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On returning stuff

Recently, my roommate starred in a music video of one of her songs (it's great--I'll post it when it's edited). Even though I had been minimally involved in the bureaucracy of staged productions in college, I'd never seen a real stylist in action. I'd never seen a team of people so passionately engaged over which pair of patterned tights would go with which bracelets to effect the ideal tone. When I showed up on set to watch it all go down, I was impressed: yes there somehow was a vast, ineffable chasm of cool between a runner-up outfit and the winning one. These people were slick, and they were good!

Also, I never really considered the reality of a stylist's life: that you have to "pull" a bunch of outfits, and then inevitably return a bunch. Suddenly, I started noticing stylists everywhere—they were impeccably dressed and usually flagged by similarly styled acolytes, and they'd canvass the entire store like they were a SWAT team and this was not a smug Eastside boutique but an obvious front for black market chattel. I stepped wisely aside as they swooped in to indict or acquit an entire fleet of size 2s.

I've never been there for a returns session, but I'd imagine it has a corresponding urgency. The only thing I've ever returned was when I was nine, and supervised by my mother—a Christmas gift that was too small, and needed to be upgraded to be properly and gratefully displayed whenever that relative would next be encountered. What about you? Do you have any qualms about returning stuff you buy? Or any good stories if you've been the one behind the counter"¦

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Beardo
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fun
These Super Realistic Ski Masks Let Your Inner Animal Come Out
Beardo
Beardo

No matter how serious you are about your skiing performance, it doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor on the slopes. These convincing animal masks spotted by My Modern Met make it easy to have fun while tearing up the trails.

Each animal mask from the Canadian apparel company Beardo is printed with a photorealistic design of a different animal's face. Skiers can disguise themselves as a bear, dog, fox, orangutan, or even a grumpy-ish cat while keeping their skin warm. The only part of the face that stays exposed is around the eyes, but a pair of ski goggles allows wearers to disappear completely into their beastly persona.

The playful gear is practical as well. The stretchy polyester material is built to shield skin from wind and UV rays, while the soft fleece lining keeps faces feeling toasty.

Beardo's animal ski masks are available through their online store for $35. If you like to stay cozy in style, here are more products to keep you warm this winter.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

[h/t My Modern Met]

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iStock
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Live Smarter
Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
iStock
iStock

For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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