I’d Like To Try To Fumigate This Here Sweater: Dealing With Moths, Without Pesticides

Two things that make modern menswear enthusiasts shudder: bad return policies and moths. The former can be avoided, the latter will probably affect you at some point, even if you’re quite careful with your clothes. Which, admittedly, I am not, always. If you’re like me, you spend a lot more time thinking about acquiring and wearing your clothes than about storing them properly. Once I hang something in the closet, I don’t worry about it too much until I pull it out again. Except once in awhile, it comes out a little… eaten. Most often, with two small holes near each other, like a sweater vampire sunk its teeth into the fabric.

Unfortunately, your worn clothes, particularly wool and silk items, are a Cheesecake Factory for baby moths and their partners in crime, baby carpet beetles (Ok; they’re larvae, but we’re euphemizing in this post and avoiding photos of actual moths, which you probably won’t see anyway). They’re just lining up, poring over the extensive menu, and marveling at the weird architectural details. It’s bad enough they’re eating holes in your clothes, but they’re also being pretty gross about it — they’re using the fibers to spin their protective cases, they’re laying hundreds of eggs, and frankly they’re just shitting everywhere.

And worst of all, it’s probably sort of your fault. Moths particularly appreciate soiled clothing, and thrive in undisturbed darkness; for example, the bottom of a closet where a sweater fell, unnoticed, or a storage bin you haven’t opened in two years. Your clothes don’t have to be outright filthy to be eaten, but unless you dry clean or wash your wool and silk items every time you wear them, your clothing likely has some lingering perspiration or food particles, which they look for. The most common way infestations start is by bringing an infested item into the storage environment, so be extra careful to clean any thrifted items before putting them in your closet (or wearing them, really). Of course, many living spaces, especially those with carpeting, may have some moths already when you move in — so it’s not totally your fault.

Many Ways to Approach a Moth Problem

Defeating clothes moths can be a daunting task. If you find holes in a sweater, you can dry clean it (which kills bugs), then darn the holes or have them professionally repaired. But it’s likely that the sweater was sitting in a drawer or bin with other tasty woolens, or in a closet with suits or wool outerwear — potentially thousands of dollars in moth targets. One instance of damage does not necessarily indicate infestation, but it’s difficult to be sure until you see more moth damage, or don’t. So what can you do?

The easiest and most expensive answer is to dry clean anything that’s been stored with your damaged item. That can add up pretty quickly, especially if you share your closet or storage space. These bugs can move, so they don’t need direct contact to get from one article of clothing to another. To eradicate effectively, you need to literally dry clean everything, or at least be very careful about never exposing your dry cleaned, moth-free batches to potentially mothy areas or clothing.

Another method is pesticides, the most common being mothballs, but there’s so many drawbacks it’s not really worth the trouble. Mothballs smell bad (a smell that’s hard to get rid of, a fact well-known to thrift/vintage hounds). They work only if the clothing is kept with the mothballs in an airtight space, and the chemicals involved can be harmful to people and pets.

Pesticide-Free Solutions

If you want to avoid pesticides, you still have some options, primarily getting your clothes into an environment outside the moth comfort zone — hot, cold, or low on oxygen. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides recommends a handful of methods.

Many sources recommend freezing, although it potentially takes a long time and is not 100% effective. You need to leave clothes at a temperature well below freezing for at least a couple of days — the freezer in your kitchen may not be great, as the temperature fluctuates a lot as it’s opened and closed.

The two pesticide free methods I’m interested in trying are heat and dry ice fumigation, which has a Mr. Wizard vibe that I like.

  • With heat, the magic number is 120 degrees, to which your clothing must be exposed for at least 30 minutes. Many ovens don’t have a setting this low, and it can be hazardous to heat your clothes to, say, 350, so be careful with this method. Place items on a clean sheet pan, potentially on a towel you don’t mind damaging, as it may scorch. Keep a close eye on items to avoid damaging them, and don’t place anything in the oven that could melt, including synthetic fabric blends, plastic zippers, etc. Or you could just take everything outside in Arizona in the summer.
  • The fumigation method involves placing the items in a heavy trash bag (like a “contractor” grade bag, not a kitchen bag) with a pound of dry ice (available at some grocery stores or beverage distributors). Sealed loosely (not tightly!), the bag will fill up with sublimated carbon dioxide, killing the pests. Once the ice has dissipated, close the bag tightly and leave it sealed for a few days. Hey, at least it’s not in your freezer. Obviously, handle the dry ice carefully, i.e., not with your bare hands.

Once You’re Moth Free

Once your clothing has been treated, you can take the preventive steps universally recommended:

  • If you store clothing, clean it before you store it.
  • Store clothing in airtight containers as much as possible.
  • But also, wear your clothes–moths are much more likely to go after clothing in long-term storage than clothing you wear regularly.
  • Keep clothing storage areas and upholstered items generally clean — vacuum closets, vacuum upholstery, vacuum baseboards and under beds/furniture.
  • Keep a vigilant eye out for moth damage and bugs themselves.
  • Add cedar or bug-bothering herbs, like lavender, to your clothing storage areas. Cedar effectiveness wears off, though, and lavender’s effectiveness is not totally clear.

The post I’d Like To Try To Fumigate This Here Sweater: Dealing With Moths, Without Pesticides appeared first on Put This On.

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FASHION UPDATE:

From Gucci’s Blackface Sweater to Beyoncé Sambo Coat: 5 More Times Fashion Met Racism

Fashion is art; and art, of course, can be controversial. But when does edgy fashion become overt racism? Fashion house Gucci ignited a firestorm recently by selling a black balaclava sweater that many say bears the racist emblem of the black Sambo caricature. And Prada recently faced backlash after selling monkey-faced keychains that many saw as a mocking blackface design.

Anger over blackface and racial mocking have become even more intense of late with revelations that several Virginia politicians have dressed in blackface in their pasts. Here are other missteps by brands or celebrities when a fashion statement went awry.

5 More Times When Fashion Met Racism 

H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” Ad

H&M

In Jan 2018, H&M releases an ad featuring a black child modeling a green hooded sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “coolest monkey in the jungle.” Social media users vowed to stop shopping at the retail giant while others blasted marketing executives for approving the image despite the ugly history of using “monkey” as an ethnic slur against black people. The retailer issued an apology and removed the ad from its website

Moschino Racially Profiles Black Customers

gucci blackface

A former employee at a Moschino boutique in West Hollywood, California, filed a lawsuit against the Italian luxury clothing company for racial discrimination. According to the employee, a store supervisor would call black clientele “Serena” and ordered employees to follow and watch them closely if they weren’t wearing diamonds or name brand clothing.

Moncler Jacket’s Penguin Face – Racist? 

Gucci blackface

(Pinterest)

Outerwear apparel-maker Moncler was scrutinized for a design on one of its coats that led many to liken it to a Sambo image. The company defended itself by saying the image was actually the face of its penguin character.

HIGH-FASHION BRAND UNAPOLOGETICALLY APPROPRIATES #BLACKLIVESMATTER

Gucci blackface

 

Port 1961, a high-fashion brand based in Canada, found itself in a public relations predicament when black models walking down the runway sporting sweaters that read, “Every Color Matters” and “Only Love Matters,” in one of the brand’s fashion shows.

Beyoncé Gets Side Eye for “Sambo Coat”

Gucci blackface

(Twitter)

During All-Star Weekend in 2015, Beyoncé was spotted donning a Scooter LaForge trench coat, evoking some raised eyebrows. The coat, which retails for $ 320, features a custom-painted depiction of a smiling clown that some are describing as the often controversial, black-face character Sambo.

In Case You Missed It: 

 

—Editor’s Note: Selena Hill contributed to this report. 

 

 

 

 

 

The post From Gucci’s Blackface Sweater to Beyoncé Sambo Coat: 5 More Times Fashion Met Racism appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How to Find the Elusive Sweater Dress

Dresses are generally hard to fit, and sweater dresses can be the hardest of all. Too short, tight, itchy, lightweight, shapeless, or just all-round unflattering. That said, when you find a sweater dress that works, it’s the best Winter dress because it’s warm, cosy and versatile. Dress it up or down, layer it with hosiery and toppers, and combine it with any style of boots. 

Sweater dresses come in many variations. Short, long, body-con, fluid, A-line, solid, patterned, casual, dressy, sporty, retro, chunky, fine gauge, and belted. Take your pick.

In 2008 I wrote a post on how to find a flattering sweater dress and the guidelines are just as relevant ten years later. I’ve changed my preference for my perfect length though. A decade ago, I liked my sweater dresses just above the knee, and now I like them just below the knee.

I’ve had many sweater dresses over the years and loved them all. They became instant workhorses because you can throw them on with fun hosiery, boots, a topper, scarf, bag, and not feel cold in the dead of Winter. They are a fabulous change to jeans and pants. If only it weren’t so hard to find a perfect fit. I currently have one midi sweater dress from last season and I am constantly on the lookout for more. My challenges are insufficient length, a fit that’s too body-con, a neckline that’s too wide, bad quality, or flimsy fabric. Or I find a fabulous fit and great quality but it’s in a colour I don’t like, or at a price I don’t want to pay.

These sweater dress guidelines aren’t flop proof, but they might help get you on your way.

1. Embrace a Fluid or Oversized Fit

Surrender the waist with a very straight cut, or avant-garde and arty silhouette that drapes over lumps, bumps and extra bits in an architectural way if body-con fits are not your thing. This type of gently fluid or very voluminous cut can work on any body type when there is just enough structure in the outfit. My olive sweater turtleneck sweater dress is fluid and straight through the body, hugs my hips and bottom a little, and tapers at the hem for structure.

2. Consider an Empire Cut

The baby doll style is an extra roomy option on the bottom, making it a forgiving A-line silhouette. Good for apple shapes, pear shapes, and even straighter figures who crave ample movement. A larger bust needs a lower neckline in this style, and the empire cut should not cut across the bust.

3. Find a Fit & Flare

If you’re curvy or very curvy and prefer to define the waist, silhouettes that are belted or fitted on the torso create that type of structure. The flared bottom creates movement and camouflages hip and thigh extra bits you don’t feel comfortable showcasing. You can also add a wide belt to a fluid fit dress to define the waist.

4. Choose Heavier Knits

This does not necessarily mean “chunky knit” because fine gauge knits can be substantial (like the knit of my olive sweater dress). Knits with weight smooth over the contour of the body instead of grabbing onto curves in an unflattering way. Chunky knit sweater dresses with a fluid fit can also be a lot more flattering than you think.

5. Get the Length Right

Sweater dresses can’t be hemmed, which means that the length has to be perfect upon purchase. I like them just below the knees these days, or a little longer. But many of my clients prefer them on the knee, or just above the knee if the fits are voluminous and the knit is chunky. Some will wear them a whole lot shorter with very tall boots and opaques.

6. Complete the Outfit

Make sure you try a potential sweater dress with the right support act before you say no thank you. The right shoes and hosiery can make the difference. And remember that shapewear is a lot more comfortable than it used to be.

7. Block the Dress Back to Size

Sweater dresses can lose their perfect shape and fit after laundering. This is usually an easy fix with the steam iron that presses out wrinkles, and blocks the areas back to the right shape.

And last, you can wear a knee-length sweater dress over cropped flares, cropped straights, culottes, bootcuts, leggings and skinnies if you like. I LOVE this outfit, although I’d wear flat white booties and a white bag. For this look, I would get a knee-length sweater dress instead of a knee-covering one.

DURO OLOWU Polka-dot Jacquard Wool Sweater Dress

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Places to visit this fall that have the best sweater weather

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If you fancy traveling somewhere new this fall, but the idea of a cold skiing vacation or hot beach break doesn’t tickle your fancy, then maybe a cooler city with all year long sweater weather might be ideal for you. If you like cozy jumpers, boots, and jeans, then traveling somewhere where that’s your everyday outfit could be the perfect getaway. These are a few of the best places for you to visit this fall.

Portland, Maine

Portland is a beautiful peninsula full of beaches, lighthouses, and a perfect waterfront for fishing. There are plenty of attractions, restaurants, and things to do in Portland, as well as it having flawless sweater weather. The average fall temperature in Portland is in the low-30s, making it ideal if you fancy a getaway where you can live in sweaters, jumpers, and scarves.

Sa Pa, Vietnam

If you fancy somewhere slightly more exotic and further from home, Sa Pa grants the perfect weather for your fall vacation. Although, if sweater weather is your favorite kind of climate, you might want to visit Sa Pa in any season. With the highest temperatures of the year averaging at about 67°F in July, and the lowest being 48°F in January, it’s practically jumper and scarf weather all year round. It’s not just the climate that makes Sa Pa ideal, however. The town is one of the central market locations in the area and boasts incredible mountain views, trekking opportunities, and an exploration of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The capital city of Utah is one of the most picturesque cities in the United States. With a climate which averages at about 50°F in the fall, it’s the perfect place to bust out all of your favorite sweaters. It has a number of parks, including Liberty Park which spans over 100 acres, with a lake that has two islands in the middle of it. It is also home to a variety of bird species, making it perfect for nature lovers. Salt Lake City is also has a wide range of cultural and artistic attractions, such as museums, art galleries, music festivals, and conventions.

Kundasang, Malaysia

In the east of Malaysia resides a small resort town called Kundasang. Though the area has little in the way of attractions, it could be the perfect place for a lazy vacation. The temperate weather sticks at around 68°F, with temperatures not deviating much from 61°F to 75°F all year. There’s a World War II memorial and plenty of fresh vegetables, and also allows for a stunning view of Mount Kinabalu, not to mention the iconic cabbage roundabout, which is worth traveling to Malaysia for in itself!

There are plenty of places around the world which have chilly fall temperatures which are too cold for t-shirts but too warm for coats. Most of these reside in the United States, but if you fancy traveling further afield, many parts of Asia also have all year long sweater weather. It’s not just fall you have to limit your sweater wearing to!

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The post Places to visit this fall that have the best sweater weather appeared first on Worldation.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

How The ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ Conquered America

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

This year, Debbie McClain will make around 800 ugly Christmas sweaters from her workshop in Fremont, Indiana. She’ll ship the bedazzled jumpers around the world—but McClain will not be found in one herself.

“I love them, but I don’t actually wear them,” McClain told The Daily Beast. “I don’t go anywhere this year. I’m strapped to the shop. I’m in such a Grinch mode by the time we get to Christmas that we don’t usually have a tree up.”

McClain works with a team of nine to pump up the wearable holiday cheer found in her brick-and-mortar store and online Etsy shop, which is aptly-titled Tacky Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

The Sporty Sweater That Will Give Alyssa a Leg Up on Layering This Winter

Ask any fashion enthusiast what their favorite thing about fall and/or winter is, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s the sartorial joy that comes along with ample opportunities for layering. Blouses under sweaters! A denim, fleece or leather jacket under a boxy coat! The possibilities are …

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