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Lots and lots of women talk about clothes in this big beautiful anthology. I enjoyed reading it so much. There are conversations, photo essays, drawings, and other, more eccentric projects in here by Kim Gordon, Tavi Gevinson, Cindy Sherman (!), Molly Ringwald (!!) — actually Molly Ringwald interviews Cindy Sherman!!! — and other artist types like Zosia Mamet and Miranda July, but the vast majority of people in this book are just folks, a nice diverse range of “regular” women. The editors asked them about their appearance in a number of unusual questions (“Have you ever had a dream about clothing?”) and included their responses in the form of short, direct quotes. Such a cool book, it’s just over 500 pages long and is bursting with interesting ideas and art.

I reviewed it for the Philly Inquirer.


Person of Interest" by Eugenia Loli.

In a few days, look out at the magazine stands for the new UTNE Reader issue. It features this collage of mine on the cover, a collage about privacy today.

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It’s so pretty! Looking forward to getting my copy. My review of the excellent Women in Clothes is in this issue, too.



Thank you to everyone who made SPromX possible!



One week from tonight! And it will be DJed by me (Tony Breed) and Shannon Stewart, right after the Ignatz ceremony.

Thank you to all the fantastic artists who contributed art for this! Some of them will be at SPX, too.

Here’s the roster of dancers, roughly left to right, with tables noted if they’ve got one:

Josh Cotter (W53-55)
Bob Glascock (K6B)
Jasmine Pinales
Jeremy Sorese (W49B)
Beck Kramer
Emily Huff (G8A)
Sfé Monster
Neil Brideau (C8)
M R Trower (N4)
Eireni Moutoussi 
Blue Delliquanti (K10)
Chas Foster
Jessi Zabarsky
R M Rhodes (I5-I6A) 
Jess Fink (L12)
Paul Cleland Smith (D5)
Sara McHenry (L13)
Molly Ostertag (B14B)
Eric Colossal (L12)
Kory Bing (K11)
Tom McHenry (L14)
Kat Verhoeven (A1B)
Clíodhna Lyons
Shannon Stewart

This was such a hoot ! You can add joe and Katie from M14 to that list of dancers!

Most fun I’ve had in a WHILE.


(Photos, clockwise from top left: plaid shirts, pink cardigan and green sweater, tie detail, knitted etsy scarf, Members Only jacket with corduroys and hat, Bed Stü shoes, Topman sweater, dressy pants, holographic hat, wingtip shoes, another tie detail, summer sneakers.)

There are lots of stylish men out there, but it’s not often that Nadine and I have the chance to interview one. That’s why today’s conversation with her friend Ryan feels like such a treat.

He walks into Nadine’s house wearing an off-white t-shirt, cords, a flat cap, and a truly gorgeous pair of brogues that look like they’ve been through the war, as my mother would have said—only when I say it, I mean it as a compliment.

“I like to build from the ground up,” Ryan says, looking down at his feet. “Today I just have on a plain white shirt, but the shoes are good, so I feel classy.”

Indeed: He has a retro look that looks put-together without seeming fussy. Since he appreciates old-school style, I ask if he’s a thrift store kind of guy.

“Not so much anymore,” he says. “I had a real-person job in market research in Chicago, which opened doors to things I could afford.” Sure enough, he tells us that the shoes are not, in fact, old, but are by the hip clothier Bed Stü, whose leather goods are made—and distressed to look aged—by hand.

Ryan has brought a bunch of his favorite clothes with him, things that are most representative of the way he likes to dress. He starts pulling pieces from his bag and I spot a beautiful sweater with blue intarsia done in a traditional nordic design. Since he likes to look unique, Ryan looks for limited-edition pieces from the shops and designers he likes; this sweater was only available at Topman’s UK stores.

He’s got several nice knits and cozy looking caps, so I ask if cold weather is his favorite, fashion-wise.

He nods. “Sweaters and hoodies are the best.”

There are lots of nice colors in this jumble, too. I point to a bright pink Izod cardigan, which he says he’d probably wear with a v-neck t-shirt underneath. I’m intrigued because bright colors are sometimes hard to find in men’s clothes—and they can be hard to wear, too, Ryan says.

“Wearing pink in public can be weird. When I’m with my peers I feel good, but on the way there, on the street, it’s more difficult. But I know these are petty things compared to what women go through,” he says.

The three of us then have a brief but serious conversation about street harassment and the ways in which the patriarchy hurts men, too (cuz it does, you know), but I soon manage to pull in the reins and return the conversation to fashion.

When putting together something to wear, I ask Ryan, does he have any particular person in mind who serves as an inspiration?

“Being tall is awkward. I can always have a certain awkwardness, even if I like what I’m wearing. So I think I’m inclined to admire someone who carries themselves well even if I don’t like their personal style.” That said, he adds, he’s always admired bands who perform dressed up in suits. Ryan is a musician himself, a guitarist who has recorded with different bands and is now writing music for a solo project.

While he’s telling me all this, I spy a snapback hat in a pinkish-yellowish hologram fabric and have to force myself to resist the urge to put it on.

“Isn’t that great?” he says. “It’s the hat from Back to the Future 2!” Diamond Select Toys made a replica of the hat Marty McFly wears in the movie, which Ryan saw while scrolling through Facebook one day and couldn’t resist buying. He doesn’t wear the hat too often, but it was part of the get-up he wore when he played skeeball with a league in Chicago.

We talk skeeball, which he says was as much fun as it sounds like, and then I ask about a beautiful long scarf that looks hand-knit. He confirms that it was, only by a seller on etsy, not by him. Then follows another earnest talk, initiated by me, about the value of handicrafts and the beauty of passing these skills down through a family.

“The most that was handed down to me in my family that way was when my dad taught me to tie a tie,” Ryan says. Does he do that much? Sometimes he dressed up and wore a tie for his real-person job, but other days he kept it low-key and just put on a hoodie. He always wore a tie to skeeball, though.

And he may not know how to knit—yet—but he likes to customize his clothes the DIY way. Rather than scouring every store for a sweatshirt or tee in the exact color he wants, he’ll get a white or light-colored one and dye it. The genius! For those of you seeking tips, Ryan has found that Procion dye works better than Rit. It comes in a powdered form that you mix with salt and washing soda, and you can blend the powders to create different shades. I make a mental note to try this one day soon.

As Nadine takes a photo of the shoes Ryan has on, I mention that I like his colorful socks, too.

“I actually think socks are my weakness,” he says. “You can wear any color, any print. They don’t really have to match anything else in your outfit.”

So would he say his overall look is clearly defined?

“It’s evolved slightly,” he says. “In high school I wore hoodies, Dickies and t-shirts. The only difference is now I can afford better pants. And I always loved color.”

The new installment of Portrait of a Closet is up!

Woo a gif! Come on out to SPX this weekend. I’ll be tabling for Microcosm and we’ll have lots of good books for sale!

The Soapbox will be out on the street for this event again in September. Stop by our table and make a print on our little tabletop letterpress machine. For a dollar!


There’s an excerpt from my memoir in the current issue of my college’s alumni magazine, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and it’s accompanied by this beautiful illustration by Emily Sutton. Nice!

Reblogging myself from a year and a half ago, mainly cuz I wanted to see this illustration again. This is an excerpt from my first book, White Elephants, and here’s an excerpt from my new one. Read ‘em both!

Hey folks. My new book is officially “out” today. Get yourself a copy why dontcha!

Drawing from personal experiences to explore a wide range of topics in linguistics, this clever memoir looks at the ways people use language to communicate, to make art, and simply to survive. It begins with descriptions of the rich linguistic history of the author’s family, her evolution as a feminist and an artist, and the influence of her lively hometown of Philadelphia. Personal and conversational, the book connects history to the present with research, interviews, and musings on digital technology and the contemporary state of the English language. Taking a traditionally niche subject outside of academia, this meditation on language examines its subjects with both intellectual vigor and tremendous heart.