Archive | October 2012

Poll Time! What’s Your Dream Custom Clothing Item?


When you think of “custom clothing”, what item comes to mind? I know that for me, the answer is a suit. Custom suits are super popular with both men and women and for good reason – they’re tailored, timeless, elegant and professional. However, custom denim might also come to mind. Custom designer jeans are very trendy as well, with brands like Levi Strauss and J Brand jumping on the customization bandwagon.

Beyond suits and jeans, there are many apparel categories that can make use of custom fitting or tailoring, including dresses, collared shirts, jackets and blazers, and even lingerie!

If you could have ANY custom clothing item, what would it be? Take our poll below!

I’m gonna vote for “Dress/Gown”, as my dream item is a really extravagant formal gown in black 🙂 Let us know the specifics of your dream item in the comments!

Kristen P.

What’s the Deal with Vintage??

It’s no question that “vintage” is big word in fashion today, from vintage clothes to vintage stores to vintage-inspired runway looks. But what exactly does “vintage” mean? Even though the word is everywhere, it’s kinda hard to nail down a specific definition.

I was wondering about this the other day after I walked by a “vintage” clothing store and took a peek in the window. How old WERE these clothes anyway? What’s the diff between vintage and consignment or secondhand?

Like any good detective, I went to the one place I knew I’d find answers: Wikipedia. Apparently, clothing that was made before 1920 is actually “antique”, not vintage. If you go to a vintage store, you’re probably not gonna find anything that old. The specific definition of “vintage clothing” is (usually) from around 1920 to 1970.  Clothing that was created more recently but is a replication of older styles is officially referred to as “retro”.

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I think of “vintage” as any clothing that was previously owned by somebody else, no matter how long ago that was. When I go to a vintage or consignment shop, I end up buying items that are from a few seasons ago, not a few decades ago. In the popular parlance, vintage can pretty much mean the same as “secondhand”.

No matter what definition you choose, vintage is pretty darn popular. Why do so many people like “vintage” clothing, no matter how old it actually is? For one thing, it’s been  popular with celebrities. It’s “green” in that it furthers the idea of “reduce, reuse, recycle”.  It also has a “story”: where it came from, who owned it before, etc.

Do you guys enjoy buying vintage? If so, why? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

Fall Must-Haves for your Body Type

Ahh, fall is in the air! And by “ahh”, I mean “crap, it’s getting cold”. But even thought I don’t really like the cold, I DO like fall fashion! The boots, the blazers, the cardigans, the jackets, the hats, ALL of it.

I also love shopping for fall items, and really just shopping in general…However, as I mentioned in a post on Tuesday, a lot of women don’t like to shop, and one of the main reasons is that they don’t know what will look good on them. To help my peeps out, I picked out one fall must-have for each body type:

Straight Body Type (“Slim and athletic”)

Must-Have: Belted Sheath Dress

Calvin Klein

Sheath dresses are definitely in for all, and the belt will create an hourglass silhouette. A striped sheath dress will also add dimension to your figure.

Hourglass Body Type (“36-24-36”)

Must-Have: V-neck Sweater Dress

 BCBG Max Azria

Rock those curves, girl! A v-neck flatters your silhouette, while the sweater material will show off your shape. Plus, you’ll be warm AND stylish.

Pear Body Type (“Bootilicious”) 

Must-Have: Comfy Graphic Sweater

3.1 Phillip Lim

Graphic sweaters are a major trend, and a great pattern or theme will create volume on the upper half of your silhouette, evening it out. Also – they’re fun!

Apple Body Type (“Cute ‘n Curvey”)

Must-Have: V-neck Cashmere Sweater

 JOSEPH

The V-neck neckline is the most flattering for rounder shapes, although a cowl neck is another good option! Cashmere sweaters never go out of style, and you can pick one in a great fall shade like red or oxblood.

Top-Heavy Type (“Got some Girls”)

Must-Have: Printed Pants

Topshop

Printed pants were HUGE this summer, and the trend is continuing into the cooler months. Pair these with a simple top to draw attention to your legs. Be sure to pick a “fall-appropriate” print like the one shown above.

Well, hope this helps! Happy fall shopping, ladies!

What’s YOUR fall must-have? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

Ten Reasons Why Women Hate Shopping

According to a recent study discussed in this article from Refinery29, about one-third of women don’t like to shop. Ummm….say what??! A third seems like a heck of a lot, especially since women are usually thought of as huge shopping fans. Here are ten reasons why women don’t enjoy shopping

1.      The clothes they try on don’t fit

Clothes in stores are too big, too small, too loose in the waist, etc. Petite, plus-size, and tall women experience this problem more than others, and often have to buy clothes in their size online rather than in-store.

2.      Long waits in line

This is the reason why I never shop at the H&M on Fifth and 42nd. Waiting in line (as every NYer knows) is a huge pain in the ass, and can become an even bigger one if you’re waiting in line with kids, for example.

3.      Annoying/over-eager sales peeps

A good sales clerk is hard to find. The typical sales person in a retail store tends to be either completely uninterested or too interested, as in “pushy and aggravating”. This is a major reason why many women hate shopping – they don’t want to deal with an annoying sales person.

4.      Too time-consuming

Women today are busier than ever, and shopping can be a real time-sucker, especially if you’re hard to fit. With so much on the agenda, many women would rather just skip shopping altogether.

5.      Stores are overwhelming or disorganized

Some stores offer so many styles that it can boggle the mind of the shopper. Add disorganization to the mix, and you end up with a totally overwhelmed customer who can’t find what she’s looking for.

6.      Guilt at over-spending

Have you ever felt guilty about spending money on clothes, even if you did really need the item? This is definitely a common experience, and one that can make shopping very daunting, especially if you’re on a budget.

7.      Stressful shopping environments

Let’s face it, some stores are just freakin’ loud and annoying (Abercrombie, I’m lookin at you…).  Crowds of shoppers can add to the aggravation, particularly around holiday time.

8.      Body image issues

Many women hate shopping because everything they try on makes them feel bad about their bodies. This is a real shame, as it’s not the fault of the woman – it’s the unrealistic and non-standardized sizing systems employed by most retailers that are to blame.

9.      No idea what will look best on them

A lot of women out there simply don’t know which styles, colors, or silhouettes will look best on them. Therefore, they get overwhelmed when they see the many style options out there!

10.  Plain ol’ boredom

Plenty of women don’t shop because they just think it’s boring. It’s simply not an activity that excites or interests them.

So, I’m one of those women who LOVE shopping and would do it every day if I could. However, I can definitely understand some of the reasons to dislike shopping (particularly guilt about spending money, trying on clothes that don’t fit, and waiting in line).

Do you love shopping or hate it? Why? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

What Happens to your Old Clothes?

So, a few weeks ago I had what you might call a Style Crisis. As the word “crisis” implies, this was a big deal – I even ended up calling my mommy and my girlfriends to tell them of this horrifying occurrence. Basically, I had stared into the abyss of my closet and realized I straight-up HATED everything I owned.

Have any of you guys ever experienced this? It’s different from not having “anything to wear” even though you have a lot of clothes; it’s more like a realization that your current wardrobe doesn’t fit your personal style anymore.

Anyway, after this revelation, I decided to get myself a “clean slate” and get rid of all of the clothes I didn’t want anymore. After going through my closet and drawers and tossing out everything I know longer wanted/needed (mad props to my girl Anisah, who is a brutal closet-reorganizer), I packed everything up into *many* trash bags and dropped it off at a local clothing donation center.

I went back home feelin’ pretty good about myself, thinking I had both cleaned out my closet AND donated to people in need. Then I was like, “Hmmm…I wonder what DOES happen with all of those clothes that people donate. Do they all go to charity? What does the Salvation Army do with all of the clothes they get?”

So, being the lifelong academic that I am, I decided to do a lil’ research. I gotta say, I was pretty surprised by some of the things I learned about donated clothing:

  • Most of it doesn’t end up in the hands of people in need in my community or even in the US! In fact, we give away so many clothes in the US that charities never run out; in fact, there are tons (literally) left over.
  • Only 15-20% of the clothing we donate gets resold in the USA. For example, Salvation Army only resells the “very best” of the clothing they receive, and even that only has one month to sell before being sent away.
  • About 30% of the clothing that doesn’t “make the cut” to be resold in thrift stores ends up BEING cut up and reprocessed to make industrial cleaning rags or recycled into insulation fiber.
  • About half of the re-wearable clothing we donate gets resold overseas, the grand majority of that being resold in Africa.

Pretty crazy, right? I had assumed that the majority of donated clothing was either sold in thrift stores or simply given away to the many needy people in the United States – I hadn’t imagined that almost half of it is sold at a profit in the global second-hand clothing industry!

Still, I don’t think this knowledge will stop me from donating clothing again. It’s better than tossing said clothing in the trash, where it will end up in a landfill or a garbage incinerator. At least someone, somewhere might get some use out of my old clothes. However, I WILL try to have less clothing to get rid of in the future!

What do you guys think? Did you know what happened to your donated clothing? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

What do YOU have in your Closet?

Do you ever stand in front of your closet full of clothes and feel like you have nothing to wear? Have you spent WAAAAY too much money on shoes or clothes this year? Have you ever hid a clothing or shoe purchase from a friend of relative?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, no, you aren’t cray cray; in fact, you’re pretty normal (well, with regard to clothes and shopping, at least).

According to this article by Closet Factory’s Phanna Kloth, women have many particular shopping habits. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 14% of women hide some of their shoe purchases from others

Aiight, I’ve personally never done this, but I KNOW some of my friends have. Have you ever hidden a guilty shoe conscience?

  • Women buy 3 handbags each year

For real, only 3?? I’ve bought like 6 since July….don’t judge me.

  • 40% of women shop while at work

Guilty as charged, although I don’t do this nearly as often as I used to. I’m sure this percentage goes up among women who are”displeased” with their jobs….

  •  8.5 years of a woman’s life is spent shopping

Wow, that’s impressive!!

  • The average woman spends $49 on a pair of shoes, four times each year

Ok, $49 seems kinda low, but that could only be because I’m financially irresponsible when it comes to footwear expenditures.

And four times a year? That seems low too. What do you guys think?

  • Women wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time

I thought this stat was really interesting. If you’re like me, you don’t wear everything that’s in your closet, and you wear your favorite stuff all of the time. Actually, I’ve heard that women only wear like a third of what’s in their closet!

Why is that? I can think of my own reasons: 1) Doesn’t fit and I wish it did (every woman’s pair of “skinny jeans” could fit in this category); 2) I spent a lot of money on it so I don’t wanna throw it out, but I don’t feel like wearing it; 3) Too much maintenance, like dry clean or hand-wash only; 4) It needs to go with some other clothing item/accessory that I don’t own yet; 5) I like my other clothes better, so I don’t wear it!

Do you guys wear everything that’s in your closet? Why don’t you wear certain items? Do you agree with these stats? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.