Fashion Trends Simplified

I’ve heard people talk about fashions changing in response to cultural norms and social dynamics. I think it can be simplified beyond that:

1 – Kids rebel against their parents.

I’ll use a classic example, the white t-shirt. Originally used only as an undershirt, youth took to wearing the undergarment by itself as a way to rebel against the traditional social stigma of their parents during the 1950s. The poster child? James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause, 1955. It may not seem like much, but this opened the door for The Beatles whose long hair continued the rebellious youth until we reached Led Zepplin in the 1960s and then the 1970s were mayhem.

2 – Adults just wanting to feel like a kid again.

I was born in the late 80s so my first fashion conscious decisions were made in the 1990s. Think, fanny packs, funky patterns, neon colors, washed/faded/ripped denim, windbreakers, or this kid.

my-ilaria-90s-fashionWhat styles are back in my mid-life era? Fanny packs, clashing patterns, neon jewelry, the Canadian tuxedo. In fact, I sometimes pick my outfit based on non-matching-ness. Welcome back, five year-old ilaria. Like this guy.

Hipster_Dude(But really, that has to be the same person, right?)

This is partially tongue-in-cheek, but let’s be honest. Why else do we make decisions as young people? And really, I think if we all challenged our parents’ accepted norms, and lived as happy as kindergartners, the world would be as awesome as a new slammer.

Don’t you agree?


Influential Thinkers: Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein

“If ever there were a year for Big Ideas, and a frustration at not hearing them from our leaders, 2012 was it.”

-Foreign Policy

Since 2005, Foreign Policy magazine has built an annual list of those people considered to be the most influential thinkers of that year. The list is built on reader’s ballots and focuses on key living public intellectuals who are active in the public eye.

This year’s top thinkers are Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein, “For showing that change can happen anywhere, even in one of the world’s most repressive states.” If you don’t know the story of the Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, I recommend reading about her. TIME magazine wrote a fascinating article about her not too long ago.


The modern history of Myanmar (Burma) is a fascinating study on the tug-o-war between extremist government and the will of the people, and Aung San has been a beautiful symbol of peaceful but powerful resistance.

Burma gained independence from Britain in 1947, in large part due to Aung San’s father Bogyoke (General) Aung San. After Bogyoke’s assassination, his wife became an influential politician in the new Burmese government as ambassador to India and Nepal.


I think it’s fascinating a newly widowed, young mother would be appointed this position by the government then, not long after, the government of the same country becomes notorious for various and violent violations of human rights, and harsh restrictions on freedom of speech.

The beauty of the change in Burma/Myanmar is that it happened slowly and in large part thanks to the patience and selflessness of two people. It’s difficult when I see all the dirt of the world, it makes me feel impossibly small and useless.

“It’s also testament to the notion that individuals and their ideas can truly change the world, a theme that resonates in ways large and small throughout this year’s list”

-Foreign Policy

The biggest lesson for me is one person can make a difference, it just takes time and work, and that inspires me to keep going.

What inspires you to keep going?

Wordnik: Think

If you have not heard of, I recommend you go check it out immediately, especially if you consider yourself a linguaphile. It’s like Google and the Oxford English Dictionary had a child; its slogan is “Connecting people with meaning.”


You can search for a word and then just jump around every possible tool they offer to help you understand and use the word: definition, usage, connection, variation, rhymes. You can also create lists of words to save interesting or related words and see other people’s lists.

Here are my highlights from the “think” entry. I picked anything that gave me a deeper understanding of thinking or words I think are fun to say:

v. To have or formulate in the mind; To reason about or reflect on; To devise or evolve; To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment.
idiom. think big

Cogitate, Muse, Imagine

Hypernyms (words that are more generic or abstract):
Ideate, Envisage, Weighing

Hyponyms (Words that are more specific):
Plan, Speculate, Philosophis(z)ing

Think Quotes:


“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”
Swami Vivekananda (Hindu Monk)



“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King Jr. (Activist)

What are your thoughts on thinking? Share what inspires you to think.

A Challenge to Think

to think: Have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about someone or something

I was a highly introspective child and I considered thinking to be easy, and because the definition of thinking is the act of having thoughts, it was easy for me.

As I’ve gotten older and developed more complicated thoughts and opinions, I feel like I struggle to think, as though my mind is not sure how to move thought effectively or in a constructive and interesting way. I know that isn’t fair. I’m smart and I know how to “think” but I want to be better at constructing thoughts. It analyzing information and events in a way that creates connections and enlightens me.

Tangentially, I want to explore the creativity and thought that goes into different theories, developments and creations from government to fashion.

p.s. Fifty points for using “tangentially.”