And the Winner Is…

July 26th, 2011 § 1 comment §

Comment # 63 – Kat

Congratulations Kat! Send us your contact information and we’ll get the necklace out to you as soon as possible!

And if you didn’t win, head over to Meenoo’s shop and take advantage of the special reader discount code (enter ACADEMICCHIC at checkout) for 10% off through the end of the week!

You can also check out Minou Bazaar on Facebook, where you can find special promotions, updates, and discount codes. Facebook fans also receive 10% off their first purchase (enter FACEBOOKFAN at checkout).

Category: Uncategorized

Karina Dresses

July 25th, 2011 § 10 comments §

Karina Dress Review

Sources:

  • Dress – c/o Karina
  • Cami – Banana Republic
  • Shoes – Banana Republic
  • Hat – Banana Republic

Endnotes:

One of the many things I will miss about blogging is getting to know some really great independent retailers including small online boutiques and etsy sellers like those featured in our Boutique Consortium.  If we weren’t closing up shop, Karina would certainly be a shop we would be interested in adding to our consortium.   Karina generously sent me this “Rita” dress to review. I love the color and can already image so many ways to wear it.  For its first outing, I paired it with heels and my straw hat for lunch with a friend.

Karina Dress Review


Before I tell you how I feel about this particular Karina dress, let me tell you a bit about the company.  Karina dresses are all made of heavy, stretchy microfiber that drapes beautifully, never wrinkles, and washes easily. Each dress is made in Brooklyn in a small batch - which means prints and colors come and go, so if you see one you like, don’t follow my usual shopping pattern!

My favorite part about Karina is their motto:

dresses for “every body” … celebrating women from 18 to 80 … easy wear, easy care … wear the love”

Karina is committed to making all woman look & feel  great, no matter what shape or size . They offer many different styles made for a variety of body types and lifestyles and many of the dresses are offered in sizes 0 through 20. I also love that they use women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to model their dresses!

Karina Dress Review

So, now about my dress – the “Rita.”  I can already tell this cap sleeved wrap dress is going to be very versatile.  I love the cut and the color and am quite happy with the fit. It’s a true wrap dress but has enough overlap to keep my legs covered.  The waist hits at the perfect place – often not the case for me with wrap dresses – and I think the tie could easily be tucked under a belt as a way of changing up the look.

I have to admit, I was surprised at first by the material, but am now a huge fan.  It really doesn’t wrinkle, making it perfect for traveling (both wearing on the plane and shoving in a bag) and super convenient if you just don’t have time to iron in the morning!  Also, the drape on it is much more flattering than jersey – I’m not even wearing spanx!  I also think the material could be dressed up more than jersey but can just as easily be worn with flats for an active day of errands.

If you want to know more about the dresses you can also check Karina out on Facebook!

A.

Karina Dress Review

Category: Academichic Product Review, Dresses for Day, Dresses for Evening, Reaching New Heights
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S’s Top Ten for Year Three

July 25th, 2011 § 10 comments §

As our project here comes to an end and I’m prompted to reflect of the past three years (in outfits), I feel overwhelmed and at a loss for words. Maybe because the past three years have been so eventful. When we started academichic, I was not yet married and resided in a large Midwestern city. As the blog went on, so did my life: I got married, moved to the small college town where my husband was pursuing his PhD, moved again to Germany for a research year abroad, returned home and began my first faculty job, and most recently, became pregnant with our first child. So yes, it’s a bit daunting and overwhelming to think back to the beginning of this project and to try summing it up in a few succinct paragraphs. It’s equally tough for me to pull together a ‘top ten’ list spanning over such a broad time period that has seen me make so many geographical, personal, and physical changes.

So I decided to hone in on this past (not quite full) year. You can see my Year One Top Ten here and my Year Two Top Ten list here and I will just let those speak for the periods they represent. In terms of this past year of blogging, I have compiled my ten favorite outfits and some thoughts on why these stand out.

The first four pictures at the top where taken early on in my pregnancy and at the beginning of my second semester of teaching as faculty (and not grad. student). They are representative of my style when I feel comfortable and confident: bold colors, bright patterns, pattern mixing (see pic.3),  and a mix of romantic meets casual (polka dots and ruffled collars with jeans tucked into boots and plenty of button downs).

The next two images show the two oufits that were the most ‘subdued’ in terms of color in my ‘favorites’ pile, and even here, the bright orange dress with the colorful paisley design is barely being mitigated by the softer tan cardigan. What can I say? I love color and bright clothing. Although the top one of these two ‘softer’ outfits is decidedly tamer in hues than my usual fare, I loved it for it’s bohemian touch and it’s eclectic layering of lace, pearls, and eyelet. It also reminds me of the fun day that I got to spend with my co-bloggers and good friends, ‘playing dress-up’ at Banana Republic, sharing a fitting room and laughing over misguided attempts at an outfit, and feeling like teenagers at the mall again.

While this blog was in large part inspired by our desire to question fashion, gender assumptions, and modern notions of beauty, it also never ceased to be a project that brought the four of us together and reminded us how wonderful it is to share joys as simple as playing ‘dress up’ with your friends on a Spring afternoon. Academichic has always been something I’ve taken very seriously (especially when writing about matters such as coming out as an ally, navigating pregnancy in academia, dressing for a new faculty position, the importance we accredit to visible gendering, and what happens when something is perceived as ‘gender bending‘ in our culture). But it’s also been something that has brought me great joy and satisfaction on days when an outfit post was just an outfit post, when I could just pop over to the site and instantly ‘see’ my friends, and when it provided us with the perfect excuse and reason to go on a shopping spree together.

So for those days when an outfit post was just an outfit post, here is a style I really loved playing with over the dreary winter months: colorful and brightly patterned tights. Maybe because winter seemed to drag on forever and there was a general lack of color in my surroundings, I reached for outfit options that invoked that cheer and brightness I so love about Spring and Summer. And while not everyone’s cup of tea, I loved my thick damask printed tights and my collection of red, purple, layered and fishnetted, and even floral legwear (as captured on my commutes to work).

Lastly, summer came and with that my increased need for comfort and ease when getting dressed. As I finished teaching and entered my third trimester, my style took somewhat of a nose-dive. I stopped posting as much as many days were simply spent in sweats and my husband’s t-shirts, but I also had no qualms with embracing that much needed break in my routine. I needed to be able to relax and tend to my dissertation chapter, my garden, my yoga practice, and playtime with my dog. As much as we write about body image intersecting with style and fashion, we maybe don’t stress enough the importance of just feeling good in your skin no matter what you have on. It’s true that clothing communicates and that a grubby t-shirt and a pair of leggings doesn’t exactly convey the most inspiring of messages, but for certain times and contexts that’s ok.

On days I did dress up for meetings out of the house or visit with friends, I stuck to my usual go-to of dresses, bold hues, and not-too-subtle pattern. I’ve also embraced my inner hippie and have been wearing long skirts and flowey (shapeless?) dresses for more often than I care to admit. But it’s all been very satisfying and I’ve enjoyed having less expectations in terms of getting dressed during my last months of pregnancy. So here I am now, ready to give birth any day now and facing new style as well as life challenges ahead; that dreaded 4th trimester as your body once more changes and morphs post-baby, the unknown of life as a new mother, the undefinability of a year dedicated to finishing my dissertation writing while on teaching sabbatical, and the pure pleasure of embracing the leap into so many unknowns.

(On a side note: I’ve spent the last few days restlessly expecting to go into labor and ‘nesting’ away on Pinterest as a form of distraction. And I’ve noticed that the style pinboard I’m creating for my post-baby dressing inspiration is going in a whole different direction than what my style has been like in the past (or even as shown in this Top Ten post). I find myself drawn to much more muted tones, earthy colors, a hippie/boho/hipster aesthetic, and not that much floral anymore. Hmmm? The start of truly a new era for me? For those of you curious of how my post-baby style will evolve, you can always follow my style board on Pinterest or check in on my cycle chic set on Flickr).

And lastly, I just have to say once more that I will miss the thoughtful comments and interractions with you, our readers, greatly and I thank you for all your comments and input over the past three years. Thank you for being wonderful companions on this journey and for making this project such a rewarding one through your comments and input.

S. (and if you miss me terribly, come say hello at Simply Bike sometime).

Category: Uncategorized
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Friday Giveaway: Necklace from Minou Bazaar

July 22nd, 2011 § 199 comments §

This giveaway is brought to you by the lovely Meenoo of Minou Bazaar.  Just a little reminder about Minour Bazaar: Meenoo creates beautiful handcrafted jewelry that mixes vintage and new elements while drawing inspiration from the colors and patterns seen in Indian bazaars. If you’re looking for beautifully unique pieces with an exotic flair, Minou Bazaar might have the perfect thing!

Meenoo explains a bit about this Aasman Minakari Necklace:

This adorable and dainty necklace is the color of the sky (aasman).  This is a vintage traditional Minakari-style pendant in a light sky blue color.  Minakari is the ancient art of enameling metal with bright colors, introduced to India by the Mughals.

Check out Meenoo’s more detailed description of this vintage pendant and while you are there browse the rest of her beautiful Indian-inspired pieces.  If you see something else you love, take advantage of the special %10 discount for Academichic readers – just enter the code ACADEMICCHIC at check-out.

For your chance to win this necklace, visit Meenoo’s Etsy shop and leave us a comment telling us what your favorite item is in the store. For a second chance to win, leave a separate comment telling us how you’d wear this necklace. Entries open until Midnight Monday, July 25th, Central Time!

A winner will be randomly chosen and annoucend on Tuesday, July 26th.

 

Category: Uncategorized

22 July 2011 – A Little Bit Light-Hearted

July 22nd, 2011 § 6 comments §

Stripes Again

Sources:

  • Dress: Motherhood Maternity
  • Yellow pattern flats: Target, thrifted new
  • Necklace: consignment store
  • Fence chalkboard art: courtesy of little e. and his friends

End Notes:

I started teaching a summer class this week. At the beginning of the week there was a question as to whether or not the class could continue due to enrollment and my wardrobe choices reflected that uncertainty and the desire to establish myself as an instructor who could be taken seriously. That meant business casual separates: gray trousers, a gray skirt, my cropped navy blazer. (Of course, I didn’t stop wearing bright shoes. Pink, blue, and orange pumps all made appearances). But today, now that the class is assuredly moving forward and I’ve established a good rapport with my students, I got the itch to wear something a little more out of the box.

Whenever in wardrobe doubt, I call in reinforcements. That meant texting A. this morning: “Is it too early in the semester to wear my striped dress?”

“Nope,” she replied.

(Of course, A. is totally my stripe-enabler. I don’t know when she would tell me that stripes, in some form, would be inappropriate.)

So today is a wonky belly day, a little light-hearted reminder to have a bit of a fun at the end of an admittedly stressful week. I can’t look down without smiling.

Stripes Again

Pow

Category: Dresses for Day, Maternity Style, Teaching Outfits
Tags: > > >

A. on Shopping

July 21st, 2011 § 13 comments §

Chambry Dress

Sources:

  • Dress – Lands End Canvas
  • Belt – from L.
  • Bag – Old Navy
  • Headband – J Crew
  • Sandals – H & M
  • Earrings – Banana Republic

Endnotes:

Since this is not my last post, I’ll hold off on my goodbyes.  I would like to start addressing some of the (thought provoking, as to be expected) questions you all raised.  First, some thoughts on shopping.  This dress is the only new thing I have purchased all summer. I spent $10 at Goodwill in May and I can’t remember the last time I purchased something before that. I have to admit that this isn’t typical for me. Being a grad student, I’m always on a budget, but my expected summer funding fell through so now I am on an extra tight – counting my iced coffees kind – of budget.

So, how did I come to purchase this dress for almost $40? Well, I got the Lands End canvas catalog in the mail back in April and loved this chambray dress.  I showed it to my mom, my sister, friends, anyone who would look at it.  I thought about it.  I pulled it up online and looked at it there.  I imagined the various situations for which I could wear.  I looked at it online some more.  It went on sale.  I thought about it some more.  I got a coupon in the mail. I got dressed several mornings and thought: “that dress would be perfect for today.”  I told A2 I was thinking about ordering the dress online.  I thought about it some more.  Finally, three months after seeing the dress in the catalog, I broke down and bought it.  And, don’t think I didn’t consider sending it back.  So, yes this in an extreme version of my shopping neuroses, but not totally outside my norm.  I tend to agonize over any purchase over $20 and am notorious for my buyers remorse which has me bring a third of what I purchase back to the store.  Sorry, no great shopping strategies to share!  But, don’t you feel like you know me a bit better now?

So what are your shopping neuroses?

Headband

On another note, I got my haircut again.  A bit shorter this time.  And, I’m wearing headbands again!  Funny story: Years after S. and I had met and become close friends and well into this blog project, we were reminiscing about how we met and what drew us to each other.  We both wore Dansko’s.  I was a training for my second marathon and she had just started loving running.  She was super out-going and I was trying my best to survive in a class for German scholars.  And, apparently, she liked that I could pull off a headband!  Back then my hair was fairly short and I wore headbands on a fairly regular basis.  When S. told me this – probably just 6 month ago or so, I loved her that much more!  I’m going to miss sharing this special project with these incredible women.  Oops, I guess I’m getting all sad and nostalgic too.

Chambry Dress

Category: Dresses for Day, It's in the Bag, Weekend Wear
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E. On A Lot and A Little

July 21st, 2011 § 9 comments §

Dolce Vita Pumps

In response to some of your “final, burning questions,” I wanted to reflect today on one of the biggest effects that style blogging has had on me: nurturing a desire to BUY less and DO more with what I already have in my wardrobe. Sometimes I’ve been more successful than others, but I want to celebrate the items that have been particularly and surprisingly remix-able as I’ve gone through several significant life and body changes.

Now, I obviously haven’t stopped shopping altogether since blogging. Still, I think that I’ve become a lot more self-conscious about where and how I acquire clothing since starting this blog. I’ve definitely continued my love of a good sale, but I’ve also rediscovered my love of thrifting and uncovered a penchant for refashioning existing garments and helping to organize clothing swaps. S., L., A., and I all have different personal convictions about where we shop and what brands we support, but I have always valued the thoughtful dialogue that comes along with the recognition that, on some level, the statement that you make through what you wear hinges not only on visual appearances but also sourcing and motivation.

That said, while I have made a self-conscious effort to do my research and try to thrift more frequently, I do still shop at a lot of big box stores. And I will admit frankly that limited time plays a big determining factor — some might argue that it is too big a factor — in how I shop. Thrifting or finding vintage treasures on eBay or sewing my own clothes or even hunting down independent boutiques takes a lot of time. And in certain seasons of my life….well, time is a very rare thing. I say this to be honest with you all and to acknowledge that tensions exist (and probably always will). I don’t want to paint myself as operating on a superior plane of enlightened clothes-purchasing. Sometimes I’m just a tired mom that orders things online from Old Navy at 11:00pm because I can get free shipping and simultaneously buy another bundle of socks for baby e.

BUT here’s where style blogging comes in. Because I have a visual record of what I’ve worn and because I have so much inspiration at my finger tips (thanks, Internet), I am more prone than ever to figure out a new way to wear something than go out and buy a new garment. I’ve already gushed about some of the wardrobe workhorses that I own (like my little navy dress and my mustard blouson top), but here are a few more garments that I’ve worn in all three years of our blogging career.

 

The Expected: Navy Three-Quarter Sleeve Blazer

26 May 2009 3 March 2009 17 March 2009 - Getting Closer 26 March 2009 - With Jacket

I bought this blazer expecting it to be a workhorse. I have not been disappointed.

15 April 2009 20 April 2009 1 September 2009 23 April 2010 - Faux Floral

16 October 2009 - Man Pants 8 March 2011 - Is It Spring Yet? 14 June 2010

7 April 2010 25 February 2010 21 September 2009

 

The Dark Horse: Dolman Cardigan

30 October 2009 - Slouchy 22 December 2009 24 November 2009

When my mother-in-law gifted me with this cardigan I was initially unsure what to do with those sleeves. But, it was so soft and warm that I kept wearing it…and wearing it…and wearing it…and figuring out different ways to do so along the way.

Unseasonable Slouchy Day Tilted

 

The All-Season Surprise: Full Cream Skirt

18 July 2009 - Neutrals with a Pop of Baby 13 August 2009 - ThisClose 21 August 2009 - Sundance

Oh, my floaty cream cotton skirt. I love it. I wear it in the spring. I wear it in the summer. Sometimes I wear it in February. This is one of the garments I miss the most when I’m pregnant.

31 September 2009 - Annie Get Yer Gun 10 February 2010 - Golden 16 February 2010

31 March 2010 23 April 2010 - Faux Floral 13 May 2010 - Cheeky

The Colorful: Purple Maxi Dress

The Chics 6 September 2010 - Max

I first wore this purple maxi dress to a baby shower when I was pregnant with little e. Then I let it sit in my closet for a while. And then…then I fell in love and decided it went with pretty much everything. And who doesn’t need a little more royal purple in their life?

Folky Blazer 24 November 2010 - Barefoot in the Kitchen

20 November 2010 - Poor Planning 1 November 2010 - Such Great Lengths

Hippie Dippie Trippie 6 May 2011 - Drive

13 June 2011 - Crossed Buns Garden Hat

It’s this aspect of style blogging — reimagining what I already own and feeling the freedom to occasionally get a little wacky in how I try to wear something — that I hope will remain with me. At the very least I know that I’ll be wearing that full cream skirt again, in some new iteration, just as soon as my post-baby belly allows…

P.S. You can see most of my outfits that utilized those orange shoes up top by clicking here.

Category: Resources, Teaching Moment, Theoretical
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20 July 2011 – Changes

July 20th, 2011 § 6 comments §

Skirt as Skirt Option 1 Skirt as Skirt Option 1

Sources:

  • Tank: Banana Republic
  • Skirt: Gap Outlet
  • Scarf: Filene’s Basement
  • Shoes: Tahari via endless.com
  • Necklace: Accessorize

Sources (below):

  • Tank: Splendid via Filene’s Basement
  • Dress: Hourglass via Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Gap Outlet
  • Necklace: made by me

Endnotes:
By now most of you probably have read that the chics of Academichic are closing up shop at the end of this month. While I’m certainly sad to see this project end, I’d like to echo S.’s words today and THANK YOU all for your comments (both kind and critical) as these have pushed me to think far beyond my wardrobe into more theoretical questions of femininity, feminism, gender, ethnicity, economics, politics, and culture. Like S. said, we’ll each have longer wrap-up posts to get into our favorite discussions and wardrobe decisions, so I’ll hold off on waxing poetic for this post!

I thought it was appropriate that one of my last posts is very reminiscent of my first post – nothing beats a swirly skirt and light tank in the summer heat! However, one thing that makes a swirly jersey skirt even better is one that can be both a skirt AND a dress. I nabbed this at the Gap Outlet clearance section in June and have been experimenting with it ever since. Around the same time I picked up the blue dress in the images below and have been remixing that into a skirt. I was totally inspired by A.’s recent post about turning a strapless summer dress into a shirtdress, and you guys know how much I love “convertible season.” So here are two ideas that I’ve come up with so far for this skirt as a dress: trying a scarf/sash around the top OR using a scarf to give a little more coverage over the shoulders.

Skirt as Dress Option 2 Skirt as Dress Option 2 Skirt as Dress Option 3 Skirt as Dress Option 3

For the blue strapless dress I wore it a few times alone, but one day didn’t feel like being so bare up top and opted for a tank underneath. By pulling the dress (now a skirt) up right below my chest I made a kind of empire waisted dress that fell just below my knee. While I’m not sure that the length is very flattering on me, I know that mid-length skirts are “in” and it is very comfy this way.

Dress as Dress Dress as Dress Dress as Skirt Option 1 Dress as Skirt Option 1

Finally, I wanted to show off one of my favorite pieces of jewelry, which dresses up any outfit. My sister brought these small “evil eyes” back to me from Turkey and I love how they look all together (pun intended). I also strung one on the back so I have an “eye in the back of my head” so to speak.

Evil Eyes

What are your best convertible pieces? How do you style a dress as skirt or vice versa?

Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Dresses for Evening, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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20 July 2011 – Thank you!

July 20th, 2011 § 10 comments §

20 July 2011

Sources:

Dress – thrifted
Sandals – Target
Earrings – gift from A.

Endnotes:

Dear readers,

I hadn’t intended to post again as I’m less than a week before my due date and my mind’s on a million other things. I had my “Top Ten” post all ready for the other Chics to publish for me in case I wasn’t around to do it myself at the end of this month and, with that, I thought I had said my goodbyes.

But reading your comments has made me sad and unwilling to leave it quite at that. (Blame it on the pregnancy hormones, but you guys got me all choked up!) So I thought I’d pop back in just to say another resounding THANK YOU to all of you who have been reading, commenting on, recommending, questioning, challenging, and supporting our site.

Thank you

In yesterday’s comments, one reader asked how much we attributed our style choices to this blog and how we anticipate our style changing in the absence of posting. I’m not sure how to answer that question because I’m sure that my style has been influenced by participating in this online ‘style blogging’ community, but more so than acquiring an eye for trends, participating in this community has very much affected my approach to many theoretical concepts…

How do I use clothing to present myself as an academic, to perform gender, to display/downplay my ethnicity, to support consumer culture, to NOT support consumer culture, and to make more self-conscious choices every time I open my wallet or my closet door.

It’s one thing when you ponder these things on your own and it’s something else entirely to put your thoughts into words for thousands of people to read in one day. It makes you extremely aware of the things you say (and think) and forces you to take a more critical eye to your own writing and thinking. As much as graduate school has challenged me in this way, I can honestly say that our readers have done so just as much. So thank you for such thought-provoking conversations and critical inquiries that have definitely altered and shaped my thinking and writing over the past two and a half years.

As already mentioned in yesterday’s post, I move into a new stage of my life that sees me mothering a girl. Our conversations here on gender roles, gendering, and feminism will undoubtedly influence how I raise her and the values I will seek to instill in her. Similarly, these regular conversations with you, our readers, and with my co-bloggers will leave a lasting mark on how I think about and put into words my thoughts on two gender focused projects I will be tackling this coming year; my dissertation and another writing project in the works.

20 July 2011 20 July 2011

So I guess what I am trying to say is that more than the visual appreciation for aesthetics and style that has been born of this project, I take with me a deeper appreciation for considering, critiquing, and questioning topics of gender and society in relation to the media and the fashion world at hand. If you’re a new-comer to our site, I urge you to take a look at those posts (housed in our Theoretical Archives) in particular and to not skip the comments, which add a richer and more complex take on each point we raised as well.

And for those of you who asked, yes, I will continue to be around on Simply Bike. The focus of that blog is different from this one but I always welcome your comments and visits and appreciate any drop-ins from those so inclined. S.

Farewell for now...

Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pregnancy in Academia
Tags: > >

Up Next For the Chics

July 19th, 2011 § 185 comments §

OMGshoes

All four of us at Academichic have some pretty big life changes up ahead.

  • A. is about to begin a dissertation fellowship and is aiming to wrap up her degree in the next year.
  • E. is about to become a mom of two. But before that happens she’s also teaching a summer class and moving her family into a new home.
  • L. is embarking on her second year of teaching high school English with much more confidence in both her pedagogical abilities as well as her personal style.
  • S. is about to welcome her daughter into the world any day now, and then she, too, is aiming to complete her degree over the next academic year.

That’s what we see ahead for ourselves in the coming months. What we don’t see, though, is the perpetuation of Academichic. After much thought and a little bit of angst, we’ve decided that this project has run its course for us and we’ll be closing up shop at the end of July. We’ll have a much longer, reflective post at that time, but for now we wanted to let you know where we’re heading. We want to leave this site here as a useful archive for everyone who has ever googled “feminism and fashion” or “what to wear to an academic conference” (which is really how this whole project started). To that end, we’ll be launching a series of wrap-up posts, pointing to our favorite past outfits, most enduring resources, most useful DIY projects, and most compelling theoretical posts.

But before we part ways, what do you want to know? Is there still some burning unanswered question you want answered? Let us know. We can’t promise we’ll get to all of them, but we’ll give it a shot.

Finally, thank you. We’ll express our gratitude to you, our readers, in a more extended format later, but for now know that we have treasured your questions, insights, debates, and feedback. We really do think that we have the most thoughtful and thought-provoking commenters out there.

Category: Uncategorized
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