Clothing

June Fashion Terms to Know

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It’s time for the monthly article I write on Fashion Terms.  Some of these terms as common place others are obscure.  I hope you enjoy a little jaunt into the world of clothing.  Here are ten terms to know this month.

  1. Baseball Cap:  A cap that has a dome shaped top.  It can be a solid color or multi colored dome.  It can also be made of different fabrics, but usually nylon.  Has an adjustable headband.
  2. Davy Crockett Cap:  A head covering made out of racoon fur with the tail of the racoon attached to the backside of the cap and laying down along the neck.  Worn in Colonial America and re-popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Named for famous early American Davy Crockett who died at the Alamo.
  3. Chevron: A design which has two straight lines that meet to form an inverted V. These V shapes are worn on the sleeves of uniforms for the military, police and fire.
  4. Couture: Comes from the French and is used to describe a style of fashion which is the ultimate in fabric, construction, and design.  These clothes are shown twice a year and sold to a very limited audience due to extremely high cost.
  5. Androgynous: Someone or something possessing male and female characteristics.
  6. Mantilla: A shawl or veil worn by Spanish women made of lace and worn for special occasions.  Maybe worn over a high comb.
  7. Natural Fibers: Fibers that are from animals, plants or mineral origins.  Different from those that are made of chemicals (manmade).
  8. Organza:  A light fabric which is transparent and stiff. It is made of rayon or silk yarns. Can be crushed buy also it is easy to press into shape.  Often used for dresses, millinery, and trim.
  9. Parachute pants: A straight legged pant with a zipper from the hem up the leg to make it fit to the ankles securely. It has three zipped pockets on each leg and another at the waist.
  10. Signet Ring: A ring with a large stone or piece of glass cut into a pattern that represents a single person or family.  Used to make impression in wax seals.

Stop by next month for another installment.

 

Clothing

What is a signature look?

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You read about it often in fashion magazines, you see it on television or in the newspaper, it’s everywhere.  It’s the “signature look.”  What is a signature look?  Why do you need one?  How do you get one?  What is it? Why do certain people have it while others do not?  What can is signature style do for you?

First, let’s figure out the definition of signature style.  After consulting several definitions of a “trademark look”, I would define it as characteristic clothing or a unique appearance making the wearer more easily recognized by others.  So it is something that is unique among the masses. When I use this definition stars such as Diane Keaton, Dita Von Teese and Madonna in her early years stand out.  If you saw an item of their clothing on a mannequin you would know to whom it belonged. They are closely identified with certain articles of clothing and how they are put together.

That “look” is so often associated with one person can also be non-clothing related.  Think of Brigitte Nielson and her icy blonde hair, Tammy Faye Baker and her six tons of mascara, or JLo and her posterior.  A look can be anything on the outside. However, for this article, we want to stick with clothing.

Men are a little bit more difficult to identify.  One man that springs to mind is Hugh Hefner.  Hefner’s trademark silk pajamas and smoking jacket are one of a kind.  Karl Lagerfeld is another man who has a unique style;  Sunglasses, suit, gloves and pony tail in all it’s glory.

In interviews, I’ve read about men who are known for a particular look, such as Steve Jobs and his turtlenecks.  say they chose their signature look or “uniform” for reasons other than aesthetics.  Reasons such as comfort and reduced decision making are often the most heard of.

Diane Keaton said her unique style is the result of “not wanting her body to be exposed.” Women often dress for many more reasons than that.  Some to create controversy, some to impress women, some to impress other men.  Clothes can convey everything from elegance to sexiness.  While women have a great variety of dress to choose from, they also have greater requirements from society in how they dress.

So how do you figure out what your signature style is?  First thing is to define what type of life do you lead? If you are a stay-at-home mom you need one type of basic wardrobe.  If you are an executive you need another. Know your life, know what you need.

The second thing is to identify what your style is.  Sometimes it’s easy.  You like a certain style or time period like Mods, Hippies, or Country.  Other times you admire a person like the previously mentioned Diane Keaton or the retro loving Dita Von Teese.  Study their individual looks.  Write down or create a mood board of their look’s individual pieces.

Compare those to your lifestyle requirements.  Does it fit?  If not, can you modify the style to suit your life?  Then leave out anything you don’t like and you have your basic wardrobe list.  Choose what colors you want to wear. Usually 2-4 colors are a good amount.  Remember to also take into consideration climate.  Your wardrobe will have different elements if you live in Montreal versus Rio de Janiero. Not a big need for snowsuits in Rio.

Further your look by adding accessories and shoes.  Finish the look with hair an make up.  Sounds easy right? A signature look takes a bit more time to refine.  This is just a great place to start.  Do you know someone with a signature look?  Who are your favorite fashion icons?

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing

Fashion Terms for May

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Agile Manufacturing: Technology that uses modular production rather than the normal piece goods method.

Colorway: The variety of two to four choices of color in the same season, for the same print or solid, in each style.

Sourcing: The decision process of determining who, what and where of your textile and apparel products manufacture, or where each individual piece is made.

Zoot Suit: An avant guard style of the 1940’s for men which used high-waisted, pleated pants that narrow at the ankle.  Worn with a long coat shoulder pads and large lapels, a wide brimmed hat, and a key chain or watch chain coming out of the side pants pocket.

Turnip Pants: For bicycling, pants that could be turned down to make full length pants.  Popular in the 1890’s.

Teddybear Coat: Large coat of alpaca fabric worn by men, women and children in the 1920’s.  Today some large, synthetic coats that appear like sheep wool has also been referred to as a teddybear coat.

Cowl-neck: On a pullover garment with extra large rolled collar which forms a cowl neck.

Ankle socks: A short sock that only reaches the ankle. It can be turned down to the ankle too.  First used in the 1920’s in the US for sport matches for women.

Bell Sleeve: A sleeve that is narrow against the arm near the shoulder and upper arm, then flaring out to the wrist or elbow. To be in the shape of a bell.

Tuxedo Pump Shoe: A low heel pump shoe with a rounded toe made of patent leather for the most part.  It can also have grosgrain trim around the top of the shoe or in a decorative bow at the toes.

 

Clothing · Uncategorized

My Capsule Wardrobe, The Start

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So I went through my closet this past weekend.  I picked out a capsule wardrobe.  I combined all seasons together.  So I have long sleeves and sweaters but once I paired down they will be put away for the season.

Once I got my separate capsule wardrobe out from my regular clothes I realized not everything went together. I put this up to my weight gain of four dress sizes when I went on medication for my chronic migraines.  I needed clothes.  I needed anything that fit.  I needed anything that would cover my stomach.

I went from store to store in search of clothing that fit, that I liked and didn’t make me look like a grandma.  I remember my paternal grandmother.  When she was in her late 60’s she wore plus size clothing.  Frankly, it was awful.  She would wear these red and orange medallion pants with a stripped top.  Not because she was colorblind but she had difficultly finding clothing that fit and went together.  While the clothing industry has changed slightly, it is still difficult to find things.  Much of the plus size clothing I find is for office work.  I like to dress up, but don’t need a whole wardrobe of suits.  Much of the casual stuff is limited to tshirts and blue jeans.

Then take into consideration the time of year.  You have more choices in Fall and Winter than you do in Spring and Summer. Then where to shop, the type of stores.  When I mean the type of store I don’t mean plus size vs Misses size.  I mean teenager vs older woman vs career woman vs a little bit of everything.  Then take into account the sizes and the price point and you see there is really slim pickings.  Perhaps, the capsule wardrobe will help me with that.  I won’t feel like I have nothing to put on.

What do I wear now?  I buy things from LLBean Catalog, Eddie Bauer Catalog, Landsend Catalog, JJill, Chicos, Christopher and Banks, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Maurice’s and sometimes New York and Company.

Here is what I have chosen for my capsule wardrobe:

Blue Jeans (navy)

A button down shirt (Navy) short sleeve

Jean jacket ( Blue)

T-shirts short slv (Navy) (Black) (Grey) (Teal) (Green)

Cardigan (Navy) (Black) (Grey) (Teal) (Green)

Long Sleeve Tshirt (Navy)*(Grey)*

Blazer (Black)**

Dress Pants (Black)

V-neck light knit sweater (Black)*

Black Lace Shirt (Black)**

Casual Pants (Grey)

Tweed Skirt (Black)*

Spring Summer Dress (Green)

Leather Jacket (Brown)* **

Button down shirt (white)

Print shirt (Navy)

Print Skirt (Black)

*Winter item

**Need to purchase item

What do you think? Do you have a capsule wardrobe?  What is in it? Have you gotten rid of the other clothes or keeping them for a bit.  I’m keeping mine to see if I like this.  Let me know your story in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing

The Very Basic Wardrobe List

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There have been so many posts, blogs and tv segments on your wardrobe.  There are capsule wardrobes, French influence wardrobe, monochrome wardrobes, and daily uniforms. I have always had a basic wardrobe list.  A good place to start to build any closet.  You can turn this into a capsule wardrobe or any other type of style you want.  What would you put in your basic wardrobe?

Here is my list:

Dark Jeans :I like that they look more dressed up.

Trench Coat: Classic style and practical.

Cardigan:

Button down shirt

Leather Jacket

Car coat

Suit

Pencil Skirt

Dress

T-shirt

I usually prefer one color.  For a long time it was black, then charcoal grey.  Currently, I seem to wear a lot of navy.  I think I would prefer all charcoal.  Unfortunately, there is not a lot of the things in that shade of grey. Do you have a basic foundation color?  What is it?    Have you tried a capsule wardrobe before? Let me know how it has gone.  I’ve been giving it some serious thought since I gained some significant weight from medication.  It’s so hard to find plus sized clothes that look good and I like.  Have you had any problems with clothing yourself?

Clothing

April Fashion Terms to Know

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It’s April and time for another installment of Fashion Terms to know.  I try to give definitions to common used and unique fashion items for your enjoyment.  You may think you know the definition but sometimes you may be surprised.  Enjoy!

Loom: A machine on which cloth is woven not knitted.  Yarns are raised and lowered to produce the desired weave.

Lycra: Trademarked by the DuPont company.  A filament spandex fiber.  Fabric is not 100% Lycra, used for stretch and recovery.

Macaroni: Not the pasta!  Pronounce Mack-a-roo-knee. Used to describe a fashionable man (the term used before Metrosexual) in the time of King George the third.  Refers to members of the Macaroni club formed in England.  The style of dress came later. Trademarks include tight clothing, colorful clothing, large boutonniere, enormous buckles and decorative buttons with a tricorn hat.  Remember the nursery rhyme “Yankee Doodle Dandy?”  A dandy is also another name for a Macaroni.  So when you get to the line “stuffed a feather in his hat and called him Macaroni.”  It’s not the pasta pronunciation but the clothing one!

Macrame: Two, three, four or more strands of cord, string or yarn knotted in groups to form patterns.  Popular in 1970’s to make clothing, and other accessories.

Made-To-Measure: Dress or suit made according to an individual’s measurement often with not fittings.

Magenta: Purplish-red color, first chemical dye to be used for dress fabrics.  Named after a town in Italy where it was developed.

Moire: A fabric finish that achieves a wave-like watered effect by heated rollers. A stiff fabric made with rayon, silk, acetate.  Used in evening fabrics.

Moleskin: A cotton fabric known for being durable and suede like in touch.  Made with a satin weave.

Pompadour Bag:  A drawstring bag in a round or oval shape that was common in the 1880’s and was made of velvet, satin or another fine fabric with floral embroidery and use of gold and silver thread.

Mackintosh Raincoat: Most commonly plastic yellow, a style of waterproof coat combined with a cape worn by Fire or police.  British slang also used for all raincoats.

Slicker: Also another type of raincoat commonly in a yellow hue.  It is made of oilskin or another rubber fabric and fastened with clips in the front.  First used by sailors and today commonly used in children’s coats.

Clothing

10 Fashion Words to Know

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Afternoon Dress: A term used to indicate type of dress suitable for a garden party or afternoon formal tea, includes a hat.

Bikini Chain: A belt of fine gold chain worn with bikini and hip exposing pants.  Origin in the 1960’s.

Bench Wig: Tightly curled wig with flaps that hang down over the ears.  Often seen worn by judges in Great Britain.

Betrothal Ring; A ring commonly used in the 16th century which was broken in half and each half given to the bride and the groom.

Go-Go Boots: A white boot that comes up to the calf on your leg.  Originally worn by Go-Go dancers.

Godet:  A triangular piece of fabric set into a skirt or sleeve to give fullness.

Gossamer: While it has multiple meanings it is most commonly used to refer to a veiling fabric made of silk.  Think of the phase “On gossamer wings.”

Herringbone: A pattern made of short slanting parallel lines adjacent to other rows that slant in the opposite direction.  Creates a V shape design.

Karat: Describes the quality of gold used in jewelry.  24K means gold with no alloys added, but often too soft for jewelry. Not to be confused with Carat which is used for weight of gemstones.

Legwarmers: Knitted leg covers which stretch from ankle to knee.  Was a huge fashion trends in the 80’s.

See you next month for more fashion terms!