Who doesn’t know Mrs. Margaret Thatcher , who became the only female Prime Minister of Great Britain (to date), and later became known as the “Iron Lady”, with her aggressive and stern views on both economic policies and political agenda. Certainly, of course, everyone knows “The Lady”, specifically those in politics, governance, academe, business world and even the ordinary people, young and old alike, who have passion in world affairs.
Based on various accounts, it was in the 80’s when Margaret Thatcher was constantly making headlines in dailies and other media networks. I remember my father (whose day, by the way, was not complete if a newspaper was not waiting on the doorstep) was looking at her picture in one of his favorite local dailies with admiration. She was the most powerful woman at that time, which I realized now her decisive stance on various issues, could have paved the way for the re-birth of the so-called “women empowerment” , particularly in politics and the workplace. Note that there are some remarkable women in history, who have also made their own “mark” in their respective fields.
Much as it would be interesting to note about the way Mrs. Thatcher ruled the U.K. Parliament and elaborate on her famous byword : “You turn if you want to. The Lady’s not for turning”, this blog would not dare to touch on these matters, which are somewhat complex and controversial that even her political allies and rivals have misunderstood and vehemently disagreed to some of her policies and programs. Rather, the blog shall mention briefly certain lighter issues regarding among others, the former Prime Minister’s persona and fashion sense and how the said outside forces influence the rising and struggling “power puffs”, so to speak, in the workplace, not only in Britain but throughout the world. Yay! There’s no harm in attempting to talk about this, right?
Earlier in My Useful Tip’s blog posts, the name of Mrs. Thatcher, together with Hillary Clinton, appeared as examples of two women belonging to the top echelons of society who have embraced the so-called “power dressing” (for further information, please search power dressing blog under the fashion category of www.myusefultips.com).
PD (which by the way was coined by My Useful Tips for “power dressing”), as defined on the web, is: a) a style of clothing intended to make the person seem authoritative and competent, especially in professional settings in business, law and government; and b) a stylish and expensive clothing style intended to convey the impression of assertiveness and competence.
With the aforesaid descriptions, Mrs. Thatcher had displayed her dressing style conforming to what PD is all about. Her dressing sense revealed her personal strength, despite her being just a “woman”, and her ability to preside over and deliberate with the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the majority of whom are men. For me, that was perhaps a sight to behold! The Honorable Men bowing to the whims of a potent and influential woman!
The photos on the web revealed that she would normally wear tailored pant or skirt suits and a low-heeled court shoes which were appropriate for the people “on-the-go”, that even her suits in pastel colors, still exudes a true feminine power during her time.
As I was browsing her photos on line, I was reminded of my mother who was an authority at home over her children with diverse likes and dislikes. Similarly, Mrs. Thatcher had tried her best to lead the U.K parliament, with a mother instinct, sometimes getting upset when members of the lower and upper chambers were disagreeing with her. Just like a mother in the family, she must have wanted to be the light and guide to his followers, but sadly in the end she was left behind by her staunch supporters after 11 years in power.
As of this time, the present U.K. Parliament is still deliberating on what kind of funeral rites and “honors” should be conferred upon the former lady Prime Minister and what kind of legacy she had left behind!
There is no doubt that the lady Prime Minister who died at 87 years of age, had obviously left a legacy of sorts, mostly in the political spectrum, but definitely she had left a legacy to women who have likewise aspired to “rise up” and have their voices heard in various arena.
To the lady Prime Minister, may your soul rest in peace.
Note: This blog is dedicated to my loving Mom, whose death anniversary is forthcoming!
The parade of nations at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics on July 27, 2012 revealed a surrealistic painting of the disparity between the delegation of developed and industrial nations and those of the developing and least developed economies.
If you happen to be one of the billions of spectators of the said parade (either via live or digital means), you will agree with me that apart from the gap in the number and magnitude of representations between the two groups of nations, what was more ostensible and visible was the athletes sports uniforms. The developed nations appeared to have showcased their “power sports dressing” sense in Olympic runways. Their athletes were proud to parade in their stylish and natty outfits, as reported, designed by fashion luminaries such as Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani, Stella McCartney, Prada, among others. Surely, the Governments of each of the said affluent countries must have enough cash to spend not only for their athletes food, shelter, medical care, insurance, etc. but also for their athletes’ trendy sports outfits. How privileged for some of the athletes to be with these groups!
For developing and least developed countries, it is a sad fact that the Governments financial capabilities to provide the needed requirements for their respective athletes may not be adequate or maybe negligible. Budgetary support for sports and athletic commissions, specifically for a trendy outfit, may not be a priority in their economic and political agenda. As such, budget for sports and related activities receives only a small chunk of the overall Government’s budget. Hence, the difference in the Olympic sports wear for these countries, i.e. not as fashionable and stunning (but could be more traditionally nationalistic) compared to that of the rich nations.
Anyway, what is more essential is for the participating nations and their respective athletes to enjoy and relish what Olympics is all about: promote international unity among participating nations, foster camaraderie among athletes, globalization, etc.
But to give you of my faves fashion wear during the parade of nations, here are some of the most stylish and trendy outfits I’ve seen:
See what fashion did to Japan’s Kimono!
A fashion twist in Malaysia’s traditional costume!
Hopefully next time, the Governments of some of the developing countries could spare some cash for their athletes’ uniform. There is nothing wrong in wearing one’s native or traditional dress (sense of nationalism). But for a grand sports events like Olympics and the fact that the same is being held in one of the fashion capitals in the world, it may look awesome for the athletes to wear something decent but stylish, at least to jibe with the rest of the crowd. Just thinking aloud! How about recapping the red, white, blue and yellow hues, Philippines? Probably yellow blazer, blue skirt/pants, etc., oooops!
We were billeted in a hotel which is ideally located right in the heart of Boracay’s commercial zone. While the shopping center is only a 15-minute walk away, it took us an hour to actually get there as there are lots of small shops and fascinating spots along the way to hop in, selling beach and non-beach apparels, jewelry, coastal crafts and art articles, from authentic to counterfeit items and the so-called Triple A” (a newly coined jargon I’ve learned from one of the salesgirls). I understand that “Triple A’s” are copy cat of branded items, mass-produced but looked exactly the same and made out of a quality raw material. As such, the warning sign of “caveat emptor” or “let the buyer buyer” may have to be observed in some of these interesting places.
For blogging purposes, I got this Ambercombie and Fitch light pink/light blue lounge shorts, made of fine microfiber soft cloth at 5 measly bucks (roughly 200 pesos)! It was bought for several reasons: first, pink color’s cool; second, for necessity; third, it was of good quality; fourth, price was great and fifth, fit was “awesomeness”! Believe it or not, even the A&F tag and the logo appeared intricately embroidered, as if it was a real one, in fairness! I just forgot to bring my newly purchased A&F cardigan and shirt at the Ambercombie&Fitch store in New York, for comparison purposes as far as the label and logo are concerned. Nevertheless, it was a good buy, a value for money thing!
Another beach item which grabbed my interest were various types of beach hats for men and women sold by walking vendors and in small store booths. Unfortunately, I left my cam when I bought this pretty dark pink brim hat with a sash and a ribbon on it. This costs, only $5 bucks (hey, it seemed the $5 bucks was the “d’ figure” for that day, huh!) compared to those being sold inside the mall boutiques at higher prices ranging from $6 to $15.00.
The price mark-up could probably be due to related expenses (e.g. rent, manpower and other utilities). If you happen to see these hats being sold at leading departments stores in fashion capitals in the world (the Harrods in London, Macys in New York or by fashion designers in their respective showrooms), for sure the price tags for the same would be at exorbitant prices. Absolutely, the branded tags on your hat will make it more pricey. The more famous the designer, the higher the tag price!
There are several kinds of bags around the area as well . Beach, tote, shoulder, hobo, sequined, shelled bags and even coin purses too, they have it there. The tote printed bag which I got was a bonanza! It was the last piece in the store and so it was given to me at a special price. Probably that was really intended for me! The cotton cloth is a printed batik in purple color with a full silk lining inside. Its handle is a brown round wooden beads; comfy and easy to hold. I think it would be a great gift for someone or I could keep it for myself or probably make money out of it! Anyone interested?
Another one is this cute red body bag which is made of silk cloth and wood decorated with all kinds of shells, beads and sequins. Really rich in embellishment! These are being sold for $7. Wow! For the price and the quality, you can’t go wrong. Such great value! There are coin purses and trinkets made of woven abaca materials. Cute stuff but nothing extraordinary!
Boracay is for art connoisseurs. Local artists have their own way of showcasing their skills and crafts in painting. It could be on a canvass, or simply in a new shirt, or would you believe even on key chains.
You can have it personalized, with designs to your specifications. This shirt below is a simple one, but the “sun” was embossed for stunning clarity. Did you notice that? Love it!
Beach sandals, sneakers, flip-flops, and slippers abound in the area. Notable ones were those made in Brazil: Havaianas and Ipanema. However, the locally made footwear brand “Sandugo” was almost everywhere and I thought this brand could go a long way!
Oh, if you’re a fan of swim and beach wears, I have seen crazy-cute ones but the rest were just too sexy and daring for my taste. They have a run down of the latest and the trendiest styles that you can wear. I am not really a swim wear buff, so I didn’t get one. Fine for my tapering wallet!
While the day was mostly spent for walking and walking and window shopping, it was worth doing. My legs and feet didn’t feel tired because I enjoyed the variety the place could offer, the fresh air, and the little things I acquired during the day! Just like any other fashion enthusiasts, I happen to love to window shop! The Boracay mall and the stalls along the shore is now one of my favorite places to find unique and one of a kind vintage treasures. And I think it would be yours too!
My next blog about Boracay would be quite intriguing. Keep coming back guys!
Who would imagine that a stiff hard fiber sourced from an “abaca” plant and/or banana plant could be used as an alternative to conventional raw materials for avant-garde clothing and other fashion accessories? This is actually true and possible! In fact the said raw materials have been in existence and useful in some areas of the globe and in various ways even before the outbreak of World War 1!
Originating from a tropical country, I have known “Abaca” plant and its utilization but regrettably I haven't seen the tree itself with my naked eye as of yet. I understand the abaca tree can be likened to a non- fruit bearing “banana plant” and that is the reason why the said plant is considered to be part of the “banana family”. Among the significant distinguishing marks between the two are on their leaves and fruits. Abaca leaves are generally dark green, narrow and pointed as opposed to the banana plant whose leaves have light green color and wider in shape. Abaca's fruits are smaller and not as tasteful as that of the real banana tree. Believe it or not, the family roots of the abaca plant can be traced back all the way to the Philippines. This type of hard variety of abaca is different from the “Manila Hemp” (English translation) which can be found in other tropical countries. Hence, this is one of the indigenous plants and raw materials being regulated by the Philippine Government.
As a backgrounder, there are artists and fashion gurus advocating e-fashion over the years who have been able to thrive in a changing technology in fashion business. Fashion icons and budding fashion entrepreneurs continue to support and use indigenous materials (abaca fiber is just one of them) for a cause for some of their clothing lines despite the e-fashion industry's weaknesses, e.g. mass production, pricing and marketability, among others. We cannot discount the fact that e-fashion products are quite pricey vis-a-vis the regular garments being traded in the retail market. These eco-friendly clothing lines are categorized in the business as “haute couture” where accurate attention handcrafted details are pretty astounding. Because of its high quality, e-fashion products are most of the times being marketed in expensive boutiques and designer labels, thus not everyone can afford to wear one. If you may recall, a blog article was posted in this website a year ago relative to “Buying and Using Eco-Friendly Products”, wherein it was mentioned that a certain non-profit organization manufacturing and selling high end sustainable fashion products for a cause had a tag price for one of its products, a bermuda shorts at $275.00!( Note that a regular dollar earner can find a bermuda short at Old Navy for only 10 bucks or even less.)
With the foregoing being said, there is no argument that a fashion designer advocating e-friendly garments, particularly enhancing one's cultural heritage locally and abroad is truly laudable. There are actually fashion organizations which have continued and have been supportive of this cause. The National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers is one of the bigger organizations which promotes so called sustainable fashion. In the same manner, there are fashion designers on their own initiative who have advocated the use and production of fashion wears and accessories out of indigenous materials.
A Filipino fashion designer who has been successful in her craft and an active supporter of a clean environment is Dita Sandico-Ong. Dita Ong took the opportunity of utilizing the fibers sourced from banana and/or abaca plant/pina in the Philippines, combining her artistic prowess in clothing designs and other variants of fashion lines. She has been promoting the said product not only in her home country but also in other fashion capital of the world such as Milan, Rome, and New York, one of the many ways of contributing to her country's economic growth.
In collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General in New York, Dita Ong set the stage by hitting the catwalk showcasing her spring and summer unique and contemporary creations ("Czarist Charms: Filipiniana Flirting with the Unorthodox") not only to the true blue New York fashionistas but also to high ranking officials and art connoisseurs who were invited to grace the said event. Her attention to detail and exquisite hand crafted fabrics made her collections more relevant to sustainable fashion.
The fashion models wore the colorful and beautiful clothing lines to a "T". It consists of mostly multi-purpose wraps and can be used either as skirts, blouses, coats, headdresses or capes and depending on the occasion and the wearer's styles and preferences. See some of the photos below taken during the fashion show for your scrutiny. (Note: photos are property of and exclusively for www.myusefultips.com's use. Not for reproduction, please).
Those in attendance were the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, Libran Cabactulan and his wife, Fe Cabactulan, Consul General/Ambassador Mario de Leon, Jr. and his wife, Eleanor de Leon and Deputy Consul General Tess de Vega (in their beautiful abaca/pina dresses) with other foreign dignitaries and spouses.
It was a site to behold with the exotic indigenous abaca/pina fibers taking the center stage in New York City! Clap! clap! clap!
While Tangerines and Oranges are in demand these days because of the nutrients (e.g. Vitamin C) they feed our bodily systems, boosting our stamina and immunity particularly during winter season, their beautiful color is likewise the latest craze in town, particularly in fashion and design!
Officially recognized as the company to select the Color of the Year , Pantone Color Institute has chosen “Tangerine Tango” as the 2012 color of the year. As described by Pantone, Tangerine Tango is something deep orange or what they specifically call “spirited reddish-orange”.
Preferably, I go for subdued pastel colors, girly-lady like type thing, but I can be fearless enough to try bolder colors such as orange. Actually, I like orange color per se, as it gives shine and brightness to the surroundings. Even in food, if I see something of the same color range, I am attracted to it!
My fondness for orange color is actually evident in myusefultips.com slide banner from fashion, sports and other categories (which by the way I noticed this only now!). Did you guys observe it as well? The use of such color was never planned, probably it was my subconscious mind leading the team and working at that time!
For fun's sake, I checked if I do actually have some things with orange color in my belongings. Voila! I found a red-orange (what Tangerine Tango is all about) silk pleated haltered JAIPUR blouse dress which I got last year from Burlington Factory, a Laura Rowe necklace with matching earrings and bracelet, a winter knitted hat, an Asian wooden/rubber back massager, a bath sponge, headband, crayons and marker, and a plastic cosmetic case from Clinique. Wow! Do I have all these?
I know most of us wouldn't dare to wear orange in this winter time of year. We normally see people in subways, streets and work places, wearing clothes in black, gray, or blue shades of color. Maybe, we can set these colors aside for now. How about making a bolder statement for the sake of recognizing orange as the color of the year! Let's do it by showing something with orange color like an orange scarf, a bonnet or hat , belt, tie, or any accessories. It only would not add color to our lives, but it would also give us a shot of vigor and push to what we want to accomplish!
Come on guys, I dare you now! Let's flaunt the orange hue!
Some people don't mind multi-tasking especially in this high-tech age. It is much easier and possible to actually do anything at the same time. It just occurred to me now while drafting a report, my eyes were diverted to the live final tennis match of Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic for the coveted men's title of the U.S. Open being shown at the right side of the 25-inch computer monitor and listening to a favorite ipod tune, all at the same time. I am not an avid fan of lawn tennis but I have a heart for it as my Dad used to play this game locally in his heydays and in fact had won trophies for being good at it. But guys, you see I am not going to delve on the technicalities of the game, let's leave it to John Mc Enroe and other tennis gurus who may be competent to comment on the strategies used by said top notch players.
I was not paying much attention to the players' performance as my eyes were glued to the sports outfit the said players were wearing, which to my opinion affected their performance and compelled me to write something about it. Normally, tennis players these days would want to look at their best during the games. In this case, Nadal was sporting a slightly tight fitted blue jersey-like Nike shirt while Djokovic was in his Sergio Tacchini cotton-like white tailored shirt. Although at first glance during the start of the game, Nadal's slightly tight fitting blue shirt was fashionably a “killer” which showed his very well structured athletic body and big muscles, Djokovic's white tailored shirt which appeared unfashionably flat and boring, on the other hand, became a “savior” at the end of the game! Why? Here's the culprit!
During the second set of the game, Nadal had already sweated profusely because of too much effort, running from side to side to his defense and unfortunately to the point that he was dripping wet from head to toe, obviously captured by camera was his wet hair and shirt, which adversely affected his overall look! While Nadal was already experiencing such discomfort, Djokovic in contrast still appeared cool and sassy enjoying his lead in the match. Apparently, his immaculate white traditional tennis shirt miraculously helped him in a way absorbed the accumulated heat in his body, causing him to sweat less!
While Nadal's somewhat tight fitting blue shirt may look great in sports fashion wear and runways, it could have been far better if his fashion designer and strategist advised him to wear something comfortable during the game or probably they could have adopted a good balance between fashion and comfort. The objective to look good in the tennis court became a blunder and caused Nadal to feel uncomfortable because of heavy sweating and the tight hugging wet shirt. The sweat falling down from his forehead to his nose was also a bothersome, forcing him to wipe it from time to time. It was good that he did not suffer from dehydration and exhaustion in view of too much perspiration.
The fashion and the sweating aspects were absolutely not just the grounds for Nadal's failure to win in the game, but in my view the said factors played a role. These guys are currently the world's top 2 incredible tennis players and it could have been anybody's game! In this match, Djokovic's championed the game once again and bagged the 2 million dollar reward! His outfit during the match, although not so fashionable, provided him the needed comfort all throughout the game!
In a metropolis like NYC, fashion is inevitably observed especially to majority in the younger work force and the teens and tweens. The tri-media advertising massive campaign effectively put a pressure to some of these groups to dress up in a certain way and in line with each one's standards. However, for avid fashion lovers, even without the tri-media influence, dressing up is simply part of their day to day life, it's like a norm to them. They themselves do have a certain degree of power, they sometimes serve as the trendsetters, as a matter of fact, even fashion designers would get ideas from what they see from them. But even with that kind of scenario, these people would still go out of their way just to check on the latest craze in fashion mags and runways. These are the type of people who simply enjoy to fashion themselves, seeing on what to wear everyday, and are always on the hunt for something novel.
While it is true that being fashionable can be applicable to all people from all walks of life, regardless of age, etc., no one can deny the fact that the young ones are more excited and aggressive in so far as updating their looks are concerned.
Based on a sample survey conducted on the subject, the following are some of the rationale which to me seem to be intriguing yet practical on why the relatively young people would like to dress up, regardless of the occasion:
1.For love of fashion and trends
Isn't it interesting that there are people who would really shout out to the whole world to advocate for fashion? Yes, these are some who do feel proud about their style, and would even blog or write about it, perhaps in social network sites, journals or slum books, that is if they don't own a web place. Fashion lovers are more artistic and at the same time overcautious on what they wear, even if they'll merely buy something at a near by grocery store. They simply love to dress up for no reason at all.
2.For beauty and self-satisfaction
Some young people, especially the ladies, indicate that wearing something chic and classy would make them beautiful, at least from the outside appearance. They said that they feel more beautiful and satisfied if they're in their best attire. This is quite true because when I see someone even not endowed with the beauty of “Cleopatra”, but wears something that fits her to a “T”, I would compliment her, “Wow, you look pretty in there”! For the rich and famous, they can afford to be glamorous and gorgeous by wearing designer made clothes from the showrooms such as that of Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent or Pucci. But even if one is on a budget, he or she can still find ways on how to style minus the branded items. Definitely, it would make the person simply enjoy how fashion makes him/her feel.
3. For self-morale and confidence boosting
There are younger generations who would opt to dress up in order to level up their morale and confidence. One young college intern in a non profit org. mentioned that apart from being smart and pretty, the fact that she has decided to wear something decent, a pair of semi-formal business suit, added to her confidence to speak up and market herself to the interviewer, which made her in and be part of the team. When someone dresses up properly for any occasion, there is such a feeling which overpowers one's shyness, thus enabling him/her to even stand straighter and be confident of herself.
4. For fun and art sake
As mentioned in my previous blogs, fashion is more of an art than a science. There are some girls who just love to experiment on things like which color would match their shoes and accessories for a particular gathering. This is especially true to the fashionistas who are on a budget. They'll make use of what's available in their existing wardrobe. They become creative as a result of which and that's precisely the essence of fashion. In that way, they are able to express themselves by the clothes they wear on how they feel at that particular moment , thus confirming what experts in the field often said, that fashion is self-expression.
5. For attraction (normally from opposite sex), and for flaunting
The naughtier young ladies would dress up either to attract guys or show off of what they wear, particularly if they have an hour-glass figure and dangerous curves to boot. These are the type who are not afraid to flaunt and would want others to notice them. They want to be different, stand out as “la crème de la creme” in the crowd and they feel happy and satisfied in what they do.
I see nothing wrong in dressing up, actually it's fun and exciting. As I said before, as long as you dress appropriately, feel confident about yourself, act professionally (whether as job searcher or university student), then you're setting up yourself for success.
Incidentally, here are some styles for hip young professionals and teens and tweens. These are arranged by June, a fashion lover and hopefully a budding fashion designer.
So, how about you guys and dolls? Speak and share what's in your mind! What do you think of the write-up? What about the styles? Did you like it?
In these precarious times due to the depressing economy, only those in the upper echelons of society (“the haves” and the “have-mores”) are willing and able to spend thousands of green bucks for high fashion, avant-garde and haute couture dressing. A classic example was the recently concluded (4/29) royal wedding of England's Prince William and Kate Middleton where socialites made their respective fashion headlines from head to toe.
But, for average and middle-class fashion stalwarts and wannabes (who may still fall under the category of the “haves” ), they would think twice on whether or not to spend their hard-earned dollar bills for designer clothes, shirt, jeans and other fashion accessories. They would probably spend it for more essential things.
Much more for the young “fashionistas”, who in their teens and tweens, are grappling to survive to pay for their college and university tuition fees. There's no question anymore that they would be able to take the plunge as far as fashion expenditure is concerned. Unless, they'll force themselves into enormous credit card debts and other unwanted activities. The same is true with small-time young urban professionals and minimum salaried dollar earners, who couldn't even afford to grab a big combo sandwich at a walk-in fast food, except for those in the dollar menu list. Oh, these people could fall under the “have-nots or my new coined term, the “have-less”, which is the focus of this blog.
So, how could the “haves-nots” and the “have-less” fashionistas join the band wagon, so to speak, of the hard-core moneyed fashion strutters along the aisles, pathways and byways of fashion metropolis like Manhattan, Milan, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo? Sorry guys, there's no way you can be like them, it's far-fetched unless you'll be lucky enough to win in lotto or in any numbers game! Seriously, even if I win, I won't spend a dime for a 100,000 dollars worth of a couture made clothing. That's what you call absurdity! I would rather donate the money to a charitable institution for a more meaningful cause. That way, I will not only make myself accomplished but I will also be able to to accomplish the hungry stomach of the real, unlucky and very have-nots throughout the world, especially the destitute in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Come to think of it?
However, for fashion's sake, the “have-nots/have-less” struggling fashionistas can still demonstrate their own way of fashion sense taking into account their present resources and the latest vogue in town. Come on guys, you can show them the real us (that's me included, hahaha!), the real fashionistas minus the high-priced wear. People (both men and women) who are gifted and into fashionable things have this sort of innate flair in themselves and it truly exudes outside in their personality regardless of the tag price of the clothes they're wearing. As mentioned in myusefultips previous blog on the subject, it is actually how we make of us, how we fashion ourselves, and how we carry it and show off our own sense of style that is most important. Probably you'll argue with me, that what is being said in this blog is merely rhetorics of creativity. Absolutely not.
For have-nots,have-less “homo sapiens”, there should always be ways on how to be creative and resourceful . There's nothing wrong in being bargain hunters especially these modern trying days. Some of the ways and means which I recall have already been included in myusefultips blog last year, include the following:
1.For those who have at least extra money to spend, along the inner streets of Manhattan, between 8th Avenue to 6th ave./and Broadway, there are retailers offering at a bargain some designer clothes, and apparels. You can actually find a good piece for about 10 to 20 bucks made by a budding NYC designer. Occasionally, there are “sample sales” for all the 4 seasons of the year and you just need to be resourceful to check on ads and announcements because that's undertaken for a very limited time. A 20/20 vision is also required to inspect which of the sale items are a good catch.
2.There are charitable organizations offering at a big discount some branded items . Again, you just have to be patient in sorting out things because these items mostly have slightly scissored parts (not sure if it's a policy of the donor famous designers) but if you're fortunate enough, you can acquire ones which have none, for a measly 5 bucks! I'm not kidding, this is real thing. Come on now start checking with your non profit orgs in your respective communities if there is a schedule for spring or summer sales.
3.Check your closets and the pile of old and unused clothes and apparels in crates (for sure if you're a fashion addict, you have this at home) and take out the more relevant and “in” clothes for the year. Actually, a simple wear of a white shirt with any kind of coat or jacket (depending on the weather and the occasion) or a jeans/slacks would be good to look at. This is one form of recycling your “wearables” and that's cool!
I didn’t have the slightest hint in my life that I will be given the chance to observe fashion in a large metropolis like the Big Apple. With a year of experience in the city’s fashion industry and a daily late afternoon stroll before going home, along the busy street of 7th Avenue, NY’s fashion district, it was a sight to behold watching people from all walks of life strutting their fashion stuffs. I saw people wearing all sorts of style, from formal coat and tie/ladies power suits to rugged denim jeans and shirts, along the sidewalks of the street. It was as if I were in the front seat of a major project runway where all the people in the sidewalk were real life models, showcasing their best for the show.
As I am a “fashionista” by heart (though not in its strictest sense), I cherished those moments because the said experience gave me some pointers on how fashion can affect the overall outside physical appearance of a person. But as time goes along, I was no longer appreciating everything I see, I started to look a little closer, stopped , took count and I was surprised to pinpoint based on my standards lots of fashion faux pas. I am neither a fashion expert nor a fashion model/celebrity, but I know I have this innate fashion flair to distinguish which of these styles are appropriate or not.
For those not so familiar about the term “faux pas”, it is a French word which literally means “false step”. Mr. Webster and the online dictionary defined it as a social blunder or indiscretion, a violation of accepted social norms. It is pronounced as “ fo pɑ”. In fashion, it is like wearing things that shouldn’t be put on together, or wearing something which doesn’t suit to a particular built or wearing something with stripes and polka dots with a leather jacket and fur feathered hat as an extreme example!
Committing mistakes in fashion is but natural since not all of us are gifted with fashion sense. As I said before, fashion is more of an art than a science. It is what we make of ourselves, how we fashion ourselves and how we show off our own sense of style. It encompasses various things, from a powerful high avant garde to a fashion mistake such as a mere run in a panty hose or a piece of tissue paper stuck at the back of your skirt or dress or even at the bottom of your shoe! Oh yes, everyone makes mistakes! Some of you may have fallen victim to said fashion blunder at some point in your life! It happens and really funny, right? As a matter of fact, even highly fashionable people like ramp models and famous celebrities do likewise display occasional fashion blunders. We have noticed that in gala and awards shows, some of them experiment certain goofy styles which turn out to be bizarre, awfully bad and messy. And it is even more embarrassing on their part. So guys, there’s no need to worry if sometimes you commit said mistakes! It is okay as long as the lessons learned from these slip-ups shall eventually serve as your guide and reminders next time around. The rule of thumb is, if you feel uncomfortable with yourself, with your outfit, then something must be wrong and needs to be rectified.
Having said all these, the observations I’ve gathered during the one-year stint commute to and from the fashion district of the Big Apple presented various fashion blunders. Notice that the following list of fashion hard and fast no-no’s are the ones common, still true and haven’t quite changed at all despite the constant transformations in the fashion world.
Helpful Tips to Avoid Fashion Faux Pas
1. Dress to the nines according to your built – Take an inventory of your closet and make a list of things you need. If you’ve gained extra pounds and developed sort of a “muffin top” or a “beer belly” around your waist from the nocturnal doldrums last winter time, spare the skinny jeans and the small size pencil skirt you’ve used to adore as for sure it would be too tight in you. You might just end up turning like a stuffed turkey! I have observed this before and even now, wherein some working girls would have the guts to show off their dangerous curves and unwanted bulging bellies, making them look ludicrous!
On the other hand, I have seen people, both men and women, wearing loose or oversized garments so as to hide figure flaws probably not knowing or ignoring the fact that doing so would only highlight their imperfection and worse would even make them look bigger. Sure, it is comfy to sport loose fitting shirts and blouses but there are other options available to explore, such as wearing an inner blouse/shirt with a blazer or a jacket on it that has curvature down to the waist or a blouse with seam which could make you feel sexy and perfectly fit your body form to a T!
Similarly, I have also seen ladies as skinny as fashion models sporting super too-tight jeans or undersized clothes. Actually, it was funny to see it because there were as if a wigwam or a pyramid in between their pencil-thin shaped long legs. It just doesn’t look good at all and definitely not stylish!
As mentioned in my earlier blog (How To Power Dress in the Work Place), power dressing has evolved and is currently more relaxed. There are some trendy clothes that are just fine for a workplace and there are some too which are fashion faux pas. Don’t ever wear cocktail-look a like dresses to the workplace. This would include too short figure hugging dresses or low-cut tops or dresses with frills and laces.
As for the shoes, it was previously suggested in my blog that for office use, shoes with “chunkier heels, maybe an inch or two can add chic and confidence to oneself. Wearing flat shoes, sandals or even flip-flops to office is considered a fashion faux pas. Likewise, do not wear strappy sandals which are more appropriate for night out escapades.
2. Dress to the nines with appropriate underclothes – Especially during late spring and summertime, I have often seen people along the streets of NY not only showing some of their bare skins but also their underclothes or “undies”. Clean, new or ultra chic undies, if exposed to the public, become a fashion blunder. The more it becomes disgusting if the undies are worn out, stained, and untidy to look at (eewww!). Probably you have heard this reminder from you grannies or moms to be cautious in wearing underclothing, that as much as possible there’s a need to wear clean and proper undies to avoid embarrassment because you just don’t know when to encounter mishaps along the way.
Another blunder which I have seen around involves some people wearing clear bra straps in a strapless top or dress. Likewise, wearing dark colored undies, e.g brassieres, with a see through white or light colored dresses or blouses on it, revealing a silhouette of their private properties, shouldn’t be an option. Take note that undies, as the term implies, are meant to be kept inside and not for public eyes consumption. Oooops, sorry for the conservative views! But, don’t get me wrong, I super love undies with cute frills and laces but you may agree with me that it would be awkward for men and women parading around with visible lines and their undies like briefs, thongs, etc. peeking out of their jeans or from the edges of their skirts! To me, they’re totally inappropriate and nothing more!
Likewise, sports bras shouldn’t be worn under a dress or for any everyday attire, they’re designed for working out!
3. Dress to the nines with proper accessories – In particular, women have a fetish when it comes to fashion accessories, Said accessories include, among others, hand bags, shoes, hosiery, headbands, ribbons, jewelries, gloves, watches, bracelets, bangles, belts, shades, and the like. Said accessories could either enhance or complement one’s clothes or it could ruin one’s persona.
A classic example is the use of pantyhose. I for one use them for protection from my shoes and I’m comfortable with them either psychologically or emotionally. I also think that wearing panty hose makes my legs look better, shapelier and sexier. The real faux pas is the manner of wearing it. I have seen some people wearing either too small or too big of hosiery whether it be stockings, leggings or tights. If it’s too small, you will run the risk of highlighting the obvious or if it’s too big , you may appear like a bag lady with the hosiery sagging down your thighs and legs. Note that the seam of the stockings should be discretely tucked away from the opening especially if you’re wearing an open-toed shoes. Ensure that that the color of the pantyhose should match the hem of your skirt at least. Lastly, please put away your stocking with holes and don’t dare to use it to make a difference! It’s just tacky, tacky and tacky!
On the other hand, some people think that showing bare legs is cool and trendy. But actually another blunder is baring your legs itself. In fact fashion experts encouraged to use pantyhose and in fact even displayed these accessories in their runway shows.
The use of “bling” or jewelries, I am not sure about this. Personally, I am not really into gold or silver pleated jewelries. I believe in the saying, simplicity is beauty. However, if you have a nice designer gold watch (probably Gucci), go and flaunt it, that would be great to match with your office or night out attire. It’s definitely a no-no to wear so many gold or bright colored accessories, if you want not to look like a clown! A pair of cultured pearl earrings or necklace would be perfect for a formal occasion or office use.
It should be noted that having same colored accessories is not at all necessary. Coordination is the right term. As long as you have the art of coordinating as well as contrasting colors and designs with your outfit and the accessories, you won’t go wrong. A correct choice and manner of wearing accessories with the desired outfit will surely give you a presentable stylish look.
Now that you have these things in mind, another point to keep in mind is regarding body care. While you may have the fabulous fashionable clothes and accessories in town but have forgotten to physically clean up yourself, then that’s a baloney! That’s like cleaning the front yard of your house and not properly fixing up the mess inside. A mere stain on your dress can give a lasting impression. Proper and good hygiene is definitely a requirement: clean well trimmed finger and toe nails, a well-combed hair, fresh breath and a clean washed flawless face with a slight make-up , will surely make you go a long long way!
Therefore, to avoid fashion faux pas, we should be able to accept who we are, our imperfections but on the other hand learn to use the said imperfection to an opportunity to change and look better by wearing what fits us properly so we can be stylish and be able to exude the needed confidence. Once we have been able to acquire the habit of dressing well for fashion, this could stay and be our style for 2010 and beyond!
Almost anywhere in the world, the lessons learned from the financial debacle experience have more or less helped shape people’s conservative spendinghabits , especially on both luxury and non-luxury items. One affected area which may not be considered indispensable to some people is fashion and its related accessories. However, for fashion die-hards and enthusiasts, it would almost be unbearable not to be updated with the fresh trends taking into account the degree of influence fashion mags, runways and the who’s who in fashion have on them. They would always find ways and means on how to stay on top of the craze come hell or high water!
Spring and summer seasons are the best times of the year to get out and enjoy frolicking under the sun, having fun with our family and friends. It is the time when we want to wear our best summery and breezy clothes and show some “skins” and feel good about ourselves regardless of age and body type. Basically, it is the clothes we pick and wear that would give us that confidence we need, as long as it is glam, trendy and stylish. Hey, hey, hey, you might say, but how can I have glam and fashionable clothes without spending thousands of green bucks and ruining my cash flow just to have a complete makeover of my wardrobe? Well, there is a solution to that. As I said in my previous blog, a real chic “fashionista” doesn’t have to be an ardent fashion follower , there’s no need to buy expensive clothes and accessories, instead make an effort to be a trendsetter- from professional to fun and cool look !
So, to be a trendsetter in a tough economy requires someone to be smart and creative. A genuine fashionista is the type of a person who at a snap of a finger, would be able to determine which outfit is appropriate. However, for those who are not as “savoir-faire” as the rest, there’s no need to fret about it- as you can simply check
yourcloset and examine which actually can be utilized and fitting for the season. For spring and summer time, you may take out and keep aside black ensemble and those with dull and dark colors and replace it with your existing brighter, bolder, hot, trendy yet cool outfit and accessories which lay still in your wardrobe.
The Budget-Friendly Tips – Fashion Must Haves
1.If you’re a dressy person like me, you may opt to wear clothes with floral prints and some super cute accents such as ruffles, ribbons and bows . While 2010 fashion color is turquoise or in shades of blue, white and pink colors are still preferred by many. These colors are soothing to the eyes and would reflect an appearance of femininity, youthful innocence, fun and excitement! It doesn’t have be a pure white or an all pink outfit, it could be matched with a printed or plain
stuff. I am sure you have some beautiful sun dresses, blouses or skirts in pastel colors of blue, pink, white, yellow and some earthy tones with some cute accents and a touch of flair . A nautical striped outfit may also
be good to look at.All theseform part of my existing favorites
A spaghetti sundress with a style on hemline,
an off-shoulder printed dress for office wear and night out ,
a chiffon printed blouse with dainty ruffles, a weekender dress for worship/mall window shopping , a tank topand a jogging pantsfor a lighter moment!
2.For simpler yet modern style,capris , workwear denim, ripped jeans, and wide leg trousers which you may find in your closet are cool substitutes. They can be used during these times of year. Yes, you’ve heard it right, ripped, torn and peek-a-boo denim shorts and jeans are still in – from last year’s success in the streets- it is here once again!If you don’t have it and wouldn't want to spend your hard-earned money for ripped jeans but would have wanted to explore wearing it, you can actually cut up your old jeans and let the fringes from the cut hang.
3.A cardigan for a charming spring/summer dress for office wear or a boyfriend jacket and blazer with sleeves rolled up is super cool, especially for spring and mild summer night.
4.Check your shoe rack and select onepair for partyor social networking gatherings, a pair of workheels, sneakersortennis shoes for a brisk walk, sandals/wedges/clogsand flip flops,that would fit and match most of your clothes. Spring and summer times are just perfect to show off your wow shapely legs and nice neat toes!
5.As an alternative to your large and oversized bags, you may wish to use your smaller, bright colored trendy bags still hanging in your closet.
6.Sunglasses, scarves, hats or umbrellas are definitely necessary, especially during warm summer days.
7.A swimsuit or any related beach apparel for your beach, cruise or weekend getaway.
8.Aside from a pearl stud earrings, you can wear chandelier earrings this year. It is okay to wear chandelier earrings if you’re comfortable with it as it adds glamour to formal (night out) or informal outfits (e.g. white shirt and jeans) . However, if you’re not used to wearing earrings , it is also fine – a simple natural clean look perfectly fits for summer time.
9.Go to your nearest beauty parlor and have your hair styled. This is an inexpensive way to stay in fashion!
With all these tips in mind, you’re now set to go out and show that individuality of yours. I am sure you will have a brighter, cooler, and trendy spring and summer time! So, what are you waiting for? Come on, flaunt it!