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How to Wear a Kimono


Although many people think that a kimono is nothing more than a really fancy looking bathrobe, to the Japanese it is anything but. Unlike your bathrobe that you may just throw on to fetch the morning paper and not give any thought as to how you are doing it, wearing a kimono is a process and some steps even have a specific purpose or meaning.

If you want to properly wear a kimono you must have a little patience and a few articles accessories to go with it. Here are the proper steps to properly wear a kimono in the traditional Japanese way:

1.    Put on white socks first: Once your kimono is on and on properly, you will find it difficult to get to your feet, so save yourself the hassle and put your socks on first.

2.    Put on the Juban: The Juban is the white slip that actually goes under the kimono and features a collar. Once the kimono is on, only the collared part of the Juban will be visible. For this reason, you can now buy a Juban that is shorter and still features the collar, though it is not traditional.

3.    Put on the kimono:
Put your kimono on much like you would a bathrobe. Make sure that the seam on the back if the kimono is lined up with the center of your back. Wrap the right side of the kimono over you and then overlap it with the left side. This is a very important step and it actually signifies that you are living. When wrapped the opposite way it means that you are a corpse at a traditional Japanese funeral. At this point you will notice that the kimono is too long. No you didn’t get the wrong size; it is designed to be that way. When the kimono is in place, be sure that the collar of the Juban is visible and even around the neck area.

4.    Use your koshi-himo: A koshi-himo is a belt and you will need it for this next step. Pull up the excess kimono material until the kimono is even with your ankles. Now tie the koshi-himo around you and allow the extra fabric to hang over it. Be sure that the hanging fabric is even all the way around.

5.    Use your date-jime: A date-jime is the second type of belt you will need when putting on your kimono. Take the date-jime and wrap it over your mid section so that you can tie it in the back. Place it over the koshi-himo on the outside of the fabric but make sure that the fabric is still visible by a couple of inches. Once in the back, tie the date-jime and bring the ends to the front and then tie it once more. Tuck the ends under in a secure fashion to hold it in place.

Once everything is secure, make one last check to ensure everything is even and you are ready to go in your kimono worn the traditional Japanese way.


How to Wear a Sari


The simplicity of a sari makes it popular to women nowadays. This kind of attire is so flexible that it can be worn in different wrap-up styles and can look formal or casual depending on the design. With so many colors and prints available, there’s a sari for every taste. The right sari fabric featuring the perfect print and color will make you the most fashionable and elegant woman at the party.

Choosing the right sari for your occasion is easy. First, think about what kind of event you’ll be attending. Is it formal, like a wedding or society party? Or more casual, like simple family gatherings or a party with friends? A sari can fit in with any party, as long as you choose one that’s appropriate. They vary from elegant drapes to simple drops, from detailed prints to simple ones. Knowing in advance how fancy your party will be will save you from the embarrassment of being underdressed or overdressed.

Choosing the design, print, and fabric for your sari is another thing. For formal and serene occasions like weddings, elegant designs are preferred. Go with warm and classic colors like beige, cream, white with touches of gold and silver. Choose a fabric that compliments your figure best. Slim women should have cotton or silk so as to enhance their curves, while curvier women will prefer chiffon or georgette fabrics.

There are two more crucial pieces you’ll need to choose carefully once you’ve picked a design and fabric type. You’ll need a petticoat and a blouse. The waist-to-floor length petticoat, which shouldn’t be visible outside the Sari, must match the color of sari as closely as possible. If you have a dark fabric sari, any dark color will do, but for lighter ones, stick to a color that’s very close to the sari’s color. The blouse should end below the bust. Look for a blouse that features a very simple design that compliments the elegant drapes your sari makes when you wear it.

Dressing in your sari starts with tucking the plain end of the fabric into the petticoat, preferably on the right side of your navel. Make sure that the whole fabric is gathered on your left side and that the lower end of the fabric is touching the floor. Then wrap it around again enveloping your body from right to left. Starting at the tucked-in end, make equally graceful pleats (the number of pleats depends on the style you want) and tuck them into the petticoat, at the waist, directly opposite the other tucked end.

After that, raise the remaining fabric up under your right arm and over your left shoulder. This way, the level of the safari is at knee-length already. Lastly, you can prevent the pallu, or the loose end of the sari that’s hanging over your left shoulder, from slipping off by fixing it to the blouse with a well-hidden safety pin or two.

Use your imagination to create other wrap-up styles. The possibilities are endless – but make sure you take pictures so you can recreate a winning wrap again. Have fun and be beautiful with your own sari!


How to Wear Metallic Clothing


Metallics are unique fabrics and finishes that make for some unforgettable items of clothing. While for the most part, metallics are predominantly found in accessories like jewelry, belts, shoes and purses, they can also be found in clothing items as a part of the design or as the color of the attire. Knowing how to wear metallics will make your ensembles look great, help you stand out from the crowd and at the same time not be too over the top.

The number one rule of wearing metallics is to keep it to only one metal at a time. If you choose a bronze item, don’t try to pair it with gold or silver. If you choose to wear a metallic look in any color, stick with that one color and don’t try to put it together with other metallic finish colors. Also, avoid head to toe metallic at all costs. It is inevitably a look that will make you resemble a space alien.

Another of the most important things to remember when it comes to metallics is to keep it simple. Match one metallic wardrobe item with solid colors and simple fabrics. Resist the temptation to go overboard with accessories or prints. It will make you look too busy. Build your outfit around the metallic item, because it will inevitably draw the most attention.

Metallics are particularly good for certain occasions. Holiday wear and metallics go hand in hand as an abundance of metallic clothing items find their way onto the store racks during the holiday season. Trim for fancy dress is often done in metallic tones to add extra glitz and glamour. This type of metallic use is definitely not for everyday casual wear. When looking for special occasion wear, you will also find more metallic hues.

This is not to say that metallics cannot be found year round. In fact, some casual T-shirts can be found with metallic hues in the design. Such T-shirts are often seen as a little dressier than usual tees. In addition, metallic wardrobe additions are found amongst the more risqué items that one would wear to a nightclub. The junior section of department stores or certain boutiques that cater to college age and younger girls will tend to carry metallic items specifically for clubbing and special events.

One solid piece of advice about metallics is that if you are unsure about metallic clothing items, gravitate towards accessories that are metallic. They will add glamour to your ensemble and help pull an outfit together for a special occasion or just a night out. Metallic accessories are a safe bet that can easily be changed. You can quickly add or take them away from an outfit to completely change up the look you are trying to achieve.

Put your metallics knowledge to work for you as you put together your own style and your own outfits for everyday and for those special times. Add a little glamour to your outfits with metallic accessories or create a splash with a piece of metallic attire for that memorable event. Use metallics wisely and your wardrobe will thank you for it.


How to Wear Prints


Clothing styles and designs vary from season to season, culture to culture and even from one city to another. Individuals create their own styles based on what is in style, what they like to wear, what appeals to them visually and what is appropriate for their body type and age. One of the trickier things to incorporate into any wardrobe is prints. While some people naturally gravitate towards prints, many of us are shy to wear prints for fear of drawing too much attention to ourselves, matching it incorrectly or looking outdated. However if you know how to wear prints, you will be comfortable with adding them to your wardrobe and wearing them often.

Choosing the right print is always tricky. A good way to start wearing prints is to opt for tame prints in similar tones that will make it easy to match up and will not be too flashy. This will ease you into the change in your style. This is important to do if you have stuck with solid colors only in the past.

Another technique for choosing patterns is to opt for ones that have an abundance of colors you like and wear often. If you like the look of black and white together, a black and white print may be the perfect place to start.

If you are worried about choosing an outdated print, head to stores like Banana Republic or Urban Outfitters that are on the cutting edge of fashion. You are sure to find only up-to-date prints there. You may also want to look at fashion sites online and see what is in vogue this season. Many of these sites will provide you with opportunities to buy the attire you like or link you to sites that sell it.

The other factor in wearing prints is the impact the print will have on your overall look. If you are top heavy, you may want to invest in pants and skirts with prints in order to draw the eye downwards. The opposite is true for those who are pear-shaped or have heavier legs. Wear printed tops to draw the eye away from those less-than-ideal areas of the body.

When it comes to matching prints up with other things, you will want to examine the print carefully and choose a predominant color in the print in order to pair with it. For example a print top with a lot of brown in it will look great with a brown skirt or pants. This will create a more subdued look and keep the print from overwhelming the outfit. If you have an ensemble with bold colors, choose one of the lesser used colors to match up with cardigans, jackets and accessories, as it will help to bring out the color more.

A warning about wearing prints must be given. Do not try to match up prints with other prints. If an entire outfit is purchased together and the print continues throughout the ensemble, it is fine. However, trying to mix and match prints is a bad idea. Your outfit should only have one piece of clothing that is printed. All the others should complement it. Stripes, polka dots and other geometric designs never go with prints.

Be bold. Wear prints, but keep in mind the guidelines of looking good in prints.