Mrs B Takes a Break.

You’ve heard the expression ‘life gets in the way’, right?

You may know that I moved a few weeks ago, and the truth is – it’s taken it out of me. The move itself, the new commute to work, the money issues, the jobhunting…it’s not exactly been fun and games, and frankly, I need a breather!

I’ve got some great guest posters lined up for the next two weeks, so I can have a break. I’ve already scheduled next Wednesday’s Feminist Fashion Bloggers post, though, so keep your eyes peeled.

It’s not all bad, however – I’m now living in a lovely place, so here are a few gratuitous shots of the West Yorkshire countryside, as well as one of Mr B in his grandad hat. There’ll be no light switches in my outfit posts when I get back on the horse…

I’ll leave you with this question:

If you had Mr B’s hat,what would you

keep in those little sidepockets?!

See you soon!

Mrs B x


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Is Pink à la Mode?

I’m really pleased that my recent post on the gender/colour-coding of pink made it into Links à la Mode – for myself, of course, but also because of the recent influx of thought-provoking posts in the blogging world.
Here’s to ‘fashion with a brain’! Read and enjoy.


Fashion: Forever Evolving

Edited by Collette Osuna of Statements in Fashion

Hello everyone! I’m super excited to be making my debut as an IFB Links a la Mode Editor this week. As I visited each link, I was reminded that each had the exact thing in common with the next, that Fashion is Forever Evolving.

From your Mothers fashion advice, a beauty “how to” video, or a legendary icons passing, fashion is always changing and taking form in a new shape. I am constantly thriving to acquaint myself with the “fashion unfamiliar.” This weeks links did just that for me. I’m thrilled to be a new member of the IFB family and cannot wait to see everyone’s posts throughout the upcoming year!

Links à la Mode: March 31st

SPONSOR:
Shopbop Sunglasses: DITA, Karen Walker, Retro sun, Tom Ford, Mosley Tribes, Ray-Ban, Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs, Carrera, & Chloe

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I’m having a re-think for Mrs Bossa Does the Do, and would like input from you, my readers.
Click the image below to take a quick survey.



Friend Friday: Wearing Your Beliefs on Your Sleeve.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about links between fashion and other social issues. I for one am glad these discussions are being had – we don’t blog about fashion in a bubble, and I think it’s thrilling to see what a  statement we can make when we band together. This week’s Friend Friday asks: where do our (feminist) beliefs fit into our wardrobe? Read more Friend Friday posts here.




Do you think there is an incompatibility between feminism and a love for fashion?
There shouldn’t be! There seem to be some daft and pervasive ideas that the ‘frivolity’ of fashion undermines the seriousness of feminism. I think you can support equal pay and wear high heels, just as I think you should be able to wear your own clothes without being harassed. Fashion as an industry has quite rightly been called into question for its role in important social issues, such as low self-esteem in young women and exploitation of women workers, and these are questions that still need to be addressed. But as fashion-loving or fashion-conscious feminists, we are in the perfect position to raise awareness of these issues and speak out when we disagree. Let’s move on from tired old stereotypes and take this thing forward!

FFB’s Feminist Fashion icons – proof the two can co-exist.                                  By Franca.


With the fashion industry still being a male-dominated profession, how do you think it would differ if women played a larger role?
When the power players of the industry, ie Queen Viv and Miuccia Prada refuse to identify as feminists, it’s hard to say! There’s no denying that female designers have played an increasingly significant role in the last couple of years, Phoebe Philo’s role in the ‘new minimalism’ being an obvious example, and Donatella Versace aside, there is a case for women’s designs heralding en era of less obvious sexuality. Male style blogger Arash Mazinani recently wrote a post about male designers ‘bringing the sexy back’, and while there’s no denying that Tom Ford et al produce some seriously hot clothes, I’m happy to get less of that on a plate – I’m more interested in clothes that are designed with the wearer in mind.

Marni AW11 – my kind of sexy.





How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?

I’ve gone from hiding myself in sweatshirts to emulating fifties filmstars and back again, in line with my developing opinions. I discussed my ambivalent feelings in a recent post, so I’ll quote it here:

Do you think clothing/makeup/hair helps communicate the truth about yourself or are those things superfluous add-ons?

I don’t think they are add-ons as much as extensions, or in some cases – let’s be honest here – enhancements. I certainly don’t advocate buying into a ‘stereotype’ (see my post on Girl Tribes!) but think the beauty of fashion is that it gives us chance to show various ‘truths’ about ourselves; the chance to experiment with colour and silhouette is a fun and creative process. 

Fascinators: fun…and not just for weddings.

There is more to each of us than a love for fashion, how do you incorporate every aspect of yourself into your blog?
I think that comes over time. I felt uncomfortable ‘leaving out’ my feminist beliefs, but with questions like this and the newly-established Feminist Fashion Bloggers I feel I am now bridging that gap and hitting my stride. That said, I don’t think there’s any need to incorporate every aspect of yourself. I once likened the blogging world to a big social event, and I believe that analogy holds: it’s up to you how much of yourself you want to present to the world. Keep the rest under your hat – you’re entitled.




How do your beliefs colour your wardrobe?


Friend Friday: Body Image.

We’re walking on eggshells this week, my dears, with a pertinent topic for bloggers and non-bloggers alike: Body Image.

Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

Yes, but not necessarily for the better! I think I lived in a bubble, happily unaware of whether my hair needed a more thorough brush, or if I needed to tone up my arms. Photographing yourself is hard enough, photographing creative outfits harder still…but photographing yourself for the perusal and analysis of other people?! Terrifying. It’s certainly made me look at myself more critically. Add some ridiculously photogenic fellow bloggers into the equation, and it seems like a hopeless business!

Facing away is always a trusty tactic.

Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

Yes, of course, but wouldn’t talk about it in a post for fear of drawing more attention. It’s similar to when someone gives you a compliment on your skirt, for example, and you respond with, “Thanks…shame about my cellulite though!” I think some people do it because they are generally happy with the way their bodies are; some do it to prevent other people pointing it out. Me, I just dodge the bullet altogether…

Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?

I had heard from various sources that you become more comfortable with yourself as you get older – one of the reasons I have been looking forward to being ‘a girl in her 30s’. Unfortunately, I suspect a sudden addiction to buttered crumpets levels that out – and that, my friends, is the position I’m in. Swings and roundabouts. Factor in the increase of comments on my appearance from friends and family, and I think I may be a few miles from Self Image-Nirvana. In other words, you’re not going to get much Bossa action til I develop a profound love of salads.

Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

I am often loathe to post pictures of myself. I get excited, get all styled up, eagerly upload them…and often end up practically sobbing into a large glass of Pinot Grigio. I have to admit that as soon as I step in front of the camera, I just don’t know what to do with myself, so amuse Mr B no end with my oddly contorted poses. I find that taking ridiculous amounts and cropping out my head works wonders…


‘Vanity’ – Le Jonghe.
Paint is kinder as a medium, I find…

I read art critic John Berger’s Ways of Seeing when I was 18, and it changed my whole view on self-image. According to Berger: 

To my mind, posting regular photos of myself compounds this situation and makes it concrete; it makes me far too conscious of what I look like. That said, I don’t believe I’m under any obligation to post photos of myself – each to their own!

What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?

That’s a hard question to answer, as I’m certainly not as comfortable as I hoped to be. I suspect – sadly in a way – that people are far less critical of others than they are of themselves and are more likely to comment on the positives of an outfit than find fault. That has certainly been my experience.
Laura, from For Those About to Shop wrote a fantastic article lately about body image, asserting the not-always-popular view that we should stop focusing on how our bodies look at all – Dove Campaigns and Gok Wan be damned. In fact, I’m going to back-pedal and say that’s why I cut off my own head – I’m not vain, I’m just forcing you to focus on the clothes, darlings. And most of the time, that’s what others will do.
The cunning Bossa head-crop…
 How has being a blog-reader or -writer affected your body image, if at all?
And what advice would you give self-conscious types?

For more information on Friend Friday, click here
To read all the other participants’ posts, click…yes, you guessed it: here.

Calling All (Feminist) Fashion Bloggers…!

Are you a feminist? Do you feel like like sticking your head above the parapet to say so? Then read on…

Recently, The Citizen Rosebud asked “Where are the feminist fashion bloggers?” Courtney of Those Graces answered (and has developed her answer in subsequent posts). Through further discussion a few of us established a need to talk about the crossovers and conflicts between fashion and feminism. We formed Feminist Fashion Bloggers (FFB), a network for fashion bloggers interested in feminism and feminist bloggers interested in fashion. We decided that we wanted to do a blog event to coincide with Women’s History Month.


And we invite you to join in.

Show us YOUR “Fashionable Feminist”! on Wednesday 16 March

We are inviting bloggers to answer the question: How do you express your feminism in the way you dress? In the past I’ve had such thoughtful and incisive comments on a variety of fashion/feminist-related issues, and it’d be fantastic if any of you fancied taking up this challenge. Feel free to answer by outfit posts, or essay, however you see fit. 


You can sign up by replying in the comments, with your name, blog name and email address. Or, click the envelope icon under ‘Hook Up With Mrs B‘ to email me direct. If it’s not for you, I ‘ll let you know when the posts are up – and I hope you’ll chime in…


Current FFB members are: 

Feministified
For those about to shop
Mrs. Bossa Does the Do
Oranges and Apples
Those Graces

For more information on other FFB events, click here, or select the FFB tab at the top of the page.

Link Love…with a TWIST.

As some of you may know, I had a lovely surprise on Monday: I woke up to a message saying, “Congratulations on your nomination!” Veshoevius, the imp, had put forward my post on fashion advertising (Wanted: Dead or Alive?) to Link Love, and I was suddenly welcoming a host of new followers. It was all very exciting and very unexpected.

So What is Link Love?
The benevolent Beautifully Invisible has come up with a groovy little concept called Link Love with a Twist, whereby we can nominate a post we loved, feel strongly about or admire. It’s a chance for mutual promotion, and for us to discover yet more bloggers tackling myriad issues. Those of us who have submitted posts to Links à La Mode are familiar with plugging our own posts, but the opportunity to big up the work of others is something I’m sure we can get behind. To nominate a post for next week’s selection, click here.

Mainly, though, I wanted to share the other posts with you, as it’s such a great selection. From nasty friends to nudity, from trademarking to the 30 for 30 Challenge, and from Antwerp to ‘About Me’ pages via the Adonis Complex, this roll call is testament to the talent knocking about on the net. And for me, it’s yet another chance to raise a glass to the multi-talented blogging community – Cheers!

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Arash Mazinani – The Adonis Complex: Men and Body Image: Katy of Modly Chic wanted to share this post because it really struck a chord with her.  She says “Women are always talking about  the ideal image we are forced to contend with but what about the guys?   They have to deal with some of the same issues, but not many people are  man enough to talk about that.”

Cloud of Secrets – The Antwerp Two: “I was touched by the dreamy combination of nostalgia, beautiful  architecture and the unique fashion finds. It left a different imprint  on me that most posts, I felt transported briefly,” said Fabienne Jach of The House in the Clouds

The Fashion Pawn – The B.O.B. Series: About You: Cate of inkblot*photography selected this post on improving your blog’s ABOUT ME page because “it really helped me to reconstruct my about page and consider the most  important things to include. It seems like such an insignificant thing,  but your about page really is the thing that gives your readers the  biggest picture of what your blog is about and the philosophy behind  what you’re doing.”

Grit & Glamour – Trademarks, What You Need to Know: A rather timely entry, Fuyume submitted this piece because it is “an excellent post about trademarking your blog name and a must read in the aftermath of the-coveted vs. thecoveted.com.”

Keiko Lynn – On Friendships and Floundering: Stephanie of The-Loudmouth submitted this post because, simply and beautifully, “[she] found this post really touching today and wanted to share it!”

The-Loudmouth – Nudity: Naughty or Natural?:  Many of you have likely already read this post by now, but I decided to submit it to LLWAT because Stephanie tackled a subject that is too often considered taboo.  I applaud her for that, and for the brilliant way she wrote about it!

Mrs. Bossa Does the Do –  Wanted: Dead or Alive?: Veshoevius of The Taxonomy of my Wardrobe selected this post because  “as Mrs B shows in her study here, we shouldn’t just swallow the  imagery we are presented in advertising campaigns just because it comes labeled with a fashionable brand name and in particular when it uses  disturbing images of women that reek of misogyny.”

No Signposts in the Sea – The Princess, the Cowgirl, and 17%:  “A wonderfully thoughtful and insightful post on roles available to women  in the US and the lack of women in power, [written by] a Finnish person living  in America,” says Franca of Oranges and Apples

A Reason to Be Fabulous – Why I Remix (1/30): Eboni Ife’ of The Fashionista Next Door submitted this post because of “a debate [that] broke out on Twitter earlier this week after one blogger sort  of bashed the concept of 30 for 30 (although she says that wasn’t her  intent).  That is neither here nor there.  What I really love about this  post is how well [Tiffany] captures the power of remixing with her her  marathon comparison.  It is spot on! I mean it totally captures why I am  participating in the 30 for 30 Challenge this time around.”’

The Style Crusader – Right Now: Jill of Street Style: Pics by Polka Dot picked this as her favorite post of the week because of the timely subject matter.  The Style Crusader tackles our perception of “now” and relates it to what is happening in Cairo right now.

Voodle – say my name sunday: This new feature on Voodle was submitted by Purdey Singleton of Kittenish Behaviour because “I find it really interesting reading how bloggers came up with their names.”

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If you would like to publish this post on your own blog, the code can be found here.

Mrs Bossa Gets a Makeover.

Image from cutoutandkeep.net

Well. The other day I cast a critical eye over the old blog. I thought, “This design just ain’t ‘doing the do‘.” I decided it needed a sleeker feel, a bit of streamlining, a cheeky je ne sais quoi…and some shoes in the header, of course.


And here it is! 

Aside from some cosmetic changes, I’ve also done a bit of reorganising. You can now ‘hook up’ with me via several social networking media by clicking the icons under my photo, or subscribe by email on the left there.

Click to become a ‘fan’ of MBDTD on Facebook.
The links to my post archive and blogroll are now above the header, on their very own pages. And, should you enjoy anything you read on Mrs Bossa Does the Do, you can now share my posts in a variety of ways, using the ‘sexy bookmarks’ at the bottom of each post (if librarians could think of their own ‘sexy bookmarks’ I suspect the future of public libraries might be more secure…)

So much for the aesthetics. I’ve also decided to have a rethink as regards content, but that’ll have to remain on a low simmer for the time being. I’m looking forward to an exciting and potentially inspiring collaboration with some fellow (feminist) bloggers, so keep your ears to the ground, my friends, keep your ears to the ground. More on that later in the month.


What kind of posts do you associate with Mrs Bossa? 
What posts do you think work best? 
And what would you like to see more of?