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Archive for November 7th, 2010

Whiter whites (just call me Martha)

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Got a question on Shop Girls last week that led to an unexpectedly lively discussion about how to keep whites white. I’ve long subscribed to the advice of my best gay friend (yes, the gay is relevant in this case. Can you recall ever seeing a gay man in yellowed whites?): fill the washer with warm water and mix in bleach before throwing in the clothes to ensure an even wash. But my listeners are laundry pros – several called in with these suggestions:

  • Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing – An age-old, non-toxic, biodegradable blue liquid that doesn’t clean, but adds a microscopic blue particle to whites, which makes them appear brighter.
  • Blue shirt remedy – An even lower tech alternative with the same basic idea, one caller suggested throwing a blue shirt in with whites.
  • Soilove – An expensive laundry detergent with a cult-like following, said to be especially good at removing perspiration stains and whitening whites.

Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart!

The Gray Season

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Harmonie cardigan at Hot Mama, $88

Every season has its color, but never has its seemed more pervasive than this year’s gray. As neutrals go, I love the gray. It’s rich. It’s flattering. It’s not brown. But once you’ve got the gray leggings, the gray jeans, the gray trousers, the gray chunky knit, the long cardi in gray, the short cardi in gray and, oh yes, the gray bag – how much more does a girl need? I’ve been walking out of stores empty handed lately, despite feeling antsy about my wardrobe, because it all feels so much the same. The styles, too, fell so uniform: the open cardigans and long knits – they’re everywhere.

Dex knit at Covered, $110

I was chatting with Thao Bui about the grayness of it all at her newly expanded Parc Boutique in Northeast Minneapolis and she agreed, but said, gray and black sell. Over and over and over. And when she does sell a bright alternative, she says her shoppers tend to return remorseful, wishing they’d purchased the dark version instead.

So perhaps its our own insecurities we’re seeing reflected back from the store racks this year. Sure enough: I left Parc with two new sweaters and a dress – all gray and black. I do pledge to pop ‘em with bright tights and camis and belts and bags. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved