ruffles and uprisings—now in fashion

 Issa Rae in a light green ruffled top and light blue pants and white sneakers looking super lovely in an outdoor shot for Madewell. (Photo of Issa Rae on Madewell) 

Puffed sleeves and ruffles. Subtle tie-dye, baby doll dresses. Spring fashion is on with a nod to Anne of Green Gables’ sweet sensibilities with a punch of sixties uprising. It might just reflect our dueling drives for comfort and revolution right now, seemingly at odds, they may not be. 

Young, beautiful black woman in a white with light green tie-dyed sweatshirt and light blue jeans, sitting crosse-legged.

(Photos from Madewell)

Nestled in bed with my three kids re-watching reruns of Anne with an E, while thumbing through Madewell’s spring line, I think about how our clothes are an expression of what’s going on around us, as well as one of hope.


I’m not donning a bubble baby doll dress anytime soon—for reasons weather-related and otherwise—that outfit falls squarely in the hope column for me, but I love that it exists. Anne’s fiery rapport with Gilbert Blythe draws me back to the preteen drama, I smile in all the same places.

The familiarity and oversized bows are comforting. The themes are more au courrant than they should be, I wish our fights didn’t feel quite so familiar: women’s rights, racial justice, affordable healthcare and housing, viruses that wipe out entire regions and peoples. I feel we get the balance wrong, we should look back for more than fashion inspiration and take to heart the potential for lessons-learned.

I read an excellent article in The Atlantic: 5 Pandemic Mistakes We Keep RepeatingIt’s a daunting read, but worth it.

Black and white photo of Dr. Fauci and a vaccine.(Photo from The Atlantic)

My takeaways are this: We should be more joyful than we are about the success of finding not one, but several effective vaccines. That our leaders should trust we can handle nuanced messages filled with greater truths than dictums. That we can gather, outside, with some caution and much needed togetherness. Life is risk, it's uncertain. We don’t always do well acknowledging this—but it doesn’t make it any less true. Have a read, I’d love to know your take. 

These are uncertain times—they always have been—more so for some peoples than others. 

I keep coming back to my conversations with Joanne Heyman, an integrative coach who guides people through their personal evolutions, dealing with uncertainties. Coaxing out inner strengths, characteristics we all possess, though sometimes find difficult to tap, Joanne has this gentle way of helping people understand what fuels them, finding the much needed energy to sustain. Her class, finding joy—how + when to make a change, is one I’m really looking forward to. And looking forward is something we all need to do, informed by the experiences of our collective past. 

Joanne Heyman in white patent leather boots in a 70's class photos of white students in various plaids and cords.

(Joanne at 11 in her white patent leather boots, all hope for all that’s to come…)

I’ll leave you with these songs, Resilient by Rising Appalachia—and Glorious: “Oh what a day! GLORIOUS!” Sing it, MaMuse, believe it. 

Until next week, be the change, you have it in you—Sandra

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