Photo: gyn9038 (iStock)
Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

Store-brand saviors?

I never realized store-brand goods were so lacking in the U.S., but according to this interesting piece in the Harvard Business Review, 51 percent of products on U.K. grocery-store shelves are store-brand. In America, it’s just 15 percent. The HBR piece goes on to suggest that at a time when traditional U.S. grocery stores are under threat from Amazon/Whole Foods, plus Aldi and other discount retailers, totally unsexy store brands could be what saves them. I usually opt for the store-brand versions of boring items like corn starch or egg noodles, but you better believe I’m loyal to my hippie-brand bread. [Kate Bernot]


Tom & Lorenzo’s Sharp Objects fashion analysis

Patricia Clarkson in Sharp Objects
Photo: Anne Marie Fox (HBO)

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I’m still not over HBO’s ploddingly spooky Sharp Objects series, which wrapped up a few weeks ago with an ending that will haunt me for life (shudder). But just when I didn’t think I could appreciate that series more than I already do, I discovered that Tom & Lorenzo are offering their beyond-valuable fashion analysis of the complex series.

I first fell for the pair’s blog when they offered weekly fashion breakdowns (s well as episodic reviews) of my beloved Mad Men. It’s startling how much you can read into a scene just by looking at the costuming, or even the set design, and these two could lead a grad-school seminar on analysis of TV visuals. Kicking off this series, they caution: “Sharp Objects will have a lot to say and show about traditionally feminine modes of presentation.” Lead Camille (Amy Adams) is introduced as a tomboy, for example. Her sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen) strays from perfect dresses in fruit prints to tube socks and roller skates. But just the print on matriarch Adora (Patricia Clarkson)’s dress above is breathtaking; at first glance it looks like a floral, but a closer inspection reveals insects, some with prominent stingers. I don’t want to reveal anything else for the unspoiled, but both the series and the T&L series analysis are worthy of intense study. [Gwen Ihnat]