Category Archives: Fashion Culture

Thrift stores

Why Shop in Thrift Stores?

Thrift stores

Going to a thrift store is sort of like digging for treasure in that you never know what you will uncover. In today’s fast paced world where everybody wants something new now, many people are simply dumping off lots of really cool fashions at their local thrift shops. While fast pace may be for them, perhaps it is not so much for you and for this reason you may want to consider shopping a thrift stores.

Why shop at thrift store? There are a number of reasons, here a just a few:

•    Savings: They are called thrift stores for a reason. Because you are buying someone’s ‘leftovers’ you will be paying rock bottom prices. This is a great opportunity to pick up some designer fashions that you would normally pass over at the mall and best of all you can get these designer fashions for pennies on the dollar. To the thrift store it is worth it because all of the items you see in the thrift store are items that have been donated and so the cost basis for the thrift store is zero. Great for them and great for you.
•    Go vintage: If you look at fashion today a lot of what was popular a few years ago is coming back into style now. Fashion tends to do that and a thrift store is a great place to go to find these ‘vintage’ items that will complete your ensemble. Unlike a vintage clothing shop that knows what they have, thrift stores tend to mark articles of clothing the same price according to what type of garment it is. So if you are looking at t-shirts, a thrift store will have all of them marked at say $2.00 each, they simply won’t care what style or brand it is. But a vintage store owner knows what they are looking at and if they know that a certain shirt is popular you can bet the price will reflect that.
•    Discontinued items: How many times have you found a favorite brand of clothing and bought a couple of the items only to find out a few months later that the style or brand has been discontinued?  With the advent of the thrift store nothing is ever really discontinued, you just have to have tenacity and keep looking and eventually you will find a thrift store that has exactly what you are looking for.
•    Hidden gems: You hear so many cool stories about people just like you going into a thrift store not expecting much and coming out with a handful of really nice and really expensive designer clothes or a designer purse that they paid next to nothing for. A trip to a thrift store is a true modern day treasure hunt.

Thrift stores offer so much more than just monetary savings these days and a trip to your local thrift store will undoubtedly be a fun one and have you coming home with something that is new to you and an added smile to your face.

Bra history

History of the Bra

Bra history

Everyone knows what a brassier or a bra is. This type of undergarment is specifically made to cover, lift, and support a woman’s breasts. Since the earliest recording in time, women have been wearing some type of support for their breast though these undergarments were not always known as brassieres.

These days bras are not just used for coverage and support, but many are made that will actually enhance the appearance of a woman’s breast. Here is how the modern day bra came to be:

•    2500 BC: Way back when on the Greek isle of Crete, warrior woman began to wear a garment that resembled a bra that actually lifted their breasts up above their clothing. This type of bra actually left the breast of these warrior women exposed for all to see.
•    4th Century: In the early 4th Century a garment knows as the Chemise made its first appearance. At the time, the Chemise was gathered into a square or a round neckline, was usually long sleeved, and was often decorated with frill and finished off with ruffles.
•    Until the 15th Century: In those easy times, women actually wanted to de-emphasize their breasts. This saw the birth of the corset and other devices that were all designed to actually draw attention away from the breasts.
•    15th Century: in the 15th Century, an undergarment known as the bodice took center stage as women started to accentuate the fact that they had breasts. The bodice was designed to flatten the lower part of the breast and push upper part of the breast up and thus create cleavage and the appearance of a rounder, fuller breast. In a sense, the bodice was the early form of the push-up bra of today.
•    1800’s: The 1800’s saw a whole host of different inventions all aimed at breast support. While many came and went, the corset held onto much popularity until there was the invention of what would evolve into the modern day bra. This new undergarment supported the breasts, but had no laces or eyelets and was considerably smaller than a corset.
•    1907: Vogue Magazine uses the word brassier for the first time and by 1912 the term was in the Oxford English Dictionary.
•    1920s: The age of the ‘flappers’ saw a huge surge in bra popularity. At that time the flat-chested look was back in and there were bras that were actually designed to flatten the breasts instead of support them.
•    1930s to 1960s: In this time frame many advances were made in the world of the bra including the introduction of the first bikini. This time period also brought the evolution of the elastic bra to the forefront and since the 1960a, the form and the function of the bra has not changed all that dramatically except for the use of more comfortable materials.

These days fashion dictates much of how a bra is designed. It is not even uncommon anymore to see a woman wearing a brassier type top and nothing else at all. While women will no doubt always wear some type of bra to cove, support and even lift their breasts, the life of the bra has certainly been an interesting one that has seen many changes and upgrades and will no doubt see more in the future.

Personal shopper

How to Become a Personal Shopper

Personal shopper

If you love to shop and are up to date on all the latest in the fashion and glamour world you may be the perfect job candidate for a personal shopper. Personal shoppers are individuals that do much more than just shop for other people. A personal shopper has the experience and talent to look at people on an individual basis and break down what that person needs to be more in fashion. The personal shopper then either goes with individual to assist them in shopping for fashion, or gets free reign and is responsible for bringing back items to the client. Another responsibility could be picking up gifts for individuals to give out, so you have to know what is appropriate to give in all situations. Sound like it is for you?

There is no real formal training for a personal shopper and becoming one is really a matter of selling yourself and your abilities. Here are some steps to help you blaze a trail for becoming a personal shopper:

1.    Know your stuff: You have to know what’s hot and what’s not and be able to translate that to potential clients. Working a retail job at a high department store for a while is a great way to get paid while you learn. While doing this attend every fashion show within a 100 mile radius of you and read, read, read. The more knowledge you can display the easier it will be for you to get clients.
2.    Create a portfolio: Put together outfits and photograph them so that you have something to show a potential client. Make notes of any and all trends you see coming and going as you never know when they may come in handy when talking to potential clients. Once you do get a client or two, be sure to photograph their progress if they will allow it and use these photos to further sell yourself to other.
3.    Get clients: Get out and start marketing yourself. At first you will have to be very vigorous at this and you should also charge a reduced fee. Once your repudiation grows you will be able to gradually slide up your fees. You should always ‘grandfather’ in your existing clientele at their low rate as raising their rates may lead to them getting agitated with you and leaving you. The idea is to build up your client list so that they always refer you to others.
4.    Give unmatched service: once you have a handful of clients, give then unmatched service and the rest will take care of itself. Happy clients will not only remain loyal to you, but they will recommend you to all of their family and friends and before you know it your personal shopper business will be booming. Word of mouth is key in the world of a personal shopper so service your clients right.

Though you may have been called things like a shopaholic or a mall rat in the past, you can translate that behavior into a rewarding career as a personal shopper.


A Brief History of Valentine’s Day & Ideas for Personalized Clothing

VdayLove is in the air every February, especially leading up to February 14th, officially recognized as Valentine’s Day in the United States and throughout much of the world. It’s a day for romance and the expression of love in many shapes and forms. It’s a day for candy and flowers, for heartfelt sentiments and dreams of finding true love.

Several legends exist which claim to know how the exchange of love tokens and words became known as Valentine’s Day. The first is that during the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds would first find a mate for spring around the middle of February. Others go back even further, to the times of the ancient Romans and Greeks. In one Roman festival and feast, the names of young women and men were placed in a container. The name of one man would be drawn, followed by the name of a woman to whom he was destined to protect for the following year. He wore her name on his sleeve and she became his valentine. This custom generally took place on February 14th.

As time progressed, the exchange of gifts was added to the drawing of names, and later still, it was the male who presented the female with gifts. From this came a custom of sending a greeting or small gifts. Others believe that the celebration was created to honor St. Valentine, a priest who served at a temple in the time of the Roman emperor Claudius. He was very popular, and after the emperor declared that no more marriages were to be performed due to his needs for men in the military, St. Valentine nevertheless continued to unite young couples in the holy state of matrimony. St. Valentine was thrown into prison, where he died, but his spirit to help young couples in love lives on to this day.

The first postal services in the American colonies were inundated with such greetings and cards on February 14th, and over the years the tradition grew until local businesses began to carry collections of pre-designed cards for the young people to purchase for a penny. In the Victorian era, Valentine’s Day became quite the rage, with elaborate cards and parties designed to keep the youth entertained. In the United States, Valentine’s Day has always offered quite a challenge to the postal service, and in the early 1900’s, over a million Valentine greetings were mailed. Candy favors made an appearance soon after, and young suitors offered their ladies sweet concoctions designed to melt their hearts and flowers to encourage their spirits toward the return of such affections. Today, school children as well as adults traditionally exchange Valentine cards, sweets and flowers in tokens of love and affection that has not waned since the first Valentine’s Day was celebrated. Red hearts and white lace doilies make an appearance in supermarkets and card stores throughout the country well before the date, as do tokens of affection such as stuffed animals and trinkets designed to bring a smile to lovers everywhere.

Many American towns and cities host Valentine’s parties and get-togethers, complete with decorations, beverages and foods from all over the world. Valentine’s Day in America is a time to cherish those close to your heart. It’s a time when matchmaking between couples heats up, as do blind dates and others in search of their soul mate. Valentine’s Day is a time for couples and those hoping to find their better half, and Cupid and his arrows aimed at the hearts of unsuspecting, but potential, lovers, flit around with reckless abandon. Valentine’s Day is set aside for romance and togetherness between couples of all ages, a day when love is truly in the air.

One way to show off or express your love for someone or something is by creating personalized clothing and wearing a custom t-shirt or custom thong if you dare.   It is super easy to just add whatever text or images you want to a product. If you don’t feel like you have the creative power to design or personalize a product you can also shop pre-designed Valentine’s Day T-Shirts and see if you can find the design right for you or your loved one.


What to do with Clothes you Don’t Want Anymore


At some point in time there will be times when you will have a bunch of clothes that you can no longer wear. This may be due to you gaining weight or hopefully because you lost a bunch. Whatever the case may be what the heck are you supposed to do with all of those unwearable clothes you will now have?

Believe it or not there are several things that you can do with clothes that you can no longer wear, here are just a few:

•    Donate them: Of course the easiest thing to do with all of your unwanted clothing is to donate them. Your local Good Will donation center will be more than happy to accept your unwanted clothes. This is great because they then sell them at really cheap prices to anyone in need of clothing. What’s even better is that they will give you a receipt with an approximate value of the clothes you donate that you can then write off on your taxes. Talk about a win, win situation.
•    Exchange them: There are many websites now that are set up specifically for clothing exchanges. What you do is find someone with clothes that no longer fit them or that they no longer want and see if they are interested in any of your unused clothing. If they are then you can set up an exchange and each of you will end up with a new set of clothes.
•    Sell them to a vintage shop: If your clothes are old enough you can actually make a little bit of money with them by selling them to a vintage shop. You won’t make a killing, but something is better than nothing.
•    Have a yard sale: You can also have a yard sale and sell your unused clothing. Once again, you won’t get rich, but a few dollars is better than no dollars. Besides you can also sell some other stuff you have lying around the house. Use the proceeds and treat yourself to some new clothing.
•    Go eBaying: If your unused clothes are designer, check out eBay before you do anything else. You might be surprised at the amount of money you can make by selling some used clothes that are in good shape. Really when you think about it makes sense. The people buying your clothes are getting brand names at discount prices and if they are buying something like your jeans then they will come pre-broken in.
•    Upcycle them: If you end up with clothes that are too tattered to donate or sell then upcycle them. Upcycling is where you take something of no use and use it for something else. In other words, you turn it into something useful. For example, you can tear up an old cotton shirt and use it for rags when you detail your car. There are many websites now that are packed with ideas on upcycling so go nuts with it.

The last thing you should do with clothing that you no longer wear is throw it away. If you don’t want to deal with selling it, donate it. Remember, just because the clothing no longer suites your needs doesn’t mean that it won’t suite somebody else’s.

Clothing tells

What Our Clothing Tells about Us

Clothing tells

You’ve heard the expression wearing it on your sleeve right? Well nothing could be truer than what you actually wear on your sleeves and on the rest of your body for that matter. Cloths say more about us without ever speaking a word then we could tell someone in an hour long conversation.

Just by looking at the way a person’s ensemble is arranged can tell you a lot about them and some of the combinations can tell you even more. Here are some of the things you can gather by observing the way people dress:

•    Sloppy and wrinkled cloths:
When you see sloppy and wrinkled cloths on someone, right away you think of someone that doesn’t care much about how they look. But it is much more than that. A person dressed in this manner is probably much unorganized and has too much on their plate. It can also tell you that the person likes to sleep in and are probably rushing in the morning to get ready and just don’t have the time to iron.
•    Ironed cloths that are prim and proper: This type of person obviously cares a great deal about the way they dress and you can bet that everything else in their life is as tidy as their attire. This person may be what some call a neat freak and is more than likely just a little on the uptight side. Though these individuals are usually on top of their game they are also usually easily frazzled. This will be evident if you ever get to point out a stain to them.
•    Jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops: This is a person that is usually very easy going. They usually care what others think, but only a little bit. These are the types of people that are not easily unnerved and can shrug off many little things that can greatly upset others.
•    Workout cloths like muscle shirts: You know the guy; he is at the grocery store in either a really tight t-shirt or a muscle shirt and is always kind of looking around to see who is looking. This person is obviously stuck on themselves and really likes attention. But give them a break; they worked hard for their body so they deserve a stare or two. Besides, this type of person is also usually insecure about life in general.
•    Baggy clothing like sweat pants: These people are usually very self-conscious and are usually a bit overweight. Usually they want to get into shape with their mouths but rarely with their actions. Instead of doing things the hard way, these people will simply opt to wear loose clothing and hide what they don’t like.
•    Colors: This is a no brainer. People who wear bright cheery colors are usually, well bright and cheery. On the flip side those who wear dark and drab colors are usually depressed and sad all the time.

As you can see, our cloths speak volumes about our lives and our actions and now that you know some of the things that clothing says about you, you may want to think just a bit more before you get dressed in the morning.

Personal shopper 1

How to Choose a Personal Shopper

Personal shopper 1

It may be that when you think about a personal shopper you think about someone who goes shopping for a rich person that just doesn’t want to be bothered with the chore, but this is simply a misconception. A personal shopper is someone who can offer you advise on your fashion sense, or lack thereof, your hair style, what to give as a gift, go shopping with you to help you determine what looks good and what does not, or even be given free rein to shop for you and create a new look for you. Personal shoppers are not just for the rich anymore and are now plentiful and many are very affordable, so how do you go about choosing one?

Here are a few tips to help you choose your personal shopper:

•    Make sure you like the person: This can be done in the initial consultation. Make sure that you get a good feel for the personal shopper as you have to be comfortable with that person ultimately choosing certain items on your behalf. If you dislike the person who will be making fashion decisions for you as a person, then chances are you will dislike their taste in clothing as well.
•    Look online: Like everything else these days, you can find plenty of personal shopper services on the Internet with a simple search. This is a great place to start and you are bound to find a few qualified companies in your area.
•    Charges: Many personal shoppers will offer a discounted or even free consultation, but then hit you with higher than normal charges once you have hired them. Be sure to ask exactly how much the service will charge for what you want done. Most services charge on a per item basis so never assume that one price is all inclusive.
•    How often do you have to use them: Some personal shoppers will offer a lower rate but will also want you to sign a contract committing to using them four or more times per year. If you plan on using your personal shopper a lot this can be great, but if not, calculate the cost because it may cost you more in the long run.
•    Ask for references: If you already know someone who has used a personal shopper in the past by all means ask them their opinion. If you do not know anyone who will give you a word of mouth reference then ask the service you are considering to provide you with some references.
•    Make sure you get ‘approval or return’: This is important to have and may cost you a bit extra, but if you don’t get it, you will be stuck with whatever your personal shopper buys on your behalf, whether you like it or not.

Just because you are behind in the fashion times or you simply don’t have time to go shop for yourself, doesn’t mean you should be embarrassed. If you are like most people, you probably have enough to worry about without thinking which designer shirt goes with what. With the ease and affordability of a personal shopper these days, it is better to sit back, relax, and let them worry about your fashion for you.

Clothing history

The Early History of Clothing

Clothing history

There is one thing that every culture shares; they all wear cloths. No matter what corner of the earth you may be from you no doubt wear clothing on a daily basis. Maybe there are still a few Aborigine tribes that walk around stark naked, but they won’t be reading this, so for all intense purposes, everyone wears cloths.

Clothing in its most original form can be traced back to as far as there are records. The Bible tells the story of Adam and Eve being ashamed of their naked bodies after eating the forbidden fruit and thus covering up. You know the famous picture of Adam covering his stuff with a fig leaf. But what exactly is the early history of clothing?

•    Prehistoric: The original designers of clothing were the cavemen. While it is doubtful that they designed clothing out of embarrassment and more than likely did so due to cold weather, they were none the less the originators of fashion design. The prehistoric clothing was made out of the dried skins of different animals that were them woven or sewn together and perhaps covered with another animal’s fur. This type of clothing was crude at best, but it certainly did its job and kept the people warm.
•    The textile birth: A textile is a defined as a felt, or some type of spun fibers that are made into a yarn and then woven, netted, looped, or knitted to make fibers. The earliest known textile is believed to come from the Near East. Here it is believed that as far back as 6000 BC textiles in some form were used to wrap the dead of the people who lived at that time. Now everything we wear is made up of some type of textile.
•    Ancient India, Egypt, and China: These three ancient countries are credited with the discovery and perfection of much of the textiles that we all know and enjoy today. From these ancient civilizations the modern world was given the use of textiles such as cotton, silk, wool, and many more. Some hundreds to thousands of years later, the textile trade began and if the ancients only knew what they were creating, they would have had their heads spinning.
•    Other types of clothing through the years: Clothing experienced a myriad of changes as the years went on. In the Iron Age, much of what a man wore consisted of; you guessed it iron and other metals, at least on the outside. The styles became more elaborate and the designs more complex and eventually clothing came to be more like what it is today. All of the sudden people found themselves either paying a ridiculous amount of money, which was reserved for the rich, or they were dressing in rags because they were peasants.

Today there are hundreds, if not thousands of different fashions to choose from. Clothing can range in price from very affordable, to just plain ridiculous. But whatever clothing it is that you decide to put on your body, it all came from the most humble of beginnings. From the fig leaf to the sewn animal skins, clothing has certainly come a long, long way.

Used clothing

How To Sell Used Clothing

Used clothing

Selling used clothing is a great way to make a little extra money. This is especially true for high end clothing, children’s clothing, specialty outfits, costumes, maternity wear and formal wear. One thing to bear in mind however is the price you can ask and realistically expect to receive when you are selling used clothing is a mere fraction of the price you spent to buy it.

The first thing to do when looking to sell used clothing is to decide how and where you will sell it. This will determine how you prepare for the sale. No matter how you plan to sell your clothing, it is critical that you wash it and make it look as good as possible first.

You may plan to do a yard sale with all the clothing displayed so that customers can easily look through it. Hanging items is best for adult clothes. For children’s clothing, have them arranged in boxes or stacks of like items. By designating a single price for each type of clothes, you will get the best results with the least amount of hassle. For example, T-shirts may be 50 cents each, while jeans could be $2 a piece.

If you are planning to sell your used clothing online, you will need to get great photos of them displayed to their best advantage. You will also want to decide whether to sell items in lots or alone. High value items and unique outfits will do best on their own, as will many items that are new with tags still on them. However, if you put together multiple items in the same size and gender together to create a “lot”, you can demand a higher price for all the clothes and the selling process is much less work. You will not have to haggle over individual items and everything will go at once to one address. If you have to deal with shipping, selling in lots is much easier on the seller. This is an excellent method for anyone opting to sell on eBay, Craigslist or another online auction or classifieds site.

Consignment stores are another great way to sell used clothing. Check to see what the store demands of its consignors. Some consignment stores limit the number of items you can bring, some request clothing on hangers, others require no hangers, many have a list of items they know will not sell and will therefore refuse them and the list goes on. The other thing to check is when you can bring the clothing in as some stores set appointment times, while others have a block of time open each day for receiving clothes. Often such stores will buy your used items outright instead of actually consigning them.

Seasonal consignment sales for children’s and maternity clothing are becoming more and more popular. They require a large time commitment on your part for tagging and preparing the clothes. However, the return on your investment is higher than some other used clothing items. Be prepared to follow precise instructions concerning washing, ironing, hanging, pricing and tagging clothes, as well as preparing an inventory. You will need to deliver your items at a specified time and pick up the leftovers, unless you choose to donate them, and hopefully a check at another specified time.

Anyone with used clothing to sell has a variety of options to choose from. Knowing what is involved in each will help you to determine which is the best one for you.

Fashion stylist

How to Become a Fashion Stylist

Fashion stylist

If you are an individual that is always up to date with the latest in fashion and you have a passion for helping other, perhaps you should consider becoming a fashion stylist. As a fashion stylist you will help those whose fashion sense isn’t up to par and work with them to create an entire new look that is unique to them. Just as a hair stylist is charged with making a masterpiece out of someone’s hair, you job will be to mold them and their sense of fashion.

While there is no real formal training to become a fashion stylist, you must have a true passion for what you do as the world of fashion is an ultra competitive one. Still, if you can handle the competition, there are few jobs as rewarding as a fashion stylist. Here are the steps to take to get your fashion stylist career going full steam:

1.    Keep up with the latest fashions:
Obviously if you want to become a fashion stylist you have to be up on all the latest fashions. This can be accomplished by reading all the fashion magazines you can get your hands on and also attending any and all fashion shows that are in your immediate area.
2.    Create a portfolio: In order to sell your services you have to have examples to show potential clients. This can be achieved by dressing a mannequin in styles that you pick out and photographing the results. This will enable you to show to potential clients your ability with fashion and gives you examples to work off of. As you gain clients, start using before and after photos with their approval for your portfolio as well. These photos can easily be uploaded to a simple website so that you can access them from any computer and always have them at your beckon call to help you sell yourself.
3.    Build your clientele: It is important to build up a solid list of clients as quickly as you can. This doesn’t mean you should cut corners with your services, but until you have a good list of clients you should cut your fee. Once you have a solid list of clients you can gradually raise your prices to match your reputation, just be sure to always charge your original clients the same low price they have always enjoyed. This will increase their loyalty to you and make them more likely to recommend you to family and friends.
4.    Give impeccable service: If you take care of your clients and give the best service possible they will reward you by referring you to everyone they know. Word of mouth is big for any business, but it is especially big for the fashion stylist business.

One thing that many in the fashion stylist business eventually have to consider is relocation. Yes you can build a successful business in a small area of the country, but to be mega successful you should really be in areas that have lots of people and lots of money. Some of the more popular places to be a fashion stylist include parts of New York, California, and Florida. Many times a fashion stylist will get their feet wet in a smaller area and move on to a bigger area as their reputation becomes big enough to match the area in which they wish to relocate to.

Clothes swap

How To Organize A Clothes Swap

Clothes swap

A clothing swap is a great way to get some new-to-you clothes, while not paying a penny. In today’s tight economy people are trying harder than ever to cut corners where they can and save money. For this reason clothes swaps are becoming more and more popular amongst groups of friends, neighbors, social groups and even churches. You can easily organize a clothing swap yourself to get some different looks for you, your kids or even the man in your life.

The first step to decide on the theme of your clothing swap. You may want to have a swap for any and all clothes. This works well if you are doing a swap with a smaller group or if you have a huge space. However, for the sake of organization, and especially if you plan to have a large number of people participating you may want to limit the type of clothes. You could choose a kids-only swap, adult clothes only, a seasonal clothing swap or even a specialty swap like Halloween costumes, formal wear or outdoor winter wear.

The next step is to choose the place and time. The larger the space you have available the bigger and better your swap can be. Try to find a community center, church hall or other area free of charge to hold your swap. Alternately you can hold it in your home, but limit it to one or two rooms only and give attendees limits on the number of items they can bring. Choose a time that works well for most of the people in your group. If you plan to do a swap amongst friends, a Saturday morning brunch swap may be fun. If you have a group of stay at home moms who are doing the swap choose a weekday and be prepared to have kids around.

The next thing you must do is set the rules. How many items can a person bring? Will you accept stained clothes? Do items need to be hung? Some general rules are sort of common sense but must be shared prior to the swap. All clothes must be laundered. Put outfits together. Don’t bring worn out, ripped or majorly stained items. The order of choice is next to be set. It may be determined by drawing names or by the number of items someone brought. If allowing one person at a time to choose, you need to remember that your clothing swap will take a long time. Only do a round or two of this method and then allow a free for all. You may want to log in the number of items a person brings and allow them to leave with that many or fewer.

Invite people to take part in your swap. State that the only way they can come is by bringing items to swap. Make sure you invite at least double or triple the number of people you would like to see show up. Keep in mind the types of people and the theme of your swap. If most of your friends have girls only, don’t invite the one mom who only has boys. No one will want her stuff and she will find nothing she wants. If you are having an adult clothing swap and most people you are inviting wear size 12 and over, don’t invite your friend who is a size 2.

Lastly, have a plan for leftovers. You will find at any swap that there are things that are not chosen. Allow those who brought such items to take them home again if they want. The remainder should go to Goodwill, a church clothes closet or some other non-profit group which could make use of the clothes.

Good luck with your clothes swap.


Where is it Socially Acceptable for men to Wear Skirts


In an every changing world where men and women seem to be gaining in equality by the second a new trend has hit over in parts of Europe and is starting to eek its way ahead; men in skirts. While the idea of a man wearing a skirt is strictly taboo in some parts of the world it is actually gaining popularity and if history is any indicator, skirts on men will be here in the United States before you know it.

It makes sense when you think about it. More and more clothing that would only be considered for one sex is making its way across the gender line and showing up where you least expect it. The pants suit for women is a classic example of a fashion that was originally designed for one gender but made its way to the other. Designers certainly pulled that off so why not skirts on a guy?

For now though it is not generally accepted for men to wear skirts except for some certain circumstances. Here is when it is most commonly acceptable to have a man wearing a skirt:

•    Scottish formal events: This is probably the only time for now that you will think it is acceptable for a man to be in a skirt. Of course these skirts are referred to as kilts and are a traditional garment for a Scottish man to wear especially to a formal event. Should you attend a wedding that has a Scottish Bride or Groom chances are you will see more than one kilt floating around.

•    Celtic events:
Much like the Scottish, the Celts have their own form of the kilt and they too can be seen on Celtic men. Also like the Scottish, it was tradition to dress up in your finest kilt for the most formal of times.

•    Foreign military dress: Though they have not been used in battle since the 1940s, there are still certain regimens of the British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and South African armies that still use kilts as part of their everyday dress and uniforms.

•    Military ceremonies:
The U.S. Marines, the Coast Guard, and the U.S. Air Force have all developed ceremonial kilts that are worn by certain members of the pipe and drum bands. Though not part of the everyday uniform, these kilts are being seen at more and more military ceremonies.

•    Halloween: Let’s face it, if your buddy came over right now wearing a skirt, you would check your calendar to see if it was Halloween. On this occasion men can definitely get away with wearing a skirt if the costume they picked out dictates one. If it’s not Halloween, maybe your buddy just got back from a European vacation and loved the new fashion that he saw while over there.

While at the present time it is really only a kilt that is an acceptable form of a skirt for a man, the day is coming whether we like it or not that men will stop putting their pants on one leg a time and put both in a skirt at the same time.

Upcycling clothes

Guide to Upcycling Clothing – Making something New from Something Old

Upcycling clothes

Every year our planet produces countless tons of garbage. Somewhere in those tons a good portion of it is old clothing. While many are very good about taking their unwanted clothing to their local Good Will, others simply discard them with the rest of the household trash. Enter the latest craze known as upcycling.

The term ‘upcycling’ was coined by the authors of the book Cradle to Cradle; Remaking the Way We Make Things, William McDonough and Michael Braungart and essentially means taking something that was meant for the landfill and turning it into something totally new and usable. This will of course reduce waste and be better for the world in which we live.

The great thing with upcycling clothing is that you are giving your old garments a whole new purpose in life. After they have covered you body for many months or years, it doesn’t mean their usefulness is done. Of course it is always nice to donate some clothing, but many times clothing can get torn, stained, or is just un-wearable and these garments are the perfect candidates for upcycling.

Here are some easy and great ways you can get new use out of your old cloths:

•    Wrapping presents: The oriental community has practiced this for some time now. Instead of using costly wrapping paper, which accounts for many trees being cut down, try using some old clothing. Old silk shirts or any other kind of softer material can be cut up to make a unique and eco-friendly wrap that will have your friends and family dazzle in delight.
•    Quilts: Old jeans are best for this but really any material can be used. If you are handy with the needle, you can make some really unique pieces. If you are not handy with the needle, it is not all that hard to learn how to be. Who knows, you may get a fun new hobby out of the deal.
•    Rags for your car: Nothing makes for a nicer rag when detailing your car like an old cotton shirt. The nice thing about using an old shirt for rags is that you can cut the shirt up into various sizes and accomplish different task with them. These rags can also be washed and used again and again. When they are too harsh to use for detailing your car, upcycle them again and use them when performing tasks like checking the oil level in your car or cleaning up big messes like spilled oil or other types of fluids.
•    Give new life to old cloths: If you have kids, this one is especially fun. You can take old tattered clothing and have a day where you cut and sew and paste and before you know it, you will have a whole bunch of new and unique cloths for your kids to wear that they designed. Who knows, your kids might even start a new trend at school.

The limits to upcycling clothing are endless and really only stop with your imagination. Upcycling is not only good for the environment, but it can be fun as well. Everything deserves a second chance; even old cloths.

Fitting room etiquette

A Guide to Fitting Room Etiquette

Fitting room etiquette

Most department stores that you visit have a place known as the dressing room or fitting room where you can go to try on clothing you are thinking about buying. Some fitting rooms hare fully closed in with a door while others have a curtain that can be drawn closed and still others resemble the old style western saloon doors. Whichever type of fitting room you find yourself in there are some rules of etiquette that should be followed.

While some of these rules are posted and some are unspoken, they should all be followed in order to ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience in their shopping trip.

1.    Keep it down: You need to remember that the walls of a dressing room are strictly there for privacy purposes and that it is very easy for the person in the fitting room next to you to hear a conversation you may be having with a loved one or a friend. No one wants to hear how you or someone else thinks your butt looks in a certain type of jeans, so keep your voices down. This goes for those of you that like to speak really loudly on your cell phones too. Just because you can’t see the person in the next fitting room doesn’t mean that they can’t hear you. Though it may sometimes feel like it, a fitting room is not a phone booth.

2.    Occupied: If a door is closed or a curtain is drawn, always assume someone is in the fitting room. Never barge in as you and the occupant can be in for an unwelcomed surprise. If there are no other open fitting rooms, make sure to knock first and actually wait to hear for an answer back.

3.    Tidy up: You should always leave the fitting room in the same condition, if not better, than you did when you entered it. This means actually taking a little time and turning the cloths right side in and re-hanging them on their appropriate hangers if you do not intend on buying them. Then the clothing should be returned to the fitting room attendant. True, it is their job to look through the fitting rooms every so often to retrieve articles of clothing that are left behind, but don’t have that attitude. You wouldn’t like it if someone did it to you would you? A little courtesy can go a long way.

4.    Please keep your underwear on: Even if you are trying on something you would not normally wear underwear with, like a bikini, panties, or a swimsuit, leave your underwear on. First of all it is the right thing to do, but second off you could be the second or even third person to try on that garment. What if the person before you broke this rule?

5.    Be nice: This rule is often the most ignored. Be nice to the people who work at the store and are helping you with your fitting room experience. They are people too and there is nothing to gain by being rude to them.

When it comes to fitting room etiquette, little things can go a long way. They may be written or unspoken rules, but they are all important and will ensure that your next visit to a fitting room is a welcomed one.

Wet t-shirt

Choosing the Right Shirt for a Wet T-Shirt Contest

Wet t-shirt

If you are thinking of entering a wet t-shirt contest, chances are you’re a girl who likes to have a good time and doesn’t mind taking risks. Wet t-shirt contests have all the makings of a beauty pageant, combined with a heavy (a REALLY heavy) dose of sex appeal. Sex is definitely the number one draw here, with classic beauty and poise taking a back seat to plain old big boobs. That’s not to say the girl with the biggest boobs always wins though. It’s the one with the best overall package that will ultimately win the prize.

No one knows exactly where the first wet t-shirt contest took place, or whose idea it was (though we can logically assume the genius was of the male gender). Some claim that the wet t-shirt contest was inspired by the opening scenes of the 1977 movie “The Deep,” in which Jacqueline Bisset swam in a t-shirt. Today, wet t-shirt contests are commonplace events at bars, nightclubs and especially college parties and spring break celebrations.

The reasons to enter a wet t-shirt contest include the lure of cold, hard cash (the bigger the venue, the more lucrative the prize will be), the guarantee of lots and lots of male attention, and the chance to establish your reputation as one of the hottest babes around. If you bring along a date to the contest, chances are he’s really going to be into you by the end of the night!

How you dress for a wet t-shirt contest will largely determine if you win, so be sure to spend some time picking the right shirt for the event. First, it’s very important to wear a WHITE shirt that will become transparent once it becomes wet. A pale pink shirt may work, but you should consider testing it before wearing to be sure it meets the transparency rule. Next, the fabric should be rather thin in order to be the most revealing. A thick Lycra fabric, such as one worn for sports or similar activities, is designed to not reveal boobs when it becomes saturated, so avoid this. Stick to flimsy cottons for the best results.

When you’re choosing a shirt for a wet t-shirt contest, you should only wear a fitted shirt. A tight t-shirt, tank top or halter top are all great choices. A loose t-shirt will only look droopy and unappealing when it gets wet, so make sure the style is form-fitting. Create your own t-shirt style but tying it in the front or back, cutting holes in strategic places or ripping it.

If you’re at the beach or a swim party, wear a bikini bottom with your t-shirt. If the contest will be held at a nightclub or a college frat house, you can pair your shirt with a short skirt, cut-off Daisy Dukes or tight jeans. Whatever you choose, just be sure you can dance, shimmy and shake in it to show everyone why you deserve to win the big prize!

Wet t-shirt 1

Not Your Mama’s Beauty Pageant: A History of the Wet T-Shirt Contest

Wet t-shirt 1

Moms and dads enter their adorable tykes in those baby beauty contests everyday. Darling little girls with bouncing curls and frilly dresses are a beauty pageant staple. And who hasn’t spent a few hours in front of the TV, watching regal, tanned goddesses stroll across the stage at the Miss America Pageant or the Miss Universe Pageant? There’s something irresistible about watching lots of beautiful people, young or old, compete to decide who is the MOST beautiful. It’s just one of those quirks of human nature, even as we try to teach our kids that “it’s what’s on the inside that really matters” or “everyone is beautiful in their own way.”

The wet t-shirt contest has all the makings of a beauty pageant, combined with a heavy dose of sex appeal. Sex, in fact, is the number one draw here, with classic beauty and poise taking a back seat to plain old big boobs. No one knows exactly where the first wet t-shirt contest took place, or whose idea it was (though we can logically assume the genius was of the male gender). Some claim that the wet t-shirt contest was inspired by the opening scenes of the 1977 movie “The Deep,” in which Jacqueline Bisset swam in a t-shirt. Today the competitions are the domain of bars, nightclubs, resorts and similar establishments that are looking to draw a big crowd with the lure of sneak-a-peeks.

Wet t-shirt contests are a staple of spring break celebrations at locations such as Daytona Beach and Cancun, and typically involve lots of big-breasted young women (though male versions of the contest do exist). Participants wear white or light-colored t-shirts, tank tops or crop tops, sans bras or other undergarments. At the height of the contest, water is sprayed or poured onto the contestant (we’re pretty sure that job is one that’s not hard to fill among the men), making the material see-through and revealing the breasts. Each girl may dance or pose for the crowd, with the ultimate winner determined by crowd reaction or a panel of judges.

Wet t-shirt contests have always been viewed as risqué, and occasionally become the subject of controversy locally and nationally. In 1998, an airplane flight carrying a group of Portland, Ore., high school students to Mexico following graduation became notorious for a wet t-shirt contest held en route. Flight attendants encouraged the contest, and airline pilots supposedly acted as judges, disobeying FAA regulations that prohibited passengers in the cockpit. An investigation followed, and the pilots were disciplined for sexual misconduct.

In 2005, a 17-year-old Florida teenager brought a federal suit against Playboy, Anheuser-Busch and other companies regarding video of her appearance in a Daytona Beach wet t-shirt contest the previous year. While the girl admitted that she had lied about her age to participate, her suit claimed that as a minor she was unable to give consent to participate or be taped while performing. The suit was later settled. A similar suit was brought against Deslin Hotels, “Girls Gone Wild” and various websites in 2007, by two girls who participated in a 2001 Daytona Beach wet t-shirt contest.


Top 10 Things Che Did to Become a T-Shirt Legend


Born into an upper-middle-class family in Rosario, Argentina, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was to become a legendary figure in the history of Latin America. He rejected both capitalism and Soviet communism, eventually developing into a radical convinced that the only way to bring about social change was through violent revolution. His reputation as a rebel has landed his image on everything from coffee mugs to tattoos. His cult following continues even among today’s youth, particularly Latinos. Here are a few reasons Che Guevara became a t-shirt legend.

1.    Medical training. Unlike many guerrillas of the time, Che Guevara was educated at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1953.

2.    His romanticism. Che grew up in a home  with more than 3,000 books, and was remarkably well-read. He was especially passionate about poetry, favoring poets such Pablo Neruda, Rudyard Kipling, John Keats, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, César Vallejo, José Hernández and Walt Whitman.

3.    His intellectual idealism. As a youth, Che was exposed to the philosophies of influential intellectuals including Karl Marx, William Faulkner, André Gide, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne. Additionally, he enjoyed the writings of Sigmund Freud, Jawaharlal Nehru, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Vladimir Lenin and Jean-Paul Sartre. The ideas of these thinkers greatly influenced the development of Che’s own distinct philosophies.

4.    Author of “The Motorcycle Diaries.” At 23, Che left his medical studies to travel across South America on an old motorcycle with his friend, a 29-year-old biochemist named Alberto Granado. His trip allowed him to witness the poverty and social plights of various groups, including mine workers, communists, lepers and the Latin American poor, which he documented in the book. It has been a New York Times bestseller several times, and in 2004 was used as the basis for a popular movie of the same name.

5.    Compassion for the poor. Che Guevara had tremendous compassion for the poor and sick, which led him to the field of medicine and also to travel extensively, witnessing the struggles of these groups.

6.    His rebel spirit. Undoubtedly the one characteristic that draws admirers to Che is his rebel spirit. He assisted Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries in overthrowing the Cuban government in 1958, gaining fame as one of the leading figures in Castro’s government. He later led guerrilla efforts in Africa and Bolivia.

7.    His appearance. Che’s rugged yet handsome face has become a staple on a huge variety of merchandise. The Alberto Korda photograph of him, taken in 1960, is the commonly reproduced version and was declared “the most famous photograph in the world.”

8.    His associations. Che was a diplomat for Cuban socialism, traveling widely in Russia, India and Africa, meeting the leading figures of the world at that time. He also orchestrated the close relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union.

9.    His contrasts.
Che Guevara was a study in contrasts. He once said, “the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love,” but he was also an expert in the dark tactics of guerrilla warfare. He was notorious as a ruthless disciplinarian who shot defectors without hesitation.

10.    His death. Che was executed in 1967 at the hands of Bolivian forces, assisted by the CIA. His death was considered a martyrdom by many, leading to his status as a revolutionary icon.