Authored by Mary McMahon and can also be found here: http://is.gd/ZzejgX
A fashion house or maison couture is a parent company which hires numerous fashion designers to produce a variety of lines. Many houses produce both couture and ready-to-wear lines of clothing, along with shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories. Typically, a house has a flagship namesake brand, but it may also control several other brands which are targeted at different regions of the market. Goods from the main line tend to carry a premium cost, especially in the case of garments which are custom-designed for specific clients.
France, and specifically Paris, is generally viewed as the home of international fashion, and France is also the nation which gave birth to the maison couture. Historically, dressmakers worked on their own, and sometimes with assistants who performed basic sewing tasks. A French draper was the first to assemble a fashion house, in which multiple designers worked under his supervision to develop a line of clothing. He called his establishment a maison couture, and people started using the terms “house” or “couturier” to refer to establishments organized in a similar fashion.
Some well-known examples of couturiers include Chanel, Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent, Kenneth Cole, Alexandar McQueen, Prada, Versace, and Armani, among many others. Many of these firms are named for their founders, and several are dynastic businesses, with multiple generations of the family working in various divisions within the house.
Fashion houses take their brands very seriously, and they go to great lengths to protect and promote them. Each house wants to come up with innovative fashion which helps it to stand out from the pack, and it also wants to develop a trademark “look” for each season which is instantly recognizable. When designers at a house get together to develop looks for the new season, they talk about the history of the brand, the direction they want to take the brand in, and the themes they want to play with in the coming season. Each designer produces a range of items, and the head of the house decides which items will be produced and marketed to the public.
Employment in the fashion industry can be brutal, and working for a major fashion house is no exception. Designers usually attend art school and do years of scut work before they are even permitted to submit designs for consideration to their supervisors, and these supervisors have years of experience in the fashion industry. Fashion is definitely a lifetime career, as it can take a decade or more before one's designs are considered worthy of the runways.
The first step to stop runs in your stockings is to buy the right ones. Invest in a quality pair, preferably one with reinforced toes. High-quality stockings will be more expensive, but you will have the peace of mind of knowing they will not fall apart the first time you wear them. Alternatively, look for the words "runguard" or "run guard" in the packaging, which indicates a special knitted area that surrounds the toes and helps stop runs that originate at the base of the foot.
When you are putting the stockings on, be aware of your environment and stay clear of rough edges or surfaces that can snag the stockings. Be extra careful if you have long fingernails. With normal wear and care, a pair of stockings should last a minimum of six months. To extend the life of stockings and stop runs even before they start, there are many things that can be done, starting with hand washing them rather than dumping them into a washing machine. Avoid bleach, as it contains harsh chemicals that damage the fine structure of stockings. Lie flat to dry if at all possible, or hang over a towel so the stockings do not acquire any creases. When storing stockings, keep them away from metal hooks, such as the ones in bras, jewelry, and basically anything that can get tangled in the fine material.
While there is no logical explanation for it, many people swear that keeping your stockings in the refrigerator will stop runs or help avoid them. According to them, freezing and thawing the stockings prior to the first use seems to work even better, preventing snags and making the material more resistant to runs.
The secret to stop runs that already exist is to catch them early. The more you delay in acting, the more chance the run will reach all the way up your legs. Clear nail polish will stop runs immediately if applied at both ends of it. Once the nail polish hardens, it will also become invisible. If you do not have nail polish available, hair spray can also work. Simply apply over the whole length of the run and let dry.
Authored by B. Miller and can also be found here: http://is.gd/SyC8mL
Tights and leggings are two very similar types of clothing. Both are very tight, form-fitting pants, often worn under another piece of clothing such as a dress, skirt, or even jeans. There are some differences between tights and leggings that may make them more suited for one style over another.
The first difference between tights and leggings is the material used to make them. As a general rule, tights are slightly thinner than leggings, and are not intended to be worn alone. Leggings are made of thicker material, and though it is not often recommended in fashion, they may be worn alone and are often used for working out. Tights may also be made of thicker material, however, and once worn with a dress and boots, can be impossible to tell apart from leggings.
The next difference in tights and leggings is length. Tights generally stretch over the feet and all the way up to the waist, entirely covering the legs. Leggings usually end at the ankles, and do not normally cover the feet. Leggings may come in varying lengths, from knee-length or capri-length leggings all the way up to pant-length leggings. For this reason, tights are often worn in the winter for warmth, whereas leggings may be worn during virtually any season, even with open-toed shoes.
Shorter leggings may be referred to as cropped leggings. These work well for working out, and are also very popular to be worn under dresses. Though black is a common color, both tights and leggings may be available in many different colors and patterns for different outfits.
Leggings may be made out of materials such as wool, nylon, silk, or cotton, typically with a stretchy material such as lycra to give them their distinctive look. In general, tights tend to be made out of a more transparent material than leggings. Previously, some leggings were made with stirrups that went over the bottom of the feet to prevent the leggings from riding up. These are no longer commonly worn.
Tights may be worn with shoes that cover the whole foot, such as boots or ballet flats. Leggings tend to be more versatile and can be worn with sneakers, open-toed shoes, or sandals, as well as boots and flats. There are some jeans that are now designed to look like leggings, because they are so tight and form-fitting. These are sometimes referred to as "jeggings" in a combination of the two words.
For your quality leggings needs, check out our Zara Terez page here.
Authored by Mary McMahon and can also be found here: http://is.gd/fPEiUL
Fashion week is an event at which designers have a chance to display new lines of clothes, shoes, bags, and other accessories. As the name would suggest, fashion week usually lasts around a week, and it features the latest and greatest of the fashion world. The “Big Four” fashion weeks in Milan, Paris, New York City, and London determine what's in and what's out in the upcoming season, and they attract a great deal of attention and buzz.
At a fashion week, designers hold a series of runway shows in which models display their garments. Often, multiple facilities hold runway shows at the same time, accommodating the large numbers of designers who may be present, and the clothes may be modeled by well-known supermodels or relative unknowns, depending on the designer.
Fashion weeks are held twice a year, once in the spring/summer to showcase fall/winter styles, and once in the fall/winter for spring/summer lines. The long lead time gives buyers enough time to order, and sets the trends for the following seasons. In addition to showing regular lines, designers may also display concept pieces during fashion week, with these garments intending to impress the audience more than showcase a particular style.
This concept originally started as a way to allow designers to promote lines for the upcoming seasons, and fashion week events were primarily attended by buyers for major department stores and retailers. The buyers would get an idea of what was going to be trendy in the coming season by attending fashion week, and they could order products which interested them. Fellow designers would also attend fashion week events to see projects which other designers were working on.
Over time, fashion critics also began attending fashion week, and the events began to draw the attention of the general public. People who follow fashion may attend numerous shows over the course of a fashion week event, and some shows are hot items, with fierce competition to get a foot in the door. Goody bags and other giveaways are also common during fashion week.
The media typically reports on the notable styles from the runway, inspiring lesser designers and alerting the public to upcoming trends. Some people are also interested in the stories about fashion week parties, concerts, and other events which involve celebrities, but not necessarily fashion.
In addition to the Big Four, numerous other cities around the world host regional fashion weeks. These events may feature local designers along with some major houses of fashion, and they are used to promote interest in the region and its local products.
Authored by Michael Pollick and can also be found here: http://is.gd/P4zVRG
A shoe horn is a dressing aid used to help guide feet into tight-fitting dress shoes, sports shoes, or boots. It is made up of a long, thin piece of metal, plastic, or other material, which is is placed firmly against the back of the shoe, called the counter in footwear terminology. The user's heel slides against the smooth surface of the horn, allowing the foot to be placed into the shoe without damaging or warping the counter. Some models feature an extended handle, while others have a short blade that curves into a handle.
Back in the days when formal footwear was the norm, a shoe horn was every bit as common in the home as a hair brush or an umbrella. With advances in footwear design and a shift towards sports shoes and boots for casual use, they have become far less common. Many people who own one today are more likely to use it to avoid excessive bending following surgery or other medical situations. Putting on shoes may become challenging for the elderly as well, so health catalogs often promote this tool as a dressing aid in conjunction with other reach extenders.
A shoe horn may be constructed from metals such as aluminum, brass, or stainless steel, with an epoxy coating. Plastic is also a common material, as is bone or ivory. Really, any material that allows the user's heel to slide easily down it can be used.
One end of the device has a rounded blade that is curved to fit the interior of most shoes. The curved end is pressed against the back of the shoe, and the users heel slides along the concave side. The horn end often looks like a duck's beak. There may be a handle attached to the blade that extends close to the user's knee area. The tip may be decorative, or it may be another dressing aid designed to hook clothing.
The name for this device has also become part of common language as a metaphor for creating extra space through force. A person might say that an emergency patient was "shoehorned" into the appointment book, or a last-minute addendum was "shoehorned" into a pending piece of legislation.
Authored by Debra Durkee and can also be found here: http://is.gd/fpYjSF
For men and women, choosing the best fitting jeans can be a chore. With so many choices available, it can be difficult to choose the one style that is the most flattering; keeping in mind some simple tips like the ability of dark colors to hide extra bulges and pounds, the process can be made much easier. Looking for jeans based on an individual's figure rather than the current trend can make almost anyone look better, feel more comfortable, and save time.
Women can have a particularly difficult time selecting the best fitting jeans simply because of the many choices available. Pinpointing problem areas can help narrow down the styles of jeans that are tried on, and deciding what feature should be accented can also help. One of the keys to selecting the best fitting jeans is to be honest about the size. No one can see the size tag, but the whole world can see what the jeans look like, and squeezing into jeans several sizes too small is flattering on no one and comfortable for few.
A boot cut shape can make a big difference in the fit of the jeans. The flare at the bottom will fit over any boot as well as flatter almost any pair of shoes, from sneakers to heels, keeping the jeans versatile and comfortable. They also help give the illusion of longer, thinner legs.
Take into account what features the jeans shouldn't accent. Jeans that tie at the waist or have flaps on the side or back pockets will accent the belly and bottom, so if these features are cause for self-consciousness, choose less decorative styles. Tapered jeans can add the illusion of curves to a body that doesn't have any, while relaxed jeans can help hide wide hips and thighs. The best fitting jeans aren't just physically comfortable, but flattering as well.
Shoes can make a difference when selecting the best fitting jeans for men and women. Boots with thick soles or high heels can throw the length of the jeans off, so consider what type of shoes will typically be worn with the jeans. If trying on jeans barefoot, a good rule of thumb is to select a length that comes to the floor. This will account for sneakers or flat shoes, along with any possible shrinking that might occur in the wash.
For men, finding the best fitting jeans requires some similar considerations about body shape and size. Purchasing the next longer inseam than what fits in the store can help ensure that jeans will still have a comfortable length even after washing. Consider the waistline, especially if there is usually a belt worn. Pockets should be big enough for keys, cell phone, or anything else commonly carried. Not all jeans look the same with the pockets full, so adding these accessories when trying them on can help give a better idea of what they will look like once taken home.
For your needs in jeans, check out our Williamsburg page here.
Authored by Mandi R. Hall and can also be found here: http://is.gd/HLMhT0
A bra, also known as a brassiere, is a garment that covers and supports the breasts. The bra fit is integral to the purpose of the bra. It should maintain comfort while providing physical support. Though a bra can create and enhance cleavage for vanity’s sake, it also holds up the breasts and keeps them stable during physical activities such as running. Signs of an incorrect bra fit include a bra riding up, breasts that spill out of the bra cups, and flesh that rolls over the back of the bra.
A bra should not ride up the back or side of the torso. If there is an underwire in the bra, it should not dig into the skin. This can cause extreme discomfort.
The straps should not dig into the shoulders, causing deep grooves in the skin. Are there rolls of back fat visible? If so, the bra is actually too large, not too small. A woman who has the proper bra fit, centered lower around her torso, should eliminate the majority of back fat troubles.
The bra should support the breasts, not the other way around. Additionally, the nipple should remain inside of the cup with the rest of the breast. The majority of the breast should not spill out of the top of the cup.
As a young woman’s first bra is often deemed a coming-of-age symbol, it is imperative that she understands how to properly wear a bra. First, she should understand the features of a bra. To understand the proper bra fit, the elements of each bra must be considered.
The cups are the first thing to look at when choosing a bra. They range in lettered sizes such as A, B, C, D, and beyond. The smallest cup size is typically AA. Many designers create these cup sizes based on a specific formulaic process. The volume is determined based on whether the breasts more closely resemble a ball or a cone. Regardless of one’s breast shape, however, the predicted bra fit is typically similar.
Most bra manufacturers have generic cup sizes. These sizes may fit a few women perfectly, but most women actually aren’t aware of their proper bra fit. Many women experience back problems due to the bra straps improperly causing more strain on the back in a pulley-like effect.
Typically, a bra is meant to be modest and concealing. Many bras are padded. The padding is meant to cushion the breasts against discomfort, add some faux volume, and conceal a shapely nipple. If there is too much air space between the breast and the padding, the cupped bra fit is too large.
In addition to cups, a bra is also equipped with the center panel between the breasts, an elastic or wire band running below the breasts and around the entire torso, a clasp either in the front or the back, and shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are generally adjustable, as is the clasp.
Shoulder straps and clasps are meant to help sustain the life of a bra. When first purchasing a bra, wearing it on the loosest settings will allow for the bra to stretch out. Once the shoulder straps and clasp seem a bit loose, a woman may move on to the next fastener in line.
For our bra and panties range, please check out our promise page here.
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