Weekend Reading: Dressing for success, Barbie, and Pendleton inspiration



As you read this, I’m on a plane headed out for a short trip to Panama City!

Since I’ve got a million things to do in order to prep for this little jaunt, I’ll keep it brief for now and share lots of photos later on – I made two dresses just for the trip that I will be sure to show off.

Let’s dive into the links for now, shall we?

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 18


That article is fantastic. Thank you for posting it!


And that site is fantastic, too! Their blog has a lot of great stuff on it — thanks for posting!

Betty Jordan Wester

I took 2 years off from the internet & it was amazing. I’ve mentioned this before, but I recently took every social app off my phone except Instagram. It’s been great.

Betty Jordan Wester

My comment was initially much longer, but I kept getting a blocked screen?


Sorry for the trouble, Betty. If this happens again, could I trouble you to take a screenshot and email it to service at colettepatterns? That will help me figure out what happened. Thanks.

Betty Jordan Wester

Absolutely. Thanks Kenn. I just figured it was an automatic thing bc you guys are on vacation, but if I see it again, I’ll send it to you :)

amy w

I thought the article on how to dress for work was really interesting. I’ve found that for me I feel more professional/grown up when wearing a skirt/dress and heels to work. We have a small office and it’s mostly men, so as long as I’m covered appropriately it probably doesn’t matter how creative I get with my clothing choices. With a limited budget I do feel like I’m stuck in a rut with my options though.

gabriel ratchet

the round table discussion was interesting, but without a better balance of professions represented, of little practical use…. except for the suggestion to call and ask about the dress code. i work at job fairs and conduct interviews for a small software company, and a polished initial presentation makes a real difference…. because who wants to be tagged “gauged goth girl” when my counterpart and i are doing the first pass through a stack of 127 resumes for one entry level position? don’t wear your politics or your religion on your t-shirt, do wear shoes, don’t let me see your underwear (or lack thereof), do shower and brush your teeth… pretty basic… show me you care. i can far more readily forgive over-professional than concert t-shirt.


In my experience, what employers look for is common sense and how well you can read a situation and respond appropriately. So, if you are applying for jobs in finance, you need to understand that your demeanor should be professional and conservative. If you’re in tech or a creative field, more personality is allowable, as long as you understand the boundaries.

It’s like dating, people just want to know that you care and have good judgement.


Really interesting article on office wear. I have really been struggling with my office fashions in the last year or so, since I moved away from the maternity/oversized clothes I was in for many years after having two boys in 20 months.


I bought a few yards of the silk with the arrows on it, blue background. I love it so much but can’t decide what to make with it! Any suggestions from your patterns?


I have to admit, the first buzzfeed article “What if white people” bugs me. First, they didn’t include references to the literature they were satirizing. Some of it, I suspect, is simply made up, which is fine, I guess, since the author was trying to make a point. As a writer myself, I understand describing the color of skin can be dangerous territory. I think the article would have been stronger if the author’s points had been substantiated with descriptions from published or cannonized work and then satirized. The article strikes me as “Hey, let’s poke this open wound” and rack up our website count. Race relations is an important and necessary conversation the United States needs to have, but that article isn’t a constructive voice. With some revisions, that article has a lot of possibility though…..

Betty Jordan Wester

I agree.
This article seems to overlook the fact that people use descriptive language, especially to describe color. Those descriptions usually have positive or negative connotations. Someone describing my white skin as “mashed potato” is kind a jerk move (no matter how much I love mashed potatoes) while someone describing my skin as “milk,” “cream,” “paper,” or “porcelain” (all of which has happened) is far more flattering.
And someone describing my brown hair & eyes as, “dirt,” or “mud” (which again, has happened) usually makes me realize, “oh, this person really doesn’t like me,” vs being described as “chestnut” haired with “autumn brown” eyes. I can thank my wonderfully eloquent grandmother for the lovely descriptors. She was pretty sensitive to it, having originally “mouse” colored hair which she promptly dyed “flame” when she turned 18 :)

The article just seems full of false equivalencies instead of providing an intelligent conversation about the possibility of overusing descriptors to the point of objectification.


That’s true, but I think it’s important to recognize objectification, whether it’s intended to be flattering or not, particularly when it’s such a common cliche. To me, it’s about using lazy language to denote the appearance of an “exotic” person.

The use of less flattering examples for white skin to me just further underlines the fact that people of color ARE exoticized for their skin in a way white people (usually) are not. Though probably they were just chosen to be funny. :)

Betty Jordan Wester

I’m really glad you posted a link to the article bc I like having conversations about these subjects.

No one enjoys being made an object and no one enjoys being the exotic other at the expense of their humanity. Shade is a very complicated subject within the African American community. I’m not going to write letters to Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Wallace Thurman (rip), and E. Lynn Harris taking them to task for their descriptors. The author of the article seems to be saying that she finds the comparisons dehumanizing, but they’ve been used within the African American community as celebratory and the opposite of erasure, popularized as part of the Black is Beautiful movement. There has been an attempt to celebrate all shades of skin as positive, not just the lighter ones. The Diana Ross movie “Mahogony” comes immediately to mind as does the magazine, “Ebony.” Unfortunately, yeah, they’ve crossed over into cliches.
As a white person, would I describe someone as “cinnamon”? No. But I use “peach” in conversation with my son regarding his skin color and he has pointed out that apparently I’m “vanilla ice cream.” Thanks buddy, but it is a step up from being called, “dead fish belly” as a child or even 3 years ago having a couple guys burst out laughing that there was a “ghost” behind them while I was stuck in line at the DMV. Sigh.

Where I usually see the exotification of color is in journalism, especially when describing people at award or fashion shows. And that can definitely be a problem.

Betty Jordan Wester

lol! Okay, I’m so addicted to that Barbie Instagram now. This morning she had tiny coffee! So tiny!


I am wondering what type of hem is best for my summer wedding gown. the skirt is cut on the bias and I have allowed it to hang for quite a while now, so the bottom edge is even. The gown is sewn from pure white crepe back satin. It looks like hammered satin, and is slightly sheer. It is a medium lightweight fabric. It does not fray much.

Also, what kind of lining fabric would be best for a summer wedding gown? Should the lining be cut on the bias as well?

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