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Look, dear Racked reader, I ask you: What would you do if you read about nice things all day?
For the most part, in my capacity as senior editor at this website, I try to remain both 1) a fashion outsider (couldn’t really change that if I tried) and 2) annoyingly untrusting, at least when it comes to dealing with brands. Brands are (still) not our friends. When you’re editing retail business stories or critiques of the culture, you don’t want publicists in your ear sending you free stuff, no matter how much you love stuff. I ignore a lot of emails (sorry), I don’t get a lot of packages, and I have definitely told more than one writer to “follow the money!” in complete earnest.
And it doesn’t end there, with the basic journalistic integrity I’m supposed to have for work. I’m actively concerned, especially now, about our societal and my individual overconsumption, enjoy giving long lectures about “societal implications,” and really enjoy rolling my eyes and feeling superior when things are hideously expensive (I see you, Vetements, and I don’t think your whole thing is fun at all). I can be a bit of a prig, tbth.
But also this year I bought a dead cow carcass jacket that costs a normal/responsible person’s rent, because I read about it in a story I was editing. So.
Here’s a year in review of great pieces of writing and the possibly suspect purchases they inspired, all of which I love.
The Rational Dress Society Jumpsuit Jumpsuit, $149.99 plus shipping
In June, Eliza Brooke wrote “The Sales Pitch to Buy Less” and I bought it. Well, I bought what the people making the sales pitch to buy less were selling, which is a jumpsuit that could — in that it is appropriate for all occasions, from formal to labor-intensive — be the only item of clothing you need ever again. But of course, I also bought all this other stuff, listed below. In my defense, the jumpsuit only arrived last month, and I had to be dressed in the interim.
To get a jumpsuit, you fill out a form with your measurements and other information I forget (it was way back in June!), and in return you get a specialty size with a special name, and eventually a special jumpsuit just for you.
Initially, I was told I would be getting a “Willow,” which is funny because “willowy” is an adjective for a tall and lanky human person, which I am not so much. When it arrived, however, the size was “January,” but it fit just perfectly, other than a serious case of baby butt. (“Baby butt” is a chronic condition from which I suffer wherein your backside looks as saggy as an empty diaper thanks to your relatively unsubstantial posterior.)
Anyways, I feel like a cool henchwoman in this jumpsuit.
Blundstone Voltan Black Leather Brogue Boots, $185
So technically, I don’t have the Blundstones yet, but before I finished editing Chavie Lieber’s recent piece “From Barns to Barneys: How Blundstone Became a Footwear Staple,” I had specifically requested them (with link) as a Christmas present from my boyfriend (he asked!). Blundstones look like how a child would draw a shoe if asked to draw a shoe. Shoe-shaped shoes, if you will.
I would like to say I did not buy the bag equivalent of this, Neely & Chloe’s purse-shaped purses, despite editing Eliza Brooke’s “The Other Burch Girls” this past October. If you are family or a friend, however, please note that I would accept anything — wallet-shaped wallets, satchel-shaped satchels — from them as a gift as well.
The Arrivals Rainier Moto Jacket, $795
Easily the most expensive item I (now) own, probably the most expensive item I will ever own, and the line on my end-of-year budget that keeps me up at night, I became obsessed with the Rainier jacket while editing Helena Fitzgerald’s gorgeous “The Gentrification of the Leather Jacket.”
I want to say, because you can see the price, that I plotted this purchase for months, did side work to pay for it, and talked about it until everyone was like, “Do you own it yet? Still no? Jesus Christ, just buy it.” I even did a Facebook Live with the very nice, VERY tall founder, but definitely not because I was hoping to get a discount on the jacket (I did not get a discount on the jacket).
Ah, well. The story is beautiful, the moto is beautiful, and I am happily robbing the construct of the leather jacket of its inherent cool.
When Amy McCarthy pitched me a story on LuLaRoe (eventually titled “The Rabidly-Followed Leggings Brand You Can Only Buy on Facebook”), I first figured: “Oh, another brand aimed at religious, modest moms” and “oh, another multi-level marketing scheme.” And it is those things, I guess! But damn if those ladies aren’t right about how soft those leggings are. And damn if they aren’t invested in this brand.
Reading about their devotion to the “buttery soft” (their words!) leggings, my curiosity was piqued, and I set out to buy a pair. During my “fact check” (perusing the website instead of working), I had also become attached to the Amelia, a dress-shaped dress with pockets (my personal style is clearly emerging; my ideal fashion designer is your six-year-old niece).
The reason I buy so much stuff from the pieces I edit isn’t just because I’m weak, it’s also because I’m lazy. But buying from LuLaRoe took work. First I scanned the consultant map, found a nearby stranger, and requested to join her Facebook group. That felt weird! But then I realized I had to wait until said stranger was having a sale — which could be any amount of time, I don’t know this woman!
A few Facebook groups and a lot of frustrated trips back to the website to confirm this would all be worth it later, I gave myself over to eBay, where I succeeded in purchasing one red-and-white striped dress and one light blue pair of leggings. I know it’s not the business model, and I know I’m not the religious one, but I pray they get a store in 2017.
Good American Good Legs Jeans, $159
I was really pleased to send Christine Friar to meet Khloe Kardashian this year so that she could write “An Intimate Interview With My Close Personal Friend Khloe Kardashian,” because obviously it is very fun to help people meet their own favorite celebs. But what I really like is asking people “Wanna know who made these jeans? (no pause) Khloe Kardashian!!!”
I don’t want to say I was cut from Racked’s Favorite Jeans video (AHEM, Y’ALL), but if I had been a part of that shoot what I would have said is that these jeans are bizarrely comfortable despite being high-waisted — so comfortable that after putting them on for the very first time I was able to eat a Papa John’s pizza alone — but that I do still suffer from baby butt in them.