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Tomato grannies & brassica boys

“There are no tomatoes in this recipe,” my husband, Chris, will say. “You can’t just add random things.”

Or, “Tomatoes aren’t in season; they’ll taste like cardboard.” But I can’t be resonated with. It’s hard to stop me from adding tomatoes.

And I never regret it.

There’s something about the tomato—actually, all the nightshade fruits, but especially the tomato—that I can't get enough of. 

Maybe it’s the Sicilian-American in my lineage. (I know tomatoes didn’t originate in Italy, but they’ve thoroughly worked their way into the cuisine over, idk, like a million pizza-years?)

The happiest baby Allegra you ever saw had a bowl of rigatoni swimming in Hunt’s tomato sauce. You know, the kind that comes in a tiny can and is basically just a thin purée of tomatoes and salt.

I was never a tomato snob.

But as I’ve matured, I’ve come to appreciate the superiority of a good tomato, prepared well: Say, a fresh sauce from fine, ripe San Marzanos.

What is this, a food blog? No. Food is just a head-smackingly good analogy for clothing in

so many ways.

Here’s one: An outfit is a dish.

The dish is part of a cuisine: your style.

The exact recipes can vary. Like an Italian grandma, you're going to want to put your own spin on them.

A refinement of the “recipe” might involve a more thoughtfully architected design.

(Here's an example from my catalogue: the Core Wrap skirt, a classic A-line skirt, but with deep pockets and a carefully structured adjustable waistband that makes it the 5-star experience of skirts.)

Satisfied with the recipe?

Now it's time to really step up this dish. 

It's time to refine the ingredients.

Now we're talking about clothes again. (Get a snack if you're hungry. I'll wait.)

Want to upgrade your key “ingredients?” Higher quality fabrics could be just the thing.

Since you're here, you probably already agree… but to review, natural plant fibers rule for three simple and unassailable reasons:

  1. Plant fibers don’t shed microplastics.

  2. Plant fibers are machine washable.

  3. Plant fibers feel good on your skin.

Ethics. Ease. Pleasure.


If that isn’t a winning trio, I don’t know what is! And I work with some really nice ones that you can choose for Demi Custom projects or find in all the ready-to-wear samples.

Like vine-ripened San Marzano tomatoes in a sauce, a good fabric will instantly improve your outfit.


However you perfect (or experiment on) your recipes, don’t forget to consult the part of you that knows what you love. It's in there, somewhere, and it matters.

If someone said to me, “Stop eating tomatoes; kohlrabi is trending!!!” I’d be crazy to ditch my sauce.

Brassicas will never replace nightshades.

Reply and tell me: What's your favorite ingredient—in food or in clothes?

Seriously, I want to know!

Linen and cotton dyed with local acorns.

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