DIY Denim Distressing: Here’s how to do it

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We love a good recipe. But our favorite kind is less stirring and sautéing, more ripping and repairing. Yep, we’re talking denim distressing recipes, aka how to get that loved and lived-in look you want (and play denim designer at the same time). Below, you’ll find three of our tried-and-true denim distressing formulas, for right-now details like raw hems and artful tears. You’ll need: scissors, a seam ripper, a Dremel rotary tool (not as scary as it sounds, Google it), elbow grease and confidence. You got this.

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HOLIDAY DIYS: WRAPPING, CRAFTING, TREE TRIMMING, CARD DESIGNING…4 EASY PROJECTS (BECAUSE IT’S NOW OR NEVER, FOLKS)

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There are certain inalienable holiday truths: You’re gonna need some gifts, they won’t wrap themselves and the perfect card requires a bit of lipstick and Mod Podge. OK, that last one might be a stretch, but handmade anything, no matter the materials, is really special. Crafted details—those little things your recipient knows could’ve only come from you—make all the difference. Thanks to the wonders of Instagram, we’ve noticed a few of our team members here at Madewell have serious skills in this arena, so we asked them to share their favorite DIY projects for the season. Best part? You’ll need, like, 30 minutes tops and minimal supplies for each one.

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How To Care For Your Sweaters: 10 Tips

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Photography by Angi Welsch

One day, our clothing will launder, fold and care for itself. Until then, we’re stuck with the job of wearer and carer. This sweater season, we are learning the art of skipping the dry cleaner and de-pilling, de-shrinking and hand washing at home, with 10 tips from the experts at New York-based garment-care boutique Madame Paulette.

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Fernanda’s 5-Ingredient Pineapple Guacamole

140606_MWSM_FernandaRecipes_245 The last place we want to be on a steamy summer weekend is in front of a hot stove, but a girl’s gotta eat and, if she’s lucky, maybe entertain a few friends. We paid a visit to our foodie friend Fernanda de la Puente and sampled her crowd-pleasing cool-down summer snack.

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Eat Well: Fernanda’s 5-Ingredient Chia Smoothie

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Armed with the belief that clean eating doesn’t need to involve more ingredients than a great outfit—or take longer than getting dressed—we asked Peruvian-born, New York-based holistic nutritionist Fernanda de la Puente for a few five-ingredients-or-less recipes. (As she put it, “food shouldn’t be stressful. The meal is a moment in time, even if it’s just breakfast alone.”) This month, she schooled us on the ingredient of the moment: chia seeds.

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How To Care For A Leather Bag: 5 Tips

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A brand-new bag has its appeal, but there’s nothing better than the warm familiarity of one you’ve broken in and had for years—which is why we design our leather bags to last forever. But like any long-term love affair, a little TLC is required, so we asked our in-house leather experts for advice.

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Plant Care 101 with The Sill: 7 Tips

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Some are lucky enough to be born with green thumbs, but for the rest of us, those skills could often use some serious, ahem, cultivation. Enter, The Sill. Founded by Eliza Blank with the simple ambition of inspiring people to bring the outdoors in, this thoroughly modern online plant shop (and compendium of all things plant related) is just the thing for greenery-deprived urban dwellers. More than apartment eye candy, plants have been proven to boost creativity and productivity and curb stress and fatigue. But before you take the plant plunge, Blank shares a few rules of (green) thumb.

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Good Stuff: 4 Natural Beauty Products We’re Loving

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Vitamin D deficiencies aside, there’s really something about this time of year that makes us want to give our skin some extra TLC. And in the spirit of spring cleaning, we’re caring for ourselves with clean products (translation: no weird ingredients we can’t pronounce). Here are a few we’d happily give a gold (or, you know, green) star.

Province Apothecary™ Parfum Botanique No. 7: From holistic health practitioner Julie Clark, this small-batch organic perfume oil features a mix of bergamot, sandalwood, juniper berry and bay laurel—which means it smells like the best vacation ever.

Province Apothecary Lip Balm: Healing and soothing, this all-natural balm glides over lips without leaving any stickiness behind (plus, the peppermint gives it an amazingly fresh tingle). We can feel good about using it too: Clark grows some of the ingredients herself and buys the rest from local farmers.

Jao® Brand Hand Refresher: Yes, this kills germs—but this hydrating, fresh-smelling gel has none of the alcohol-y notes of typical antibacterials. We love it so much, we’ve been known to apply it very liberally—not a bad thing, considering picnic season is right around the corner.

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Jao Brand Goe Oil: Works on, well, everything and looks lovely on the bathroom sink (and we believe that matters just a bit). This one-size-fixes-all balm, when warmed between hands, melts into a liquid that does everything from soothing dry feet and hands to smoothing flyaways. Plus, the 28 natural oils have calming, healing properties.

Find them all at madewell.com and grab some beauty rest while you wait for them to arrive.

Noticed: The Demi-Tucked Button-Down Shirt

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Less than a half tuck, this tiny little style tweak is all about finding the mathematical happy place: 80 percent untucked, 20 percent tucked (and only up in front), making it easy to recognize the new demi-tuck when it waltzes by you on the street. (And since there’s something so laissez-faire about the whole thing, popping on a French demi only makes sense.)

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