The right bra makes all the difference

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

It has been several years since I’ve bought a new bra, and after shopping for one I remember why. Not only have their prices increased dramatically over the years—especially if you wear my size—but finding one that fits is hell. Every woman I’ve spoken to confirms this. None of us have breast sizes that fit perfectly into any bra, and getting fitted for a bra that completely fits you is so expensive that it’s out of the question. After trying on a dozen or so bras, I found two that sort of fit. They still aren’t perfect, but they are so much better than the old ones that I’ve been wearing that I can tell how much of a difference they make.

My back hasn’t felt this good in ages—and I’m still hunched over my desk writing as I normally do. The right bra makes all the difference, and frankly I’m surprised that we don’t have a new one developed that does more yet. I’ve been reading about female inventors with my daughter lately, and after seeing all the things they’ve invented over the years, I am wondering why no one has invented a better bra in all of these years. How about adjustable cups that you can take in or out with a simple pull of a string? How about a size that fits all with an adjustable band while we’re at it?

I think it might be simple to make a reversible bra with different colors and patterns so you could buy two in one, per se—or maybe even reversible cups you could add to your strap manually, switching out colors and sizes as you need them. Then you could even buy separate cup sizes if you need them, which would certainly help women who are pregnant, nursing, or recovering from a mastectomy. Women who simply have breasts of different sizes—which includes a wide range of women—would also be happy with this!

And while we’re on the topic, why make every bra so damn different that the same size won’t work for every body? Why not make it to where if you try on one size, you’re done with it, so you don’t have to try it on again with a different model? There should be some kind of regulations in place in the garment industry to ensure this—but I suppose that this helps keep the dieting industry alive as well.

Finding Great Clothes On Etsy

If you're interested in finding some unique and custom clothes on the internet, you may want to consider checking out Etsy.com. I discovered this website several months ago and absolutely fell in love with the amount of creativity and interesting items that are available on the site. Although the site isn't purely devoted to fashion, there's a huge and elaborate section that focuses on exactly that. If you haven't yet experienced this site for yourself in terms of clothing and fashion statements, it's a must-see.



What I like about Etsy is that if you have an idea for a specific type of clothing design or ensemble, there is someone on the site that can create it for you. There are tons of talented people who list their designs and clothing on the site to be purchased by others. Many of them take custom orders, either based on their own designs or even your own ideas. If you are able to effectively communicate the type of style you are seeking to achieve, there is someone who can create your design for you and ship it out to you in a short amount of time. Additionally, you can get quotes on how much it would take to create your idea, and they're generally much cheaper than what you would usually pay if you were to have a tailor custom -make an outfit for you.


Another great feature about Etsy is that you can use their search function to really narrow down what you're looking for. It isn't just a matter of custom-created or unique clothes; many people list some legitimate and striking designer and vintage clothing on there for great prices. If you have any free time and you want to go window-shopping for new clothes on the internet, Etsy is a definite site to check out.

Saving Money On Great Styles

Have you ever wondered how to get the best available prices on the clothes and styles you love? Sometimes it's as simple as browsing on the internet. Although clothing and expressing your fashion sense is becoming increasingly expensive, there are still many ways that you can get the best deal for that look that you adore.

There are a lot of stores that will sell you fashion for cheaper if you can prove that you found it for a lower price at another store. This tends to work the best with department stores. However, if you love shopping online, it may be time to simply learn how to compare prices for the best bargain available. Whether you are mimicking a look or purchasing the same exact item at a different store, you can always find a specific style for cheaper.

If you don't mind purchasing used, you might want to check out some of the popular auction websites on the internet. People are constantly selling clothes on these websites. It's especially a great option if you are seeking to buy some designer clothes for a fraction of what you would normally pay at the store.

Likewise, you can always use Google's shopping section to help you keep updated on which sites are able to offer you the lowest price. As you know, finding a low price when shopping online is always helpful, especially when you have to pay shipping and handling fees. So take some time to browse the internet and discover what it truly has to offer to your fashion sense; amazing styles for much less of the usual price!

New York Fashion Week

If you're a devoted fashionista and can't get enough of the styles that you crave, you probably know all about the arrival of Fashion Week. New York Fashion Week started on the 9th and will last until the 16th. On the opening day, designers such as BCBG Max Azria and Tadashi Shoji showcased some of their best work.

 

Many people are waiting to see the new collections of Anna Sui and Michael Kors, which cannot be seen until the 15th. Likewise, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein can be seen on the very last day of the show, which is certain to promise unforgettable collections that will stay fresh in the memory of attendees long after the show has ended. Almost every Fashion Week is memorable for specific designers and their collections that were showcased during that year. Many people love to compare how collections change during each event and watch their favorite designers discover their own signature style or evolve into new inspirations.

 

Just considering the amount of unique ideas and collections that one can be exposed to while attending Fashion Week is an inspiration. Most fashion addicts would adore to have the chance to attend even one Fashion Week, regardless of the location, just to have a chance to see one of their favorite designers or get ahead on the styles for the year. It is also interesting to watch how fashion varies between Fashion Week in different locations. Not only is it fascinating to see the difference in fashion based on culture, but you get much more exposure to designers which you might not have known about previously. 

United Retail, Owner of Avenue In Bankruptcy

Do you have an Avenue store in your town? There is a chance it may go out of business due to a corporation that owns it. United Retail Group Incorporated is going into bankruptcy and can borrow up to 25 million dollars depending on an agreement with lenders. The group has actually claimed that it needs to borrow a loan of up to 40 million dollars in order to keep operating while trying to save itself from complete destruction during bankruptcy. Many sources have claimed that Avenue has had a difficult time competing against other stores that are more well-known, established, and popular. Additionally, United Retail Group has been dealing with liquidation problems since being purchased in 2007 by Redcats USA.

Redcats USA would now prefer to sell United Retail Group because they feel that Avenue hs not been bring in enough sales or success. By selling United Retail, Redcats would have a better opportunity to focus on working on other businesses and prospective brands. Supposedly, United Retail owes a debt of around 67 million dollars and has been looking for options that will keep it in operation until it finds another corporation to sell itself to for the chance to keep Avenue.

Obviously, for United Retail to have a debt of 67 million dollars, there has been a noteworthy problem with Avenue and other related businesses for some time. The risk of the business should have been apparent within a short amount of time. One can only wonder why United Retail didn't sell Avenue or try a different alternative instead of allowing it to fall into bankruptcy.

Do you think that Avenue will go out of business or will United Retail be able to salvage its name?

Employees Sue Forever 21

Clothing chain treats retail workers unfairly

If, like me, you like to pick up the inexpensive but still relatively cute and well-made offerings from your local Forever 21, you might want to know that their Christian demeanor falls apart under scrutiny. Workers of the chain are organizing a class-action lawsuit against their employer, claiming they've been forced to work through their legally mandated meal breaks and even after clocking out.

Despite the Bible verses printed on the bottoms of their bags, Forever 21 hasn't been looking too good in the ethics department lately. It's been on the receiving end of more than 50 lawsuits, with complaints ranging from intellectual property theft to terrible sweatshop conditions. I guess part of the reason they can keep their clothes so cheap is that they pinch pennies all the way down, paying their employees barely minimum wage and then keeping them busy even longer than they're supposed to.

The five current and former employees of the clothing chain claim they and their coworkers were forced to work through their breaks repeatedly. Retail employees are legally entitled to lunchtime, and writing off their breaks is a pretty big no-no when it comes to workers' rights. The employees also complain that they were subjected to an off-the-record daily bag check at the end of their shifts--a theft precaution that's pretty common in the industry, but that they really should have been paid for. It's all well and good to make sure that your workers aren't making off with the goods they're supposed to sell, but if you're forcing them to remain on the premises, you sort of have to pay the for it. Once they're clocked out, they should be able to go home. 

We'll see how far this suit goes. It does seem to be getting harder and harder for employees to get class action lawsuits off the ground, which is troubling. The recent attack on Walmart on the part of its female employees shows just how much power the biggest corporate chains have to treat their workers unjustly. Since these employees probably won't be able to make too much of a dent in Forever 21's prosperity at the expense of its workers, I guess I'll do my part along with them and avoid the store from now on. I'm not a fan of wearing things made in sweatshops and I'd hate to think the people selling me clothes aren't being paid fairly to boot. 

Duct Tape as a New Fashion Phenomenon?

It's Been Hitting the Runway, Stores, and Even Local Proms

Duct tape has for the longest time been something that was just used as a quick-fixer-upper when something that you loved just fell apart. However, there has been a new trend sweeping the nation where duct tape is now a choice piece of material for clothing.

Lady Gaga could be seen as a somewhat the trendsetter when she wore duct tape for pasties, which to some was creative, to others just painful. Now, duct tape isn’t just used for clothing but purses, belts, cases for just about anything, wallets, etc. It showcases the ingenuity and creativity that many designers have been waiting to demonstrate.

Duct tape, which is made of waterproof cloth mesh, was originally developed in World War II to keep moisture out of artillery cases. There was only one shade of olive drab available, which was used for quick fixes for keeps, aircraft, and other military equipment. Contractors began to use it in the 1950s when they began using it to seal ductwork, and prompted its name and the color change to dull silver.

As duct tape started to become a pop culture phenomenon, manufacturers picked up the pace and started making it available in plenty of colors to do its job, whether it’s coordinating purple tape with your purple Nikes, or making a dress fit for the runway.

Duct tape is proving to be the rising medium of self-expression, which is shown through the Duck-brand duct tape Facebook page that has over 4.6 million fans and sponsors and an annual Stuck at Prom contest that attracted 331 entrants the previous year competing for the best prom outfits made out of duct tape.

Stay True to Yourself and you can go Places

Like Rising Fashion Icon, Jeremy Scott

 

Picture a man on roller skates with Vulcan eyebrows, drag queens, club-goers and fashion connoisseurs all gathered at Jeremy Scott’s fashion show that was held in September, which resembled a hair-metal-meets-hillbilly reverie. Scott definitely isn’t afraid to step out of the ordinary, shown through his fashion designs at the show, starting with his set of promiscuous denim clothing line.  One model wore fringed cut-offs that were so tight Daisy Duke would be embarrassed.

After the denim parade, came the cowboy. A male model walked down the runway in green leather chaps and a jockstrap, and for a finale, what else would you expect? Scott just stormed the runway himself. Scott claims that he doesn’t like being the center of attention, but there are a few times where he rarely isn’t. Scott, now 36, came in the age of the “anti-fashion” era, which was roughly from 1997-2001. Scott ended up being one of the last rebels from this era standing.

Scott is the sole owner of his namesake label, and has paired with companies such as Adidas, Longchamp, and Swatch. Although Scott comes across as a punk and prankster, at age 14, he began studying French and took night courses. After all, Paris is the fashion capital of the world. In 1992, he moved to New York to study at Pratt Institute. Scott has been expressing himself regularly with his body so it seems as though the fashion industry was more of a calling for him, and needless to say, he has been successful at just that.

Best Fashion Trends of 2011

Mixed patterns, '70s-inspiration and bowties.

We’ve endured quite a bit of bad fashion in 2011. We had the continuation of the jeggings—the legging jeans—and Crocs, the invention of new and more never-leave-the-house-ish Snuggies and the creation of animal-print bomber jackets. Thankfully, with all of those fashion mistakes, we had some appealing fashion innovations this year, as well. Let’s take a look at a few of the trends that saved the fashion world from wallowing in terrible fruit hats for men:

Mixed patterns. Two loud and wild patterns put together in a single outfit was long a no-no in fashion. Bold prints required tame, solid colors to stop yourself from looking like a clown. Not this year. As evidenced by the winner of this year’s Project Runway competition, Anya Ayoung-Chee, two disparate and clashing patterns can look good together when carefully paired. Like Anya, try pairing silks of tropical, blue print and a bright animal print.

‘70s-inspired clothes. Long, wide leg pants in jewel bright colors. Flowing dresses with flower patterns. Corduroy blazers with checked button-downs. The ‘70s were back this year on the runway, but the best part about the trend was that it was so easy to wear on the street, as well. ‘70s enthusiasts were bringing this trend back in a big way with ‘70s concert tees, long hair for men, woven headbands worn around the forehead and peacock feather earrings.

Bowties. Before this year, bowties were primarily for English professors or librarians, but they became more and more mainstream. Pop musicians and young celebrities were wearing bowties, usually with bright-colored button downs and blazers. They weren’t just for men, either—women were wearing them as part of androgynous suit ensembles or to top off more ladylike attire.

Pop-inspired colors. From ‘80s neons to crayon-box brights, extreme colors were everywhere this year. We saw head-to-toe bright color, but for most of us, a pop of these brights on a shirt or pants paired with a black is sufficiently bold.

Flat leather lace-ups. Leather lace up flats continued to dominate 2011. Made either in suede or a studier leather, the shoes are typically worn with rolled-up jean and bit of a striped or polka dotted sock showing underneath. The shoes are versatile, and can be worn with dresses, skirts or dressed-up pants like khakis.

What were your favorite fashion trends of 2011? Have you been inspired to adapt anything from the fashion runway for the street?

Skelanimals Team Up with PETA to Go Fur-Free

I love Skelanimals. I used to love PETA, before I decided that they’re too sexist for me. So knowing that PETA is teaming up with Skelanimals to help spread the anti-fur message is a mixed bag for me. I’m anti-fur, and I think it’s a great cause—but when you throw in PETA, you’re just not sure if the message is going to be an actual ethical one or one that completely disrespects and uses women.

The good news is that this campaign is going to be spearheaded by PETA2, the younger generation of PETA, which is more cute than chauvinistic. I have a feeling it’s actually going to be a pretty cute, positive campaign that both grown-ups and kids can get behind. With language like “Animals like fur. They don’t want to die so someone else can wear it,” it’s a non-polarizing message that kids can understand without the fear-mongering scare tactics and bloody images that PETA is usually known for. I commend them for approaching this issue in such a friendlier way, especially since it’s an issue that we really need to fight and teach kids about. Focusing on compassion and facts, rather than gore and nightmare-inducing imagery, is definitely the route to not only reach children, but adults, too.

At the Skelanimals/PETA2 site, you can find which Skelanimal you are, buy a “Fur is Dead” Skelanimal/PETA2 t-shirt, and take action against companies that currently sell or support fur.  There is a very graphic video when you click the “What’s Wrong With Fur?” link that includes people beating and killing animals for their fur. Parents may want to watch this video first before allowing young children to see it; they may find it okay for their teens—which is who PETA2 is really intended for, I believe—to see as long as they can talk about it with them, too.

Of course, you don’t need Skelanimals or PETA to talk to kids about the wrongness of fur; you can simply show them that it’s wrong by not purchasing it, wearing it, or supporting it. Explain that you don’t shop at places that sell fur, and use your own pets to highlight how wrong it would be to steal someone else’s skin. Heck, my own daughter learned about fur from the film 101 Dalmatians, and she was immediately against it; children normally are. They can spot cruelty much more easily than adults can sometimes—and they are often much more against it, and about speaking out about it, than we are, too.

Pages