Weekly News Roundup

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– Should Elena Kagan’s sartorial choices be fair game for commentary?  How about whether or not she crosses her legs? Robin Givhan at the WaPo writes the article that creates “Dowdygate,” then Mediaite considers whether Givhan was sexist to talk about Kagan’s fashion and mannerisms – while the Columbia Journalism Review collects photographs of Elena Kagan with her legs crossed and proves Givhan wrong (pictured).
Check your sunscreen, stat: a new study suggests many common sunscreens (and moisturizers, and more) contain ingredients that “may accelerate cancer.” Lovely!  AOL reports.
– According to the WSJ, more designers are getting into the market for high-end bags, including Talbots, Ann Taylor, and Abercrombie.
Fashionista considers great button-downs for the summer.  (And  we now feel slightly less silly for having called button-front shirts “button downs” for the first 6 months of this blog’s existence.  Anyone care to weigh in?  Button front?  Button-down?  Buehler?)
YouLookFab considers the tricky problem of squeaky shoes.
WSJ’s The Juggle wonders whether employers love or hate their workaholics.
The L.A. Times considers what it really takes to get ready for bikini season.  (Hint:  hard work.)
– Finally: Please sign up for Ann Taylor’s Wear-to-Work Chic Sweepstakes — win a chance to win a $500 Ann Taylor wardrobe, and a career/life/whatEVER consultation with me!

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Ann Taylor
Carissa Rose (which, attention DC residents — you can try on her shirts in person and meet the founder in DC this weekend!  Details below the ad in our sidebar)
McAuley’s Unique Boutique
– As well as our advertisers through BlogAds and Project Wonderful!


  1. Eh, I’m not seeing the controversy, unless they had never heard of Robin Givhan before. Robin Givhan is the Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion writer for Washington Post. It’s what she writes about. She has written about the sartorial choices of just about every public figure you can think of, male and female. One of my favorites criticized Dick Cheney’s unfortunate decision to wear a parka to an Auschwitz memorial ceremony.

    • Great article on Cheney’s parka — thanks!

    • Eh, the fact that you’re paid to do something or even get acclaim for it doesn’t mean it’s per se a worthwhile endeavor.

  2. that’s funny about button-down. Now that I think about it, I don’t call mine “button” anything —
    -“button-fronts” are shirts/oxfords
    -knits are tops or sweaters, depending on weight/cut
    -anything that is “button-front” weight but not a button-front (such as today’s and yesterday’s TPS features) is a blouse.

  3. FoxyButtons :

    button up/button down – Yes some are nit picky but we got your intent. What about blouse? Though that includes non-button items. That’s the beauty of language!

  4. Thanks for the link to the sunscreen rater! Very helpful and a very broad range of products. My favorite (Neutragena Dry Touch SPF 70) is apparently slightly toxic. Fantastic.

    • La Roche Posey apparently does nothing to protect you, also. Read that in a sunscreen test this week.

      • Interesting, the site actually recommended two La Roche Posey sunscreens. And I’m very attached to my Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen AND my Neutrogena SPF Daily Moisturizer. Grr. Here’s hoping that they change their formula to remove the Vitamin A.

        • You know what — my mistake!! I skimmed the story. It was a Consumer Reports report. It’s not that it doesn’t protect you, it’s that others protect better, are cheaper, and are waterproof (which RP is not). Just went back to find it & it made more sense — that’s what I get from skimming the NYPost: they were so outraged at the price, I assumed it had something to do with efficacy.

          Still makes you think you could be spending your money on better products though :) (the target brand suncreen was very highly rated [ UP & UP Sport Continuous SPF 30 Spray])

  5. Button-down all the way!

  6. I call shirts that are a variation of the classic Oxford shirt “button downs”. I would never call a button down a blouse (but that’s just me). In fact, my definition of a blouse is a variation of “not an Oxford”. It’s anything made from a woven (as opposed to knit) fabric that isn’t an Oxford style shirt. They often have more feminine details like ruffles or prints and are ubiquitous at places like J Crew and Banana Republic.

  7. I always thought that button-down referred specifically to shirts with buttons at the collar (usually men’s shirts, I don’t often see them on women’s shirts), and that the alternative was “button-up” or “button-front”.

    • Yes, technically. But they don’t make those for us, so I guess we pretend?

      • Oh yes they do make those for girls! Catholic school survivors represent!

        • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

          I see your Catholic school and raise you an all girls-Catholic high school.

        • divaliscious11 :

          Ok geez…the worst? – Peter Pan collars under the jumpers – flashback horrors!!!!
          Ms. B – whew I escaped the Catholic high school to prep school by the skin of my teeth!

  8. Molly Fanning :

    I always think of a button down as a menswear style oxford cloth shirt with a collar with buttons.That’s the button down part as opposed to a wing collar. I alway tell my family that we will find out some day that all this sunscreen we’ve been slathering on causes Alzheimer’s or ADD. Maybe I’m not so far off…Love your posts by the way.

  9. girlfriday :

    Thank you so much for the Columbia link on the Elena Kagan coverage. I get that the ‘ajar’ article is by a fashion writer, but the the press have really focussed on Kagan’s appearance has been focussed has been driving me up the wall – especially all the speculation about her personal life…..

    • That is the line that will not get out of my head, too – “she sat with her legs ajar” – awful thing to say.

    • divaliscious11 :

      Perhaps its me, but I don’t mind snarky fashion related comments from Robin Givhan, but I have issues when its the cover of Newsweek etc… The fashion pages ARE supposed to focus on that stuff, but not the others…

  10. I would call the men’s version of the “shirt style in question” a button down, and I see now harm extending it to a woman’s shirt too.

    I agree that I see a blouse as being a bit more feminine, maybe a silk “button down” style that is a bit more fitted or with a print.

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