Month: November 2019

Brogues

Originating from the farmlands of Ireland and Scotland, brogues are taken from the Gaelic word ‘Brog’ meaning shoe.

Heeled leather farmers shoes were perforated to let any water that may get inside flow out, making them ideal for the wet conditions on the bogs and marshlands that they farmed.

From humble beginnings, the brogue’s potential was soon recognised, as it was used by Irish dancers, who loved the clean distinctive sound its heel made against the ground.

However, despite this more delicate use, the brogue was still put to use in the great outdoors in the form of walking boots- in fact, at this point in time, if you had asked for a pair of brogues, you would have been given a pair of shoes made solely for rambling.

Like many things in fashion, styles develop and alter, and eventually will differentiate into a different use. It wasn’t long until the brogue fell under this rule, after the perforations and serrated edges became more and more intricate; brogues soon became a mark of style and distinction for men.

The likes of Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra bought brogues into popular culture, moving them into the modern age where they became increasingly widespread, and were eventually accepted anywhere as everyday footwear.

Brogues are now available in a huge array of styles. Full, half and quarter are terms frequently used to describe the style of men’s brogue-these refer to the amount of space the stitches and perforations cover.

Half and quarter brogues are now considered to be more formal styles, suitable for evening and black tie events, however, full brogues; often referred to as Oxford’s or wingtips (due to the ‘W’ shape the perforations make on the toe), are to be worn more casually.

Brogues were traditionally designed purely for men, but in more recent years have been adapted into women’s styles. One of these key adaptations was the removal of the heel- it is now very common to find a flat woman’s brogue, finished in a variety of pop colours.

In terms of men’s brogues, there have been a lot of advancements and alterations to the traditional grade style.

Like women’s brogues, men’s brogues are now also available without a heel, or with a wedge heel. This takes the casual aspect of the style to a whole new level, especially when you consider that brogues are frequently finished in suede instead of leather. A lot of brands will use a more modern, durable material when designing a wedge soled brogue, instead of the traditional leather sole you’d expect from a heeled style.

Along with this come the variations in colour. Originally a style intended for black or brown leather, brogues can now be found in pop colours, as well as two toned styles.

Brogue boots have also been introduced. These allow for a different profile when being worn, as well as a giving you a whole new host of options when deciding what to wear with them.

With recent shifts in fashion (men’s in particularly), the brogue shoe has become more and more provident on the high streets. As everyday style becomes increasingly centred around tailoring and sartorial elegance, brogues have become the footwear of choice to sit with blazers, shirts, ties and chinos for the everyday man.

However, with this in mind, you should never be afraid to mix a style up and try brogues with looks that you might not expect them to work in.

Try teaming a tan or brown pair of Oxford brogues with a pair of dark indigo skinny jeans and a shirt. Roll the jeans past your ankle to fashion up the look even more.

With the same shoe, you achieve a classic preppy look with tapered chinos, a crisp shirt and club tie.

On warmer days, try a brightly coloured suede wedge heels with plain chino shorts and a polo shirt. The colour and texture of the style will stand out beautifully.

Keep quarter and half brogues for more formal affairs- their subtle attention to detail won’t stand out as much as an Oxford and are the perfect understated classic shoe to link with a well cut suit.


About Sequin Prom Dresses

Sequin dresses come in a variety of styles, starting with the arrangement of the sequins themselves. Depending on how fluid a look you want, sequins can be rigidly attached to the dress; sewn tight, they produce a fishtail, mermaid iridescent effect that – as an added bonus – increases the durability of the piece. Attached like this, the sequins are likely to keep intact for many wears, allowing you to enjoy the piece over the years, and not worry too much as you dance the nights away. On the other hand, when sequins are attached in a looser way, so that they hang from the dress, it produces a tasselled tapestry style. The key effect of this design is that the sequins are able to reflect much more light, producing an incredibly beautiful result. Swaying with your movement, these sequins will impress and hypnotize.

Depending on the design desired, sequins have the potential to be arranged into incredibly intricate designs. Florals, harlequin styles, geometric patterns; sequins can be incorporated into a whole range of styles, illustrating their versatility. Subtle changes in the sequin tone across a dress can produce a gorgeous ombre effect, playing into one of this year’s biggest trends. A sparse of use of sequins on an otherwise detailed dress, such as a tutu or Grecian style floaty chiffon dress, provides an interesting contrast and adds an extra hint of shine and glitter.

Sequins are a great choice for a Prom dress because they add an excitement that might otherwise need to come from expensive accessories and jewelry. A glittery shift dress in metallic bright tones is more than impressive enough, and accessorized simply, brings a sophistication and elegance. You can even, if you like, tone down the Hollywood effect of the sequins with a simple blazer or classic leather jacket. This will bring a casual element and nonchalance to your style, showing you don’t need to try to hard to look that fabulous. If you see a sequin shift dress and are wondering about how to break up the detail, a contrasting waist belt is the perfect solution: it will flatter your figure, calm down the colour, and yet highlight the sequins by juxtaposing them with another material.


Modern Art of Scarf Tying

The Simple V Shape

When young women today wear scarves, they like them simple, casual and chic. This version is the simplest of all. Take an oblong scarf, or one that can be folded into an oblong shape, and fold it in half lengthwise. Put it around your neck and thread the two loose ends through the folded part. Leave it a bit loose not tight round your neck. Drape it to your left or your right side as this looks a little more chic than having it fall down the centre of your body. That is all there is to it.

To get the casual chic look, make the loose ends a little uneven as your fold it in half. This looks less formal. If necessary, use my secret tip and pin the scarf in place with a small safety pin from the inside of your top, dress or jumper. Make sure that the safety pin is hidden in the folds of the scarf.

You can also turn a left-over piece of light-weight material that is longer than it is wider into a casual V-shaped scarf. Use the same folding technique above.

The U Shape

This is not new. It is Gen Y’s favourite way to wear a scarf as it is a very simple technique that looks good. For this you also need an oblong scarf or one that can be folded into an oblong shape. Start with the centre point in front of your neck. Throw the ends over your shoulders and back around to hang down the front of you. Simple!

Here is how to get the best out of this style to create age-smart, casual chic. Make sure it is not tight on your neck. Pull it down a bit at the front so your face shines. If you have it tight around your neck, no-one is fooled because everyone knows that you are trying to hide your neck wrinkles. Confidence brings compliments. Adjust the scarf so the ends are a little unequal. This avoids the formal, totally balanced look of our younger days. A variation on this is to twist one of the ends around the U shape while letting the other side hang free. If you want the scarf to stay in place, use the safety pin technique mentioned above.

Another version of this is a scarf with metal rings in the centre. From these rings hangs a pendant. This scarf style is ideal for draping in the U Shape as the pendant hangs in the centre of your body. It may become a modern classic but, if it only stays around for a few seasons, you can always slide it off the scarf in the future.

If you are wearing a square scarf folded into an oblong shape, pull the front out to make a V shape down your chest. Then make the end finish shorter than the bottom of the V.


Altering Your Fur Coat

Adjusting the Hem

Adjusting the hem is a great way to right size a coat that is just too long. Coats that are full-length can typically only be worn to very formal events, so taking up the hem can make your fur more appropriate for a greater variety of occasions. When you take your coat to an alteration shop, they will use a seam ripper to remove the original hem. With the coat on, you can determine the best length for your body, and your seamstress will pin the coat up to the appropriate length for a new hem. By taking your coat up to mid-thigh or even waist-length you can alter your coat to make it appropriate for a night out on the town or just running errands. Keep in mind that it is easier to take in a coat than to let one out, be careful not to make the hem too short.

Shearing

When remodeling a coat, most furriers will start by shearing off the top layer of fur, similar to mowing off the top layer of your lawn. Though it may sound odd, this serves to make the coat lighter, and can give the fur a more velvety look. By shearing you can remove a lot of the dead and dingy fibers on the top of the pelt that have worn down from years of wear.

Altering the Sleeves

If the sleeves are too long, or damaged, they can easily be replaced by an experienced furrier. They will use a seam ripper to carefully deconstruct the sleeves, to either replace them or leave them off altogether for a trendy fur vest. Before you throw away those old and damaged sleeves, consider repurposing them as well. The sleeves can always be reconstructed as a belt or other fur accessory.

Changing the Color

If your coat has lost its shine and that beautiful natural color it had originally, consider having the color changed as well. It used to be the case that the only colors available were black, brown, red, or white, the natural colors associated with the pelt fibers. However today, an ample amount of color choices exist to achieve the perfect look for you. The fibers can easily be dyed without any harm to the underlying pelt.


Finding Halloween Costume

Movie Costumes

Whether you’re a fan of 80’s movies like Robocop or Back to the Future, or you like to follow on newer releases like Avatar or The Dark Knight Rises, there is always a treasure trove of costumes available for your favorite heroes, villains, and everyone in between!

If you choose a newer movie, be prepared to bump into people that had the same idea as you, which may take a little sizzle out of your presentation. It’s always better to go with something a little older – not new enough to be outdated, and not old enough that no one will know what’s going on.

Attention Couples!

If you have a significant other in your life you can kill two birds with one stone by choosing a costume that will work together. You could be Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, a light switch and a light socket, a full size beer and a bottle opener – there are a ton of different options for those that want to go tandem, so just do a little research and decide whether you want to be funny or sexy. From there it should be an easy enough task to get a set of costumes that shows off your personalities.

Sexy is Always In

Many people joke that Halloween is nothing more than an excuse for the fairer sex to choose a “sexy” outfit. Whether it’s a witch, a beer maiden, a princess, or a bunny, it seems that there are no shortages in sexy outfits from dozens of different merchants.

If you’re a guy you also have options, with the past few years seeing an increase in outfits and costumes for men that show off a bit of skin.

One thing to be aware of if you go this route is that not all attention is good attention – so make sure that you are in a safe place with people who won’t read your outfit as an invitation.

Homemade Wins

Some of the best costumes for Halloween are the ones that you can’t get anywhere else. If you have some time, ambition, and are decent with a thread and needle you can make yourself a huge amount of different costumes that can really take the cake!

The great part is that you don’t even have to start from scratch if it’s too daunting – there are dozens of different sewing patterns available at your local fabric store.


Refuse to Fizzle

  • Color-Block
    This combination of bold colors is so cheerful and chic. It makes such an incredibly stylish statement with bright and vivid hues without being the least bit tacky (unless of course, that’s what you’re going for.) Designer’s use of this trend has shown us just what it can do to liven up a piece of clothing, but you can also custom color block your outfits on your own. Match a bright top with a neutral bottom, adding a jacket or accessories of complimentary colors.
  • Ombre
    This trend is named after a French word of the same spelling that means, “shaded.” The shading can be identified by one color that gracefully transitions into another. You’ve seen this style in clothes patterns and nail decorations, but I think it is best known for its representation in hair. I first noticed the ombre on Khloe Kardashian and I instantly fell in love. It looked so free and natural on her long, pretty hair and I immediately wanted to copy her.
  • Sheer Tops
    When I see woman in a sheer, button-down top I think “classy,” “professional,” and “elegant.” When it’s paired with shorts or skinny jeans in a more casual look, I think “ingenious.” These tops are so versatile, adding a bit of class to even the most avant-garde outfits.
  • Maxi Skirts
    There is so much movement in this style of skirt; it makes even the clumsiest walker look like they have more grace in their step. The style is something reminiscent of early seventies hippie fashion. Paired with a loose tank and the right sandals, you will feel as free and laidback as you look.
  • Peek-a-Boo Leopard Print
    I can’t really justify my love for leopard print. I think it has always just been a curious attraction that I, as well as most girls, have but can’t explain. I mean, I don’t really have the personality that goes with animal prints in general, but if I see a pop of leopard print in an outfit, I go crazy for it. This pattern has always spoken to me as being a little “bad ass.” Revealing subtle hints of it, in just the right amounts can make an outfit stand out.