Monthly Archives: December 2016

Winter Fashion Guide

Many folks survive winter onslaught with gloves, hats, scarves and sweaters, for the fashion conscious this could be a tough going because it could mean having to compromise their sense of style on the altar of survival, that shouldn’t be the case with you, below are style do’s and don’ts of winter fashion, to help you navigate the wintry months in style.

Do’s of winter fashion

A classic winter hat is a must have

Once upon a time gentleman’s roamed the land and they did not don atrocious headgear. Somewhere along the way, novelty hats that provided functionality for surviving extreme weather became an excuse for men morphed into mobile ads of grandma’s knitting circle. The cottage creations may be cozy, but they are far from being fashion-friendly. Luckily, simple solutions exist, these include fedoras, bowlers and newsboy hats keep heat in and juvenile folly out. When looking for winter headgear, stay away from ear muffs, ear warmers, pom-pom hats, anything made by a so-called friend or family member.

Use and preserve your leather

Artificial fibers aren’t the only way to battle the harsh weather. Prior to synthetic nylons, and faux furs, there was leather similar to high-quality skins along with their specially treated friends, namely suede and patent leather; these were mostly winter-ready. Despite serious hesitation to expose garments made of these pricey materials to rain and snow, they were actually given the ability to take a beating. It just takes proper maintenance to prolong their longevity.

Here’s how to look immaculate in leather while maintaining its luster

Water-repellent sprays for leather goods help provide preventative action against potentially damaging moisture. Once indoors, dry shoes off and use a damp cloth to stop the formation of pesky salt lines. If it’s already too late, a simple mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar will do the trick. As for suede, knead-able erasers and toothbrushes can help wipe away scuffs and stains as well as restore the fabric’s supercilious texture. Steer clear of cheap/ fake leather and drying radiator heat.

Vest

Vests are the ultimate layering piece. In its arm-amputated design, the vest can be one extra barrier against the cold or act as a final finishing piece on slightly warmer days. Throw it over the typically topless sweater to keep your limbs covered and core warm. Try to keep things equal and avoid over-sized vests, they make you look like a clown.

Tie your scarf properly

Scarves are meant to be wrapped around the neck, the reason being: that one of the prime places that the body release heat. There are two ways to wear a scarf (a) The Parisian – this is the trickiest of the family, it’s worn by folding the scarf lengthwise and then pulling both ends through the loop made on the opposite side. The Parisian provides the snuggest method for max warmth.

The more casual once-around knot works by placing the scarf on the neck with one side slightly longer than the other and then wrapping it around and through the loop. And if it’s not quite that cold yet, keep the once-around loose and limber. Beware: This style only works with longer scarves.

Tips for Painless Shopping

Plus size clothing shopping is a pleasure for some full-figured women, and a chore for others. Whether you love it and shop twice a week, or hate it and shop twice a year, it can be a painless experience no matter what size you are. Use these plus size shopping tips to make your wardrobe hunt the fun experience it should be.

    1. Know Your Measurements: Notice I didn’t say know your size. Your size will vary according to what you’re shopping for. The brand, style and sometimes even the fabric will make a difference. No two size 16’s are the same in my book. That goes for the clothes, and the women. So ask a trusted friend (it’s easier that way) and with a measuring tape, have them measure across the fullest part of your bust. Your natural waistline, and around the fullest part of your hips. Pull the measuring tape snug, not tight. Write these numbers down and tuck them in your purse. They will come in very handy, especially if you can’t or don’t want to try things on. — I recommend you try on clothes whenever possible, unless it’s something you’ve owned before.

 

    1. Wear Your Best Undergarments: Unless you’re shopping for sweats and t-shirts, don’t go shopping in your sports bra. To get the best fit wear a supportive bra and underwear that keeps you smooth under your clothes.

 

    1. Dress Comfortably Head to Toe: Trying on clothes is tedious for some plus size women so make sure you’re comfortable while you do it. Easy on; easy off is the name of the game. Don’t forget some comfy shoes, especially if you’re going to be trekking through the mall all day. A simple slip on flat will have you in and out of dressing rooms with ease.

 

    1. Shop with a Friend: An opinion you trust is a valuable thing, especially if you’re going to move out of your comfort zone and experiment with new styles or colors in your wardrobe. If you have to shop alone but want a sounding board, chit chat with a sales person and ask her to pick out what she thinks will look good on you.This will give you a feel for her taste and plus size know-how. Use the sales staff ( I’ve found they’re usually honest) to get feedback about what you’re trying on. I’ve never been afraid to ask the lady in the next fitting room what she thinks either.

 

  1. Size is a Guideline, Not a Goal: Keep this in mind and your shopping experience will be much more pleasant and productive. If you fall into the trap of believing you should be one particular size no matter what, you’ll make yourself miserable. Plus size clothing sizing can vary wildly so your idea of what “size” you are can limit your choices. Use your perceived size as a guideline; a starting point. Then be willing to go up or down a size to get the perfect fit for you.

With so many plus size options available now both on the internet and out in the malls, shopping can be just as much fun for full-figured women as it is for any other woman, trendy or classic, who’s looking for plus size fashion style, fit and comfort

Fashion Tips For Plus Size Women

While I am not a fashion icon, I do have a sense of style. Even if I did not have a sense, of style, I still have an opinion. I know that as plus size women, you may already be insecure about your weight. The key is to make clothing choices that will make you look good. If you are already insecure, the last thing you want to do is where clothing that will create unwanted or unflattering attention. I have created a list fashion tips that will help you look good will you work to reach your goal weight.

Tip #1 – Wear The Right Bra
If you top heavy, please be sure to where the right bra. It should be one that will lift and give your breast a natural round shape. This can usually be accomplished with an underwire bra. It is extremely important that you buy the right size to ensure a comfortable fit and to avoid bulging. Buying a good quality bra is also important. Try the bra on before your purchase it to make sure it will give your the desired look.

Tip #2 – Select Long (length) Shirts
This is a popular fashion faux pas for plus size women. While finding a shirt in the right size may be difficult at times, that is not an excuse to buy a shirt that is too short. For some odd reason, some women will buy a shirt that barely hangs below waist level. As a result, when she raises her arms or bends over, her flesh is exposed. I am sure these women do not want to show off their love handles. The avoid this issue, buy longer shirts. The length of your shirt should at least come to the middle of your hips. This will give your several extra inches to work with. It also allows you to move without the fear of exposing your flesh to a group of gawking onlookers.

Tip #3 – Avoid Low Riders
For years, we have seen pot belly men walking around with their pants snuggly buckled below their bulging belly. Over the past few years, we have seen a similar phenomena occur with women. Mostly due, in part to the popularity of low riding pants. While the style looks great when you have the waist line for it, it less flattening when you have the “muffin top” effect. Buy pants that will fasten around your waist at the belly button level. Yes, that may mean buying a bigger size, but the you will look better and the fit is probably more comfortable.

Tip #4 – Avoid Extra Tight Clothes
I know that it is hard for some of us to admit that we have gained a little weight. We still hang on to the idea of wearing tight clothes that shows off our figures. The problem is that every shape is not flattering. Some curves are just in the wrong places and honestly are not deserving of the spotlight. Showing every lump and bump of your figure leaves very little to the imagination. Avoid these “TMI” moments by buying looser fitting clothes, that will complement your figure.

Tip #5 – Highlight Your Best Features
We have all heard the phrase “focus on the positive”. Well the same idea works with our choice of clothing. Highlight your best assets, instead of bringing atttention to your less flattering features. If your arms are your best features, don’t be afraid to show them. Find the clothes, colors and accessories that complement you. Take pride in yourself and how your present yourself to the world. When you do this, you overall appearance is improved. You will feel more confident and it will show.

Rain Boots

Whether you’re looking for rain-resistant overshoes, a stylish splash of color, or a super protective work boot, rain boots offer options for the whole family.

You can even purchase matching styles – if your kids are still young enough to enjoy dressing like Mom and Dad.

You might want to make sure you shop for the right size, though.

Even shopping for rain boots can be great family fun!

Features for the Whole Family

In general, rain boots should feature the following:

  • Keep the feet dry
  • Keep the feet warm
  • Provide breathability
  • Durability
  • Easily cleaned
  • Solid traction

Mom

For mom, rain boots go beyond the general features. They must be stylish. Women actually care if colors match the outfit, or if the outfit serves as a base to showcase a stylish boot. The look matters.

This doesn’t exclude all the basic factors. Women are also the first to wail on manufacturers who fail to meet quality standards. They better look good, and they better NOT fall apart.

Mom will generally care more about designer boot options, as well. Valentino, Jimmy Choo, and Hunter all hold significance in the shopping experience. Familiarity with a famous and dependable designer can make or break a buying decision.

Dad

Dad may not care as much about the designer, but he WILL still shop for a reliable brand of boots. Brands famous for rugged and durable footwear sway the buying decision for men in search of dependable work boots.

Features must go beyond the basics in terms of traction, stability, rugged construction, and durability. Since they’re likely to be worn for countless hours in wet and muddy conditions, Dad’s boots must often exceed the standards for comfort, support, protection (from water/waterproof and temperature), and breathability.

Teen/Tween

The teen and tween shopper is MUCH more likely to pursue a look in a boot. Just as young boys will desire cool or even “plain” rain boots, young girls may prefer the wildest and most colorful options.

Since young girls often desire multiple options for the wardrobe, several pairs of inexpensive boots may be preferable to one long-lasting pair of rain boots.

Teens and Tweens begin an interest in name brands and designers, but high end designer rain boots are often way beyond the budget. If a name brand or designer is important, shopping for sales may be the only way to obtain designer footwear.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of other budget-friendly options available in chain stores and online. Polka dots, solids, patterns, and truly unique designs are all available in the $25-40 range. Teens and tweens should have no trouble maintaining a fashion statement for a reasonable cost.

Kids/toddlers

For kids and toddlers, rain boots are just plain cute. Even if they’re solid colored and functional, they’re just cute on those tiny feet.

Every character and animal imaginable may appear on kids’ rain boots. Hello Kitty, pink and purple flowers and adorable frogs splash in puddles with little girls. For boys, super heroes, dinosaurs, trains, and trucks are there to soar through the mud.

If they’re young enough to enjoy dressing like Mom and Dad, Crocs and other brands provide matching styles for all ages. Truly, rain boots are fun for the whole family.

How to Dress in India

Traveling to India? It’s important to realize that many of the clothes that we wear at home are not appropriate for India, either in terms of the climate or in terms of the culture. As far as the culture is concerned, India is simply not a country where one can safely go around dressed as most of us do in the West, so it’s important to be familiar with the Indian dress code and the reasons behind it. Moreover, many styles of dress that are perfectly acceptable in the West are downright offensive to most Indians. For this reason, you may be better off buying clothes once you arrive. A great excuse to go shopping-and clothes are so much cheaper than back home.

Whether you believe it should or not, how you dress profoundly affects how people respond to you (this is even more the case in India than in most other countries). Women who dress and act modestly are much more highly regarded than those who flout the cultural norms, and they are safer from sexual harassment. Wearing clothing that is indecent by Indian standards is insulting to the culture, and it also gives men the idea that you are available for sexual favors to anyone who wants you-even if your behavior emphatically indicates the opposite.

It’s true that many girls and women-especially in Mumbai and Delhi and other places that see a lot of tourists, as well as on college campuses-have taken to wearing jeans with short tops, etc. However, as a visitor, you are already at a disadvantage due to common preconceptions, so it is much safer to dress a bit more conservatively. And don’t look to Bollywood or fashion magazines for cues on how to dress; they have nothing to do with real life.

While it’s OK to wear Western clothes most places, it’s essential to wear them in a manner that is respectful to the very modest Indian culture. Virtually every Indian, including both men and women (not to mention several foreigners), to whom I mentioned my book (Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook) told me, “I hope you are going to tell the women how to dress!” Most Indians are much too polite to tell you to your face if you are inappropriately dressed, but they certainly notice.

Basic standards of modesty all over India require that you cover your knees, upper arms, shoulders, cleavage and midriff. It’s acceptable for your midriff to be exposed when wearing a sari, but not otherwise. Shorts and short skirts are not acceptable. Underwear should always be worn discretely under your clothes where it belongs, and it should not show at all; moreover, a bra is essential unless you are as flat-chested as an eight-year old. Tops should not show your cleavage or be too tight or revealing. Leave your sheer blouses, shorts, spaghetti-strap dresses, bikinis, tank tops, etc., at home. While sleeveless tops are becoming more common in some of India’s big cities during the hot season, in general they are not acceptable; however, short sleeves are usually OK.

When wearing pants, go for loose, tunic-style tops that cover your crotch and buttocks. At home, many of us like to wear our blouses neatly tucked into jeans or slacks, but here, it’s better to let them hang out. One great advantage of wearing long tops is that they hide the fact that your underwear is visible through thin fabric so you can wear lightweight pants in hot weather.

If you bring a swimsuit, it should be a conservative one, no matter where you plan to wear it; a one-piece is preferable. On the way to or from the beach or pool, or whenever you are interacting with locals, put something modest on over your swimsuit. Bikinis are not acceptable, even in Goa, where many women wear them.

In certain conservative locations and in many places of worship, you will also need to cover your head. Observe what the local women do, and do likewise.

Traditional Indian clothes are more comfortable than Western clothes, especially in the heat. Even in extremely hot weather, having your arms and legs covered with very light cotton actually keeps you cooler than shorts and halter tops can. And most Indians love it when you wear Indian dress because it shows your appreciation of their culture. Wearing traditional clothing also serves as a great ice-breaker; many people will comment on it, and you will find that the comments are generally very appreciative.

If you’d like to try Indian clothes, you’ll probably want to start with one of the two basic varieties of ladies’ pantsuits: the salwar-kameez (a.k.a. Punjabi suit), which consists of a long tunic top (kameez) over baggy pants (salwar) which are banded at the bottom, or the churidhar-kameez, which has the kameez over skinny straight pants (churidhar) that are worn bunched around the calf and ankle. Incidentally, churidhars are mainly worn by young women and teens, and not so much by older women in most places. A scarf draped across the front completes the outfit; the scarf (chunni or dupatta) is an essential part of the ensemble, without which you may be regarded as an immoral woman, especially in small towns and villages.

In many parts of South India, as well as a few other places, ankle-length skirts (lehngas) worn with an overblouse and a large scarf are common. However, do pay attention to which styles of dress are worn by women of your own age to avoid unwittingly parading around in something considered childish or inappropriate. Long dresses are not traditional; the ankle-length dresses you see for sale everywhere are really nightgowns. While it’s OK wear one, say, to the corner market for some milk, or while having morning chai with friends on the veranda, it’s not acceptable to wear one all day.

The sari, which is arguably the most beautiful style of dress in the world, is the most common form of women’s clothing; it’s worn almost everywhere in India, although it’s wrapped in different ways according to local custom. Saris are comfortable and easy to wear once you get used to them. It’s fun to learn to wrap one, and any Indian woman will be happy to show you how to do it.

Incidentally, those long, plain cotton ‘skirts’ that you see for sale are actually sari petticoats. They may look like long skirts, but they are undergarments that are worn under saris. If you wear one as a skirt, people will stare at you mercilessly. Only an extremely poor woman who had nothing else would ever wear one as a skirt.

A conservative Western-style dress or business suit (i.e., below knee length and not too tight or low-cut) is appropriate for doing business in India. If you prefer a pantsuit, it should cover your buttocks and crotch.

For social meetings with business associates, you can wear conservative dresses, or nice pantsuits, either Indian or Western style. Long pants and modest tops are the norm for sports activities; shorts are not acceptable except in some exclusive health clubs (but you would normally change there rather than wearing the shorts en route). See what the Indian women you are working with wear for casual attire and follow their example-as long as it is reasonably modest, of course. Evening attire may be extremely fancy, depending on the occasion; saris can be worn for many celebrations.

Even if you are a budget traveler, you’ll need at least one nice outfit to dress up in if the occasion calls for it. Whenever you go somewhere that requires getting dressed up, ask your friends what is appropriate. If you are invited to a wedding or other fancy event, ask an Indian friend or acquaintance to take you shopping for clothes. You might also be able to borrow something for the occasion. Incidentally, Indians are generally much too polite to tell guests that they are dressed inappropriately even when asked directly, so you have to figure out in advance what is the right thing to wear.

If you are invited to a temple for an important celebration, do dress nicely; at the least, you should wear something clean, modest and pressed. If you choose to wear a sari, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one-even a simple cotton one will often do. Happily, you can get a beautiful sari for much less than you would pay for a new pair of jeans at home.

The important thing to remember is that your clothing should be respectful of the culture, no matter where you are. Obviously, you can be a bit more relaxed in some places, such as five-star hotels, but don’t overdo it. Those you meet will appreciate your cultural sensitivity if you dress according to local standards.