Shopping

Cereal Boxes Designed to Make Sustained Eye Contact With Children

from Venessa Wong at Businessweek: “Is Cap’n Crunch Staring Straight Into Your Child’s Soul?” (Answer: yes.)

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A Windfall

Last October, The Billfold asked a bunch of people what they would do if they got a surprise $20,000 windfall. Most people said they would use the money to pay off their debt, then save and invest some of it, and then use a little bit of the money to travel. My thoughts then were pretty much in line with everyone else’s.

And then last week, I got a windfall. My parents were left some money by a relative, and they gave me $6,000 to use however I wanted.

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Moving From Fast Fashion to a Few Quality Pieces

According to Quartz, we spend about 3 percent of our annual income on clothes (I expected it to be a little higher!). We also have five times the amount of clothes as we did in the first half of the 20th century, and it’s mostly due to the fact that overseas production has made clothes cheap to produce (low-cost fast fashion). But wages of workers overseas are slowly rising, and more consumers are considering the ethical dilemmas that come with cheap clothing. How will this affect the way we buy clothes in the future?

One option is to reconsider our approach to clothing by taking a cue from Europeans who have historically been more more focused on quality rather than quantity. Much of the cheap clothing we consume in droves is like our fast food diets—high in calories (quantity) but low in nutrition (quality). We are a culture that buys a lot of junk. Think about your own wardrobe—consider how many items of clothing you own and how often you wear each of those items. My guess is that most of us wear about 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. That is a lot of wasted space and wasted money.

In the past few years, I’ve changed the way I buy and wear clothes by going the uniform route, though I also like this European approach of buying classic, quality pieces that last a long time. One item that comes to mind is my peacoat—I’ve worn it every winter for the past 14 years or so.

Photo: Maegan Tintari

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How Fast Fashion Works Today

At Pacific Standard Christina Moon takes us behind-the-scenes of how “fast fashion” works today and the largely Korean immigrant population that is running it.

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RIP Malls

Malls are dying, or so claim certain real estate barons quoted on the New Yorker’s Currency blog this week.

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H&M’s $99 Wedding Dress

H&M debuted a wedding dress with a shockingly reasonable price last week, and you know what? That kind of white looks awful on me [St. Patrick's Day shout out] but it is still pretty cute. I APPROVE.

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Thoughts While Considering Buying a Bag of Dried Cranberries

Oh look a bag of dried cranberries.

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The Luxury of Silence

Chloe Schama at the New Republic cites a litany of ways we’re willing to pay a premium for good ol’ peace and quiet. We text instead of call, we stake out the quiet car on Amtrak (and then rage at the people who don’t abide by the rules), we pay more for fancy automobiles that don’t make noise, we live on quiet blocks, and we soundproof conference rooms. My personal favorite: “You can buy John Cage’s 4’33’’ on iTunes.” (omg)

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Shopping at Actual Stores Still Beats Shopping Online

Data from the Commerce Department shows that a large majority of our shopping is still done in brick and mortar stores even if it feels like online retailers like Amazon have grown tremendously in its 20 years of existence (is Amazon a Millennial?). It also looks like we’re not that into ordering groceries online—maybe because we like things as fresh as possible and also see with our own eyes the produce and cuts of meat we’re going to put into our bodies before we buy it, though I’d be interested in hearing of people’s experience of ordering booze from the internet.

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For $330 You Can Own a Toothbrush That Yells At You

Inviting the real-time disapproving remarks of my dentist into my home and into my daily routine sounds like my worst nightmare, and certainly not something I would pay $330 for, but if you are concerned about preventing all of the horrible things are teeth and bodies are going to die from it might be something worth looking into.

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Letting Go of Our Loyalty to Certain Brands

How brand loyal are you?

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To Video Game Buyers, Longer Often Feels Better

In the New Yorker, Simon Parkin says when it comes to buying video games, players put a premium on length, no matter how good the game is.

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