Herringbone Vs. Houndstooth Vs. Chevron Pattern

If you are often plagued with the confusion between herringbone, houndstooth and chevron, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to tell them apart:

 

 

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Source: https://www.threadexperiment.com/sheet-set-houndstooth-2

Houndstooth: A large pattern that gets its name from its corners that resemble a canine(hound’s)-tooth! A classic for tailored suits and formal wear, it is a must-have in any closet.

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Chevron: A pattern that joins ‘V’s in its usual and inverted form. A well-loved pattern, it is often considered a classic. It is also known for its use in the military and police.

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Herringbone: The herringbone pattern is similar to a chevron pattern, except for the break at the ‘V’ intersection. Drawing its name from the skeleton of a herring fish, it often resembles a broken zigzag pattern.

Now, you’re all set to stun at the next soiree with your fashionista friends!

 

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Brainwashed or Greenwashed?

Have you walked past the counters of fast fashion brands? You’ll often see there’s a new or ongoing environmental initiation or programme. Well, there’s a difference between their policies and practices.

 

How Greenwashing is used to brainwash!?

A fast fashion store started a popular campaign, where you could take your old clothes for recycling and get a discount to buy more clothes. Anyone who feels inclined to protecting the environment sees this as a great opportunity, albeit misguided, to do their part.

Sustainable Clothing+Poor labour practices?

Have you noticed many brands have an ‘eco-friendly collection’? Where they use organic or recycled materials to make their items. Sounds too good to be true? In many cases, it probably is! If the garment is made with better materials but by voiceless women and men (who receive poor wages), is it really green?

Look Closer!

As a consumer, we need to stay informed so we do not fall for such programs. Take for example, a credit card. At first, it seems like a smart idea. You can buy things now and pay later. But in the end, you end up paying back much more!

Similarly, such programs are sugar-coating the reality. The simplest way to be aware is by knowing the core nature of the brands. Fast fashion brands pay their workers lesser wages and have little to no regard for the waste they leave behind (in terms of clothes and pollution).

If you do want to support ethical fashion, look out for a ‘Fair Trade’, Global Organic Textile Standards for the organic fabrics, Lenzing Modal® and Tencel® tag on the inner label of the piece.

Let me know in the comments below how you combat brainwashing by brands!

There’s such a thing as toxic fabrics?

Most likely, you have a friend who is vegan or just buys organic, or may you are that friend. With this new thirst for natural products you feed your body, we have forgotten that it is just as important to protect the outsides i.e. the skin. After all, our skin is the largest organ in our body!

With the demand rising exponentially, more and more synthetic fabrics are cropping up around the world. From the cloth you use to wipe your face, the socks that protect our feet to the bags we wear and sofas we sit on – whether you like it or not – synthetics are a major part of our life.

Next time, you head out to shop, take a look at the labels and the material content mentioned. You will be surprised to find rayon, nylon, polyester popping up. And most common of all – Acrylic. Designers are spoilt for choice with these chemically treated fabrics. The shocking part – the research on the long-term effects of these fabrics is still going on!

 

Logo T-shirts=Phthalates:

Chemicals often used to make clothing items softer to the skin. But is it worth the trouble? No! These logo/band tees can cause birth defects or even lead to cancer!

Dyed clothing= Carcinogens:

Dyed clothing releases the same chemicals that are released when plastic is burned? Yes, you read that correctly. Have you have ever worn a t-shirt and found coloured sweat stains? These are incredibly dangerous too!

Wrinkle-free= Full of Formaldehyde:

Clothing items that are sold based on their wrinkle-free quality are most likely treated with formaldehyde.

 

Luckily in countries such as India, this phenomenon is only gaining momentum. By picking fabrics like cotton, we are not only reducing the chemicals we introduce to our lives, but also reducing this problem from overtaking the entire nation. Try to opt for locally made clothing items. They will also last longer than your fast fashion pieces.

Do let me know what you think in the comments below!

5 Things to keep in mind when buying Shoes!

Shoes maketh the wo-man, or so they say. I never find I can have too many shoes! But sometimes it feels like all I am doing is replacing my sleek ballerinas or trendy boots. If you too find yourself constantly replacing your beloved flats after few months or weeks of use, its time to re-strategize. I have combined 5 pointers you should keep in mind when you head out to make the next big splurge!

1.Don’t Skimp on the Price: Probably the most important tip is to always invest in shoes. Excusing the one-offs that you buy just because; workwear shoes and the likes are enhanced only by their quality. Basically, do your research before you buy a pair of expensive shoes.

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2.Embellishments: Details, details, details! Its all about the small details. Shoes with beadwork or embellishments will generally have a shorter lifespan. Although its hard to keep a tab on these details when you purchase them. Some footwear will give away its flaws right away. So, keep an eye out for that.

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3.Read Up!: If your vice of choice is internet shopping, then reviews should be your best friends. Read as many as possible until you’re satisfied with what you’re getting. Also, if there is even a slight doubt in your mind, always make sure those pretty pairs come with a ‘free returns’ tag to them.

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4.Stitching: The outside stitching should be as inconspicuous as possible, and be concealed from the top to the bottom of the dress shoes. Stitching along the soles should be well-hidden under the channels cut within the soles.

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5.Soles: You can tell a lot from the soles of your favourite heels. For example, a well-made shoe will never have glue sticking out of the edges. Not even during its last few days. Brands tend to save money by applying a shabby layer of glue to keep the sole stuck to the top. Be wary of this when you set out on your next spending spree.

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Like anything else, treat them with love and care, they will last a long time. Even though we live in a highly disposable world, it doesn’t mean everything has to be. Try by opting for carefully crafted shoes over cheaper alternatives to ensure you are comfortable always.

Do let me know your tips for buying shoes in the comments below!

 

Start of these Fantastic Trends

Take me back to vintage fashion! Those simpler times meant fixed clothing but also limitation. Read on to find out how these pieces of clothing broke the barrier and became trendsetters in their own right! It may surprise you!

  • Cartier Tank: The Cartier Tank was created in 1917, at the height of World War I, and legend has it that Louis Cartier based the design on the horizontal section of the Renault military tank. It dramatically changed the history of watches; due to its popularity, it inspired men and women to switch from pocket watches to wristwatches. Over the years, there have been over 250 variations on the original Cartier Tank.

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    Cartier Tank
  • Signet Ring : A signet ring was traditionally one’s signature. It was a mark of individuality and stealing one was considered a serious offense. The mark on the ring could either enhance one’s reputation or condemn one to death (e.g., if you wore a ring with the impression of Brutus and Cassius after Julius Caesar’s assassination).

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    Signet Ring
  • Tuxedo : The tuxedo jacket was strictly men’s property until 1966, when Yves Saint Laurent turned out a Spring/Summer collection. Overnight, he redefined the female silhouette and offered women a daring alternative to the little black dress which was chic and elegant. Icons such as Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minnelli, Loulou de la Falaise, Lauren Bacall, and Bianca Jagger catapolted the success.

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    Emma Watson In A Tuxedo
  • Havaianas(Flip-flops) : The original Havaianas were inspired by the Zori, a Japanese straw sandal originally worn with kimonos. In 1962, shoemaker São Paulo Alpargatas took this idea and decided to make a rubber version, which would suit Brazil’s climate better. In 2002, the company finally began exporting the sandals (though tourists had long been smuggling them out of Brazil in their suitcases and selling them in European boutiques). In the same year, Jean Paul Gaultier sent fifty models down the runway in Havaianas, Brazilians were not nearly as intrigued as the rest of us were.

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    Havaianas
  • Spanx : In the heat and humidity of Florida, Sara Blakely tried unsuccessfully to find pantyhose that didn’t have seamed toes and that didn’t roll up the leg after she cut them. She discovered that she looked slimmer, everything was smoothed out, there was no panty line. So she cleared her bank account of $5,000 and set out to change the world. The creation of the initial product prototype was completed over the course of a year and involved Blakely, her mother, and her friends personally testing the garments. This was innovative at the time, as the industry did not test products with people.
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    Spanx

    Previous posts are linked here : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Comment below and tell me if this inspires you to put your own spin on the latest trends. You never know, it may go down with your name attached!

Basic Style Tips

Following trends is fun! But if you have a more classic style or just want to learn why French look so effortlessly put-together at all times! From their messy chic hair to their stunning shoes. Most of us are obsessed with French women and their style. There are a few tips that will help you along the way :

  • Make one article of clothing the hero : Whenever we try to decide what to wear, we usually start with one article of clothing and build around it! Often that is the best way to go about. Start with a pair of shoes you want to be the highlight of your look and then plan your outfit around it.

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    Pink Coat
  • All Jewellery should be the same colour : There should be consistency in the metal colour of your jewellery. If you end up mixing gold bracelets with a silver chain, they will clash and maybe neither would stand out.

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    All Gold Jewellery
  • Makeup should highlight either your eyes or your lips : Exactly like the previous point, highlight on one part of your face. If your eyes are bold, then wear a simple colour lipstick and vice versa.

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    Makeup
  • A good fit goes a long way : Tailoring any outfit makes it look way more expensive. An ill-fitting pair of pants will take away from your features rather than add to them!

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    Ill-fitted clothing
  • Dress for yourself! : One of the basic tips is always dress for yourself! This way you will not only have fun but also the only opinion that matters is your own!
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    Dress for yourself!

    Hope this helps! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Fantastic Trends and how they were invented!

You may think it’s very important to stay on-trend or ‘on-point’. But do you know why these this epic fascination with boots? Or with LBDs? Don’t worry, I didn’t either.

Let’s exchange boring history lessons with some fun ways to understand how current fashion is the way it is! You will definitely find one piece of apparel you’ll love! Read on to know more :

  • Boots : For a long time, boots were primarily created for men. Singer Nancy Sinatra popularized the fad of women wearing boots in the late 1960s with her song “These boots are made for walking”. Boots were made initially at midcalf which was ideal for dancing. They remained popular in the ’70s, but reduced in popularity towards the end of the 20th century. In the past few years, they have experienced a resurgence in different designs.

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    Thigh High Boots
  • Mary Janes : Mary Janes became popular when the hemlines rose and there was a greater demand for different types of shoes. They looked classic and you could dance in them, a necessary feature in the ‘20s.

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    Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Mary Janes
  • Little Black Dress : Black was not used widely because it was very hard to dye and was a status of wealth. It was also percepted as a colour of death and mourning. In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, because Chanel thought knees were ugly. She knew about the power of the black dress before anyone else, and she might be right. When Paul Poiret came up to her in one of her first little black creations, he asked, “For whom, Madame, do you mourn?” She cheekily responded, “For you, Monsieur.”

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    Different Versions Of A LBD
  • Espadrilles : Espadrilles did not go high fashion or high-heeled until the 1960s, when Yves Saint Laurent met up with Isabel Castañer at a trade fair in Paris. The now-famous Spanish Castañer shoe company had been making espadrilles since 1776, but it was on the point of closing its doors. There was no longer a market for the espadrille, which started out as a humble flat shoe for peasants and country folk. Along came Yves Saint Laurent, who asked Castañer if they could make an espadrille with a high heel. That request saved the company. Nobody had ever thought of a high-heeled espadrille before, but as soon as it hit the market, the shoe took off.

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    Espadrilles
  • Pucci Designs : Emilio Pucci was on the slopes in St. Moritz when a Harper’s Bazaar photographer asked to photograph him in his self-designed ski pants. Pucci, a former Olympic skier, then burst onto the fashion scene quite by accident. This burst came in the 1950s, when styles were constrictive and structured. Pucci broke the mold and started creating jersey-silk dresses that were decidedly unstructured. He became known for the bright colors and bold prints used to make his garments. His dresses became a high-society staple, loved for the daring style and perhaps because they were a perfect travel garment (weighing in at a mere three to four ounces and wonderfully wrinkle-free).
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    The Picture That Started It All

    Wasn’t that a treat? Not so bad for a history lesson, was it?  If you want to read up more on different topics, click here or here.

    Let me know which was your favourite in the comments below. Also, would you dare to wear these as they were originally?

What is Fair Fashion?

There are so many words that are being thrown around now-a-days such as eco-fashion, ethical fashion and fair fashion. The basis of all these terms is nearly the same. Fashion that is created using fair methods to all parties involved. Coming back to fair fashion, there are 4 basic guidelines to fair fashion. The same are listed below :

1. Healthy and Safe Working Conditions

The basic thing we expect when we buy a product ethically, is to know that the human rights of the workers are being upheld. Even though there are numerous international standards and local government legislation, most factory conditions are deplorable at best.

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Rana Plaza Disaster

The Rana Plaza disaster is the most extreme and tragic example. It destroyed hundreds of lives and brought the plight of laborers to light. After this event, over 200 brands signed the Accord programme, where essential safety renovations were stated as mandatory, amongst other safety features. Despite this programme, the renovations havent been carried out.

Most big brands still have not adapted and created a safe environment for their workers. They continue to stay vulnerable to such issues.

2. Fair Pay

Basic wages are a basic human right. There is a lot of factors that have allowed big brands to get away with low wages. There are a lot of complexities surrounding the continuous human rights abuses being carried on.

The fashion industry is one of the fastest growing industries, it is valued at nearly a trillion dollars. However, the laborers are paid 60% of their basic wages. Women are forced to work long hours for little income. They are forced to stitch high fashion labels on clothes that they will never be able to afford. Many fall into the cycle of borrowing and being charged exorbitant rates of interest, most are unable to repay their debts.

Furthermore, the growing research which evidences that only a few percent of the final cost of clothes makes up the workers wages, which is sometimes as little as 0.5-3%.

3. No Forced and Child Labour

In the 21st Century, we’d expect issues like child labour to not exist. The harsh reality is that many countries (India, Indonesia and Vietnam to name a few) account for 11% of the global child population are child labourers. We know that child labour is illegal, but the garment industry exploits it at all stages of the supply chain, which not only interferes with their education but with their social and moral wellbeing.

You may ask yourself why does it exist? Solely because we want cheap clothing and companies find it profitable to high child labourers who accept lesser payment.

Why do children so young have to work? Because their parents too are being paid low incomes. Finding themselves unable to support their families, parents force their childs to begin working early.

Some companies truly exploit children solely to raise their profit margins.

4. Cultural Preservation

Historically, what we wore, had a long history and cultural significance. They have dictated the shift of not only time, but thinking as well. In the 1950, a woman wearing pants was considered shocking. But now it’s encouraged as it is practical and comfortable as well.

Ideally, a healthy garment industry could not only lift workers out of poverty but could also preserve ancient skills.

Asia is known for its artisans and handicrafts, techniques have been perfected and passed down between generations. Fast fashion and a lack of ethical fashion, is slowly destroying artisan trade as well. Even with the surge of revival, the movement hasn’t gained enough momentum to outshine brands that have new clothes in their stores every 3 weeks. Fair Fashion upholds ancient skills and empowers indigenous communities who are often marginalised and without access to the global fashion market.

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Artisan Industry

Why do we find that no one speaks up about these issues? It’s because many are still not aware of them!
What does Fair Fashion mean to you, and how can we work together to improve the lives of millions of women across the world?

Slow Fashion and why its better

I’ve written a lot about fast fashion, it’s easy to love it; it’s cheap and it’s always trendy. Even if you want to buy ethically, it’s tough. Buying fast fashion is more economical and convenient. And sometimes, you may try to ditch it, but it keeps popping up with crazy deals which you simply can’t resist!

 Is There A Definition of Slow Fashion?

Slow Fashion is a useful piece pop vernacular, but one that comes without an absolute definition. It can be used as a catch-all phrase to mean something like, “trustworthy” or “on the safe list” & since there is no rigorous set of standards a brand needs to meet to call itself #slowfashion, the term can be misleading to consumers. The best way to define it is not “anything that isn’t fast fashion” but rather companies that use fair practices to conduct their business.

Why Is Slow Fashion Better? 

  1. Slow Fashion Lasts

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Look at your closet.

What article of clothing has lasted you years? What is something you still wear to-date?

Nearly everyone will find that slow fashion pieces are made for years of use. The materials and fabrics used are durable and either made by a worker by hand or is almost always a by-product of handmade items. For example, picture the ancient greek ceramic pots you studied in Art History or 4th grade. Then, imagine a styrofoam picnic bowl withstanding the same test of time. Can you?

More importantly, slow fashion pieces are usually items that are classics. They are simple but you will find that people compliment you more over them. Maybe because you feel more confident in them? If you have multiple Slow Fashion pieces, you will find that they fit one bill or the other: practical or full of personality.

 

  1. Slow Fashion Tells A Story

 

When a company respects not only the process but also its employees, something special is made. So many pieces are made by hand, and many brands highlight the fine craftsmanship of the people who make their goods. The where & how (& even the why) is literally built into the fabric of the piece, & so each piece tells the partial story of where it came from. They empower their makers.

One of the biggest advantages are that you will rarely, find someone wearing the same thing as you! With slow fashion, you tend to control your shopping habits and buy things you genuinely LOVE.

 

  1. Slow Fashion Builds A Community

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Slow Fashion is made with passion and a purpose to create personalized commerce. Purchasing a piece involves emotional investment; it ceases to be purely a transaction when you buy something from a company or person that you believe in. Instead, the sale turns into something like an investment in your shared vision. This is nothing short of the best for imagine giving your money only to people you respect, who make things you love & work towards putting your shared values out into the world?

Slow Fashion is often equated with the local movement because of both categories’ implicit commitments to sustainability & human interaction, but even when Slow Fashion is connecting makers in Peru to consumers in Sweden – or vice versa – it builds community. Slow Fashion brands often evolve as passion projects or out of a clear mission.

 

Have I changed your mind about Slow Fashion? Do let me know in the comments below!

 

Are Luxury brands really worth the price?

I have always wondered if luxury or higher end brands charge more because of superior ethics policies or just to gain a greater profit. Do the clothes we buy from fast fashion brands like Zara vs Forever 21 have the same manufacturing lines? If yes, then why does Zara charge more? Does investing in a luxury brand guarantee that ethics codes are met?

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A luxury retailer

The easiest solution is to hold fast fashion giants like Primark, H&M responsible. We know they have been participating in cutting labour costs primarily to lower their clothing prices. They have greatly impacted the health of labourers who create their clothes and are not paid nearly enough. In this mess, we’ve somehow decided that buying expensive clothes is moral. We think, that being a powerful designer brand they reflect the true costs of labour.

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A fast fashion/high end retailer

Recent reports have shown that luxury brands have their manufacturing hubs in eastern Europe that is meant to show a better standard than those which are made in Asia. Germany and Italy are the countries that buy a lot from the luxury sector. Places like Moldova create clothes for not only Primark but also Versace, Armani and Dolce and Gabbana, to name a few.

What has been the biggest surprise is the actual wages being paid to the workers and the legal minimum wages, have a larger difference than in Asian countries. In Croatia for example, the report says suppliers for Benetton and Hugo Boss pay one-third of what would constitute a minimum living wage. A spokesperson from Hugo Boss states that it “obligates its suppliers to comply with the applicable minimum wage legislation” and that “wage negotiations are the exclusive domain of the supplier, its workforce and other parties within their countries, some of which are accorded roles by national legislation,” though it is “open to every form of constructive dialogue”.

 

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Fabric Used

So while you may feel fast fashion brands and luxury retailers are vastly different because of their quality and design both. The truth is that in many cases they use the same factories and the same working conditions. Not only that, but the farmers who create the cloth or threads are often the same as well. Continue reading Are Luxury brands really worth the price?

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