Cardboardeaux and Glossier Maxx
after school weekend edition
Hi friends! Welcome back to After School ✨weekend edition✨, an extra long and extra opinionated youth culture digest. This usually goes to paid subscribers only, but since I skipped Thursday’s letter due to travel, it’s going out to everyone. Hope you enjoy — and if you do, please consider becoming a paid sub. It means the world to me!
I’m writing to you from rural Missouri where it is nearly 100 degrees and the air is so thick I can hardly sip my coffee. The best kind of weather! Before I get consumed by mosquitos and/or start consuming bourbon slush (Lewis family recipe), let’s jump into it.
Today we’re talking about:
The exercise dress one-upping Outdoor Voices’ signature style
Trapp Family meets TikTok
The actual drink of the summer ONCE AND FOR ALL
Boxed wine but…chic?
Exposed thongs but…feminist???
Little Miss memes
The hottest new collab: Glossier x TJ Maxx
And so much more, including everything I’m buying, reading, listening to, etc!
⚡ Trends ⚡
If 2021 was all about the Outdoor Voices exercise dress, 2022 it about the Reformation exercise dress. Currently taking over TikTok (and currently sold out in many sizes), the $98 two-tone Milana Ecomove Dress — with built-in shorts and a sweetheart bodice — is racking up likes, comments, and pledges to purchase.
Exactly how cool is Hoka — the running shoe that’s been around for more than a decade — these days? Cool enough to inspire the following headline from Vice: “Hoka’s Bondi 8 Just Launched, and We’re Simping.” (Ngl, as a devoted Hoka runner, I, too, am simping.)
Catbird did not invent welding, but its welded jewelry has become like Cartier love bracelets for Gen Z — given both their permanence and the fact that they're a fraction of the price.
The exposed thong trend makes a statement in the post-Roe v. Wade world.
Also trending post-Roe: Vasectomies!
Unfortunately natural birth control seems to be also having a moment, with influencers hyping alternatives to the pill, the patch and IUDs. “Much of it feels like a 21st-century ‘wellness’ reboot of contraceptive strategies that have been around for centuries,” MEL Magazine (rip) writes, “albeit with a greater emphasis on how you can gauge your fertility from day-to-day using advanced thermometers and apps.”
High Noon’s ascent is evidence of the hottest trend in alcohol: Pre-mixed canned cocktails including seltzers made with real liquor are creeping into occasions once owned by beer, including Fourth of July cookouts, beach outings, boat rides and other places spirits products rarely went, until recently. As demand surges, a new market share battle is taking place among beer and spirits companies big and small, which are pumping out new canned cocktails at a dizzying pace.
New startup Juliet is trying to make boxed wine chic. Their founders, Allison Luvera and Lauren De Niro Pipher, have backgrounds at Perrier-Joüet, Virgin Galactic, and Vogue — so I’m inclined to think they’ll succeed. (Another vote of confidence: They’ve already gotten co-signs from decidedly chic people like Parade founder Cami Tellez.)
WWD compiled a list of the 20 best luxury shoes, according to experts, and I found it to be enlightening! Some highlights: Adidas x Gucci’s Gazelle Sneaker (an extremely good pair of shoes — I didn’t know they existed, and now I desperately need them), Miu Miu’s Penny Loafer Slingback, and Alaïa’s Studded Mary Jane Flats.
"Little Miss" memes are going viral online. In June 2022, American Girl dolls received the meme treatment. Now, social media users are associating themselves with a literary character that was consistently found on the shelves of young millennials.
BeReal, the anti-Instagram loved by Gen Z, has officially entered the meme phase of its ascent. This could be a sign that BeReal is already on its way out (orrrr it could also just be that BeReal has an extremely meme-able format).
⚡ Biz ⚡
Glossier products are being sold at TJ Maxx, according to Reddit. I guess I will now be forced to go to my local TJ Maxx to investigate. (I passionately love TJ Maxx.)
Aerie debuts an anti-shapewear shapewear collection. Brilliant.
Fast-fashion favorite Mango ended the first six months of the year with sales at a 24.8 percent increase — and their banking on continued growth with a new market: teens. The company launched its first Mango Teen store concept, dedicated exclusively to adolescents, in Barcelona last month; the company plans to end the year with 11 locations. We’ve seen a lot of “for teen” concepts pop up in the last few years. I suspect the ones with less explicitly “teen” names (for instance, Gap Teen vs Victoria’s Secret’s Happy Nation) tend to have more staying power, but time will tell.
Speaking of: Thinx is rebranding its line aimed at younger consumers from “Thinx BTWN” to “Thinx Teens.” They also tapped the great Pamela Adlon.
How about Chicken Nugs for Teens™? KFC is testing just that: "We're targeting younger customers, like Gen Z and Millennials, who are interested in boneless chicken options," said a KFC spokesperson. I guess their splashy partnership with Jack Harlow didn’t get them the youth consumer boost they were hoping for.
Offering a glimmer of hope during Netflix’s slump, Stranger Things was a smash for the streamer this quarter. Everything else? Not so much.
And now: Netflix bets big on The Gray Man, a movie I had not heard of until I saw this headline, though that may say more about me than it does about this movie’s publicity. Anyway, the streaming service hopes its latest release can be the start of a blockbuster franchise that attracts much-needed subscribers.
Esports team-turned-lifestyle brand FaZe Clan goes public in $725 million SPAC, but the Gen Z creator economy stock sinks in debut.
71 cities and towns are paying tech workers to abandon Silicon Valley, and it’s working.
I wonder how long that’ll last, though. As top tech companies prepare to release their quarterly earnings reports starting next week, investors are bracing for bad news.
⚡ TikTok ⚡
TikTok is the fastest growing source of news for adults in the UK, a new survey finds. Not great!
And TikTok is one of Gen Z’s most trusted sources for financial advice, according to another new survey.
And yet another survey finds that TikTok is wreaking havoc on our finances and happiness.
And yet! another! new! survey! finds that nearly 40% of young adults said they spend more of their money on experiences than necessities like paying bills, in part because they want to share it on TikTok. It’s almost as if all of these surveys are telling a larger story or something…
Officials in Nepal have banned TikTokers from religious and historic attractions like the Buddhist pilgrimage site Lumbini, Kathmandu’s Boudhanath Stupa, and the Ram Janaki and Gadhimai temples. “Making TikTok by playing loud music creates a nuisance for pilgrims from all over the world who come to the birthplace of Gautama Buddha,” the Lumbini Development Trust’s Sanuraj Shakya told Rest of World. “We have banned TikTok-making in and around the sacred garden, where the main temples are located.”
A Florida emu finds fame on TikTok.
And so does a Florida chef. Her “Pink Sauce” — allegedly made out of dragon fruit, sunflower seed oil, chili, garlic, and honey. — is going absolutely viral on TikTok. Chef Pii, 29, who promotes herself as a personal Miami-based chef, has been forced on the defensive after social media users questioned the legality and ingredients of her product.
Everyone on TikTok is making butter because the price of storebought butter is skyrocketing thanks to inflation.
Footage of double cream being poured into jam jars, protein shakers and stand mixers are becoming inescapable on TikTok’s For You Page. Videos tagged #ButterTok have just over 280 million views, with videos transforming cream into artisanal butter and how-tos on how to churn your own in your home kitchen.
Trapp Family meets TikTok: A TikTok family of ten homeschooled string-virtuoso children and their parents are driving their airstream trailer from a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco right onto your itty bitty iPhone screen, all the while misappropriating viral song clips about sex for their wholesome Trapp Family Singers-style family band content.
Meet the happy little househusbands of TikTok.
TikTok has been obsessed with manifestation for awhile, but now they have a new technique to fixate on: The honey method starts with people adding a drop of honey to one fingertip before making a cross formation on their tongues. While doing this, they have to say the name of their crush. Sounds like a sure bet to me.
⚡ Other things I read, bought, loved ⚡
Reading: “Brides Are Suffocating Under the Weight of Tradition,” Jezebel; “Life Is a Highway (Finally),” The Cut; “Audrey Gelman on Life After The Wing,” Vanity Fair; “Cazzie David Reverse Manifested Her Way Onto Netflix,” WWD
Listening: I listened to 16 hours of music on my road trip, some good, some bad. Highlights, old and new: “Woah Woah” by Mustard and Young Thug, “Flex Up” by Lil Uzi Vert, “Plan B” by Megan Thee Stallion, “Big Energy” by Latto, and the entire “Party Cove” Spotify country playlist (when in Missouri…)
Buying: After several years of being a dedicated Superga fan, I’ve reverted back to Converse low-tops which for the last few years felt too basic (and still maybe do…?) but are so much more comfortable. I also re-upped on my favorite t-shirt, the UO Best Friend Tee. I’ve mostly aged out of Urban Outfitters but this tee is the exception. And finally, I had quite the haul from The Bottle Shop in Columbus, Ohio while passing through town. If you live nearby — or even several hours out — it’s worth it for its outstanding selection of natty wine. (Get the Les Vins Pirouettes Ultra Violet; it’ll change your life.)
Watching: Aside from a couple of Forensic Files in hotel rooms, I’ve watched nothing but corn fields. Ideal, honestly!