Tag Archives: Clothing

Hoodies In The Hood

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Some fashion ideas vanish rather quickly. Legwarmers, for instance, are not likely to be seen on any runways anytime soon, and it would seem unlikely that any there’ll be too many requests for mullets at upscale salons in the near future. Other fashion trends never seem to die. There may be variations on the themes, but there always seems to be some incarnation of certain clothing items in any given year. Leggings, for instance, are not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon, every wardrobe will always have a little black dress, and no one will ever get beef for wearing a hoodie.

The hoodie’s distinctive blend of attitude and comfort have made it a staple of the western wardrobe, appropriate for everyone from children to soccer moms, to sullen teens, to rappers, to celebrities. Make no mistake, however, the hoodie has a lot more to it than just a warm sweatshirt with a hood. Here’s a look at the rebellious roots of what came to be a rather conservative clothing piece.

Birth of the Hoodie
The hood was first added to sweatshirts, by Champion Products in the 1930’s as a practical means of protecting laborers and athletes from the elements. The early incarnations of the item were designed to protect employees in cold storage wear houses and tree surgeons working through the winter to reinforce the warmth of their long underwear. At the same time, Champion was working with high schools to determine their clothing needs and began manufacturing double thick hooded sweatshirts to protect track and football athletes from the cold weather. The garment made the transition into a fashion statement when athletes began to give their gear to their girlfriends.

The Seventies
When the mid-seventies saw the emergence of hip hop culture, the hoodie began to make its subcultural connections. Early graffiti writer, Eric “Deal” Felisbert, remembers the hoodie popping up on the streets of New York around 1975. “The people that wore them were all people who were sort of looked up to, in the context of the street,” he says, recalling that graffiti artists wore hoodies to keep a low profile, while break dancers wore them to keep warm.

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The Stick up Kids
The deal also remembers the stick-up kids, a group of what were essentially muggers who hung around the nightclub. Says Deal, “They might be sort of scheming on somebody within the crowd that had some sort of clothing or a gold chain…that they’re interested in. They’re probably just gonna wear the hood just slightly over their head and so that way, early on, people can’t remember their faces.”

The Eighties
The eighties brought a new breed of hoodie wearer to national attention. Skateboarders became the new rebellious wearers of the hooded sweatshirt, often trespassing into empty swimming pools in search of riding terrain. Skaters began to reject the mainstream culture, gravitating to hardcore and punk. Says Rolling Stone contributor David Browne, “Suddenly you have this darker, more violent sub culture merging with the remains of the skateboard crowd. The whole outsider thing really kicked in at that moment.”

The Nineties
One could say the hoodie ‘arrived’ in the nineties, with the classic cover of the 1993 album “Enter the Wu Tang” featuring the grim depiction of the hooded sweatshirt. It was then that designers such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger began to take note, finding their fashion inspiration from the streets. The hoodie had officially come full circle, uniting urban style with youth culture, consolidating itself as the fabric of western culture, and symbol of rebellion.

What do you think of hoodies? Rebellious trend? Wardrobe staple? Or both? Let us know what your hoodie means to you!

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What To Wear For Easter

Where will this Easter find you? Will it be a parade with a stop at the cathedral for midday services? Or, maybe a sunrise service followed by champagne brunch aboard a cruise ship with the setting sun as a backdrop? Or maybe it’s a family day Eggstravaganza featuring face painting, egg hunts, and bouncy castles. Wherever Easter finds you, two things are for sure: there’s going to be elaborate headwear, and there will be incredibly well-dressed pets.

If you’re wondering where exactly you will fit in fashion wise this Easter, here are a number of  stylish ideas.

church suit

The Church Suit
If you want to look elegant and dazzling this Easter, the Church suit is ideal, and guaranteed, when you see how great you look in it, you’re going to want to wear this to hit quite a few destinations, besides church. Here are some great options for worship and beyond.

The Caped Crusader
You’ll feel an absolute princess in your turquoise blue silk church dress decorated with silver studs and rhinestone buttons with the attached cape. Be sure to crown with a matching embellished bonnet and some rhinestone drop earrings and shiny necklace.

The Color Block
Be the talk of the church in a color blocking knit two-piece with gold trim and rhinestone buttons. Keep your hat high and you earrings sparkling.

maxi skirt

The Maxi Dress
Of course, the maxi dress! What a perfect choice this Easter. You’ll look lovely in an earthy floral or an ethereal lavender with a colorful clutch and studded sandals.

The Trophy
You’ll be a vision in gold with a three-piece satin designer Sunday suit with lace detail on the skirt. Top off with gold turban or fascinator and prepare to steal the show.

The Lacy Dress
Easter and lace are always a no brainer. Try a little pastel dress with lacy cutouts, in a springy turquoise or traditional, summery white. Accessorize with pearls for a vintage look or leather bracelets for an earthy take.

blouse and skirt

Blouse and Skirt
You can go a number of ways with this combination. You can try a bright mint tee with a hot pink floral skirt, or maybe it’s a tulle skirt. Polka dot blouses cam be very Easter chic with brightly colored skirt in a primary color, like yellow, or red.

Slacks
Easter can be the perfect opportunity to show off your spring slacks. Pastel skinny jeans with a patterned tee can make a great Easter look with a showy necklace, sandals and a clutch. The jumpsuit is also an option, or try some high-waisted loose legs with a fitted top.

What are you doing this Easter, and more importantly, what will you be wearing while you do it? Let us know and Happy Easter!

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Fashion For Work, Play and Travel

The modern woman wears many hats, and for each hat, there should be a number of corresponding outfits to suit the situation. After all, it would be a fashion fans pas to wear your party dress when donning your work hat or your power suit when we are wearing your party hat: mistakes in line with wearing white after labor day or wearing black panties under white pants. That is why it is so important that we have separate outfits for work, play, and travel. Here are some ideas for outfits to go with each of your many dimensions.

Work

Work outfit

Tailored
For a tailored work look, you want to emphasize a strong silhouette, adding structured accessories. Consider an all white look with a Banana Republic top and matching tailored slacks. Add metal cuffs to the wrists with a matching statement ring. Add a classy neutral clutch with coordinating Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Suits
When it comes to suits, you can mismatch separates or keep your pieces together. Try Diane Furstenberg blazer with matching pants in a beautiful ochre tone. Layer it it with a silky button down blouse and some cat eye sun glasses for a power look. Finish with a geometrical Proenza Schouler Clutch, delicate choker and showstopping Calvin Klein sandals.

Play

Woman in sequin dress

Sequins
For women, the ultimate playtime clothing would have to be the party dress. You can’t go wrong with black sequins, and Ashish is the name in sequined dresses. Match with killer heels.

Classic
If you’re looking for a more demure classic approach, you may want to try a Lanvin. Try a one shoulder design with a structured ruffle and figure hugging pencil skirt in a neutral beige. Add a colorful clutch for a color contrast.

Athleisure
If you want to wear your yoga pants all day long, fashionistas say, “Go ahead!” Invest in pieces which combine fashion with function., like Vie Active’s compression tights with moisture wicking performance. Accessorize with a pair of sleek sunglasses and a structured leather jacket to keep things classy.

Travel

Woman in trench coat

Mixed Prints
Travel clothing can be tricky. You need to be comfortable and practical, yet you need to arrive ready to make a statement, and running through airports in stiletto heels may not be the best idea. One way of maintaining comfort and style while traveling is by sticking to soft fabrics and bold prints. Why not go for an Alberta Ferretti multicolored printed shirt with blue and white multi patterned pants? Add a panama hat for an add of mystery and keep the jewelry to a minimum. Complete your look with Robert Vivier patent flats and brightly colored Globe Trotter suitcases to complement your color scheme.

Classic
Add and air of intrigue with a gray transparent Maison Martin Margiela trench coat. Layer over a white shirt and tailored slacks and pack the rest of your fashions in a Bettega Venteta suitcase.

What are your go to looks for work travel and play? Let us know how you dress for all your adventures!

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Choosing The Power Outfit

Ah, the power outfit. Did it begin with the suit of armor that Joan of Arc so bravely, and rather unflatteringly, wore to do battle in the 1400’s, or was it the traditional business suit, immortalized by Coco Chanel and the suffragettes of the 1920’s? Or perhaps it was the famous red bathing suit worn by Farrah Fawcett on her 1976 pinup poster, or the shoulder pads and white sneakers worn by Melanie Griffith in her 1990’s portrayal of business woman Tess McGill.

Whatever the interpretation, it is undeniable that behind every good woman there must be a good power outfit. Let’s look at what you should be considering when you choose yours.

Woman working at desk

International Standard Business Attire
Sometimes, the professional world calls for a strictly professional look. Standard business attire generally refers to tailored dresses and skirts paired with blouses and jackets. When in doubt, this dress code is always safest.

Business Casual
Business casual is a little more open to interpretation. For some companies, Capri pants may be fine in the office, but they may not send the right message for certain business meetings. Here are some tips for sending the right messages.

Tailored clothing
Clothing always looks more polished when its been properly tailored. That means investing in a few interchangeable high quality pieces, as opposed to a lot of poor quality outfits.

Patterns and Colors
Conservative colors are standard business attire for man and women alike. Dark grey and navy are powerful neutrals, and women can also wear black, provided the clothing is professional. (No LBDs, ladies).

Woman in purple outfit

Avoid Extreme Colors and Patterns
Although your polka dot dress may be the height of fashion, it may not impress business executives. You need to appear solid and so does your clothing. If patterns are your thing, choose plaids that appear solid from a distance and avoid wide stripes that make a bold statement.

Pants and Suits
When it comes to pants, think Marlene Deitrich in the tailored pantsuit of the 1930’s, with a crease. Twill, khaki and corduroy will make a good impression, as will suits made from wool and wool blends, but try to avoid denim and heavy cotton, which tend to give a less professional appearance. Also, avoid synthetic fabrics like rayon and polyester that tend to wrinkle. Pants should be pressed and hems should cover the ankle, but not drape to the floor. Tight pants are also a business no no.

Skirts and Dresses
When it comes to dresses, the most important criteria is length. If you see too much thigh when you sit in a chair, the skirt is too short. If the skirt features a slit, it should be centered and in the back and should not rise above the back of the knee. Skirts should not impede mobility and, if you cannot walk comfortably in it, you probably don’t want to wear it to a business meeting.

Woman in black power outfit

Sweater and Shirts
Cleavage is a big no no for business. Go for a tailored blouse which coordinates with your outfit and avoid see- through materials.

Undergarments
Bras and panties should not show through clothing. if your panty line shows, consider wearing something looser, or adding a slip.

Shoes
The classic woman’s business shoe has been, and still is, a closed toe pump. Avoid stilettos. clunky heels, and flats. Do not sacrifice comfort, as it is important to walk confidently. Shoe color should match your purse.

How do you dress for power? Let us know what you wore to your most successful meetings! We want to know!

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The Best Fibers For Natural Clothing

Woman shopping for clothes

Let’s go back, back, back to the Garden of Eden and the loss of innocence.  Adam has just taken a bite of the apple and realizes that he is naked and needs to cover up.  He grabs the first thing available; the fig leaf and covers his privates.  It would then be fair to say that the first item of clothing ever worn was a fig leaf?

Certainly, we have a come a long way  since then and a great deal of time has elapsed.  We have seen the rise of jeans, the mini skirt, the stiletto heel and high couture.  But, things tend to come full circle.  Here we are in the new millennium and it seems like we’re back to the fig leaf.  Well, maybe not exactly, but in this age in which we are doing our best to make sure that everything we use is eco-friendly, there is a trend toward organic clothing, and one could hardly argue that the fig leaf is anything if not organic.  Maybe Adam was on to something.

So, say you want to go organic, and kudos to you for that, and you’re not sure what to look for.  You know burlap is a natural fiber, but you may not want to use this to make your ecological fashion statement. Here are some more common alternatives.

Natural Fibers

Bamboo
Bamboo is a grass, usually grown with minimal chemical use.  It is biodegradable, possesses antibacterial properties and is biodegradable.  Unfortunately, when the plant is turned into fabric, toxic chemicals may come into play.  The Federal Trade commission has demanded that bamboo based rayon is labelled if toxins were involved in the manufacture, so check the tags.

Organic cotton
The Big Daddy of natural fiber, organic cotton is grown without toxins and synthetic chemicals.  For a total absence of chemicals in your clothes, look on the label to make sure natural dyes or colored cottons have been used.

Industrial hemp
This stuff is renewable, uses little or no pesticides or fertilizer and is super easy to harvest.

Recycled polyester
Now you can look like Austin Powers and be environmental at the same time.  It’s actually made from soda bottles and cast off polyesters and is said to leave a carbon footprint 75% lower than regular polyester.

Silk/ Soy cashmere
After soybeans are made into food, the remaining soy protein fiber is used to make this fabric.  If you are committed to being very green, you may want to look on the label to make sure there was no genetic tampering involved in the engineering of the soy.

Wool
Renewable and fire resistant, organic wool is becoming increasingly accessible and requires no chemicals for growth.  Chlorine-free wool means that the animals used to make the material are organically treated so look for this on the label for an extra perk.

If you are now ready to go purchase something organic keep in mind,  there is still a long way to go in naturalizing clothing manufacture.  It still takes energy, land resources and water to produce.  So until we find a way to make clothing completely free of environmental impact, maybe the fig leaf will be the next big thing.

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Layering Ideas

Layering

The look of layered clothing is a fashion trend with major staying power, but it can be a bit intimidating to try out yourself. Sure, it looks great on ridiculously thin models, but if not done properly, layering can make you look bulky or heavy and that’s definitely not the look you want to achieve. No matter what size you are, you can pull off layering your clothing and looking fabulous, not frumpy. Our layering ideas below help guide you through creating a perfectly layered outfit.

Start Thin
The first step to layering is to select your thinnest pieces and to wear these close to your skin. Beginning with thick pieces then adding more items on top will result in a bulky, awkward look as opposed to the fashionable and intentional looking layers you were hoping to achieve. Start with a basic cotton t-shirt or a button down blouse in a neutral color for the most versatility with your layering.

Limit the Number of Layers
Fashion experts generally suggest creating looks with no more than three layers. They advice piling on more because successful layering is all about fit and proportion, so you want to be strategic about not only what pieces you are layering, but also the number of items you plan on layering.

Use Flattering Silhouettes
When layering your outfit, you want the foundation layer to be as figure flattering as possible. Avoid items that don’t fit well or that are “boxy” in shape because these will make you look like you’re carrying weight where you aren’t when other layers are added in.

Woman wearing a blazer.

Add Structure to the Top Layer
One of the best tips for creating perfectly layered looks is to top the ensemble off with a structured piece. Some great options for your top layers include a fitted blazer, cropped jacket or cardigan, an empire or cinched waist item or a belted cardigan.

Balance the Bottom
Because you’ve added layers to the upper half of your body, you want to be sure to keep the lower half streamlined for balance. A great pair of skinny jeans or your favorite leggings are perfect for creating a long, lean and balanced look.

Add Some Interest
An aspect that makes layering so intriguing and stylish is the contrasts between different colors, cuts and textures. The faux fur vest is a major hit this winter, and these are often more bulky pieces by nature of their material. Layer your vest over thin pieces to create proportion and an interesting contrast between a simple fabric and the faux fur.

Woman wearing stud earrings.

Keep Accessories Simple
You don’t have to completely avoid accessories when you are layering an outfit, but keep them as simple as possible to avoid creating too much distraction from your outfit. Stud earrings, delicate necklaces or lightweight scarves are all accessories that add some interest to your outfit without looking overpowering.

Layering your clothes is a great way to make the most out of the clothes that you own. With some creativity and planning, you can create an endless variety of outfits. Remember that the most important rule of layering is to keep proportions and balance in mind as you plan your ensembles. Have fun experimenting with different cuts, colors, textures and accessories to customize your look.

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