This post originally appeared on March 12, 2019, in “Add to Cart” — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
I couldn’t tell you which colors were cool at specific times in my life. I guess lime green had a moment back when I shopped at Limited Too, but it was hardly the color of the mid-’90s. I don’t think any single hue was, at least not in the way pink is now.
As Laura Fenton describes so well on Eater this week, pink has become the dominant shade of, well, everything: restaurants (walls, chairs, tables, dishes), but also beauty packaging, home decor, advertising, coworking spaces, and (to a lesser extent, ironically) clothing. A single aesthetic trend sweeping across so many categories may seem like a rare occurrence, but it will likely become increasingly common and happen more quickly. “In the 20th century, it took seven years for a color to migrate from fashion into the home,” Leatrice Eiseman, a color consultant and Pantone executive, told Fenton. “Today it’s almost instantaneous.”
That instantaneousness can make shopping daunting if you’re the kind of person who cares about trends. The space between the bleeding edge and the peak, in which you can enjoy the novelty of your shiny new thing before everyone else does too? That moment now comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and any purchase you’ve made or wall you’ve painted or photo you’ve posted almost immediately feels basic, derivative, “foolish sameness.” That feeling is especially acute when a trend is so dominant in public spaces — restaurant banquettes, bars, tableware, food trucks, to-go cups, actual cocktails.
In short, nailing a trend at the perfect point in the curve is nearly impossible. The best strat, though it’s not easy, may be to unapologetically embrace the trends you truly like — get the pink plates, paint that accent wall, blend up another round of frosé — and get comfortable sitting out the ones you don’t.
Things to buy
- Much of the Eater office has been on a boba kick since publishing the Eater Guide to Taipei. One fun nugget of intel from the guide’s exhaustive boba taxonomy: In Taipei, “a shoulder-slung boba cupholder is the must-have accessory.” They’re pretty hard to find stateside, but Etsy has some options, if such a quirky, single-purpose accessory piques your interest.
- For more, um, eye-popping boba merch, check out the bathing suit on actor Simu Liu. Made by men’s clothing brand Eubi, the boba prints are unfortunately sold out, but the sushi swim trunks and sunnyside-up egg swim trunks are pretty endearing (and would make a fun Father’s Day or birthday gift).
- Ask a chef to get honest and they’ll tell you their go-to kitchen tool isn’t a utensil or appliance, but plastic takeout containers. Luckily, they’re pretty darn cheap.
- The latest Shop the Restaurant spotlights Bavel, the much-lauded LA restaurant that’s a plant lover’s dream and a picture-perfect encapsulation of a few modern trends (brass, white marble, copper). But a more vintage-feeling detail caught my eye: the ridged glass Duralex tumblers, which feel glamorous and refreshing in contrast to all the sleek minimalist stuff out there.
Things to know
- Marie Kondo is said to be raising $40 million in venture capital funding to grow her KonMari business, including “plans to build an ecommerce platform.” Because you know what else sparks joy, besides tidying up? Shopping.
- Two weeks ago, I wrote about the concept of try-before-you-buy and how I would’ve loved to test out my salad plates before buying them. About a week ago, DTC dishware brand Year & Day launched try-before-you-buy, which it’s calling “Pick Your Palette”: Shoppers can order a free kit with the brand’s bowls, plates, and mugs to use for a week; when the trial period ends, send it all back or get charged for whatever you keep. Such a model may sound silly when you can walk into plenty of stores and see plates IRL. But if you want the ease of the online, DTC shopping experience (aka would prefer to buy literally everything without leaving your home), try-before-you-buy isn’t such a bad compromise.
- Then again, you can just go with what you know: Long live CorningWare.
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