Archive | February 2013

Know your Fashion and Get What you Want: Part 1

In the fashion field there are a lot of terms that are used extensively in the industry to communicate certain facts about a design, fabric or look.  The more you know about these terms and what they mean the better able you will be to communicate what you want and the look you are aspiring for.  In the next few blogs we’ll untangle the world of fashion terms and put you on the same page with designers so you can buy with confidence and look terrific for work or play!

Acetate: is a cellulose based textile that is dry spun and blended with other fibers to produce sheen in fabrics.

A-line skirt: is a skirt that is fitted at the hips and gradually widens towards the hem, giving the impression of the shape of a capital letter A. This also applies to dresses and coats that have similar shapes.

Ascot: There are two types of ascots 1) the ascot scarf, which is a square of silk loosely gathered around the neck and, 2) the ascot tie, common in menswear has a pleated neckband and is worn either under or over the collar.

Bell-shaped silhouette: A silhouette made popular by Christian Dior in the 1950’s that includes a full skirt and sleeves making the waist appear tiny.

Bermuda shorts: also known as walking shorts or dress shorts, are a particular type of short pants, widely worn as semi-casual attire by men and women. They got their name from their popularity in the country of Bermuda. The hem can be cuffed or un-cuffed, and land about one inch above the knee.

Blazer: A blazer resembling a suit coat cut more casually sometimes with flap-less patch pockets and metal buttons. Historically a blazer’s cloth was usually durable (14oz.), because it was an outdoor sports jacket.  Blazers are often part of a uniform for airline pilots or someone on a rowing team.

Boat-neck: also called a bateau neck, refers to a wide neckline that runs horizontally, front and back, almost to the shoulder points, across the collarbone. It is traditionally used in nautically inspired sweaters and knitwear and was originally derived from sailors’ blouses or sweaters, often with wide navy and white horizontal stripes. The wide, plain neck was said to facilitate quick removal if a sailor were to fall overboard.

Bomber jacket: is a garment originally created for pilots, which eventually became part of popular culture and apparel.  It is long sleeved, lands at the waist and commonly has a zip closure.

Boot cut leg: Pant legs that are tapered to the knee and loosens around the ankle to accommodate a boot.

Brocade: a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. Brocade is typically woven on a draw loom. It is a supplementary weft technique, that is, the ornamental brocading is produced by a supplementary, non-structural, weft in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together. The purpose of this is to give the appearance that the weave actually was embroidered on.

Button-down collar:  Button-down collars have points fastened down by buttons on the front of the shirt and were originally introduced by retailer Brooks Brothers in 1896.

Chalk-striped: A series of threads, not just one thread, used to create a stripe that resembles a stripe that is drawn with tailors chalk or rope.  The width of the stripe varies while it is always wider than the pin stripe.

Chanel jacket: A style of jacket originally designed by Coco Chanel.  The jacket has a box silhouette with three quarter length sleeves and is weighted on the bottom by a chain that is sewn is the hem.  The jacket is collarless, lands at the high hip, with simple closures at the center.

Chiffon: a fabric made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers. Chiffon can be dyed to almost any shade desired, but if it is made out of polyester it can be difficult to dye. Under a magnifying glass it resembles a fine net or mesh which gives chiffon some see-through properties and is primarily found in evening wear.

City shorts: Women’s pants that are usually cuffed and land at the knee or no more than three inches above it and worn for the office when jackets are optional is an accepted mode of attire.

Clothes Valet: is an item of furniture where clothes may be hung and aired out. Typical features of valets include trouser hangers, jacket hangers, shoe bars, and a tray organizer for miscellaneous, day-to-day objects like wallets and keys.

Cotton Twill: Also referred to as Chino, is a twill fabric, originally made of 100% cotton. Today it is also found in cotton-synthetic blends and common among such brands as Dockers.

Convertible collar: a collar that is the part of a shirt, dress, coat, or blouse that fastens around or frames the neck. Among clothing construction professionals, a collar is differentiated from other necklines such as lapels, by being made from a separate piece of fabric, rather than a folded or cut part of the same piece of fabric used for the main body of the garment.

Cordovan:  A shade of burgundy and rose.  The term was first coined in Spain

Cowl neck: a high loose-fitting turnover collar used especially for sweaters and women’s blouses.

Crew Neck: a type of shirt or sweater that has a round neckline and no collar.  Often worn with other layers the crew was originally developed in 1932 as an undergarment for football players.

Cropped Jacket: Worn primarily by women as a short version of a jacket that lands above the waist but below the breast.  Cropped jacket styles vary from dressed up and form fitting to very casual depending on the fabrication and style detail.

Cropped pants: Usually worn by women and are pants that land below the knee about midcalf.

Cummerbund: a broad waistband usually worn in place of a vest with men’s dress clothes and adapted in various styles of women’s clothes.

Day dress: is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment) worn during the day such as sun dress or shirtwaist dress.

Double Wrap Belt: A belt that is designed to go around the waist twice.

Drop Waist Style:  A horizontal waistline that falls near the level of the upper hips. This balances the upper and lower body (for those that are short waisted) and adds the impression of height by lengthening the torso.

Gabardine:  is a tough, tightly woven fabric used to make suits, overcoats, trousers uniforms, windbreakers, and other garments. The fiber used to make the fabric is traditionally worsted wool, but may also be cotton, polyester, or a blend. Gabardine is woven as a warp-faced steep or regular twill, with a prominent diagonal rib on the face and smooth surface on the back.

Gathered skirts:  Full skirts, also known as dirndl skirts.  The term dirndl originated in Austria and Bavaria and described an everyday dress with apron.

Gladiator sandals: a flat sandal that laces up the calf ending mid calf or right below the knee

Glen Plaid: is a woolen fabric with a woven twill design of small and large checks also known as a Bankers Plaid because of the frequency of bankers wearing the pattern. The pattern has been introduced to cotton shirting and other non-woolen fabrics as well.

Herringbone pattern:  describes a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern usually found in twill fabric. The pattern is called herringbone because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish.Herringbone-patterned fabric is usually wool and is one of the most popular cloths used for suits and outerwear. Tweed is often woven with a herringbone pattern.

Houndstooth: The houndstooth check is made with alternating bands of four dark and four light threads in both warp and filling or weft woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over – two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass.The pattern can be large or small depending on the needs of the manufacturer.

Jegging are leggings that are made of denim and Lycra spandex to look like tight denim jeans.

Jewel neck: This neckline is round and sits at the base of the throat. It is also called the T-shirt neckline.

Linen: is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture, but when it is made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.


It Always Helps to be Polite!

Remember Weir and the bashing he got on the Internet regarding his performance and that he didn’t get gold.  Help me here but we should congratulate him regardless, it takes a lot to be in the Olympics and I for sure will never get close to it.  In another case, I opened the door for someone and they just passed through without saying thank you.  Hey there, I did you a favor!

What has happened to simple politeness and respect for one another?  Gosh if someone opened the door for me I would be grateful and let them know it.  However, apparently I am in the minority.  Some people feel that being polite is an act.  Sorry, but I think you are confused with being polite and brown nosing (otherwise known as sucking up to the boss).  Being polite is sincere and it is the very foundation of respect for yourself and others.  I didn’t realize that I would have to get to basics and remind people that politeness is part of the delivery process, delivery of your image.

In my experience, I have found that people have to be right ALL OF THE TIME, or have the last word.  Sometimes you can be DEAD RIGHT and having the last word is not necessarily in anyone’s interest since it probably goes through one ear and out the other.  Rather than flipping someone off or making crude remarks, try as the cliché says, “kill with kindness.”  That will throw off more people than you can imagine and it’s easier said than done.

When someone cuts you off on the freeway, wave and smile.  Some people just want to get a reaction out of you, but by not reacting and being pleasant you have destroyed their strategy.  You probably know some of these people where you work.  My suggestion is to continue to be polite and eventually when they know they can’t upset you they will quit.  Read the “Dance of Anger,” for some background on that.

Being polite will never be out of fashion.  When someone opens the door for you, say thank you.  If someone holds the elevator, say thank you.  When you ask for something, say please.  And if someone tells you that you look nice today, say thank you rather than telling them “no this ole’ thing,” or “I got it at Marshalls for $10.99.”  Here are some more reminders:

  • Bring a gift when invited to a party.  Call the next day or write an email about how great it was and thank them for the invitation.
  • Make sure to RSVP when you’re invited to an event.  This gives them the head count for food served.
  • If you can’t make an appointment whether in an office or a restaurant, call the person yourself to reschedule.
  • If your company has a function and alcohol is served, limit yourself.  If meeting with a client over lunch or dinner, avoid alcohol.
  • When you get a sale, thank your new client with a note.  It’s a great start to a new relationship.
  • At work, if a man chooses to open the door for you, a woman, take the opportunity and thank him.  Remember you can open the door for men as well.

Skincare is Mandatory; Make-up is Optional!

As we begin to thaw and bring in a warmer season, skincare becomes foremost on our minds.  Frankly, skincare for men and women is essential all year long.  Living in Florida, Arizona and now California, has taught me the importance of skin care; however, starting early will contribute greatly to a youthful appearance later on.

Of importance is the rise of skin cancer in America and elsewhere.  As a teenager and college student, you may have spent hours in the sun for the most gorgeous tan on campus.  I did and now I am seeing the age spots appear more and more each day on my face, arms, and hands.  So with this in mind consider using SUNBLOCK and a hat daily.  Also consider a good pair of sunglasses.  These actions will make your skin care regime easier and keep the aging process at bay.

Skin care is essential, makeup is optional; however, in business a little color may be necessary.  But remember make up is meant to enhance not cover up.  Here are some skincare tips that will help you put your best face forward.

  • Get in the habit of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin.  Men have the routine in place when they start shaving but they need moisturizers too.
  • Avoid soap on your face.  Soap is primarily made from animal fat.  Not a pleasing thought when it comes to washing your face with it.  Consider cleansers that are appropriate for your skin type.  If you have oily skin that is prone to acne consider a cleanser with salicylic acid.
  • Toners are used to rid the skin of any additional dirt, close the pores and balance the PH in the skin.  Witch hazel is a good one to use as well as others out on the market.  Avoid using straight alcohol since it is very drying.
  • Select a moisturizer for your skin type.  Also select an eye cream that works with your skin.  Regular moisturizers are too heavy for the delicate eye area so a separate cream is needed.
  • If you are unaware of your skin type you may consider the expertise of a dermatologist or esthetician .  If you have large pores, find that you break out often and have a constant shine on your face, you might be on the oily side.  If you face hurts after you wash it, it is probably dry.
  • Consider revamping your skin care regime as you age because change happens.  As we age, we lose moisture in our skin.  Those who began with normal to dry complexions may find, as they mature, that the skin becomes taut and overly dry.  Facial lines are much more apparent when the skin is dry.
  • If you wear make-up be sure to take it off before you sleep.  To protect the eyes and allow the skin to breathe cleanse and moisturize the skin before taking your beauty rest.  You’ll be glad you did!

Super Bowl Party (at the Boss’ House) What to Wear?

Super Bowl Party (at the Boss’ House) What to Wear?.

The game can make or break a career if you celebrate the game with the Office.

Super Bowl Party (at the Boss’ House) What to Wear?

This Sunday there will be lots of Super Bowl parties that you’ll be invited to.  If one of them comes from the boss to celebrate at their house or at another location what is the game plan when it comes to dress and what to do

BOTTOM LINE: Put your best foot forward because this is an opportunity to shine and market yourself in a subtle way.  Look your best and be your best abstaining from truly downing the liquor as you would if you were home or at your buddies.

If you get an invitation and it has the word “casual” in it here are some of the variations and their interpretation.  Bottom line you will want to make sure that your clothing is clean, pressed, coordinated and accessorized.  If jeans are in the picture go with those that are tailored with a dark wash.  Further, when it comes to events that are for your work sexy attire or fashion extremes are not appropriate.

  • Dressy Casual: Usually means a sport coat and trousers for men and tailored separates for women.
  • Resort Casual: Includes Hawaiian or leisure shirts worn out and trousers, or a sport coat and trousers for men, and breezy tops and pants or day dresses for women.
  • Smart Casual: Usually means a sport coat for men and tailored separates for women.
  • For men, if invited to the boss’ house for dinner, to watch the Super Bowl, whether you are entertaining clients or not, put your best foot forward.  In businesses where jeans are permitted consider dark colored twill’s like Dockers that are cleaned and pressed topped with a dress shirt tucked in, belted with nice shoes.  Even if it’s a barbeque avoid the hoodie, hats, flip flops, and body piercings as you would when you go to work. Consider a good pair of jeans and a sport shirt that is pressed.
    • If you are in a business where jackets are optional, consider dress slacks in a wool or cotton blend with a dress shirt tucked in and belted with a blazer.  Or try a long sleeve dress shirt with a cardigan or sweater over the shoulders and trousers.  If you’re invited for the annual Super Bowl party your good jeans and perhaps a turtleneck with or without a blazer.
    • For businesses where suits are required, a sport coat or blazer will be the order when clients or potential clients are present at the boss’ house.  Consider a button-down pinpoint oxford dress shirt with coordinating trousers in gray or taupe.  If invited over to watch the Super Bowl or to a barbeque, consider denim trousers and a dress shirt with a V-neck sweater or a polo top and blazer.
  • For women if you’re invited to the boss’ house to entertain clients or prospective clients, or for a barbeque or to watch the Super Bowl, consider these options if jeans are permitted at work.  When entertaining clients consider slacks in dark colors with a tunic top belted or a dark skirt with a fitted blouse with a sweater over the shoulder or a nice jean jacket.  Consider acetate spandex tops and bottoms with an over shirt.  Make sure to accessorize for impact with earrings and interesting jewelry; however, keep the body piercings at home.  For the barbeque or to watch the Super Bowl consider jeans or a denim skirt with layered tops or a shift.  Try a turtleneck with your denim bottoms.  Consider boots or sandals but no flip flops.  Try to stay away from strapless sundresses and terry velour fabrics.

Enjoy the Game!!