A great way to add interest to any outfit is by considering the different textures. If you think about the run-of-the-mill, every-day outfits we see on most people, and perhaps wear ourselves, there are generally only two textures that have been used (excluding the shoes). The top, and the bottom.
Anything less than 3 different textures in an outfit just looks ordinary, not very interesting. So challenge yourself to wear at least 3 different textures in an outfit to make it a bit more glamorous.
Wear at least 3 textures to make an outfit more glamorous.
Tweed is so in at the moment, and will remain so into the coming winters. Not only will it keep you warm, it’s a fascinating texture to work with. It’s a rough, woolen fabric which originated in Scotland, and you can usually find 3 to 4 different colours in the weave.
A classic tweed jacket will keep you warm and stylish this winter.
Printed fabrics have a great way of adding the idea of another texture in your outfit. Try to stick to patterns which have a maximum of 4 main, bold colours to avoid looking overdecorated. And try not to mix more than 1 different printed item per outfit.
When wearing prints, try to minimise the amount of patterns/colours in the rest of your outfit, to avoid the look becoming too "busy".
Soft, silky fabrics
Sheer fabrics that slither and slip are a great way to add some interest to outfits where more common fabrics like cotton and wool are the main event.
Add a slippery silk to add another dimension of interest to your outfit.
To stay warm this winter, chunky knits and layering are once again the way to go. You can make the knit the main focal texture of your outfit by toning down the texture of the other items in your ensemble, using simple cottons and smooth silks.
A chunky knit this winter paired with jeans or leggings will keep the chill at bay, and add some interesting texture to your outfit.
I love fashion, clothes, shoes, handbags, makeup and accessorising. I enjoy creating different outfits and combinations and observing what other people are wearing. I love taking fresh ideas from people I meet, blogs I read, and magazines I pore over. Truly, I don’t believe this sets me apart, or makes me unique. I’m a girl after all. It stands to reason I enjoy shopping. I love it so much in fact, I do it for a living.
So why is it I meet women every day who absolutely hate and detest the thought of shopping? There’s got to be a good reason why people like me are even in business – what is it that makes someone break out into a cold sweat at the mere thought of facing fashion retailers?
A few observations from my clients:
- Small boutiques generally have limited sizing, overbearing staff who are commission hungry, and the merchandise is usually a bit higgldy-piggledy.
- Large retail chains have huge selections which can be overwhelming. Disinterested staff who don’t really want to help you even when you’re pleading for someone to take notice, and sometimes the quality isn’t where you want it to be.
- International import brands stores can be prohibitively expensive although the shopping experience is generally better.
What are your own observations and experiences in SA retail environments? Personally, I deal with it every day and perhaps knowing what to expect I have my blinkers on and don’t really notice any more.
Other reasons I’ve found why ladies hate to shop are generally to do with self-confidence issues, body complexes and not knowing how to combine the things they buy with the things they already own. I’ve walked into so many wardrobes where the client says she has nothing to wear, and managed to create loads of fabulous outfits by mixing and matching what’s already there.
Another huge contributor is lack of time. Most of my clients are working women with big, important jobs. So while its important that they always look polished and well-dressed, they simply don’t have the extra hours in the day to spend trawling through the shops looking for snappy outfits.
Women who hate shopping. A sign of the times?
There’s no denying that winter is on its way, sending most of us into a quandary with the old dilemma, “What to Wear”… Funny how the arrival of a new season has us wondering how on earth we managed this time last year.
So to help make this somewhat daunting task a little more manageable, here’s a few tips to get you started.
First, you need to set aside a good 3 hours of “me-time” where you won’t be disturbed by anyone or distracted by anything. It would probably be a good idea to turn off the phone, and I’d recommend listening to music rather than turning on the TV which can be too much of a distraction.
Second, slip into something you feel really comfortable in, so you can change in and out of it without much hassle, allowing you to try on different outfit combinations if you want to. I’d suggest your favourite tracksuit, or some comfy PJ’s. Also, make sure you’ve got easy access to a full-length mirror so you can see yourself properly while you revamp your wardrobe.
Third, grab a few big black bags so it’s easy for you to sort out anything you need to give to charity, or throw away. You might also have one for anything needing alterations or repairs.
Now, since we’re preparing your wardrobe for winter, the easiest thing to do is flip through your hangers and drawers and sift out anything that you will definitely not be using in winter. This includes spaghetti strap tops, sun dresses and sandals. If you’re fortunate, you will have a separate cupboard to put these into to save for next season. If not, perhaps a nice big box will do.
Now you’ll be left with items you can use in autumn and winter. Separate everything into categories: pants, skirts, blouses, tops, jerseys, jackets, boots, heels etc.
Now you have to be critical and honest with the items you find in your wardrobe. If it doesn’t make you feel good, if it doesn’t make you look good, if you don’t really like it and if it doesn’t fit you properly consider giving it away and put it in the charity bag. You need to try things on together, mix & match styles and try to come up with outfits that work.
If you find items you absolutely love, but there is a hole here or a pull there, put it in another bag to be mended or altered. You can also put anything in this bag that may need a good dry clean or steaming so you look polished when you wear it.
Some of us find it nearly impossible to throw anything away. If you’re like me and you can’t bear the thought, keep the charity bag in storage and promise yourself that if you don’t miss anything in it by next winter – this time next year – you’ll donate it without opening the bag. That way you make sure you don’t keep anything unsuitable purely for the emotional connection.
The big “colour” focus for Winter 2011 is going to be camels, nudes, fawns and beige tones. Try to keep this main trend in mind when creating your outfits during your wardrobe revamp, and write down ideas about what you think you may still need when you find gaps in your wardrobe.
Good luck – and enjoy!
Vogue Fox is a style consultancy based in Johannesburg. Founded in 2007, Vogue Fox stylists specialise in wardrobe revamps, personal shopping and image. One of our professional wardrobe specialists can do your wardrobe revamp for you, as well as recommending gaps that exist in your current wardrobe and helping you shop for those specific items. Email us today to find out more:
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March is without a doubt one of the best weather months in Johannesburg. A welcome relief from the constant summer showers, we’re enjoying hot summery days with a slight whiff of autumn coolness in the mornings. Evenings are warm and delicate, making light jackets only optional.
An excellent time to shop, almost everywhere you go the sales are still on and there are some incredible deals available as stores prepare for the new intake of autumn/winter stock.
Make the most of those sun dresses & strappy stilettos now before the chill sets in!
Hot date tonight? Good for you!
On top of the nerves and excitement you’re no doubt feeling, you probably wish you knew exactly what to wear so you wouldn’t have to stress about that too! The key is to be yourself and not to overdo it. Have a think about how you normally like to dress, what you feel good in and what makes you feel comfortable and attractive at the same time. You want to feel your best so you can just sparkle and make a great impression, and you’ll never be able to do that convincingly if you’re pulling at your hem or tripping over heels because you’re not used to them. Remember, you made a good enough impression on your date by being yourself before they asked you out so trust in your own formula.
So, first points to remember:
- Am I comfortable? Does it fit?
- Do I feel attractive in this?
- Does this reflect who I really am?
Next, you’re going to want to consider what type of impression you’d like to give your date and the ideal outcome. What kind of guy is he? It’s true people make assumptions about others by judging the way they present themselves, so you need to keep in mind what kind of person you want him to perceive you to be.
If you want to come across as ladylike and demure, a push-up bra with a plunging neckline and a short skirt may not be the way forward. Or perhaps you’ve had your eye on this guy for a while and you’re hoping to really rev his engine. Calf-length frocks with a matching twin-set and pearls may not achieve the desired result. So put some though into how you want your date to feel about you when he looks at you. If you don’t really know the person at all and you’re not sure what may appeal to him or not, the best approach may be something which is classic, simple and elegant and always feminine.
Guys in general love women who dress like women, so on a first date, don’t worry too much about what’s in fashion rather than what has worked for decades in the game of love. Thus, wearing a skirt or a dress is usually a winning choice, heels to make you walk in that wonderfully feminine way, and a cheeky pair drop earrings are a touch of fun. If you don’t feel confident showing your legs, or if your date could potentially be shorter than you if you wear heels, opt for an alternative that makes you feel good about yourself. Perhaps you could wear jeans or pants which you’ve added a beautiful belt to, or some pretty flat pumps with something fabulously fun like a lace or button detail.
Be creative, be yourself, be feminine and sparkle!
A belt is a great way to spice up your outfit and add some interest. The key is to understanding first what look you’re trying to achieve and then working towards that.
Are you trying to make yourself appear slimmer?
Are you trying to add colour to an outfit?
Do you want to make a bold statement or create a classic look?
Of course the list of effects you could create is endless, so for starters, figure out where you’re trying to go with this.
Belts for Your Body
If you’re concerned about your middle seeming large, opt for a wider belt as this is more flattering for larger waists. Conversely, if you’re skinny, a thinner belt will make you appear curvier.
Belts coordinated with your shoes can make a fab statement and look great, but it’s not essential. Just try and remember to keep it in the general colour scheme and not exceed 3 or 4 total colours in your outfit and you should be fine. If it’s a really thick belt or has a dramatic buckle or detail, let it be the focal point and keep the rest of the outfit and accessories simple.
The scarf: a classic accessory very much designed to keep the winter chill at bay.
This summer however, you’ll be seeing local fashionistas stepping out wearing their favourite scarves draped over tank tops, spaghetti strap sun dresses and t-shirts with jeans. No one ever said fashion had to be logical.
That said, the look can prove functional if you work in an over-air-conditioned environment, or if you live in a city which is prone to summer rain or wind. To pull off this accessory, here are a few tips to get you on your way:
- Fabric should be as lightweight as possible to combat the heat.
- The scarf should be long enough to be loosely worn so it’s not too tight around your neck.
- Make sure you wear it slung low enough that you don’t look as if you have no neck.
- Natural fabrics (cotton, silk) are preferable to synthetics (polyester) since they respond better to body heat fluctuations.
The summer scarf – a great way to add interest to an otherwise ordinary outfit! Try it with skinny jeans & a white tank, plus a fab slouchy handbag.
Another completely gorgeous offering from the house of Roger Vivier – French shoe designers who created the Queen’s Coronation pair, worn by Catherine Deneuve in the film ” Belle de Jour” and a firm favourite in Hollywood.
Silk organza nude pumps adorned with feather rose by Lemarie’ Atelier
Silk organza hand-painted pumps
Woven straw peep-toe pumps with rose by Lemarie’ Atelier
Turquoise Crocodile leather Tube clutch with turtle clasp & Turquoise crocodile leather peep-toe pumps
Peep-toe pumps embroidered with satin and wood flowers by Montex Atelier
Tan calf leather sandals & Soft beige crocodile leather Miss Viv’ clutch
Silk organza hand-painted pumps & Belle Vivier hand painted silk organza clutch with turtle clasp
Belle Vivier wood clutch with ladybird clasp
White patent Belle Vivier clutch with wood plaque & Metallic gold crocodile leather banded sandals & Soft Teak wood Tube clutch
To a T
The T-shirt is the most basic as well as one of the most widely-owned clothing items. A recent poll in America revealed the following about this much-loved basic:
- 91% of respondents admit to owning a favourite T.
- 34% say white is the colour of their favourite T-shirt, nearly double the votes received for blue and black, respectively at second and third place.
- 62% claim to own more than ten T-shirts amounting to 1.5 billion T’s or a line-up that could circle the globe 34 times.
- Gender preference indicates that 70% of men and 54% of women have more than 10 T-shirts.
- 79% of 18-24 year olds have more than 10 T-shirts with 19% of this group owning more than 30.
- The number one reason for the love affair with the T – comfort.
What’s hot about the knot
- The neck tie originated from a silk scarf traditionally worn by Croatian soldiers which, in time,
become known as a cravate.
- The English developed neckwear thick enough to cushion a sword thrust.
- At one point in history, merely touching a man’s tie knot was a cause for a duel.
- British ties usually had stripes running from top left to bottom right while the stripes on American ties
have always run from top right to bottom left.
- Shih Huang Ti, the first Chinese emperor wore a tie as long ago as 210 B.C.
- Americans spend more than $1 billion every year on buying a staggering 100 million ties.
- A good quality silk tie requires approximately 110 silkworm cocoons.
- The city of Shengzhou in China is among the world’s biggest tie producers with about
200 million ties being made every year.
- It is possible to buy a bulletproof tie that can even stop a 9mm bullet.
- A person who collects ties is known as Grabatologist.
- The neck tie constitutes the most popular father’s day gift around the world.
- The Bola tie is the official tie of Arizona, USA.
- Al Pacino won the Tony Award for the best supporting actor in the play “Does a tiger wear a necktie”?
- The American tie industry slumped by 10% in 2002 due to the popularity of “dress down days”.
By Rufus Steele
Ooh, topical question! I suppose the best way to answer this question is by asking one in return! If you bought a fake for any reason except for the price difference — what do you expect to get from the deal? Would you buy a fake for any other reason than price?
Thinking honestly — I can’t think of any reason other than ‘making a saving’ for buying a fake bag. After all, surely one of the biggest problems with buying a fake bag is the knowledge that it won’t be made of the same quality material or build? If it doesn’t fall apart within the first 4 — 6 weeks, then you’re lucky. I’d be awfully surprised to find your luck extending much beyond two to three months at most. Even if the bag doesn’t literally fall to pieces, the appearance of it will change hugely. Edges will fray and tear, stitches will pull and shred and the general appearance of the bag will dull, the leather losing it’s rigidity and ability to hold the shape it’s supposed to! S
o the bag that you bought for $150 as opposed to $600 has given you about three to four months use before it is starting to look embarassing, quite frankly! Now, maybe you could buy three of the same bag, save $150 and have something you wouldn’t feel to ashamed to be seen with for up to a year. Just bin the old ruined one, change your bag for a new one each quarter and you’re away.
But that sort of puts you onto the timescale where the authentic designer handbag is just starting to be broken in. It’s gaining suppleness, the leather trims are starting to age and patina, going that gorgeous golden honey color that indicates quality leather.
The bag has a used and loved look about it without any of the nasty signs of wear and tear that an inferior version will have. And this is one of the biggest reasons for the price being what it is.
Quality of build and quality of materials used.
Authentic designer handbags are built to last — sometimes they’ll last a lifetime and beyond, making it a family heirloom that’s passed down from daughter to daughter. It is very common for Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags to be in a family for decades — being used and loved all the time.
Some of the newer Louis Vuitton lines, such as the Suhali, can be expected to outlast just about anything else. It’s the quality of the leather you see!
Another good reason for buying authentic and not a fake? You.
Yes — you! You’re important. You don’t think so? (Well, I think you are, even if no one else tells you so!) You deserve something to be proud of, something that stands you out in a crowd and says
“Hey — Look at me, I’ve got taste AND class!”
That’s what an authentic designer handbag will shout for you — no need for you to get a sore throat all the time.
I wonder what a fake shouts out about you?
Careful now – it might be rather rude!!!
Copyright :: Rufus Steele — 2005 Rufus Steele is the author and creator of the Louis Vuitton website 1st 4 Louis Vuitton.