Hey there!!  We’re freshly back from Ecuador (what an experience – more on that later), and I’m currently cozied up at my kitchen table – armed with hot tea – while it storms outside.  It’s one of those summertime thunder & lightning storms that seems to have come early this year.  No complaints from this girl (let the storm rage on…) – I always did love a good storm.

Speaking of….I have two things to talk about before we get to the fun stuff.  While I was gone, there was a bit of a, um, shit-storm of comments surrounding Lex’s Unpacking article and Tiarra’s Walmart article.  I think the best way to quickly get to the crux of the issue is with this comment:

“…take a good hard look at your editorial calendar–and your conscience–before you step off your environmental soapbox and straight into hypocrisy so deep you apparently can’t even see out.”

Well, first of all, be assured that we’re not completely clueless.  We do understand that sometimes articles on TME are at cross-purpose.  But based on this comment it would be better to….what?  Not ever publish commentary on the environment?  Nope.  We think this topic is too important to ignore.  Publish commentary on the environment but make sure it’s far, far away from articles that feature non-sustainable clothing so no one notices our “hypocrisy”?  Please.  We’re all about real life – hiding the complex nature of our lives and choices is NOT what we’re about.  Or perhaps…we should only publish articles about sustainable fashion brands?  Okay – let’s talk about the realities of that.

I adore sustainable fashion brands like Voloshin and Eileen Fisher for their commitment to not just inspiring designs, but also their focus on protecting our earth.  But this forward-thinking often comes at a price:  Most pieces are over $100 each, and some cost much more than that.  Which brings me to my next point:

I do not want The Mom Edit to turn into an elitist fashion blog, featuring clothing that only the wealthy can afford.

Here at The Mom Edit we value diversity and inclusivity.  All are welcome.  Finding your personal sense of style – expressing who you really are – is not something reserved for the rich or the well-educated.  Not only do we have contributors from different backgrounds (ethnicity, religion, income), we have an even more diverse base of readers.  In general, we trust you – our highly opinionated readers – to make your own decisions about where you choose to spend your dollars.  Not all articles will appeal to all of you, not all tones or “voices” will resonate, and not all styles will feel like ‘you’.

This is all OK.  We’re all about embracing life’s complexity, and doing the best we can to figure it all out. (And based on our analytics, many of you did use the resources listed in Lex’s post to learn more – we love that.) Use The Mom Edit as a source of outfit inspiration, or use The Mom Edit to save yourself some time shopping – all are welcome.

There were three reader suggestions that we LOVED:  One, that we add a category for Sustainability.  Done.  So, if you’re interested, find all of the articles written to date in the newly created Sustainability category, here. (Figuring out which companies are ‘good enough’ to get this label has proven to be tricky….but we’ll do our best.)  Secondly, there were many requests for our old Mom Street Style articles.  Gang…those old articles were mostly reader submissions!  And YES:  we’d LOVE to feature you again.  If you have an outfit that you are particularly proud of, send it over!  I guarantee other readers will love it as well.  Lastly, one reader recommended that we add one more week to our current style challenge:  Style up something you’ve had for 10 years or more.  LOVE.  Let’s do it.

The one area, however, that I will be very clear on is our stance on racism – blatant or otherwise.  The Mom Edit takes a 100% zero-tolerance position on racist comments.  And based on the comments stemming from Lex’s latest article….we have a way to go.  It is NOT ok to tell a woman of color that she is being “hostile” when she’s expressing her views.  It is also NOT ok to imply that a particular message would’ve been better received if other – white – contributors had written it.

The comments in question have all been deleted from The Mom Edit.

If any of you are having trouble understanding what I’m talking about, I strongly suggest you read the book White Fragility.  If any of you can’t understand why the word hostile might be especially offensive to a woman of color, read White Fragility.   And if your comment happened to be deleted…..yup: read White Fragility.

I personally think this book should be taught in schools, but maybe that’s just me. (ps.  If you use our links above to buy the book…we’ll donate our commission from the sale to Black Girls Code, an organization that teaches underprivileged African-American girls computer programming languages.)

Now, onto the fun stuff.

Still my fav.  My straw Clare V Pot de Miel (bought last summer) is still going strong.  Straw bags now and forever, if you ask me.  Happily, it was recently restocked (but prob won’t stay that way).  If you’re looking for something more affordable, however, this adorable straw bag has a similar vibe.

If you’re into this kind of thingThis dress might be the sexiest, slinkiest dress I’ve ever seen, in a color I’m obsessed with for summer. (And, it qualifies for free shipping.)

AHHHH these beach towels….SWOON.  One of my very favorite photographers, Gray Malin (we have two of his photos up in our living room) just came out with beach towels.  Here and here.  I DIE.  Would make seriously good Mother’s Day gifts.

Speaking of Mother’s Day….we threw together a low-pressure guide.  How to win the morning (after you sleep in, of course), a few ideas of what to do day-of, and a small selection of gifts.  (This hug vase seems to be a top seller.)

Anyone tried these?  Saltwater Sandals recently came out with slides…in a bunch of pretty colors.  I’m totally intrigued.  Has anyone tried them?

In a fit of nostalgia….I ordered this dress.  It’s literally $39 and looks exactly like one of my go-tos for work (back before I had kids).  Fingers crossed, but I remember my old navy wrap dress being shockingly good (and something I wore once a week for years).

Made me laugh out loud.  I showed this IG post to my husband.  His response?  “It’s not OUR fault that the restaurant was closed.”  OMGGGGGG.

Oh hey Philly.  There’s really nothing better than warm-weather Philadelphia, and events are already starting to pop up.  Voloshin has opened a storefront (open Fridays or by appointment), my dance studio is having a huge salsa party next Friday (theme: wear red), and my dear friend Bela (of NINOBrand) has started a month-long extravaganza of shopping, art, and seriously cool events called Private School Club.  It’s NOT to be missed.  Rumor has it that they may even host a prom. If so, see you there?  (I’ll pull out my actual prom dress for the occasion – seriously, how fun is this???)

That’s it for me this week.  Enjoy you weekend, everyone.

xo,

S

 

 

33 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, Shana. 100% with you on all of the above. Following since 2010, and for many years ahead. Keep up the great, stylish and intelligent work.

  2. B R A V O ! Well addressed. I LOVE that we get the opportunity to read Lex’s heavy commentary on the state of our world and seconds later, a light article on fast fashion! It’s not hypocrisy, it’s life. My heart breaks for all of us faithful readers, to think that within our group, we have people in 2019, making racist comments. Ugh. We’ve come so far, yet have so far to go. I applaud you for addressing it, and moving on (to that gorgeous Free People mustard dress). I also appreciate that it is 2019, and we all have the right to our opinions.

    Keep on keeping on, Team TME! We love you!

  3. Thank you so much for this article and your response to the comments of others. I have been reading The Mom Edit for ages and I always appreciate your positivity and authenticity. I adore all of you, keep up the good work! I appreciate that you are featuring budget friendly clothing and also caring for our environment. Both things are a necessity in my life but I often find them at odds with each other, as you said above. Hopefully one day it will be easier to have both (:
    And I have ordered the book you recommended from my library, can’t wait to read it!

  4. Thank you for writing this article – you articulate these issues so well and I appreciate your thoughts and opinions and agree 100%. I love that TME is a place that I can go to for fashion but also addresses these important topics. Thank you!

  5. I totally heard your “mom voice” when you wrote about unacceptable comments. 🙂
    And thanks for the sustainability section, it will be very helpful!

  6. Thank you Shana. I love TME and appreciate the diversity in articles, contributors and fashion view point. I am unfortunately not surprised there are some readers who need to educate themselves about white privilege and white fragility. Thank you for taking these difficult issues head on and for providing resources about them. Thank you for bringing positivity into the often negative internet world.

  7. I’m glad you addressed both articles. I like the variety of the Mom edit. I think most people have a variety of style and fashion in their closet, from thrift to Target to high end… Everything in moderation. Speaking of Target, their clothes are amazing lately…You guys should check it out!

  8. Well handled. As Mary Popping always said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” And I think this is just the beginning of conversations regarding white fragility and intersectional feminism, so bravo! Loving Fashion and having a conscience are not mutually exclusive and I think TME has done a stellar job of proving that.

  9. Rock on Shana! I’ve been following you since 2010 as well. I left for awhile and then came back because I missed you guys. I have more of a minimalist mindset so while I don’t necessarily read all the shopping posts, I love your weekend and travel posts. Thank you for addressing the hard stuff, and White Fragility!!! Ordering it now!

  10. I’ve said it before, and will likely say it again: THIS is why this is the only fashion blog I follow. +1 to all the above comments – and I love the image conjured by the above “Mary Popping” (sic), who I imagine as Mary Poppins current-day breakdancing descendant. Pax would love it!

    I have one point of contention: Up here in Boston it feels like “cozy rainy day” # 234,534,685 and we need a break. A family can only do so many cozy things indoors before we all go nuts. Your weekend post was a great respite with my coffee this morning. As I’ve evolved and grown as a mom, and all the complicated facets of what that means, your site has been a welcome companion. Thanks & keep on rocking!

  11. Thank you for this meaningful response to recent comments and for continuing to feature diverse viewpoints and a wide range of fashion options. TME is both unique and relevant!

  12. Such a good response to such a tough set of issues. And this is such a good illustration of why we won’t be solving climate change or other environmental problems if we leave income inequality unaddressed – it can’t be those of with resources talking down to people who have less. Not gonna fly.

    I’m so excited to delve into the sustainability section. I know you guys have featured ThredUp a few times, and that is probably my personal favorite environmentally friendly shopping choice, and also can be entirely affordable. Would love to see more on second-hand clothes (or Poshmark, or eBay, or literally any other second hand option….maybe a style challenge, especially for those of us whose post-momhood size has changed too much to have any clothing from 10 years ago?)

    But in the meantime, yes, in the world we all live in together, no shaming people for whom Walmart is their price point, especially if you have the resources to be environmentally sustainable *and* stylish.

    And, I love your suggestion about White Fragility and agree that everyone can read (or reread) White Fragility. In this soup of racist culture we live in, it never hurts to get a re-up.

    Thanks Shana and gang for being so thoughtful and wiling to be outspoken.

  13. I love the idea of a sustainability category and a 10+ years clothing challenge. I am all for the Mom Edit posting environmental content but I did find it weird that there was no acknowledgement that the platform of a fashion blog holds some contradictions with that message and how we can reconcile our needs and wants on the fashion front with the moral imperative to consider the environment. There are no easy answers and I love that you and Lex are willing to go there.

  14. Thank you for calling the responses what they were. Racist. Tone policing. Offensive. Text book examples of white fragility.

  15. BRAVA SHANA! I’m grateful for your thoughtful response, and your recognition of the paradoxes of the world we live in. I’ve been reading since, postpartum in 2012, I googled “cool clothes for moms” and found ANMJ.

    I’m so glad you’ve added a Sustainability section. The exorbitant cost of “ethical” clothing is a real challenge. This points to the need to address economic, racial, and social disparities along with environmental sustainability — doesn’t everyone deserve access to clothing that doesn’t destroy our air and water, regardless of income??

    Alexis’s writing is a real gift! She’s a talented, passionate, thoughtful writer and a wonderful addition to the TME team!

    Regarding the complaints about fast fashion, I’m not sure that Walmart is that much worse than say, LOFT whose clothes are cute but tend to fall apart before the season is done. I’m no fan of Walmart, especially on worker pay/ social justice issues, but they have made some efforts on the sustainability front https://qz.com/work/1354706/walmart-tried-to-make-sustainability-affordable-heres-what-happened/

    Consumers can have a real effect on corporate direction. Moms are generally the largest purchasers in the household. If we collectively harness our purchasing power, we could push suppliers in more sustainable directions.

    Thank you for providing a platform for thoughtful, fashionable women to share and expand our knowledge, Shana and all!

  16. I really appreciate your post this week. I’m not ready to address the race issue because I’m still working through it myself. And it is exhausting. But your your words are meaningful and impactful and I appreciate them. And Alexis’ as well, for the record. As to this blog, I think it’s safe to say that I am a fan. I think what gets lost sometimes is that this is what you do for a living, so your suggestions are not always going to be practical for everyone. I’ve made the comparison before…a chef is going to have way more expensive knives in their kitchen than most people who just cook because they have to eat. I do appreciate the variety of places you recommend. In an ideal world, we would all be able to buy and wear the clothes that are best for the environment, world, society, etc, but sadly that is not what works for a lot of people. (I mean, the Voloshin pajamas and Pendelton blanket in the Mother’s Day article are gorgeous, but imagine getting up with a sick kid in the middle of the night and getting puked on. Also, my coffee table didn’t cost $200. I’m definitely not taking a blanket that did to the beach!) So, I like to use this site as a guideline to what is trending or what others have found works for them. I think a cool feature would be some comparison posts, like “How to make Shana’s latest post work for a size 12 or 14” or “How to make Shana’s look work for under $100.” Really, though this blog is just my go-to for ideas on making life a little better. Sometimes I love what you all have to say, sometimes maybe not so much, but I always appreciate the effort! Sorry for the (VERY) wordy post! Happy Sunday!

  17. Thank you for being real with us. Love the blog and all the issues you cover. Use your platform and audience for good. I realize I have lots of 10+ clothes in my closet and should look at how to get them back in rotation. Maybe you all could do a post on how to update older loved pieces for today? Or help us shop our own closets! That would be a wild Instagram or Facebook live—going through a reader’s closet! Also thank you for the post on resources for recycling or donating clothes.

  18. Ok. I’m a little confused, though. I just noticed my comment on Alexis’ post was deleted. I thought her content was fine but that her posts in general tend to be WAY too long for a blog post and that they could stand to be edited down for better impact. As a POC myself I’m offended that my post re editing was somehow construed as racist?

    Also, while perhaps it’s a double standard I would shop at Target or Old Navy but I draw the line at Walmart. Not just the environmental impact but weird conservative politics that bother me. Not quite the Koch brothers but It particularly inclusive or progressive.

  19. I agree that White Fragility is a seminal text that has a place in schools. I also think public education in this country should become anti-racist at its core. I’m a former teacher who now works in teacher preparation, as well as a parent of a Chicago public school kid, so I think about this topic a lot. One thing I’ve turned my attention to lately is how kids who systemic racism impacts the most get labeled — “underprivileged, at-risk, high-needs” — instead of writers, bloggers, nonprofits, journalists calling out the systemic racism that yanks their privilege away, makes their schools and neighborhoods underresourced, etc. I’ve used those labels as well, so this isn’t an indictment of your description of Black Girls Code’s target audience…it’s simply from one white person who cares about dismantling white supremacy to another who seems equally immersed in unlearning all that has been taught to us as white people in this country. Keep on rockin’.

  20. I didn’t read the article on the environment or the Walmart one. I thought Shana’s response was awesome though, and real life. Life and its issues are incredibly complex.

    I also want to add another voice of support to the sustainability/income level dynamic. I have been on a anti-plastic kick again after reading about microplastics in household dust. Over 10 years ago, I suspected that plastics companies would replace BPA with something equally harmful– years later, my suspicions were correct. I’m hoping for a completely anti-plastic movement to gain prominence hopefully in another 10 years. While some plastic is necessary in the world, I do not think its necessary in many areas it is in vs the harm it does to the environment and ourselves.

    Anyway, I was looking up metal lunch containers to slowly replace the plastic ones, and generally, each container was $15-$20 on Amazon. For that price, you could get 5 plastic containers instead of 1 metal. I mean, can you imagine one of your kids losing a lunch tupperware that costs $15? I mean, the anger compared to losing a $5 plastic one….!

    Sustainability and environmental concerns are valid, but I feel that it is only for those that are “rich”, though I am by no means “rich”, it is for those at a certain income level. Having been poor enough to qualify for food stamps a decade ago, I feel for those who can’t afford to be environmentally conscious even if they wish to. It’s a hard position to be in. I don’t blame them at all for shopping at Walmart or wherever and glad Mom Edit supports that income bracket too~! I used to think I was too poor to be stylish — so I’m glad Mom Edit reminds and encourages their readers that we can be stylish at any age, any income bracket, any size, etc etc~!

  21. Thank you guys for all your contributions, especially Lex. I thought the Unpacking article was one of the best things TME has put out there. Personally, the article really harkened back to my previous life as a Women’s Studies major many many years ago. I love how this fairly hard hitting writing reached an audience possibly not used to facing these difficult facts. I also think that it is important to point out that Lex’s points were not just her fanciful opinions- everything she wrote about so eloquently is FACT. One more thing- I am guilty of not posting my appreciation for her post at the time it was written- I had not idea that it would create such negative feedback. I want to apologize to Lex for this. I wish I had included my thanks as part of the commentary. Thanks guys!!

  22. I think “Make a TME contributor’s look work for you” is actually a really cool idea for a style challenge! Extra points if you start with a look that is normally really out of your comfort zone/typical style.

  23. Wondering if you might add an editor’s note to Lex’s original post linking it to this post? Anyone who reads the original Toxic AF should also be aware of everything you express here.

  24. Such a pity that you have to be in a position to defend any contributors, but this was nicely done I think. It baffles me that anyone has the time to read an article they KNOW they won’t like, and then make time to trash it. It’s a blog; no one is holding a gun to your head to read it or to buy anything. There are plenty of articles I just skip on TME (because the writing style makes me batty, or because demin underpants kind of gross me out, or whatever…)

  25. As a reader who had felt that dissonance between Lex’s fantastic essay (that’s what I call her posts in my mind) and the Walmart post (my problem is with Walmart in particular), I really admire this response. This is, as Lex has already so articulately stated, the dissonance we ALL experience at various points of any given day: we want to do the right thing, and the way we live, particularly in America, often runs counter to that. Thank you for picking up on our suggestions of returning to more “Mom Street Style” posts, as well. That stuff is just candy for me. (I have applauded the moms who send in bathing suit selfies, in particular, because I love seeing how different gorgeous bodies can rock the same thing.)

  26. Eh hem. Just going to mention that while Walmart might represent fast fashion to some people, on an environmental level they have actually been pretty cutting edge, building skylights and using white roofs to cut down of lighting and heating costs. That’s the funny thing about the “greener than thou” wars — greener how? I’m married to an ESG (environmental / social / governance) analyst; trust me that there are many ways to look at the consequences our actions have on the world around us. Taking a simplistic view of Walmart = bad, fashion = bad is pretty naive.

    Keep up the good work with the thought provoking pieces — I tend to skip over them because this blog is my light break from real life, but I am always glad to see the TME writers using your platform to raise awareness.

  27. How are they diverse? Because they look different? Yawn. They all beat on the same ideological drum.

    There is no true diversity here.

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