a handful of contemporary shops and designers that have drilled down into a certain analog simplistic utilitarian aesthetic. The output is good design of often now-overlooked simple products, products like rulers, hooks, axes, lamps and tools that don't seem to be ubiquitously designed with integrity or thought anymore. Shops and designers that celebrate, interpret, or create this style in at least some manner that come to mind are: Kiosk, Best Made, School House Electric, Kaufmann Mercantile, Scout Regalia, Brook Farm General Store, and now Hand-Eye Supply. They've been open in Portland since 2010, but never crossed my radar. I found them today while stumbling onto their site looking for Japanese tool boxes (as one does), and love their collection of utilitarian but well-designed products—even their crowbar is cool looking. It's as if they've scoured all the hardware stores all over the world and created the ultimate hardware store edit. Hand-Eye Supply, I'm a fan.

NOISE | Emmylou Harris

Photo of Emmylou Harris by Michael Ochs, 1970.

UNIFORM | Westerlind 1940s Derby Shoe

There's not much I like to nerd out on more than the intersection of history and fashion, so when Andrea Westerlind showed me her label's new Derby shoes for men and women, I got pretty excited! The Westerlind Derby shoe ($249) is inspired by a vintage pair of American military officer's shoes made in 1947. The Westerlind replica is made to the exact military specifications as the original from full grain cow leather—I wish you could smell these shoes out of the box...so good. While these shoes may look a touch plain for the world of women's footwear, I assure you that once on, they are really something nice. Elegant in their understatement, and a perfect pairing with white denim.

MOMENT | Feminism in 2014

This is mostly a style blog, but this weekend I was lured in by a click bait post called 14 Women Who Don't Need Feminism and I felt the need to comment here. It made me aware of a Facebook page with 3000+ likes called Women Against Feminism. One thing is clear: there's real disagreement on the connotation and definition of the word feminism. It reminded me of watching the Makers documentary last year where Marissa Mayer, the first female engineer at Google and current CEO of Yahoo said matter-of-factly, "I don't think I would consider myself a feminist." She went on to say, "I certainly believe in equal rights and believe women to be just as capable if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don't have the militant drive and the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that." That really made me pause. There are still women, even extremely successful business-minded women, who are seemingly afraid of identifying with the word feminist because they see it as a negative.

Feminism isn't about style choices. It's not about hating men. It's not about sexuality. It's really at its core about believing that men and women should have equal rights. I'm a feminist. My husband's a feminist. My dad's a feminist. President Obama is a feminist. If you're afraid of identifying as a feminist because you think that makes you a "bitch" or a "slut" or a "man hater" or associates you with a political party (as suggested by many of the 14 Women Who Don't Need Feminism), then you're letting someone else define you. We've come a long way in this country as we near the centennial anniversary of the women's right to vote, but equality doesn't just land in people's laps and sit safely there for eternity, we have to protect it and foster it as it evolves—there are plenty of nations around the globe that prove women can be considered and treated as second class citizens.

Don't be afraid to be a feminist.

[Related: A post from a few years ago on the word tomboy.]

GEAR | Smith Sunglasses

Good looking, subtly fashionable, totally durable, and a good buy. There's not much else to say about Smith's Marvine (above) and Mt. Shasta (below) sunglasses ($80-$119), they're great shades with just a touch of a vintage silhouette. They're the type of sunglasses that won't get in the way of your outdoor summer adventures.

Have a great weekend!

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SCENE | Cape Cod, 1953.

Photos of a beach barbecue on The Cape by Eliot Elisofon, 1953.

"As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats." —J.F.K.

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GEAR | Heidi Merrick Surfboard Socks

Speaking of beach vibes, our favorite L.A.-based surfer-designer Heidi Merrick has created these raddddd (sorry, there's no other word for it) surfboard socks. As part of a larger high end beach collection with blankets, towels, and a tote, Merrick has done it again and in her singular style. All I need is one of these board bags and an empty passenger seat in a vintage convertible—and then I will be living in my own Instagram dream.

DESIGN | Menus of the 50s and 60s

As fashion continues to take design cues from the 20th century—from 50s architecture (Dana Lee's Spring/Summer collection was inspired by the color palette of Russel Wright as one example) to 80s surfwear and outdoor brands—this trove of old restaurant menus from the 1950s and 1960s seemed like a fun share. I love how playful they are and the colors and fonts are endlessly inspirational. All found via the LA Public Library.

IMAGE | Patriotic Brands

A couple of days ago the Wall Street Journal posted a study that shows consumers consider the top three most patriotic brands in the U.S. to be: Jeep, Levi's, and Coca-Cola in that order. Food for thought as we toast the country's 238th birthday tomorrow.

As an interesting side note, the bottom left photo from 1948 is not a Coca-Cola ad, but a LIFE Magazine photo of a model being sprayed with DDT. The idea for the photo was to demonstrate how the (now-banned) insecticide wouldn't contaminate her food or drink. Now it's clear that DDT was not good for humans or the planet, and scientists note that the US ban on DDT was a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle—so I guess if I'm ever asked to take a consumer poll, I'm going all out for the EPA as the most patriotic brand in America!
Happy Fourth!

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