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Racked National : The National Shopping, Stores, and Retail Scene Blog

Racked National : The National Shopping, Stores, and Retail Scene Blog



Now's the Time to Buy That Balenciaga Bag  

Luxury brands are actually on sale for once. Turns out you might have gotten a better Black Friday deal shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue than Macy's this year. The luxury market, usually notorious for conserving high prices to protect brands' perceived value, was actually proportionally the most heavily discounted during the annual retail bonanza, according to data from retail technology and analytics company Edited reported in Business of Fashion. From an analysis of 11,000 brands a...

2017-12-15 12:32:01
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The Bougie Candles Your Friends (and You) Will Love  

From Boy Smells to Byredo. Candles are the most no-brainer gifts on the planet, and that's a fact. They're one of the only things (besides maybe, like, a Starbucks gift card) that you can give to anyone regardless of who they are or how long you've known them. Mom? Candle. Best friend? Candle. Easy-going landlords who live downstairs? Candle! But it's 2017, and we've come a long way from Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean. Countless brands have popped up within the last fe...

2017-12-15 12:14:59
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Why Too Many Options Can Affect How You Shop  

'Your Brain on Shopping' dives into the paradox of choice. Pop over to Zara's website, and you'll find over 20 categories of clothing to sift through — in the women's section alone. Each category then contains hundreds of products. Want a T-shirt? You have literally 925 options. And that's just one retailer out of the countless online fashion sites at your digital fingertips. Choice: It's what we think we want, especially when we shop. But it can actually make things ...

2017-12-15 12:06:42
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All Your Questions About The Ordinary, Answered  

The buzzy beauty brand has big plans for 2018. The Ordinary has been one of the breakout skincare brands of 2017. Its popularity is due to a combination of well-studied, basic skincare ingredients; a ridiculously low price point; and a quirky social media presence that kept many of the 16-month-old brand's products sold out. Its parent company, Deciem, owns multiple other beauty brands, producing about 300 total products. The Ordinary makes up roughly 70 percent of the business, a...

2017-12-15 11:31:33
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Getting Dressed With a Fashion Clown Is a Hoot  

Meet Hester Sunshine in 'Dress the Part.' Hester Sunshine into berets, clown fashion, and generally making the people around her smile. And yes, that is her real name. "The world is a pretty dark, depressing place, and I realized that my place in it is to bring as much joy possible to people," says the New York native, who runs an online accessories shop full of her own colorful designs. Her designs and her own eccentric style, which she calls "clown-core" or "fashion cl...

2017-12-15 10:32:01
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Leopard Is a Neutral, Fight Me  

The once-wild print is now chill as hell. Once shorthand for faraway lands and mean puppy-drowners, leopard print is one hella versatile (and klutz-proof) pattern. The recent omnipresence of leopard print stretches far beyond its faux-fur coat iteration (though it should be noted the Uniqlo x Carine Roitfeld leopard-print jacket sold out in a cool five minutes in fall 2015. We should have known the storm was coming.) Leopard print gilds Michael Kors calf hair flats, that Louis Vuitto

2017-12-15 09:32:02
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Here's Why Perfume Descriptions Are Never About Smell  

Storytelling sells scents. If you're among those who shop for cosmetics online, you may have noticed fragrance descriptions like this: His telegrams came repeatedly and she persisted in ignoring them. He knew what she was capable of, but she refused to work his way. This time, despite herself, she gave in. The ultimate request: she must deliver his commissioned painting in person. The private plane would arrive in the morning. For the moment, she rode her horse freely along the riv...

2017-12-14 20:25:23
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The Many Ups and Downs of the Ivanka Trump Brand  

In the era of President Trump, Ivanka's brand has been on a rollercoaster. The Ivanka Trump brand's been a slow but steady success since its start in 2007, debuting with jewelry, then clothing, shoes, accessories, and home goods, and eventually a full-on lifestyle brand pushing the hashtag #WomenWhoWork. The apparel found success with mainstream retailers like Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Nordstrom with supposedly booming numbers ("this at a minimum is going to be a $100

2017-12-14 14:17:01
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Ivanka Trump, the Store, Is Open for Business  

This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. It's prime time for holiday shopping on Fifth Avenue: The tree is lit at Rockefeller Center, Saks's windows are decked out in all their festive glory, and Tiffany & Co. is serving expensive tea alongside expensive necklaces. This year, a new neighbor wants to get in on the action — Ivanka Trump. The first daughter's plan to open a storefront leaked b...

2017-12-14 12:32:02
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Affordable Jewelry That Won't Turn Your Friends' Ears Green  

All of these gifts are under $50. Right after candles and cold hard cash, jewelry is the safest bet when it comes to gifting (in most cases). All you need to know is whether the giftee wears jewelry! And with a few scrolls through Instagram, figuring out if their aesthetic leans more minimal and dainty or bold and bright is an easy thing to do. The even better news is that you can find really special pieces on a budget thanks to the ever-growing jewelry selections at fast-fashion stop

2017-12-14 10:32:01
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Shopping Helped Me Reinvent Myself After Abuse  

Following a violent relationship, I began rebuilding my life one shirt at a time. "That coat makes you look like a slut." I was 17 years old, and the insult came from my boyfriend, who was seven years my senior. It wasn't the first comment he'd made about my appearance, and far from the last. I had body-image issues before I met the boyfriend, who I'll call Brad. I had body-image issues almost as long as I can remember, which is about as long as men have been commenting on my b...

2017-12-14 09:32:02
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Inside America's Growing Bulletproof Clothing Industry  

Retailers are offering ballistic apparel to wary US citizens, and it's not cheap. This past August, Miguel Caballero shot his wife, Carolina Ballesteros, for the second time in nine years. Since 1993, the Colombian designer has literally pulled the trigger on more than 230 people to prove the efficacy of his bulletproof clothing. (All participants were volunteers.) The August demonstration was part of Caballero's campaign to introduce his eponymous line of upscale bulletproof (som...

2017-12-13 17:14:51
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Steve Madden Is Busy as Heck  

With a Cardi B collab and an unrelated legal complaint from Allbirds. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. The holidays are such a crazy time of year, and just like the rest of us, the team at Steve Madden has a lot on its plate. In a frankly great marketing move, the shoe brand just dropped a "Curated by Cardi" collection of heels selected and modeled by Cardi B. The rapper and social media gen...

2017-12-13 14:15:01
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Where Can I Find a Not-Horrible Present for a Not-Horrible Man?  

This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. What the hell do I buy a dude for the holidays? I need to get a few things for my hard-to-shop-for boyfriend and don't even know where to start. —Elise Let's start this off by acknowledging that many men do not deserve presents this year. Okay! With that, onto the gifts. Finding a good gift for a dude can be a pain, especially when you take into account th...

2017-12-13 12:32:03
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Where to Shop for Gifts Online  

The best one-stop shops, plus cool specialty stores to help you handle everyone on your list. If you missed it last month, we put together a really fun holiday gift guide highlighting some of our favorite products, from beauty and accessories to things we don't talk about as much, like cool things for men and kids. The best part about compiling a gift guide is the process — the act of discovering new stores and brands, and finding exciting things at old favorites. More often tha...

2017-12-13 10:32:01
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How Titanic's Iconic Necklace Almost Sank an Entire Company  

But the Heart of the Ocean — and J. Peterman — will go on. It's been 20 years since we first watched Caledon Hockley fasten the Heart of the Ocean diamond around Rose DeWitt-Bukater's neck, and just as many since we gasped in collective disbelief as an elderly Rose tossed the pendant overboard. But judging by the sheer volume of replicas of the fictional priceless jewel still shoppable online — everyone from Zales to Walmart sells a version — the gobstopper-sized diam...

2017-12-13 10:02:02
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Targeted Ads Are Ruining My Christmas  

Thanks a lot, robots. My parents have always gone out of their way to keep our Christmas presents a surprise 'til the morning of. They'd stash away the loot they'd bought for my brother and me, then sneak it into their room to wrap on Christmas Eve after we'd gone to bed. Sometimes they'd even enlist family members to act as FedEx surrogates so we wouldn't see the packages arriving at our house. This drove me nuts when I was younger. The trees at my friends's houses lo...

2017-12-13 09:32:01
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If HSN and QVC Merge, Will It Save TV Shopping?  

The companies eye a merger as Amazon changes what it means to shop from home. As Hurricane Irma prepared to rip through the Florida Keys in September, the Home Shopping Network dispatched 100 employees from St. Petersburg to Nashville so broadcasting could continue uninterrupted. Under the blistering lights of a Music City studio, E! presenter Giuliana Rancic tugged at a charmeuse G by Giuliana blouse to demonstrate its stretch. A representative from Lancôme cooed about the "suct...

2017-12-13 09:10:50
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The Fake News of E-Commerce  

How sketchy sites use Facebook ads to scam customers and rip off brands. "Hey everyone! I want to show you how to put the Ultimate Shefit Bra on," says Sara Moylan, holding up a hot pink sports bra printed with her company's logo. With her fitness-competitor physique, she looks like she knows what she's talking about. The demonstration takes less than a minute, but to anyone who's experienced the indignities of most sports bras, it's oddly transfixing: The bra zips up in f...

2017-12-12 17:39:52
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How to Dress Like Your Favorite Holiday Movie Heroines  

From Home Alone's Kate McCallister to Whitney Houston in The Preacher's Wife. One of my favorite things about December is that you get a free pass to binge-watch every single holiday movie in existence, guilt- and shame-free. It's a treat I enjoy almost as much as peppermint brownies or snickerdoodle cookies (key word: almost). I love everything about holiday movies, from the predictable plot lines to the star-studded ensemble casts to the perfectly curated and seasonally appropri...

2017-12-12 14:15:02
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Everything You Should Know About Gel Manicures  

'Pretty Smart' goes deep on the side effects of the popular nail trend. They dry fast, they don't peel, they last for weeks — but what are gel manicures exactly? It's a good question, considering gel manicures have jumped in popularity in recent years; according to one report, 23 percent of female consumers got a salon gel mani in 2015. And yet their popularity has also invited concerns over possible side effects. Gel nail polish is made of special molecules called monomers;...

2017-12-12 12:32:01
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Over a Dozen Really Great Gifts for Your Entire Group Chat  

All under $100. The hierarchy in gift-giving is no secret. You have the $10-and-under gifts you get for your favorite co-worker, the $25 range for the friend you like going to bars with but wouldn't, like, bring to a family function, and then you have the friend(s) to whom you send every semi-funny meme and iMessage all day while at your desk. You want to give them the world! Or, at the very least, a gift that they'll actually use and want to show off. Here you'll find over a do...

2017-12-12 12:07:41
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The History of the Ugly Christmas Sweater  

Despite what it might seem, millennials didn't invent them. The "ugly Christmas sweaters" trend may evoke millennial internet culture, but the habit of wearing ugly holiday sweaters has been around for decades. Cozy sweaters featuring reindeer and Christmas trees first got big in the 1950s, when they were viewed as an entirely charming, non-ironic fashion choice. It was in the 1980s that the flashy, boldly tacky versions we know today emerged, then referred to as "jingle bel...

2017-12-12 11:36:14
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Life as a Living Doll  

'Dress the Part' meets the makeup artist who's part of a fashion-minded group of "living dolls." Anime, goth, fairy, Barbie — all these adjectives and more have been used to describe Toshi Salvino. But the Brooklyn-based makeup artist describes her aesthetic succinctly as "living doll," as she uses makeup, clothing, hair dye, and countless other creative tools at her disposal to transform herself into different characters. "We want to be the fairy princess that we've...

2017-12-12 11:32:02
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A Very 'Shark Tank' Gift Guide  

Six slightly ridiculous but oddly functional things to buy from the best show on television. I have a deep, dark secret to reveal: I am not into reality TV. I haven't watched The Bachelorette since middle school (does anybody remember Trista?), and I've never seen an episode of Real Housewives. I have no idea who's currently a judge on The Voice, and I haven't kept up with the Kardashians in nearly a decade. There is, however, one reality show I do watch, and that's Shark T...

2017-12-12 11:02:01
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How to Shop for Hard-to-Buy-For People  

Haley, 27, is on the hunt for 32I bras for herself and gifts for her family that won't get returned. Welcome to Racked's How Do You Shop? series, in which we ask a variety of people some deeply personal questions about how they earn, save, and especially spend their money. If you know or are someone with an interesting relationship to $$$, email alanna@racked.com. This week, we spoke with Haley Houseman, 27, who lives outside of Boston and works as a freelance writer and illustra...

2017-12-12 10:00:02
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ThredUp Adds 'Try-Before-You-Buy' Model  

The resale site is taking a cue from the Stitch Fix playbook with a box of curated items. Online thrift store ThredUp is entering the "boxes" space with a new try-before-you-buy option that aims to do the treasure-hunting for you. For a $20 fee, customers can receive a "Goody Box" of 10 to 20 items that are chosen based on a shopper's preferences. The customer can keep what they like and return (for free) what they don't, with the $20 going toward any purchase. Company CEO...

2017-12-12 05:39:23
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The Bruce Weber Allegations Shed Light on Sexual Misconduct in Fashion  

A culture that reveres photographers and dehumanizes models may be to blame. In many ways, modeling is a peculiar industry. A model can show up for a job fully clothed only to be asked to disrobe without warning. Colleagues may touch a model's body during a shoot or make snide remarks about it — "lose weight" and "do something with your hair." Models and photographers may meet in private spaces, like studios and apartments, with no observers. And drug and alcohol use durin...

2017-12-11 14:07:33
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2018's 'Bachelor' Contestants, Ranked by Going-Out Top  

It is time. While the events of the past year may have aged us all a hundred-fold, it's comforting to know that certain truths still remain constant: The sun will still rise in the east, and The Bachelor will still be on TV. On January 1st, the Only Good Thing Left will return, this time starring 36-year-old race car driver Arie Luyendyk, who is roughly 87 in Bachelor years. That could be one reason why this year's crop of contestants is distinguished by the fact that, unlike in ...

2017-12-11 12:32:01
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Holiday Party Dresses You'll Wear Over and Over Again  

Plus one jumpsuit! 'Tis the season to be invited to more parties in one month than you were all year! Between the office holiday party, your significant other's office holiday party, Secret Santa exchanges, and whatever you're doing for New Year's Eve, you're booked, and we get it. So in an effort to minimize your to-do list — because finding gifts and organizing plans is already enough work — here are 13 of the best party dresses (and one jumpsuit!) available right now....

2017-12-11 11:32:01
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These Crazy-Soft Leggings Changed My Mind About Expensive Activewear  

They feel like literal clouds. Spending a lot of money on activewear has always been hard for me — partially because of the inevitable guilt I know I'll feel when I don't actually work out, but mostly because I don't want (or need) reflective mesh stripes on my leggings that call attention to me barely moving on the elliptical while I watch Grey's Anatomy on my phone. And because I've always been a strong proponent of old high school T-shirts as the best gym clothes, you ...

2017-12-11 11:02:01
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Don't Waste Your Time on Any Other Holiday Candle  

This Nest one is already perfect. The first thing I do the day after Thanksgiving is pull out a candle and light it. Not just any candle, mind you, no. It is the Nest holiday candle, and it comes in a fuzzy, velvet-like red and gold box. Called simply "Holiday," it's become a tradition for me and my family. This year, I even caught my 12-year-old son sniffing it (unlit, thankfully) when he walked by it. Nest has other holiday candles like "Birchwood Pine" and "Sugar Cooki...

2017-12-11 10:02:01
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In the World of Cyndi Lauper, 'Leopard Is a Lifestyle'  

Over three decades later, this girl still just wants to have fun. Pop icon Cyndi Lauper has never been shy about letting her true colors shine through — and for the foreseeable future, at least, that color is pink. The star famous for her ever-changing, candy-colored hair has stuck with her current rosy shade for the past three years, and for good reason: "I was going to change it, but when I saw all the pink hats at the Women's March, I decided that I'd keep it out of solidar...

2017-12-11 09:32:01
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Designer Makeup Brands Are Fighting a Battle for Relevance  

Who's buying Burberry, YSL, and Dior lipstick? On a stretch of Broadway in New York City's Soho neighborhood, one of the city's most touristy blocks, two new shiny beauty stores opened right next to each other last month. One is almost entirely red and has a huge red gorilla in the window. The other, lacquered black with red accents and hot-pink neon signs, has a DJ booth in the back and features a rotating roster of visiting YouTube and Instagram beauty influencers. The brands?...

2017-12-10 10:02:01
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Why I'm Not Buying the New Shades From Kylie Cosmetics  

The brand finally includes products for women of color, but I can't help but see it as a Rihanna ripoff. Look, I'm all for inclusivity. But when the news broke Wednesday that Kylie Cosmetics was releasing a new line of "Skin Concealers" that includes several brown shades, I rolled my eyes. Hard. The move didn't come across as a genuine effort to serve women of color, but a ploy to capitalize on what some makeup blogs have dubbed "the Fenty effect." The term, of course, ...

2017-12-08 19:59:16
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Village Grannies Is Like an Art Gallery for Bongs  

'Just Browsing' takes a visit to the East Village's most unique smoke shop. Smoke shops can seem like they're all the same: neon lights, glass pipes pressed up against the windows, kinda seedy, certainly not pretty. Village Grannies wanted to change that perception when it opened in New York's East Village in November 2016, selling water pipes and hand pipes in an unexpectedly delightful space. The "grannies," aka founders Zviah Eldar and Vered Behr, envisioned a smoke...

2017-12-08 12:32:01
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Holiday Shipping Deadlines for All Your Favorite Retailers  

Shopping for holiday presents online is a little tricky this year. It's already risky enough to order for Christmas Eve delivery, but in 2017 that date falls on a Sunday, making it a double whammy for already-strapped logistics systems. But if you're a last-minute shopper, we're here for you, because depending on where you're buying presents from — and how much you're willing to pay for expedited shipping — when the "last minute" is can vary. It's still early enoug...

2017-12-08 12:02:01
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Weird-as-Hell Gifts People Have Actually Received  

From gift-wrapped toilet paper to used Roombas. While we here at Racked do our best to ensure that everyone gets the gifts they want for the holidays, we acknowledge that this is not always the case. So we asked our email subscribers and audience members at our recent live show for their tales of gifting woe both both given and received — the more bizarre, the better. They did not disappoint! "A few years ago I went to my (then) boyfriend's parents house for Christmas. We had ...

2017-12-08 11:32:02
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These Tweezers With a Built-In LED Light Are Genius  

Snag every hair. When I sold all my stuff and went nomad in 2015, I knew a 24/7 travel life would be fraught with challenges. One that I didn't anticipate was the endlessness of badly lit bathrooms. There's only so much self-grooming one can do in Mordor-esque lighting, which is especially true when it comes to eyebrow maintenance. In a pinch, a smartphone's LED flashlight can be helpful, but its size (plus having to hold it) can cause an accidental overlooking of hairs in need ...

2017-12-08 11:02:01
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Sasha Cohen Is Figure Skating's Most Fashionable Olympian  

She'd often put a full year into designing her dresses. You can spot a Sasha Cohen look from all the way across the rink: There's a good chance it's got a deep V with an equally low back, heavy but never egregious beading, and a fluttering skirt and sleeves to match, all topped with a side part, ballet bun, and statement lip. That's probably because she designed them all herself. The 2006 Olympic silver medalist — who once had an entire episode of Project Runway devoted to h...

2017-12-08 10:27:18
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This Weekend's Best Online Sales  

And what to buy from them. The second week of December is the perfect time to buy gifts (if you didn't during Black Friday) because sales are still rolling in strong, and you can be proud that you didn't wait until the last minute again. This weekend, the best deals truly run the gamut — from outdoor gear superstore REI to Too Faced Cosmetics, indie multibrand shop Mr. Larkin to mall-brand classic Gap — so for whomever you need to shop, there's a good chance you can get it ...

2017-12-08 10:02:01
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Jason Derulo Designed a Surprisingly Great Backpack  

It's also a jacket! Celebrity clothing lines have had a checkered history. For every hit — say, Fenty Puma by Rihanna — you'll find five times as many misses. (Here's looking at you, Dollhouse by Paris Hilton, Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker, Abbey Dawn by Avril Lavigne, Lindsay Lohan at Ungaro, and Heidiwood by Heidi Montag.) It's enough to trigger an automatic eye roll whenever a new star announces they're foraying into fashion, really. So color me pleasantly surprised ...

2017-12-08 09:32:01
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The Bizarre eBay Instagram Account You Never Knew You Needed  

@ebaybae has it all. By day, Tae In Ahn is a storage solutions specialist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, creating one-of-a-kind contraptions that house the organization's priceless pieces. By night, however, Ahn is @ebaybae, the handle of her fascinating and ridiculously addictive Instagram account. If you're not already one of the 19,500 who follows her feed, @ebaybae is an ode to the cornucopia of items listed for sale on eBay, from the wonderfully wei...

2017-12-07 17:43:35
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Sorry, Some Shoes Just Shouldn't Have Heels  

Would you wear these fancy new Ugg boots? This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. In the early aughts, no shoe was more coveted than the Ugg boot. Paparazzi darlings like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were photographed in the brand's clunky, fuzzy footwear on a daily basis, Oprah named them one of her "Favorite Things" (twice!), and they were a fixture on certain high school and college campuses...

2017-12-07 12:32:02
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8 Puffer Coats That Won't Make You Look Corny  

The best options, regardless of how cold it is where you are. Wearing a puffer coat in the winter used to not be cool or chic — it used to be a signifier that it was finally so cold out that you didn't care what you looked like. (That is, unless you are smart and never put fashion over function.) Those days are way behind us, though. Brands all over the spectrum, from Aritzia and Topshop to Everlane and Ganni, are churning out puffers that are just as cute as they are truly warm....

2017-12-07 11:32:01
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Can 4,700 People Convince You to Buy This Under-$20 Straightener?  

The Amazon reviews don't lie. My induction into the world of fancy hair straighteners came via Chi — via my mom, via her hairdresser who would order them at wholesale price and sell them to her without a markup. It vanquished my natural waves that puberty had just triggered, and to a 15-year-old in flat-iron-obsessed 2005 who had absolutely zero real-world problems, this was a godsend. When it died days before I left for college, I panicked and cried. (Again, absolutely zero real-...

2017-12-07 11:02:01
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The Nike Pro Hijab Is Finally Available Everywhere  

Forget waiting for 2018. Nike announced earlier this year that it would launch a Pro Hijab in the spring of 2018 in an effort to better serve Muslim female athletes. If you've been patiently awaiting its drop, you'll be happy to know you can actually get your hands on one today, thanks to an early limited release. Nike's hijab is lightweight and made of a super stretchy mesh polyester; the brand wrote in a press release that its goal was to create something that felt "incons...

2017-12-07 10:32:01
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What to Do With T-Shirts You Can't Quite Get Rid Of  

Some memories take up a hell of a lot of space in your dresser. When I open up my second-lowest dresser drawer, I remember being unbelievably nervous as I was handed a T-shirt during my summer orientation. I remember tying up the back of my elementary school band T-shirt with a hair tie because I was so tiny that even a size small cascaded down to my upper thighs. Laughing with my AP Literature class over the chosen T-shirt design, our teacher drawn as Pikachu. Smiling when I discover

2017-12-07 09:32:00
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This Difficult-to-Wear Skirt Helped to Break Down Class Barriers  

Today cage crinoline seems like the worst kind of antiquity, but at the time it actually freed up women across race and class lines. In 2015, as part of a broader effort to excise Confederate symbology, the University of Georgia banned hoop skirts at official Greek functions. Administrators and Greek leaders couched their decision in vague, almost bureaucratic language. "We will continue to review costuming and themes for future events to ensure their appropriateness for our organi...

2017-12-06 19:22:56
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The Evolution of Roller Derby Style  

'Dress the Part' meets Suzy Hotrod, the longest-skating member of Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Suzy Hotrod is the longest-skating member of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league — meaning she's had time to nail the best uniform for her unique sport. The clothing and makeup of roller derby are far more theatrical than those of pretty much any other sport (save for maybe figure skating); Hotrod describes the corsets, skirts, and fishnet stockings she's worn over the years. But i...

2017-12-06 14:32:02
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Why Your Black Friday Orders Haven't Arrived Yet  

UPS hired 95,000 extra workers this season to deal with the holiday surge. Amazon hired 120,000. So why are customers still seeing week-long delays? Online shopping is supposed to be a smooth, seamless experience. Clicking around Everlane or Net-A-Porter can lull us into such a coddled state that it's easy to forget that behind these slick online storefronts is a gargantuan logistics system powered by warehouse associates, postal workers, supply-chain managers, robots, and corporate...

2017-12-06 14:17:02
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I've Given Up On Finding a Natural Deodorant That Works for Me  

Basic Dove forever. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Deodorant is one of those things I like to put on and forget about. I want the application to be a breeze (one swipe!), I want it to keep me from sweating, I want it to make me smell clean; and unlike lipstick or mascara, I do mind reapplying. I've used Dove's most basic option in the Fresh Clean scent since high school — it's nothing ...

2017-12-06 11:59:45
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Where Can I Find a Nice Pair of Warm Leather Gloves?  

That I'll like enough not to lose. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Yesterday morning was pretty cold in New York City, and it had me thinking that I should look into getting a pair of reasonably priced (?) leather gloves. I'm ambivalent about spending too much because it's so easy to lose them, but for the right pair, I'd consider it. —Katie This is a question we've been getting a ...

2017-12-06 11:02:01
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Actually, Socks Make Great Holiday Gifts  

Even though they don't have the best reputation. Recently, a friend and I went into a Brooklyn boutique to kill time before a movie. You know the type: candles for $45, wool capes for $400. I picked up a pair of Creatures of Comfort black and silver sparkly socks fully expecting them to cost more than I cared to spend, but what I did not expect was for them to cost $25. For a pair of socks. These socks were very cute, but no pair of socks is so cute that I would use more than eight...

2017-12-06 10:32:00
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I Thought I Would Hate This 'Natural' Vaseline But It's Wonderful  

It helped both my dry cuticles and my kid's eczema. I love Vaseline and Aquaphor, and have various sizes of both products all over my apartment. I'm not afraid of petroleum jelly, otherwise known as petrolatum, which is present in both of these products. There's a lot of fear-mongering online because petroleum jelly is, as the name suggests, a petroleum by-product and therefore not natural and therefore likely to kill you. Or something. (Not really. Cosmetic-grade petroleum jel...

2017-12-06 10:02:01
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7 

Brands Should Do Less  

Retailers could be served by selling fewer styles... or at least looking like they do. Though we're in the holiday rush, that supposedly merry time of year when brands bulk up their product selection, go big on in-store events, and discount like crazy, one takeaway from a difficult year in retail is this: Brands would be wise to do less. That means opening fewer stores, offering fewer styles, and cozying up to the traditionally unsexy idea of steadier, slower growth. We already know...

2017-12-06 09:32:01
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5 

Why Androids Like Sophia Dress Conservatively  

Robots are often gendered as female, and face a lot of the same sartorial assumptions that human women do. In the 1975 psychological thriller The Stepford Wives, Joanna Eberhart finds herself surrounded by mundane, passive, domestic bombshells dressed in ruffly summer dresses and wide-brimmed hats. They're uninterested in her feminist urgings and only seem to care about housework and baking. They, of course, have been turned into subservient robots by their sagging Men's-Club-mem...

2017-12-05 16:06:40
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4 

Patagonia vs. Trump  

The outdoor industry continues to fight for federally protected lands. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Yesterday, President Trump announced his decision to drastically cut the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two areas of land in Utah that were classified as national monuments during Presidents Obama and Clinton's tenures, respectively, and therefore protected from developmen...

2017-12-05 14:17:01
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6 

I've Given Up On Finding a Natural Deodorant That Works for Me  

Basic Dove forever. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Deodorant is one of those things I like to put on and forget about. I want the application to be a breeze (one swipe!), I want it to keep me from sweating, I want it to make me smell clean; and unlike lipstick or mascara, I do mind reapplying. I've used Dove's most basic option in the Fresh Clean scent since high school — it's nothing ...

2017-12-05 12:32:01
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5 

I've Given Up On Finding a Natural Deodorant That Works for Me  

Basic Dove forever. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Deodorant is one of those things I like to put on and forget about. I want the application to be a breeze (one swipe!), I want it to keep me from sweating, I want it to make me smell clean; and unlike lipstick or mascara, I do mind reapplying. I've used Dove's most basic option in the Fresh Clean scent since high school — it's nothing ...

2017-12-05 12:32:01
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6 

I've Given Up On Finding a Natural Deodorant That Works for Me  

Basic Dove forever. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Deodorant is one of those things I like to put on and forget about. I want the application to be a breeze (one swipe!), I want it to keep me from sweating, I want it to make me smell clean; and unlike lipstick or mascara, I do mind reapplying. I've used Dove's most basic option in the Fresh Clean scent since high school — it's nothing ...

2017-12-05 12:32:01
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4 

The Random Fandom Gift Guide  

Got a friend who stans, like, Judy Greer? Great! Sure, there's plenty of merch out there for fans of Justin Bieber (Beliebers), Beyonce (the Beyhive), and Becky G (Beasters. Did you know that fans of the song "Shower" have their own Wikipedia-approved nickname? I did not). But what about those of us who stan for, say, a supporting actress from a sitcom that ended five years ago? Or a B-list British pop star who also had a bit part in a Fifty Shades flick? Shopping for these mos...

2017-12-05 12:02:01
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5 

Whoopi Goldberg's New Sweaters Feature Black Santas and Interracial Families  

Her latest collab with Zappos shows how much representation matters. Whoopi Goldberg doesn't get nearly as much credit as she should for setting fashion trends. Long before natural hair care lines like Carol's Daughter became household names for black families, Goldberg wore her hair in her signature locks. And as a co-host for ABC's The View, she's shown a flair for footwear, rocking the quirkiest shoes Fluevog and American Duchess have to offer. But the EGOT winner also has...

2017-12-05 11:32:01
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3 

Jane Krakowski Gives Better Gifts Than You Do  

Adopt me, please! Jane Krakowski has a gift for playing lovable narcissists; for proof, look no further than her Emmy-nominated roles as Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock and Jacqueline Vorhees on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But while she may share Jenna's musical theater background and Jacqueline's appreciation for Hermès, that's pretty much where the off-camera (say it: "cah-meh-rah") similarities end — especially when it comes to the holidays. Despite being a superfan of Christm...

2017-12-05 10:23:41
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5 

Meet the Dancer Behind Racked's Camera  

Because style like Anthony Leslie's should be in focus. A director of photography is usually found behind the camera, but they aren't usually dressed like Anthony Leslie. Racked's very own DP, a classically trained dancer and New York native, has been shooting beautiful videos for the brand for over a year now, so it was high time to turn the camera around and capture his inimitable wardrobe. His masterful layering skills — textures, colors, prints, fabrics — are borne of both aes...

2017-12-05 10:02:01
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3 

If You Like Cookies, You'll Love Madewell's New Capsule  

The brand teamed up with NYC's Milk Bar on an ideal gift. It's December! Which means a lot of things, but especially that just about every brand will be trying to convince you that it has the perfect gift on hand — so perfect, in fact, that you should buy one for each and every one of your friends. And while it's smart to be skeptical, the new Madewell collaboration with New York City-based treat shop Milk Bar might actually be the real deal. It's good for your friend that...

2017-12-05 09:32:02
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3 

How Garment Workers Used Fashion on the Picket Line  

Wearing the clothes they made showed workers as consumers too. "Clara Lemlich, a little Russian girl of sixteen, with a pompadour behind just like that of any other girl of sixteen, was the one who pressed the button." So begins Sarah Comstock's account of the "Uprising of the 20,000," the New York City general garment workers' strike that lasted from November 1909 to February 1910. Never mind that Lemlich was actually 23 and an experienced organizer: What interests me is...

2017-12-04 17:48:48
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8 

'Tis the Season to Treat Yo' Self  

Shoppers are buying more for themselves this holiday season, says a new survey. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Don't feel too bad if you blew your Black Friday budget on a new coat and an iPhone X for yourself instead of gifts for the in-laws this year — in 2017, more and more of us are putting our own names at the top of our holiday shopping lists, according to a new survey from NPD Group...

2017-12-04 13:57:00
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19 

This Very Luxe Backpack Triples as a Satchel and a Tote  

Somehow, this makes its price tag a little easier to justify. Recently, I decided I needed a new backpack — one that could keep up with my need to carry half my possessions with me (including my laptop) on a day-to-day basis. On my hunt, I found that when it comes to backpacks, most ask you to choose between form and function; I was determined to find both. When Senreve — a brand that was founded in late 2016 and had been stalking me on Instagram for almost as long — resurfaced...

2017-12-04 11:32:01
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8 

SoulCycle and Barry's Bootcamp Just Set an Expensive Bar for Beauty Partnerships  

There's a reason fancy gyms partner with fancy beauty brands. In late 2009, Equinox, which has over 90 luxury fitness clubs in the US, UK, and Canada, started offering Kiehl's products in its locker rooms instead of the watery generic white lotion you find in some gyms. After introducing the products, the number of people showering at the gym allegedly went up by 30 percent. There was urban lore that so many people were stealing the products that the gym had to lock them to the w...

2017-12-04 09:32:01
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10 

Battle of the Button-Downs  

These internet start-ups all have one goal: to sell you the perfect men's button-down shirt. About this time last year, I needed a few new button-down shirts. As one does, I poked around the internet searching for a company that seemed solid and interesting. I stumbled on Proper Cloth, which makes custom-fit shirts starting at $95. Pick a style, pick a fabric, add your measurements, and get a shirt tailored specifically to you. I'll bite, I thought, sitting at my computer. A few...

2017-12-02 15:16:16
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0 

Finally, Everlane's First Real Store Is Open  

The brand said it would never go brick and mortar. Good thing it changed its mind. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Everlane has gone IRL — this time for good. The retailer, which was founded in 2011 as an online-only, direct-to-consumer brand under the banner of "radical transparency," will open its first flagship store in New York City tomorrow, the initial step in a push to expand its b...

2017-12-01 12:02:01
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6 

12 Surprisingly Cheap Beauty Gifts  

They're all under $20. Gifting when your budget is $20 or less isn't always the easiest thing to do. But with beauty, it's actually a lot more doable than you'd think. Thanks to things like Sephora's checkout line, mini versions of popular (and expensive) products, and Urban Outfitters's growing beauty department, finding cool, quality, perfect-for-gifting beauty items on the cheap is a breeze. Plus, indie brands like Glossier and Frank Body continue to hit that affordable...

2017-12-01 11:32:01
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8 

A Wacky Sequin Skirt for Your Next Holiday Party  

It's green, it's delightful, and it looks fantastic in photos. Things I love about November and December: The haze of restless, fidgety languor that descends over offices when no one is in the mood to work, and the holiday parties that abound. It's the only time of the year when it's perfectly acceptable to turn up at events resembling a (tasteful) Christmas ornament — nay, tree, even. For inspiration, I like to maintain an ongoing bookmark folder of photos of people geneti...

2017-12-01 10:53:02
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4 

This Weekend's Best Online Sales  

And what to buy from them. If there's any chance you're still looking to shop after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (imagine that!), good news: We're back to our regularly scheduled programming. Whether you didn't get paid until all the good sales were over or you just didn't see anything you liked and now you really have the shoppies, there are plenty of hefty sales running this weekend that you can get in on. Mall brands like Gap, Old Navy, and American Eagle are all offeri...

2017-12-01 10:32:01
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5 

You Should Layer Like You Really Mean It  

Your mind and clothes will still be in July while the rest of us are buried under January. Though it took a while — a muggy day here, an 80-degree day there, didn't wear a jacket for weeks, maybe months, who can remember anything anymore — we are finally, definitely, seriously in the throes of fall and moving with surprising haste into winter. In fact, winter is only one month away, which sounds crazy, but it is true, and if you haven't ordered your SAD lamp yet, hurry. The tr...

2017-12-01 09:32:02
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11 

How 'The Disaster Artist' Recreated the Low-Budget Costumes of 'The Room'  

You can't buy Lisa's iconic red dress anywhere. There's something a little, well, off about the costumes currently on display in New York's Regal Union Square multiplex to herald the coming of James Franco's new comedy The Disaster Artist. In one glass case, there's a bulky shirt with a big stain. In another, a flimsy red gown hangs oddly on the mannequin. But to costume designer Brenda Abbandandolo, that dress, a recreation of one from the 2003 cult classic The Room, represen...

2017-12-01 09:02:01
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5 

Meghan Markle Has Been Nailing Royal Style Since These 2015 Canadian Workwear Ads  

The future duchess has long exhibited a proto-Windsor aesthetic. The restaurant looks like it could be in any city, which one imagines is very much the point: all neutral tones and warm lights. Two thirtysomething women at a table are partaking in small talk when — "Oh my God, it's Meghan Markle!" So it is. She strides into the dining room as if it were a catwalk and takes seat behind the original twosome. This is where the ad descends into farce. It's 2015 — Suits is crui...

2017-11-30 18:14:14
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5 

Sexism Is Rampant for Female Fashion Photographers  

One says she lost a job for being too old and too fat. Working in fashion has required Kristiina Wilson to develop a thick skin. She's faced criticism because of her age, her weight, and even her sense of style, she says. The twist is that Wilson doesn't work in front of the camera, but behind it. A fashion photographer for more than a decade, she says that sexism in the industry leads to women being judged for how they look, landing fewer jobs, and earning less money than men for...

2017-11-30 14:47:02
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8 

The Birkin Bag That Returns Every Year to Haunt Us  

Very rare, very predictable. Once again, the good citizens of the internet have received a visitation from a ghostly white handbag known as the Hermès Himalaya crocodile Birkin. The New York Post reports that the white gold and diamond-encrusted bag just sold at Christie's in Hong Kong for $382,000, becoming "the priciest handbag ever sold at auction." Ever, except — and here's the spooky part — a version of the same ultra-rare Birkin made headlines in June for selling fo...

2017-11-30 14:32:01
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8 

Yet Another Lawsuit Against Forever 21  

This time it's because of a video camera installed in an employee restroom. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. A former Forever 21 employee is suing the company for negligence and invasion of privacy after video footage of her using the staff restroom at the Providence, Rhode Island, store where she worked made its way onto porn websites. According to the complaint filed on Tuesday, "Jane Doe...

2017-11-30 14:02:01
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6 

Get Yourself a White Wrap Coat, Stat  

Beyonce-tested, Meghan Markle-approved. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. This week, two royals made headlines while clad in winter-white outerwear: soon-to-be-Duchess (and erstwhile Suits star) Meghan Markle, whose engagement to Prince Harry was all anyone could talk about on Monday, and Beyonce "Queen Bey" Knowles, who needs no introduction. Markle posed for photos with her fiance in a c...

2017-11-30 12:02:09
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14 

The Best New Holiday and Winter Nail Polishes  

For every taste, from sparkly to subdued. Generally, there are fewer new nail polish colors released in the winter than there are in the fall or spring, but the ones that are launched are pretty festive — it is the holidays, after all. This can be good or bad, depending on your feelings about red or glitter (or both simultaneously). Luckily, there are plenty of shades available this season for just about every taste preference, including several that don't scream, "Let's deco...

2017-11-30 11:32:02
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8 

How to Look Cute When It's Freezing Out  

As told by Instagram. Getting dressed stops being fun after temperatures dip below 50 degrees (or 60, for you West Coasters), when functionality and warmth take priority over looking cute. The dilemma only continues when, in most parts of the country, we're facing brutal cold one day and unseasonably high temps the next. Joy! Combatting this isn't as hard as it seems, though. All your wardrobe truthfully needs is two things: variety and a little imagination. When you don't know...

2017-11-30 11:02:01
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15 

How a Pink Dress Made It Into Margaret Atwood's Murder Mystery  

Alias Grace's costume designer on the show's eye-catching courtroom attire. By some accounts, Nancy Montgomery wore a dress to kill for. The real-life trial of Grace Marks and James McDermott, two domestic servants accused of murdering their employer and his housekeeper/mistress, sparked a media frenzy in 19th-century Canada. Between its scandalous set-up (both the victims and the defendants were romantically involved) and its whiff of subversive class warfare, it's little wonde...

2017-11-30 10:32:01
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10 

The Beauty Rituals That Helped Me Through Post-Partum Depression  

Maybe they'll help you, too. On a February day two years ago, my spouse and I bundled up our week-old daughter and ventured out to our neighborhood sandwich shop in the rain. We ran into a friend and had lunch with him. Later, he said he laughed when he left us. "You didn't know where to look, or where to put your hands," he said to me. "You were so confused. It was like you'd spent a week on Planet Baby and now you were back on Planet Earth and didn't know what was go...

2017-11-30 09:32:01
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8 

In Professional Wrestling, Makeup Doesn't Just Make You Look Good  

From blue-black lipstick to fake blood. The little corner of the web known as the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) was abuzz in early September when a male fan posted a photo with makeup-free World Wrestling Entertainment Raw women's champion, Alexa Bliss. He captioned the picture with this little ditty: "For those who think Alexa Bliss is so hot is what she really look like [sic]." Not only is this exemplary of the ugliest aspects of the IWC — not to mention the fact that ...

2017-11-29 16:27:41
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2 

Does Victoria's Secret Matter Anymore?  

The brand's annual fashion show felt out of step with 2017. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. The more the world changes, the more the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show stays the same. Last night, the lingerie giant aired its annual Angel-winged runway extravaganza on CBS, and as always, the hour-long special featured a display of over-the-top costumes, A-list musicians, and toned, tanned, min...

2017-11-29 14:17:01
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11 

Where Can I Find an LBD for Holiday Parties That I Can Also Wear to Work?  

For less than $75. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Dear Racked, I'm looking for an LBD that I can wear to my magazine's casual holiday party, but then will also be able to wear to work layered over a turtleneck or long-sleeved shirt. I've tried this velour Uniqlo dress ($19.90) on, and it's great, but a bit too much of a slip style for my old-school newsroom. This one from Everlane ($7...

2017-11-29 11:32:02
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18 

The Best Beauty Gift Sets for Every Type of Person in Your Life  

They're all under $100. Beauty makes a great gift, but the category's very personal — some people hate red lipstick, or might be sensitive to a certain ingredient. But you don't necessarily need to know your loved one's skin type to choose the perfect beauty gifts. Are they interested in a certain type of art? Do they seem curious about what the hell snail slime does? Are they really snobby about their bathroom's aesthetic? If so, you can find a beauty gift set for them. ...

2017-11-29 11:02:01
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15 

These Monogrammed Satin Pajamas Fulfill My Fancy-Woman Dreams  

This summer, I purchased actual, grown-up pajamas for the first time, solely so that photos of me getting dressed for my wedding didn't look like I'd crawled out of a laundry pile. Obviously, I obsessed over this idea and mentally created my dream PJ set. I wanted shorts and a short-sleeved button-up top, something luxurious-looking, in a solid color, made from a fabric that wouldn't wrinkle the moment I set eyes on it — and with the option to customize. You know, minor guidelines...

2017-11-29 10:00:04
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11 

Would You Take Out a Loan for a Pair of Jeans?  

A new kind of high-interest financial product aims to disrupt how you shop, and how you owe. Jocelyn Vera Zorn is not eager to talk about the loan she took out to buy the pants. "It's kind of embarrassing," she grimaces. Really, she just wanted the pants: a special-edition pair of Imogene + Willie jeans in a vintage wash with a frayed raw hem that cost around $200. "I don't usually shop like that. I don't usually buy new things, period" — but the pants were on sale, an...

2017-11-29 09:32:02
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10 

How Tights Took the Devil From Terrifying Demon to Mustachioed Prankster  

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was putting on an absurd outfit. How did the devil go from the ugly and terrifying Enemy of Man and God in the Renaissance to a Renaissance tights-wearing chopped ham spokesperson in the 20th century? It all comes down to the telling and retelling of a fable about a real German scholar accused of trying to snatch knowledge that wasn't his to take. Photo: Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images "The Devil Pres...

2017-11-28 15:29:32
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4 

The JW Anderson x Uniqlo Collab Is Coming Back for Spring  

Like we weren't spoiled enough the first time around. There have been very few high-low collaborations in recent memory that have made as much (positive) noise as the JW Anderson x Uniqlo collection that launched this fall. Thanks to that success, the London-based fashion brand and the Japanese retailer have announced today that they'll join forces again for a spring 2018 collection. "The 2018 spring/summer collection is about items that interlink with each other," Jonathan A...

2017-11-28 14:32:01
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14 

Black Friday Is Mutating  

It now lasts longer than a week and lives online. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. In an interview with the Boston Globe last week, retail analyst Marshal Cohen described the state of pre- and post-Thanksgiving sales events like this: "It's no longer Black Friday... It's now Black November." That's really the most succinct way to put it. Many retailers started sales the Monday before T...

2017-11-28 14:15:02
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18 

The Instagrammy Masks That Actually Work  

Masks in all colors of the rainbow are a thing; these are the ones worth buying. This story originally appeared in Racked's daily newsletter. Want more news from Racked? Sign up for our newsletter here. Instagram is really changing the beauty industry — and sometimes not in the best ways. Take masks, for instance, which have gone from being non-photogenic gray mud to glitter and metallic. I've said it before, but thanks to social media, beauty has become performative and not jus...

2017-11-28 13:56:00
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14 

For Anxious Salongoers, the Quiet Chair Offers a Less Chatty Option  

No more small talk. I stopped getting my hair cut in 2009. I told myself I wanted to grow it out again — I'd drastically cut it into a pixie cut in 2006, and began the long process of growing it back out three years later. Doing so was initially an aesthetic choice; it was only later, when my generalized anxiety disorder became unbearable, that sitting in a salon chair just to get a trim became an impossibility. It grew steadily, without even a trim, until Thanksgiving 2013, when...

2017-11-28 12:58:33
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14 

So, What'd You Buy on Black Friday?  

What Racked editors spent their money on this weekend. One of the pitfalls of working for a shopping website is that you inevitably spend a lot of money at work. This past weekend was certainly no exception; while we cover sales weekly, we really covered Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. So of course the first thing everyone asked each other when we were back in the office was: What'd ya buy? So here is a list of what everyone bought. As it turns out, our team is quite thoughtful...

2017-11-28 11:02:02
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9 

How a Recent Grad Working in the Film Industry Shops  

And how she dresses on often male-dominated sets. Welcome to Racked's How Do You Shop? series, in which we ask a variety of people some deeply personal questions about how they earn, save, and especially spend their money. If you know or are someone with an interesting relationship to $$$, email alanna@racked.com. This week we spoke with Alyssa Briddes, 22, a freelance video editor living in Hoboken, New Jersey. After graduating from film school in Pittsburgh, she interned at a med...

2017-11-28 11:01:23
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23 

These Artist-Chefs Are Pure Tropical Magic  

Banana headpieces and colorful thrift store finds at Lil' Deb's Oasis. They met through a food truck in Catskill and instantly connected. Fast forward a bit, and Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo had started a Tuesday night pop-up in Hudson, New York, at a charming spot called Debbie's Little Restaurant. Every week they transformed the space by adding colored gels to the lights, sometimes turning the restaurant into a full-fledged dance party. With items like love advice a...

2017-11-28 10:43:48
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15 




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