issue #281:  cozy pottery and summer sandwiches 🥪

Issue #281 - August 19, 2022
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A cozy dose of comfort for your inbox. A weekly newsletter with musings on and recommendations for downtime.

A shell of a time. / Photo: Ark Elements

Happy Friday !

The weather's cooled here and back-to-school season is abuzz. With each coming of fall (I know, I know, we have one more month of summer) comes a deep moment of introspection and reflection, at least for me. With that in mind, I wanted to share this advice on how to make a difficult decision from this book I'm reading:

“People can waste years agonizing over the choices they've made, but agonizing is a time suck... Only by taking action can we build our way forward. This is key to choosing happiness and being happy with our choices. When in doubt...let go and move on.”

Forward motion—that's all we can count on, to not get stuck and wonder what if. Hope you have a good weekend! ❤️  —Alisha


This Week's Recommendations

  1. A wholesome music rec from a reader: “Your playlist recommendation reminded me of a playlist my sister shared with me when she was visiting this summer: it's on Spotify, called Grandma's Home. It's so good. Tons of throwbacks to the 60s, 70s, as well as current and earlier jams. I like playing it on Fridays at work while I groom the dogs I'm training. Give it a listen!” —Emily M. in Dallas
  2. A perfect summer sandwich: Is this the mouthwatering comfort food of summer? (Don't skip the balsamic glaze!)
  3. Get those electrolytes. LMNT is a tasty drink mix with a science-backed electrolyte ratio with no sugar, coloring, or artificial ingredients. Their single-serve packets are an easy way to stay energized and hydrated (especially in this heat!). Get a free gift with purchase.   Sponsor 
  4. Comfy fall shoes *only*: This one is a comfortable classic that's already selling out and this one is our cozy WFH standby. Neither are very pretty. We like that.
  5. Brilliant: Love these portraits of motherhood by artist Madeline Donaghue.
  6. A highbrow, high drama show to get into: Industry, Season 2 on HBO Max. This show, which is flying under the radar a bit, is about young people working in a high-pressure investment firm in London. The characters are messy, hustle, and play dirty to get what they want — extremely not the 2022 vibe, which makes it distanced enough from reality to enjoy, rather than avoid. If you liked the vibe of Succession, Severance, or Girls, you might like Industry.
  7. Some cozy new pottery: One of our favorite brands just launched these perfect small mugs.
  8. This award-winning brand of consciously-crafted canned wine is a relaxation ritual in a can. Each serving is 1.5 glasses of premium wine (aka the ideal size) and has no added sugar, making it the perfect go-to drink for your next night in. Use code GNI for 15% off!  Sponsor 
  9. A new home decor collab we like:  This mirror from the Sarah Sherman Samuel x Lulu and Georgia collection is *chef's kiss*.
  10. One more time for us fantasy nerds: "I promise this is the last time I'll mention it here but if you're also hyped for House of the Dragon this weekend, I recommend reading this book which the show is partly based on. It spills some serious Targaryen tea and I can't put it down at night." -Alisha
  11. Lol: For your next friendly gathering.

This week's Sponsor:

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Footwear approved by Gen Z

Ask A Gen Z: Is Gen Z *Really* Wearing All That?

For the second installment of our series, GNI reader Faith asks: What is Gen Z ACTUALLY wearing? 

Great question. To most millennials, it may seem that Gen Z is on top of and responsible for every new fashion trend these days, whether it’s low-rise jeans or cut-outs. But what I found in my interviews and research on generational consumer trends is that there is no dominant style among Gen Z – or, really, any generation – despite what headlines would like you to think.

“I’m not trying to go out and buy the newest, trendiest thing all the time. I’m trying to be a little more conscious about the things that I’m buying,” says Sarah, a 24-year-old I spoke with who logs her outfits on @everyoutfitiworethisyear

Em, the 23-year-old behind the fashion Instagram and blog Human Repeller, is aware of trends but skeptical of them. They noted that there’s a big difference “between what we consider trends – tautologically dictated by like five people at Vogue – versus what kids are actually wearing and can afford.”

Rather than being trend-driven, all the young people I spoke with had distinctly different senses of style, though there were some commonalities. Ahead are some prevailing trends among Gen Z, according to my interviews…

Big Trousers Are Trending

Tailored trousers, not unlike the ones Elaine Benes is known to wear in Seinfeld, are a rather unlikely trend among young people, guys and girls alike. The more voluminous the leg and the greater the pleats (yes, pleats), the better. “I’m a skirt or dress girl at heart, but I am pro-trousers,” says Sarah. “The Matilda Djerf-ification of the trouser-blazer outfit is not really my style,” she adds, referencing the influencer known for her dramatic pants and oversized blazers, but she’s excited to wear pants with sneakers this fall. 

Sneakers (and Comfort) Continue to Rule

Air Forces, which were once the dominant shoe among Gen Z, are “more of a middle school kind of thing,” says Paloma, a 15-year-old high schooler. Now it’s all about Converses — “high top and platform” – as well as Vejas, Stan Smiths, and white high-top Vans. Sarah, who is “a big loafer girl,” has “recently discovered shoes that are actually comfortable and I’m kind of obsessed with them. I’m not a person who has ever prioritized comfort when it comes to getting dressed. My feet bleed on the regular.” But on a trip abroad, she picked up a pair of Nike Air Rift Breathe, a tabi-toe mary jane. It’s the “kind of shoe that’s so ugly they’re cute again,” she says, but most importantly, they’re super comfortable. 

Speaking of Comfort: Leggings Are Still In

Though Gen Z is dressing up more when the occasion arises, comfort remains a priority – especially for younger Gen Zers. Paloma says she and her classmates mostly wear athleisure. “I think athletic brands are kind of timeless. Certain trends come and go, but everybody's always working out,” she says. Lululemon and Alo are her favorites, along with labels like Free People, Madhappy, and Aviator Nation. She says “everyone” wears leggings to school and notes that though flared leggings (or “yoga pants,” to millennials) have emerged as a trend, classic ones – especially the Lululemon Align – remain popular. 

And Sweatshirts Are A Statement

For Gen Z, a sweatshirt is more than a sweatshirt. It’s a statement. “Sweatshirts are huge,” Paloma says. “People put a lot of effort into what sweatshirt they buy. No one wants to have a bunch of sweatshirts. It’s cooler to have a few good ones that you can wear with everything and that you can basically wear every other day.” She says a lot of people have the Nirvana sweatshirt from Urban Outfitters, and both the scuba hoodie and scuba half-zip from Lululemon have emerged as go-to's “because they're simple but super comfortable.”

With Denim, Anything Goes

All of the Gen Zers I spoke to confirmed that skinny jeans are, as the headlines suggest, over, but not one of them mentioned low-rise jeans – to my own great relief. “No more skinny jeans,” says Paloma. It’s all about “flared, looser jeans.” She says people wear straight-leg jeans and wide-leg jeans, too, but flares are the most popular because “they look the most flattering.” As for brands, she named the usual suspects: Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Hollister, and Levi’s. Sarah is also anti-skinny jean. She considers herself a jeans minimalist (“It’s the only place in my life that I’m a minimalist”), and owns just two pairs of jeans. “They’re both vintage Levi’s that I bought years ago, one blue, one black, both high-rise and straight-leg. I’ve tried having other pairs of jeans, but I never wear them because these jeans just fit me so perfectly.” 

Ask A Gen Z is written by youth culture expert Casey Lewis of the After School newsletter. Curious for more? Send any q's you have about Gen Z right this way for a future installment.

This Week's Reads

  1. How to Handle ‘Energy Vampires’ at Work (SELF)
  2. What to Actually Do About an Unequal Partnership (Culture Study) — Related to our previous newsletter issue on the same topic.
  3. That Dinner Tab Has Soared. Here Are All the Reasons. (The New York Times gift link) — A fun and interactive read answering a really good question: why is dinner so expensive?
  4. To Get Out of Your Head, Get Out of Your House (The Atlantic) 
  5. Why Do We Love TikTok Audio Memes? (The New York Times gift link) — Nobody’s gonna know. They’re gonna know. A fun read and backstory of one of the best TikTok audio memes, among others.
See a good read or cozy recommendation our readers might like? Send us a note at
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