Category Archives: Fashion

9 Handbag Essentials That Every Woman Needs

Purse? Check. Keys? Check. Cell phone? Check. That’s all a woman needs in her handbag, right? Well, you may need nothing more for the school run or a quick shopping trip, but if you’re heading out for a day at the office or about town, there’s a whole host of items that every woman should have in her handbag to ensure she’s ready for whatever the day has to throw at her. Here are 9 of the most important.

1. Wallet

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Naturally you’ll need your cards, but don’t forget to keep a little loose change too (to pay for a carton of milk or for parking). A well-equipped wallet should also include emergency contact details, a note of any regular medication in case of an accident, and maybe an organ donor card as well.

2. Cell phone

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Nowadays, your cell phone is so much more than just a way to contact people. You may have a payment system installed, a calendar with alerts set up, push notifications from your social media, and your “to do” lists. Your phone may also function as your personal trainer, fitness tracker and news feed, so keep your phone handy and invest in a portable charger or charging phone case to avoid sudden battery failure.

3. Make-up essentials

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If you’re heading out straight from the office or merely need a quick spruce up during the day, make-up essentials are just what you need. Keep a basic supply including foundation or BB cream, blusher, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. You can fit all of these into a small zipped purse. Buy miniature travel versions of your moisturizer, and don’t forget to pack makeup removal wipes. For the finishing touch, keep a small perfume atomizer to hand as well.

4. Key ring

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At the very least, you’ll probably need house keys, and maybe car keys too. But with a little forethought, your key ring can become a mini toolkit in itself. Attach a tiny torch (no more fumbling with the keyhole in the dark!), a cutter, a bottle opener if you like a drink, and perhaps a universal screwdriver or similar for those annoying emergencies.

5. First aid kit

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You don’t need to carry a full kit here. Look for a mini version with tiny tubes of antiseptic ointment, a couple of Band-Aids (handy for cushioning heels against shoes that rub), and some individual antiseptic wipes. Safety pins are also useful, if only for replacing a missing button or hook.

6. Personal hygiene

Staying fresh and clean on the move is easy. Breath mints or chewing gum will banish bad breath (or the tell-tale scent of your lunchtime balti!), whilst hand gel gives you instantly clean hands whenever you need them. And a supply of feminine items is always a good idea, in case your monthly “buddy” decides to visit unexpectedly.

7. Beauty essentials

A little zipped bag with beauty essentials ensures you’ll always look your best. Spare hair accessories will prevent embarrassingly uncontrollable hair, and storing a few plastic earring backs means you’ll never lose an earring again. Spare nylons also avoids an unexpected wardrobe malfunction.

8. Pen and notebook

Even if you keep everything on your cell phone, you never know when a pen and notebook could come in handy. It’s sometimes easier to jot down some details for a friend, note the name of a new restaurant or assemble a list of project materials on paper, and you can buy tiny books with integral pens that hardly take up space at all.

9. Healthy snack

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Finally, it’s all too easy to succumb to a sugary donut or chocolate bar when hunger strikes but you don’t have time to look for something healthy. Combat this possibility by carrying a small snack with you. Cereal bars, dried fruit and nut snack packs, and fresh fruit are all great—perhaps invest in a fruit carrier if you prefer softer items such as bananas or grapes.

Now you may think you’ll need a bag the size of Santa’s sack to carry all these essential items around with you, but in reality a shopper or tote bag has all the space you need. If you prefer a smaller version, it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into a little bag if you really try. So there’s no excuse for not being totally prepared at all times, is there?

Fabulous Ideas for Upcycling Your Clothes

Are your closet door straining at the hinges? Do you need a pick and a miner’s lamp to search for your clothes? Do you give up deciding what to wear and resort to old favorites because you just have too many options? If your clothing collection is overwhelming you, maybe it’s time you take action to revamp your wardrobe and make use of all those hundreds of worn-out, unfashionable or boring items. Of course, you could just donate them to the local thrift shop. However, with a little imagination, you can upcycle all kinds of items to create fabulous new clothing—or even something totally different. Plain colored items can often be easily dyed, decorated with fabric paints or washable embellishments, or be jazzed up in other ways.

How to upcycle an old T-shirt

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There are a million things you can do with an old t-shirt. If the color has faded on a plain shirt, it’s a simple task to dye it, either by hand or in your washing machine (just be sure to rinse the machine well afterwards!). Use fabric paints and washable embellishments to design your own decoration, or try a printable decal—you can buy kits to let you do this from your own artwork using your home printer. Get a bit bolder with tie-dye or batik printing if you like! It’s simpler than you think. Try some hand sewing to alter the shape, such as adding decorative gathers on the side of an oversized tee or adding lace edging to the waist and sleeves to make the item prettier. For a grungy look, experiment with cutting or slashing—a rotary quilt cutter is great for this, but you can also use sharp scissors. Weave strips into a braid and add a buckle for a soft belt. Cut into panels or strips to create a new shirt or skirt, or combine logo t-shirts to make a patchwork quilt.

How to upcycle jeans

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Denim jeans come in a fabulous variety of blue shades. It’s simple to cut and fray the legs to make pedal pushers or little shorts, and you can also add rips or abrasions for added effect. Cut the denim into triangles or squares, and design yourself a mini-skirt—just measure around your waist, measure from your belly button to your thighs, and be sure of the correct size and length. Use cut-off legs to create casual bags, sew multiple pockets onto a colorful background panel for a fun organizer, pencil case or place mat, or weave denim strips together to make a beautiful rag rug.

How to upcycle a sweater

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If your favorite sweater has developed holes, don’t despair – just upcycle it! Naturally, you need to oversew any raw edges well so the knit doesn’t unravel, but it’s easy to cut panels and sew them together to make an item like flared skirts. You can even combine sweaters to make something entirely new. Sweater arms make great leg or arm warmers, or you can add suede panels to make slipper socks (making sure the soles are non-slip for safety). Combine a sweater and fabric to create a dress with knitted bodice. Knitted sweaters can also be pressed into service as a tea cosy, potholder or fancy cushion cover.

How to upcycle socks

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If you wear a hole in your sock, it’s no longer the end. Modern trends dictate that socks don’t have to match any more, so you could simply wear individual socks from two pairs, but there’s plenty more you can do with a humble sock. Brighten up tired cotton socks by re-dying and adding tiny lace or braid edging—try to match your existing color schemes. Meanwhile, long socks can make cosy arm or leg warmers to keep you toasty in the winter. And if your socks are beyond wearing, you can still use them! Pamper your feet with nourishing foot lotion before bed, and wear old socks to protect your sheets. Even more creatively, cut the legs off wooly socks to insulate a drinks bottle (keeping the contents hot or cold), make a child’s hand puppet or toy, or make wearable dusters to help when cleaning ornaments.

The internet is teeming with brilliant ideas for upcycling clothing, so why not revitalize your wardrobe today? You’ll be amazed at what you can create.

New Study Says People Think Better of You When You Wear Black

Beautiful-Girl-Black-DressBesides the fact that Jay Z thinks it’s cool, turns out wearing black clothing also makes other people think you’re cool. A survey done by UK retailer buy t-shirts online asked 1,000 people how they perceive others based on the color of clothing they wear. Turns out, if you want to come across as confident, intelligent or sexy, you should bet on black.

A staggering 56% of people surveyed said that they see people who wear black as confident. The rates were particularly high for men, 64% of whom selected black as their choice color. 48% of women agreed. In fact, black came in first or second for a lot of the positive traits mentioned in the survey. Following black, red and blue came in as the second and third most confident colors – good to know in case your LBD is stuck at the dry cleaners and you need alternatives.

Red was the color most associated with arrogance, so the color clearly has a lot of different connotations, depending on who you ask. Pink was the color most associated with a lack of intelligence, with only 5% of people asked linking the color to braininess. Sorry Barbie.

But overall, if you’re trying to impress people with your attire, your best option seems to be black, as “black came first or second in most ‘good’ traits (for example confidence, intelligence and sexiness) and barely figured in the “bad” traits (arrogance).” So forget doom and gloom: black has a new connotation and it’s all good.

8 Lucky Colours To Wear in 2016!

The tradition to wear specific colours in order to attract good luck is popular all over the world. As everything is energy – including colour, of course! – what you wear is believed to bring you all manner of luck and success.

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The same choice of colours is believed to bring you luck when you use these colours in your accessories, as well as in your home decor.

Is this true, though? Does it really work?

And, most importantly, what is the choice of specific colours to wear based on?

For those who are anxious to find the answer right away, let me give some feng shui details for the coming year – the year of the Fire Monkey 2016. Afterwards, if you are interested in where the tradition comes from and what it is based upon, we will look into that, too!

2016 is the Year of the Fire feng shui element – the Fire Monkey – so to be in harmony with the energy of the year and befriend the ruling Fiery Monkey energy, it is recommended to wear the colours of the Fire feng shui element.

So, the first six lucky colors are:

1. Red

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2. Yellow

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3. Orange

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4. Purple

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5. Magenta

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6. Pink

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In addition to the Fire feng shui element colours, you can also wear the colours of the Wood element, because this is the element that creates the Fire element in feng shui.

So, the next lucky colours are the colours of the Wood feng shui element:

7. Green

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8. Brown 

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Are there more lucky colors to wear in 2016? Not really, but know that there are many variations of the Fire element colors, such as coral orange, or plum/mauve, so use your intuition as to which color expresses for you the Fire or the Wood elements.

You can wear not only clothing, but all sorts of accessories in these 8 colours, such as jewelry, belts, scarfs, etc.

To make it even more powerful, you can choose jewellery with natural crystals and stones with the presence of Fire energy, such as rose quartz, garnet and ruby.

Or, go for Wood element energy crystals, such as green jade, agate, green tourmaline and malachite.

Are there colours that are best to avoid in the New Year, or at least for the New Year celebration? Yes, for sure. Least favourable colours in 2016 are the colours of the Water and Earth feng shui elements. These colors are blue  and black  (Water element) and all earthy tones (Earth element).

If you want to go a bit deeper with choosing best colours for yourself, it is always good to know your personal birth element, and see which colours support and nourish your energy. For example, if your personal feng shui birth element is Earth, wearing Wood colours all the time can weaken your energy.

The tradition to wear specific colours for each coming New Year is based on Chinese tradition, or, more specifically, on the feng shui theory of five elements. According to the Chinese calendar, the energy of each year is expressed in the energy of a specific feng shui element. There are 5 elements in feng shui – Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.

Each element is expressed in specific colours, shapes, images or items that carry its energy. For example, the Fire element of 2016 Year of the Monkey is expressed in colours red, orange, purple, yellow, pink and magenta; in triangular shapes and, of course, in candles, fireplaces and various  images of fire.

The interesting part, though, is that Chinese New Year starts on a different day each year (and never on January 1st), so if you want to really use the Chinese approach and benefit from colours of the year, then you will also have to celebrate Chinese (Lunar) New Year, because this is when the year actually begins in Chinese cosmology.

In 2016, the New Year – the Fire Monkey Year – starts on February 8, 2016. This gives you another chance for a good celebration, along with a fresh new start, doesn’t it?

Good luck and all the best to you in 2016, no matter which colours you choose to wear.

Black Pants for Every Body Type

They’re fashion’s holy grail. Thanks to the experts, the search is officially over.

If You’re…Tall

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Show off those legs with these crisp, flared trousers. “They’re what I buy for my tall clients,” says Noelle Cellini, Chicago-based personal stylist and founder of the Style Academy, an online style school. “When you have long limbs, you can pull off details like high necks, wide lapels, and full sleeves—and these pants can be worn with almost anything.”

If You’re…Petite

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A trim cropped cut won’t overpower a small frame. “And the vertical creases down the front make legs look longer,” says Randi Packard, New York City–based market editor and brand consultant. “They also have compression fabric, so they’re slimming all over.”

If You Have…Full Hips and Thighs

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“You want a cut that falls straight down from the widest point of the thigh—this makes curves look less wide,” says Bridgette Raes, New York City–based personal stylist and author of Style Rx. The slight bootcut is effortless yet structured.

If You’re…Plus Size With Curves

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Wide-leg styles are made for plus-size bodies. “This pair skims curves, nips the waist, and gives that look of the longest legs ever,” says blogger Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista. The dramatic silhouette makes even the most basic top look trendy.

If You Have a…Tummy

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A classic straight-leg plays well with your entire closet, and the flat-front design also sits nicely on the waist for extra midsection support. “It’s best to avoid pleats and baggy cuts that may draw attention to your midriff,” says Minnie Romanovich, stylist for Keaton Row, a personal styling service.

If You’re…Plus Size With a Tummy

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This not-too-fitted skinny hugs in just the right places, smoothing out lumps and bumps through the midsection and thighs. “They are made of a cool material—a thick, scuba-like blend of cotton and polyamide,” says Denee. “You can wear them at night with a fun top, or pair them with a suit jacket for work.”

 

Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know

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30. Wrap an empty bottle of your favorite perfume in a handkerchief and tuck it into your underwear drawer for a subtle scent.29. Heat can warp your glasses frames, so always keep them in a hard case and never wear them on your head on a hot day.
28. Spray shirts prone to sweat stains with lemon juice before washing. The natural acid dissolves alkaline sweat reside that could cause yellow discoloration.
27. “It’s a myth that loose styles flatter a large bust or a plus-size woman. The area just under the bust is a woman’s smallest torso measurement, so emphasizing it with a structured waistband that hits higher than your natural waist will make you look a size smaller. —BG Krishnan, President, eShakti.com
26. Use shaving cream and a washcloth to remove liquid makeup from shirt collars.
25. A modern trick to looking like the most effortlessly stylish girl in the room: Pair dressy bottoms (a velvet maxi, a leather or beaded skirt, silk pants) with a worn gray crew-neck sweatshirt or T-shirt.
24. When it doubt, always choose the smaller denim size, since jeans stretch with wear.
23. “Never dry a wet shoe with heat. Let it dry naturally in open air. Heat will dry out leather and the lifespan of the shoe will be cut in half.” —Jordan Adoni, Designer, Modern Vice
22. The easiest way to make your closet look organized: Buy all the same hangers for everything–same color, same shape.
21. Before bed, pour two or three tablespoons of baking soda into sweaty workout sneakers and tilt the shoe to distribute the soda evenly. This will eat any odor and absorb perspiration.
20. “For guaranteed weight loss, I advise people to follow my A, B, C’s – no Alcohol, Bread or processed Carbs.”—David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and fitness guru.
19. To prevent clothing from wrinkling in a suitcase, fold everything in plastic dry cleaning bags.
18. If you can’t fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably, it’s probably too tight.
17. Pile on good accessories—scarves, sunglasses, hats, statement jewelry—to instantly transform even the most basic outfit.
16. Confused about laundry settings? Remember this: The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothing will be. While warm water is fine for most clothes, linens and dirty white clothing are best washed in hot water to remove germs and heavy soil. Cold water is usually used for delicates.
15. A structured hat should rest about 1/8 to a 1/2-inch above the ears.
14. After a shower, use your hairdryer to de-mist bathroom mirrors in seconds.
13. A good tip when cleaning out your closet: Ask a friend whose style you admire to come over and help. She/he might offer new insight on how to wear certain items before you toss them.
12. It might sound “budget,” but a hot glue gun works amazingly well to hem skirts, pants and even jeans in a pinch.
11. Looking for uses for all the single socks you’ve amassed while doing laundry? When you’ve got aches or pains, fill a sock with dry beans or rice and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Voila, an instant (and free) heating pad.
10. Wear your new real leather jacket in the rain to break it in. Water will soften up the leather and allow it to stretch and crease at specific points on your body.
9. Who has the time to hand wash bras? Machine wash them in cold water in a mesh zipper bag and drape them over a hanger to air dry.
8. Use a lemon wedge to remove excess or streaky self-tanner.
7. Track lighting is possible even for the tiniest closet: Buy a track kit, screw it into the ceiling, run the wire down the wall and plug it into the nearest outlet. Not only will you see all your clothes better, but you’ll feel like you have a more luxurious closet.
6. Invest in silk or satin pillowcases to keep your hair from breaking during the night. (They also keep your skin looking smoother than rough cotton cases!)
5. If you’re unsure about an impulse or sale purchase, leave it at the store. If you’re still thinking about it when you wake up the next day, buy it.
4. Have a sequin garment you don’t wear anymore? Remove the sequins and sprinkle them into a vase of flowers. Gorgeous!
3. A good shoemaker can fully rebuild your favorite pair, even if the arch is cracked.
2. To coax a loose thread back into place, gently tug at the stitches to the sides of the pull as well as above and below
1. There’s nothing cooler than sticking to a signature style you know looks good on you. Slaves to fashion are never chic!

How to Wear Hats Without Destroying Your Hair

Some people like to wear hats to keep their noggin toasty; others sport them as a style statement. Whatever the reason, both groups have to deal with one dreaded aftereffect: hat head.

To help you avoid that mane mishap (and avoid static, too), we’ve figured out which hairstyles look best with different hats—both while the hats are on and once they come off!

Beanie

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“Go sleek, no matter what your hair length. Fitted hats make it hard to maintain waves,” says Nunzio Saviano, a New York City salon owner.

1. Apply nourishing hair oil to damp strands, then blow-dry straight.
2. Make sure hair is totally dry. If you don’t, “You risk that stubborn dent on the sides of your head,” says Saviano.
3. Switch your part to the opposite side, then reverse it after taking off the hat. By doing so, Saviano says, you’ll maintain a bit of volume at the roots.

Trapper

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“Keep hair off your face and shoulders so it doesn’t compete with the furry, face-framing shape of the hat,” says Saviano.

1. Work a bit of moisturizing serum like Oribe Smooth Style Serum ($49, oribe.com) through damp hair, then air-dry (or blast with a hair dryer) and go with your natural texture. “This hat is a great excuse to give hair a little break,” says Saviano.
2. Part hair anywhere, then make a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. “The side flaps press the sides of your hair down—a plus when wearing a pony,” says Saviano.

Beret

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“Loose curls are great—if the hat’s snug-fitting edge leaves a dent, it won’t stand out among the waves,” says Saviano.

1. Got straight hair? Air-dry, then wrap one-inch sections around a 1 1/2-inch curling iron. Try Revlon CurlStay 1 1/2″ Titanium Styling Iron ($19, at Walmart).
2. If your hair is wavy or curly, apply a light-hold gel while it’s damp for soft definition. Try Matrix Biolage Agave Nectar Control Gel ($16,matrix.com). Then blow-dry, styling hair with your fingers for a natural look.
3. When you take off your hat, shake out your hair. “Don’t worry about flatness up top. Waves look prettier when they’re a little bigger at the bottom,” says Saviano.

How to Spot Quality in your Clothes

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We all know quality reins over quantity when it comes to clothes, but just how do you spot shoddy construction and cheap fabrics? Here are the expert tips you need to know.

By now, most of us have realized that cheap fashion isn’t really that cheap after all. That $10 bargain you bought at a fashion chain after a few washes has pilled, pulled and is now fit for the rag bin, and perhaps you’ve realized that if only you’d put that money towards an investment piece – you might have had it for years to come. Internet shopping has caused a fashion revolution, but it means that we have even less connection with our clothes. We won’t see the button hanging by thread, a crooked hem or a lazy seam until we’ve already paid for it to be shipped.

Well-made clothes don’t necessarily have to be expensive – in fact, a hefty price tag is no indication of a ‘quality’ garment. But in order to get something well-made at a good price it really does pay (literally) to know how to spot it.

And once you start investing in beautifully made clothes opposed to cheap throwaway clothes, you’ll see something amazing start to happen. You’ll have less clothes, but more to wear. You’ll always look polished and well put together. You’ll transcend trends and because you’ve chosen your buys with thought and consideration, they really say something about you, and are something you’ll treasure – and care for, for years to come.

You can teach yourself to spot shoddy construction and cheap fabrics that won’t last the year. Here are some rules you should follow every time you go shopping.

1. It’s all about the fabric

Spotted the perfect dress? Before you even bother to try it on, the very first thing you should check is the label – this will tell you what the fabric is made of and determines how well it will fit, drape and how many washes it will last.

As a general rule, go for natural fibres such as silk, cotton, hemp, linen, cashmere and wool and avoid synthetics such as nylon, acrylic, viscose rayon, polyester, and acetate. Why? Not only will synthetics not wear or wash as well, they’re full of nasty chemicals, and terrible for the environment and the factory workers that make them.

That’s not to say you should avoid blends. A cotton or linen blend means that your garment won’t crease and crush minutes after putting it on, and sometimes a bit of latex will mean those stretchy jeans fit snug. As a general rule, try to go for at least 60% natural. For investment pieces you’ll get a lot of wear out of, such as a winter coat, jeans, a business suit or a classic white blouse, you want to get as close to 100% as you can. It will be expensive, but it’s worth springing for the real deal.  If you’re shopping online, most retailers will have a description of what the garment is made out of.

2. Get a feel

Once you start feeling around fabrics, you’ll start to see how a better quality fabric will wear better, drape better and feel better. Leather should feel soft, supple and warm. Cashmere will feel soft breathable, fluffy and rich. Another sneaky trick (especially handy when travelling and someone is trying to sell you something they claim is 100% cashmere) is to pull a small thread and burn it with a lighter. If it balls up then it’s a blend with synthetic fabric, but if it crumbles away like powder, then it’s pure cashmere. Most proprietors who are selling the real deal will have no problem with you doing this – but always ask first.
Wool will create static when you rub it and feel breathable and light despite being thick and textured,

3. Make sure those patterns match

We’ve all seen those dodgy counterfeit handbags where the print doesn’t quite match up at the seam, and this is also a great yardstick to spot a well-made piece of clothing.

Have a good look at the seam, plackets, yoke, sleeves and pockets – if the pattern matches up, it means the manufacturer has invested in more fabric to cut out the individual pieces of the garment – which drives up the price.

Inexpensive manufacturing will use every piece of material available to keep prices down.

4. Don’t go against the grain

Ever had a pair of jeans that move around your leg as your walk, a shirt that refuses to sit right or a skirt with a rippled hem that will never iron flat? Then there’s a good chance it was cut ‘off grain’.

A term that sewers will be familiar with, the grain of the fabric is the line formed by the individual threads which make up the fabric. Without getting too technical the grain affects which direction the fabric will stretch and the lengthwise grain should be perpendicular to the floor (the exception is the bias cut) – but all you really need to know is if something cut off the grain you can generally tell because the seams will sit askew – and is a clear sign of shoddy, cheap manufacturing. In fact some seamstresses say being cut ‘true to the grain’ is one of the most critical aspects of garment quality so it’s worth knowing the basics!

5. Sturdy stitching

So you’ve checked your fabric quality, checked the fabric grain and the pattern matches perfectly. But before you go racing to the checkout, inspect the stitching. The easiest way to do this is give the garment a gentle pull by gripping the fabric on both sides of the seam. If the thread pulls apart slightly, you know it’s not going to last the distance.

Also look for loose thread, broken stitches and the density of the stitches. The more stitches per inch, the better quality it is.

6. The devil is in the detail

The little things make a big difference. Your buttons and fasteners should be sewn on securely, the button holes should be clean and be the right size for the buttons. If an outfit comes with spare buttons or spare thread, it’s a good sign that you’ve found a quality item.  Embellishments are another detail to be wary of – if they’ve been painstakingly hand stitched on, that’s going to be reflected in the price. But if they’ve been sewn onto a $10 shirt by machines, there’s a good chance that in a month or two, there will be a few less than what you started with.

A zipper should always lie flat and unless it’s a design detail, should be covered with a plackart. A good quality garment will almost always use a metal zipper (this is also a good way to tell if something is vintage – plastic zippers didn’t become commonplace until the 70s). There should also be an additional closure like a hook and eye or snap to keep the zipper closed. And the stitching should always match the fabric.

Also pay attention to the lining – it should be made of quality material and stitched in well – be sure to give it the ‘squat or stretch’ test if you’re buying pants or a jacket – you should have enough room to move comfortably.

Lastly…

Flip the garment inside out and look at the seams. Unfinished seams are a sure sign of poor quality – whereas French seams, flat felled seams and bound seams are a true mark of quality. Always choose pleats over gathered seams.

Shoes, bags and accessories

These rules should also apply to your accessories – why it can be tempting to buy that cheap vinyl bag or belt, it’s not going to last nearly as long as leather, suede or other quality fabric. Same goes for shoes – its far better to spend the money and one two or three pairs of quality items then be messing around with a dozen pairs with broken heels and lifted soles. And once you have your beautiful leather bag, shoes and belt, be sure to look after it with leather conditioner and water proofer.

Online shopping

Online shopping has revolutionized the way we buy fashion, but it also means we’re even further disconnected to the quality of our clothes. You won’t know if something has a wonky seam, a puckered dart or a mismatched pattern until after you’ve paid for it, waited for it to arrive and opened it. And if you do discover something is wrong, you have to go through the arduous task of sending it back and getting a refund. This is where knowing your brands can help.  If you’re out shopping, peruse around the different stores and check out the make and quality of the clothes, and take note of the brands that pride themselves for quality. Then look out for the sales!

A final note…

As we’ve mentioned, a hefty price tag doesn’t mean you’re getting quality, and a bargain doesn’t mean you’re buying rubbish. If you’re smart about it, you can get true investment pieces for a little more than what you’d pay for a piece of high street fast fashion – it’s about knowing where to look.
The price of fashion comes down significantly once its second hand – and while true quality will hold some of its price, you may find that you can pick up last season’s buys for almost a quarter to half the price – and that goes for accessories too!

How to wear leggings now: 10 fashion rules

Your complete guide to wearing leggings: the new rules and biggest fashion mistakes.

We love leggings as much as anyone, but, as with any fashion staple, there are ways to wear them well, and ways to wear them so that you look like Lindsay Lohan circa 2008. (Sorry, LiLo.) We chatted with Sansyrae St. Martin, a Toronto-based fashion stylist with Plutino Group, for her expert tips on how to wear leggings so that you look cool, on-trend and super stylish—and avoid confusing them with tights.

How to wear leggings rule #1:

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Leggings are not pants or tights. Let’s start with a process of elimination, friends. Leggings are wonderful in so many ways, including their ability to blend style and comfort in one clothing item. But they are not, under any circumstance, considered pants. (Sorry).

They also are not office attire—for that we have plenty of smart on-trend looks to choose from. Nor are leggings to be worn as tights under dresses. To recap: leggings are not pants or tights.

How to wear leggings rule #2:

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Mix it up. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk how amazing and versatile leggings are on their own merit. “You can wear them with a button-down long shirt belted around the waist and ankle boots,” says St. Martin. “Or with high boots and a long blazer. This is a sharp and classy look but still very comfortable.”

How to wear leggings rule #3:

long-top-and-leggings

Long tops rule. It’s safe to proclaim that tops should, in almost all cases, be long enough to cover the buttocks when wearing leggings. Stylist addendum: “Most rules in fashion can be broken by someone who knows what they are doing, but generally speaking, yes, it’s much more flattering to pair leggings with a long top,” St. Martin explains. “If you must wear them alone, try to find leggings that are as thick as jeggings so they give you a more compact look. You don’t want everyone to see your booty bounce,” she adds. Just as you shouldn’t be subjected to witnessing theirs.

How to wear leggings rule #4:

Length matters. Leggings should fall just above the ankle—anything shorter automatically creates a stinted silhouette by cutting you off at the shin.

How to wear leggings rule #5:

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Wear bold prints cautiously. A few words about colourful and floral-print leggings: “As fun as they are, they are really only flattering on long, lean legs,” says St. Martin. “Like the camera, this trend adds 10 pounds.” (Ouch.) Stick with a basic colour palette for ultimate utility and curve-appealing wear. “Darker leggings are more flattering on most bodies,” explains St. Martin. As a rule, stick with black and charcoal.

How to wear leggings rule #6:

Wash your leggings. Seriously. Just as leggings aren’t pants (or tights), nor are they jeans either—unlike denim, leggings need to be washed regularly. “The elasticity relaxes as your body heats it up and the washing helps it to go back to normal,” says St. Martin. “Leggings are partially or totally synthetic and so they don’t breathe as well and they do need to be washed at least every other wear.”

But they don’t need to be hand-washed to keep them looking their best. “I would suggest a delicates bag so they don’t get stretched around in the machine, and avoid any form of heat—hot water, warm dryer, iron or steam— because heat breaks down the elasticity over time.”

How to wear leggings rule #8:

Consider the occasion. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid wearing leggings for a job interview or holiday parties, and formal settings like a wedding or meeting the parents for the first time, advises St. Martin.

How to wear leggings rule #9:

…Or wear them anyway. Since there’s always an asterisk to every rule in fashion, if you can make the rest of your outfit work around your leggings, then go for it. “Honestly, someone with a great eye can probably style them in a way that they can be worn anywhere, but it’s really, really tricky.” You’ve been warned.

How to wear leggings rule #10:

This is not yoga class. Unless you are currently in a yoga studio, or on your way to class (or straight home right after) this is not the time to make workout wear-as-daywear happen. Striving to be comfortable in your outfit is one thing, but pairing leggings with running shoes and a sweater while running errands on Saturday could lead you down a slippery slope into a sweats-only wardrobe. Don’t be that girl—be better.

Cool Ways To Wear Your Favorite Cardigan!

Cardigans are one of those things that every woman has in her closet. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and prints, but all cardigans are not created equally. Some cardigans are better for certain body types, and others are better for certain outfits. It can get a little confusing sometimes, but wearing the right cardigan for your body type and for your outfit is important. So today let’s talk about it, lest you wear something that makes you look stumpy, wide, or just wrong.

Here are 4 different cardigan styles, and the Dos and Don’ts of wearing each one:

1. A Waist-Length or Cropped Cardigan

First up, the most common and classic style of cardigan is the waist-length cardigan.

sears-pointelle-cropped-cardigan

Don’t: 

I don’t own any cropped cardigans, so I’m lumping the waist length and cropped cardigans together.

For these lengths of cardigans, DON’T wear them with long tops. The contrast in lengths is not flattering, and creates a weird shape and proportion on your body.

Lemon-Knot-Cardigan

Do: DO wear them with fit and flare style dresses, or high waisted skirts. The hem of the cardigan should not go more than a few inches past the waist band of your dress or skirt, so keep that in mind when pairing them.

2. The Oversized Cardigan

Oversized Aztec cardigans are huge this season, but they can be a little tricky to style.

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Don’t: 
With all the bulk that an oversized cardigan adds, DON’T wear loose fitting bottoms with them. Stay away from boyfriend jeans and maxi skirts. The wideness on top and bottom will make you look… WIDE.

 

Do: Instead, DO wear  your skinniest pair of jeans or leggings. Keep those legs looking as slim as possible!

3. A Wrap Cardigan

img-thing (2) belt-cardigan-dress-fashion-outfit-Favim.com-71119

Wrap cardigans have the same basic shape as a lot of the aztec cardigans that I mentioned previously, but they are usually more fitted and less bulky. They still have the longer drape-y length though.

Don’t: DON’T wear it with a short skirt. Even though it’s not as bulky as the aztec sweater, the drapey length creates weird proportions with shorter skirts. Even my knee-length one is too short to pair with this long cardigan.

Do: Instead, DO wear it with dark jeans or pants to elongate your silhouette and flatter your figure. Those drapey lapels will create nice long lines up and down your figure.

5. Boyfriend Cardigan

boyfriend-cardigan-outfit-ideas     Boyfriend-Cardigan-Outfits

Don’t: As much as I love boyfriend cardigans, the longer length does not work with full skirts or dresses. See how the hem of the cardigan cuts off my body right at a nice wide area of the skirt? Bad. Stick to the waist length cardigans, as mentioned previously.

Do: DO wear them with jeans, knee length pencil skirts, or shorts. They really will go with almost anything, as long as your bottoms are fitted and slim
!