Match the gift to the occasion

Nowadays it can be hard to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member, particularly with the recent rise of online shopping often you will find that they prefer to buy their ideal gifts themselves! Adding to the surprise is a great part of a thoughtful gift, so it is important that your gift comes from the heart.

However if you’re stuck on ideas, there are a number of fool proof gifts you can give that will surely make an impact on your friend or relative. Gifts can make any occasion special, and it doesn’t even have to be a specific event! Use unique gift ideas to celebrate the passing of a test, graduating from school or even to remind that special someone just how you feel about them.

Luton Hoo Spa

Here, online china ornament specialist The Chinaman have put together a short but special list of 5 great gift ideas which are guaranteed to make your recipient smile.

Gift Cards
Although thought of as a cop out by some, gift cards are a fantastic way of letting someone know ‘I’m thinking of you’. Some people like nothing better than being able to buy their own gifts, as who knows what they want better than they do?

A thoughtful gift card for the right shop can often say far more than a less considerate, more physical gift. Plus, then your recipient can use it towards a bigger present, or even use it to purchase several smaller items, such is the flexible nature of a gift card.

Spa Day/Track Day
A day out doing what you love, what more could anyone ask for? Depending on the interests of the individual, you can easily get them tickets to a specific event that will get them nice and relaxed, or set their heart racing. Do your research! What are their interests? Would they prefer to go to the theatre, or is the football stadium more their game?

Whatever you do, make sure it is well planned if you want to make it a surprise. Talk to the rest of the relatives or close friends to make sure your recipient is free that day, keeping in touch in the lead up to the event to make sure that nothing comes up. If you want to take them away for a day, get in contact with their manager and share the surprise, so that they don’t have to worry about booking the day off for holiday!

Fine Figurines
Some people like good jewellery, others like fine figurines. If you know your friend or relative is a collector of fine china, or loves porcelain ballerinas, all it takes is a quick survey of the figurines they already have to get an idea of what you should buy them. It also helps to get a quick look, or to get a friend to help you to make sure that you don’t get them something too similar to another figurine!

The great thing about porcelain is that it can be customised or requested specifically. The artist may be able to paint a special message on the base of the figure, intended only for the recipient to see. It is a fragile gift that means a lot to both parties, and will often sit on the mantelpiece as a treasured memory for years to come.

Home Cooked Meal/Nice Restaurant
Sometimes you don’t even need to splash out an awful lot to give a heartfelt present. Something as small as baking a cake for your recipient, or letting them put their feet up while you prepare a nice dinner for them will be enough to make them smile.

Surprising them by taking them out to a posh restaurant is also a nice touch; particularly if you organise to have their friends meet you at the event. You could pick them up from work (or let them know once they’ve gotten home, if they like to prepare for such an event) to surprise them, which gives the whole event an air of spontaneity and playfulness.

Naming a Star
While a little bit dear, naming a star on behalf of your loved one can be a really romantic gesture. Depending on which package you request, you will receive a certificate of the name of the star, documentation of the location of the star, perhaps a small plush toy of the star and even photos of the star from space.

Whatever the special occasion make the event shine by giving a well thought out and memorable gift that your friend or relative will love. It only take a few more minutes of thought, but it can mean a whole lot to the receiver of the gift as it shows how much you care about them.

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Spice it up with Casmir Lingerie

New year is a time where we evaluate all aspects of our life, deciding which things we need to change and which things we would like to keep the same. We often tend to look at the relationships we have with our friends and closer to home our partners. Often we love our partners dearly but time and mundane routines tend to make us forget why we are together in the first place. Finding a way to rekindle a dim love life can be difficult and often shelved for tasks that are easier to complete. Unfortunately by putting your relationship on the back burner too often you can inadvertently extinguish the flame of desire and be left with the destruction and embers of a failed relationship.

casmir full

Reigniting the Flames of Passion

Usually work is a demanding reason why couples spend very little romantic time together, that and juggling the children and putting out the rubbish causes the day to end swiftly and the only intimate thing you have shared with your partner is a meal. This is why the new year is a perfect time to reignite the flames of passion and spice up the year ahead with some very simple changes to your life.

Why not snuggle up together on the sofa using modern technology and make start by looking for great lingerie that will spice up your love life and give you both the opportunity to cast knowing smiles at each other over the dining table because you are wearing beautifully crafted Casmir Lingerie chosen by both of you. You may even decide to claim that you need to ‘tidy’ the bedroom so that you can explore the quality lace and seductive material while the family, blissfully unaware of your deception, play charades downstairs.

casmir kneel

Using a Little bit of Imagination.

When you cast your eyes on Casmir Lingerie you will be very impressed by the way that the designers have managed to tastefully combine eroticism and comfort in garments that suggest a hidden secret lurking in your mind. Casmir Lingerie have made wonderful use of colours, fabrics and shape to give the air of classy seductiveness. At first you may find spicing up your relationship in this way to feel slightly uncomfortable and not quite you but after introducing the flickering light and aroma of scented candles and maybe one or two erotic toys for you to play with you may find that you develop a sexy alter ego who relishes in the joy of bringing pleasure to yourself and your partner. Once role playing and adding a little extra excitement to your life becomes an normal part of your bedroom routine – why not shake it up a little and book yourselves into a lavish hotel with log fires and exquisite food and pretend that you have just met each other. Don’t forget that by unleashing your inner seductress you have opened up a vast world of erotic adventures for you and your very happy partner.

Kate Parker is a writer with a passion for luxury underwear. Kate knows first hand how a little bit of imagination combined with the luxury of Casmir Lingerie can really spice up your life.

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How To Wear A Hijab According To Your Face Shape

There are different ways to wear a hijab and you have probably tried them all out by now. But a less known fact is that certain hijab styles go better with certain face shapes. Here are some top tips for wearing a hijab according to your face shape.

tabriz hijab

Determine Your Face Shape

If you aren’t yet sure what shape your face is you can use this simple guide to establish what shape your face resembles the most. In this article we will go through hijab styles for round, oval, heart-shaped, square, and rectangular face shapes.

These are the most common face shapes and by matching the right hijab style you can really compliment your face and its uniqueness.

The Round Face

The best hijab style to flatter a round face is one that stays a bit looser on the sides. You should try to show a bit more of your forehead and use a style that makes your face look a bit narrower from the sides. The common mistake for those with a round face shape is to try hiding your cheeks.

Hiding your cheeks this way will only make your face look rounder. So don’t go for tight fitting hijab styles; instead use a lot of volume and keep the scarf loose.

peach-melba-hijab

The Oval Face

The oval shape is often considered the best face shape and thus it is flattered by many different hijab styles. The best way to wear a hijab with an oval-shaped face is to frame the face with the hijab and show off the beautiful shape naturally.

Regular Pashmina style and tight Turkish style hijabs for instance look great for the oval shape.

The Heart-Shaped Face

The heart-shaped face is best shown with hijab styles that are pinned right under your chin to increase your jawline. Don’t add width to your face by having multi-layers on the side of your head. Covered Girl has a great suggestion for a great heart-shaped hijab style.

You can also make a tiny point on top of your forehead with the scarf. This adds a great touch that will compliment your face shape in a beautiful way.

The Square Face

The best way to soften a square face shape, which has a characteristically strong jawline, is to wear hijab styles that are loose under the chin. Show off your forehead and make the forehead line look round to soften the square shape off your face. Kuwaiti hijab styles look great with a square face.

The Rectangular Face

The key to hijab style for rectangular faces is to make sure you lengthen your face with the style. This means that you should keep your forehead visible and bring the hijab a bit closer to your face from the sides. This will create an illusion of a longer face length.

It is simple to flatter your natural face shape with a hijab when you choose the right style. You can find great hijab style trends as well as tips from Aab Collection. With these great tips you will ensure a great and fresh look. The most important thing of course is to wear your hijab with confidence.

Aisha Malik writes about the current trends in Islamic fashion.

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Handmade Lingerie

We all love shopping and finding those wonderful pieces that we adore for years. It’s about time that we give the same attention to our smalls! Lingerie can be such a wonderful addition to your wardrobe; it can give confidence, add a luxurious feel to an outfit and simply brighten up your day.

Handmade lingerie is the ultimate confidence boost. There’s nothing better than knowing that the clothes that you wear have been given the utmost attention and care before they make it through your door.

Michelle Star is a fashion blogger with a special passion for lingerie and says: “Have a look at some of these examples and my list of the top websites that specialise in handmade lingerie. There’s sure to be something that will take your breath away…”

Mauve Sable Set by Bunnysmalls

The Mauve Sable Bandeau is just £18 and with matching knickers at £32, they’re an absolute bargain.  This set is made with delicate stretch lace for a pretty, girly effect. Bunnysmalls’ products are all made in the UK and feature UK sourced fabric. This website is full of gorgeous designs and definitely worth a look.

Red Cherry Cutie corset by Frantic About Frances

This cheery number is a steel-boned, under-bust corset in a cherry red.  Made from satin with a cream lace trim, it’s topped off with cherry buttons at the centre front. A cute little addition to your wardrobe at £220, it’s adjustable at the back with black lace-up detail.  Frantic about Francis is a vintage-inspired company that hails designs from the pin-up era and has featured in Vogue during the last year!

Juliet Babydoll Set by Luva Huva

This cute babydoll set is £44 from Luva Huva, a company based in London that creates ethical, handmade pieces.  Their clothes are ethically sourced and made from sustainable fabrics. At such a reasonable price, it’s rude to say no.

Luxury gold silk bra set by Lucile & Co.

This set from Lucile & Co. is stunning! Made from luxury pale gold silk and black lace, the bra is £113 and comes with a choice of knickers; tie-back, lace back or thong. Lucile & Co. create all their pieces in England to the highest of standards. This company is the most prestigious of brands, founded by Lady Duff-Gordon, who is the founder of the modern padded bra, and is rooted in lingerie’s historic foundations.

Pear Drop playsuit by Fred & Ginger

This beautiful playsuit is from the Candy Girl collection. Made from shimmery pink silk-chiffon, its draped design flatters all body shapes. It’s backless sash-tie design is beautifully feminine and a real investment piece at £210 – but worth the cost for the quality you’ll be getting!

Dainty Bess playsuit by The Last English Rose

This beautiful silk playsuit by The Last English Rose, available at handmade lingerie ‘superstore’ Esty Lingerie, is made with silk satin, printed silk cups and a Nottingham Lace finish. It’s £115 so an investment piece again, but worth every penny. The Last English Rose is a British company based in London that specialises in handmade silk lingerie. Ranges are beautifully named, from Gentle Hermione to Teasing Georgia.

Harlow bra set by Gilda & Pearl

This piece is made from antique-gold French lever’s lace and pure silk satin. From the Harlow collection at Gilda & Pearl, you can choose from bow bra, baby-doll, cover-up, tie-side knickers or classic knickers – or splash out and buy the whole lot! Match with the Harlow Kimono for real boudoir glamour. Prices start at £42 in this collection. Gilda & Pearl was founded by Louise Hudson and all designs are created in the UK.

Pandora satin & tulle bra set by Baby Grand

A gorgeous set from this Baby Grand Lingerie that includes options for all tastes. Based on 1940s and 50s sirens and film noir style, Pandora in a beautiful bra set available various colours to sui your personal taste. Baby Grand is a luxury brand that prides itself on aesthetics and service. This bra is £69 and the knickers £59.

There’s my list of my favourite 8 handmade lingerie sets. I could list 100 more but for now, today at least, these are my favourites. What are yours? I’ve love to hear them and maybe discover some new handmade lingerie brands so please leave me a comment below…

Michelle Star is a fashion blogger with a special passion for lingerie.

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What Makes a Fashion Trend?

Charles Frederick Worth was the first designer to have his label sewn into garments he created, ultimately fortifying him in the history books as the first person to have a brand logo on clothing.

This occurred in the 19th century, when fashion houses were run by individual designers instead of corporations owning brands.

Since the 19th century, there have been some great fashion innovations and unique fashion trends that described a certain point in time. On the contrary, there have also been some horrible fashion designs that started as trends, but ended as ample firewood supplements.

Since the inception of the industry, fashion enthusiast and industry professionals have been attempting to create trends that stick. Using different “hit or miss” techniques, CEO’s have come to realize that there are a few major factors that separate fashion successes from fashion failures.

In addition to the clothing industry, fashion goes beyond just apparel – people can create fashion trends with jewelry or tattoos.

Below are a few tips for avoiding fashion failures within your industry and hopefully help your organization come up with the next big thing.

What Makes a Fashion Trend?

Think of Trends like Basic Physics – Newton once said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The same concept can be applied to fashion trends purely because actions promote reactions with consumers across the world. In general, bold colors and exaggerated shapes promote happiness and cheer. Consumers often associate bold colors and crazy designs to different geographical areas and season changes. Bright colors are for summer, while plain colors for winter. In addition, New York fashion is substantially different from Florida fashion throughout the year. This is why it is imperative to understand your consumer and their personality.

Know the Personality – If you ask any industry professional or fashion student what the process is for creating a successful trend they will most likely say, “Know your consumer’s personality and build designs based on personal values and attributes.” Whether you are selling tattoo services or clothing products, it is imperative to target a type of person and concentrate on behavioral economics more than supply and demand. Eventually, very successful trends come through critical mass induced by public figures or various well-known groups throughout the world. Prior to that critical mass point, staying true to the brand image is essential for perception.

Take Risks & Be Creative – Fashion trends that often plummet are the ones that fall into the traditional mold of previous innovations. Taking risks on what you think consumers will want to consume is the only way to become a trendsetter and is entirely based on timing. Without proper timing, fashion trends will perish. For example, during a time of economic decline in a country, people want to come together and unite – this ultimately makes individuality pieces less popular on a massive scale. Fashion is often a reflection of social norms and time-sensitive conditions of a community. Some fashion trends become traditions, while others are completely based on the mental conditioning of the surrounding community. Always understand what message and position your design and brand is willing to take in order to maximize market share.

Expand Your Research – Although there is no single source for a trend to occur and take hold of a community, most trends traditionally follow a few factors. These factors include film, art, pop culture, and socio-political movements. A great example of trendiness is the hippie, free-living culture of the mid-20th century. People of that time valued self-expression, love, and free-spirit living – the fashion of that time also reflected the times.

Ultimately, ordinary people drive the sales and build critical mass of fashion trends. With that said, a few individuals seem to drive the actual trend initially and through the beginning stages of acceptance. Fashion trends do not succeed purely on celebrity support, but if the community initially accepts the trend, celebrity influence is usually the driver of continuous expansion. Therefore, if you can influence the powerful few, you’ll have a successful trend – at least for the short-term.

The writer of this article, Matthew Hall, is a fashion blogger who strives to learn what makes some brands succeed, and what makes others fall. For those looking to take advantage of the temporary tattoo trend, he highly recommends paying a visit to blingtattoos.com. You can learn more about Matthew on Google+.

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Fashion Trends In Nigeria

Each and every country has its own culture and unique characteristics. Even when it comes to fashion, culture plays a big part.

iyaeko

Nigeria isn’t left behind by the current trends that circulate the world. Here are the current trends in the colorful and fun fashion world of Nigeria:

Colour Blocking

Nigerian people, especially the members of the human population, are very much into color blocking which is one of the latest and most attractive fashion trends. Color blocking is simply the combination of many different colors in one outfit. Colors that are most commonly used in the color blocking trend are those that are bright and eye catching.

The fashionable people of Nigeria no longer need to look at the mirror before heading out. It seems like color harmony is out of the scene these days. The color blocking trend has swept Nigeria especially among the young adults and teenagers. Even in many formal gatherings, the Aso Ebi has been taken over by this lively trend. In weddings, the bride will make sure her family members will wear clothes of the same color blocking technique.

Video Source: Johnny Tangent

Velvet and Knot

Velvet started becoming popular around 2012. Nigeria picked up the trend during the later part of 2013 and the trend did not even wane in popularity even when 2014 started.

The trend is very simple yet makes the wearer look sophisticated. One just needs to wear something made of velvet, for example a dress, combine it with an Ankara and tie a knot somewhere on her waist. Because velvet is very classic and beautiful, it is the kind of fabric that people can wear to special events like weddings and big parties. It has become one of the most popularly used cloths in Aso Ebi. Members of a family can wear velvet dresses of different colors but of the same cut.

Ankara and Lace

Nigeria is known for its people who love to wear colorful and beautiful dresses made with the local fabric called Ankara. This time around it is made more beautiful and fashionable with a little help from another dainty fabric, the lace. These two fabrics are already present in Nigeria for decades but only recently did the idea of combining the two emerge.

Being the pride of the African people, the Ankara fabric has always been present in Aso Ebi clothing. Even the top British luxury fashion house Burberry made an Ankara jacket that was seen on no less than the stylish and quirky Lady Gaga herself.  This just proves that Nigeria will never be left behind in the colorful fashion world.

Sequin and Velvet

One of the latest fashion trends in Nigeria is the combination of velvet and sequins. For the past few years, French lace dominated the Aso Ebi attire. It has been a big yet very welcome surprise that the velvet started becoming famous in weddings and formal events.

One of the most famous people I have seen wearing this trend is the Queen of Talk, no other than Oprah. Velvet is a fabric that seems to have a place only at big parties and events like weddings, funerals, awards nights, and the likes so everyone should take advantage of the fact that it is now a big hit in the fashion world. It seems to come round only once in a few decades. I remember it being very popular in the 1990s. Now that the fashion world has given it another chance, you should own at least one piece of clothing in this fabric. The addition of beautiful and stunning sequins to velvet just makes the material sparkle even more and catches the attention of on-lookers.

Peplum

Peplum is a huge hit all over the world these days. Nigeria definitely has almost the same taste as everyone in the planet, but just a bit quirkier. You can see the Aso Ebi worn by women these days. There are peplum skirts, and yes, peplum trousers. Wearing trousers to a wedding? You probably couldn’t believe this will become one of the hottest fashion trends in Nigeria but it is. You can see a bunch of women wearing matching peplum trousers in every wedding in Lagos these days.

Oleku

The Oleku style will never go out of fashion. This year it becomes even more popular especially in weddings where family members try to achieve the look for their Aso Ebi. You might have thought the Aso Ebi bug has calmed down but you will be surprised that a lot of Nigeria-based online shops still offer different Aso Ebi styles. By wearing the Aso Ebi families show their unity by wearing some kind of uniform.

The oleku style, one of the most popular Aso Ebi outfits, which was very popular during the 60s up to the 70s, is achieved by pairing an iro of any length with a buba that has sleeves that fall just between the wearer’s wrists and her elbows. These days, people combine the color blocking trend and the oleku style together to make a really awesome look. The buba can also come in different necklines from v-neck to round neck or sequined to embroider. The iro can also come in different fabrics from aso oke to lace worn over a buba made of damask or the local Ankara fabric.

Nigeria is very well known as a place where fashion is a big part of everyone’s lifestyle. Even top designers take inspiration from the culture of Nigeria. The top fashion trends in Nigeria just make it clear that Nigerian people are beautiful and stylish in their own way.

Nigerian people are very trendy and fashion forward. They combine international trends to that of their own style and culture. Here are the latest fashion trends seen in Nigeria’s most stylish crowd.

John is a fashion designer works from last couple of weeks as a trainee. He loves to write what he learned and experienced.

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Blossom In Spring Florals

Flowers have always played a big part in women’s wardrobes but lately they are really in the fashion spotlight. Designers such as Prada and Moschino have been showcasing floral patterns on their runways and so we can certainly expect to see more and more of them in our high street and favourite online retailers. They might be everywhere but there are some simple ways to get a great look which includes flowers. So how can you introduce florals to your wardrobe without looking like you’ve stepped out of an explosion in a Cath Kidston factory?

Keep it simple

As with all things bold, keeping it simple is key. That is to say that you should stick to one item in floral print to avoid looking too busy on the pattern front. Here you could choose a pair of patterned trousers or a patterned blouse perhaps but never both at the same time. Pair either of these with plain items such as cotton trousers or jersey t-shirt style top or blouse and you’ll avoid looking over the top. There are some gorgeous floral dresses available these days too and though this is head to toe flowers, it can work well with plain accessories.

Alternatively, if you’re less confident with patterns then there are some other options to inject the floral touch to your wardrobe. You could stick to a plain outfit and add patterned shoes or accessories. There are plenty of gorgeous chiffon or silk floral scarves out there that can bring a touch of spring to your style without being overboard. There are also some fabulous floral knits around that give a pretty, casual look and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Pick an accent

Just like in interior design, you can include some more colour to your look by picking out an accent shade from your floral patterned item. For example if you we were wearing a floral patterned pencil skirt with a few lemon flowers included in the print, then a plain lemon cardigan should look just co-ordinated enough.

Don’t be too matchy matchy

Alongside your one item of floral clothing and maybe one of plain accent clothing it is far better to then stick to neutrals for everything else. Being too matchy matchy with your look i.e. wearing everything else in the accent colour, is a sure fire way to age yourself and look frumpy. Pairing your floral with neutral tones such as white, ivory, nude for example is a much more modern way to include pattern and colour and, as they’re neutral, there is much less possibility that they may clash with your bold pattern.

Tone down the twee-ness factor

Though many of us are suckers for flowers, if you’re not careful it can create a look that it simply too twee and girly and this isn’t flattering on an older woman. One easy way to avoid this is to pair your florals with slightly more masculine touches such as a fitted blazer style jacket or jeans for example. On the same theme, to avoid looking way too much you should keep your accessories to a minimum. Although you might be feeling particularly spring-like, don’t be tempted to go overboard with lots of accessories. There are some pretty hair flowers and jewellery featuring pressed flowers, for example but just don’t go there. Your floral print clothing has a lot going on without the need to be over elaborate. Keep your accessories as simple as possible and as few as possible. A plain silver bangle will help make your floral print stand out instead of competing with everything else.

Jo is a 40 something woman who is looking for stylish clothing ranges which are age appropriate especially in terms of comfort and cut of blouses and trousers.

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Modesty Is The New Cool

For some reason modesty has gotten a bad name in recent years. Many people claim that modesty, especially in clothing, is destructive to women’s rights and hampers their ability to express their personality and sexuality; however, it can be said that modern fashion trends are actually causing more harm than good by over sexualizing young girls and instilling deep body image issues in their minds. If you are a woman who wants to take a different approach with your wardrobe and try some new styles, an attitude of modest dress can be a good thing. When you start to build your collection of more modest pieces there are many things that you will need to keep in mind.

modestImage – http://modestclothing-for-women.blogspot.co.uk/

Wear Larger Sizes

The first thing that you will notice about modest clothing designs is that they are much looser and in larger sizes than you have been wearing before. If you simply replace the short and skin baring clothing that you were wearing before with clothes that are so tight that they leave nothing to the imagination, you will not have accomplished the goal of modesty. The clothing should drape off of your body, not cling to it, and you will need to add an inch or two to your measurements in order to get clothing that fits you correctly. Before you make a large purchase check with the store or the website to see what kind of recommendations they have for sizing. For instance, a site like Fashion Undercover recommends a two inch margin of error for a good fit, while some other sites will recommend up to three or four inches.

Lower The Hem

Another thing that you will want to watch out for is the length of the hem on your skirts and dresses. A good rule of thumb is that the skirt or dress should reach your ankle, which gives you the freedom to move around, but still keeps your legs covered. The most formal gowns and dresses that you can purchase may go all the way to the floor, so it is a good idea to wear heels with them so that the hem does not get caught on anything on the ground. At the same time, your dress should not have any kind of slit or cut in the back or sides that would expose your legs when you move, as that range of motion can be provided by pleats in the skirt instead. Lower hems also apply to your sleeve length. Tunic dresses and kurtis, the most commonly available tops that are hailed for their modest appearance, will almost always come with sleeves that are at least three quarters, with many of them extending all of the way to the wrist.

Raise The Neck

You will also discover that most modest clothing choices do not have low cut necks and they will not expose your cleavage to the world. The neck line of your dresses or tops should come all the way to your shoulder bones and the fit around the neck should be tight enough that when you bend over your top does not fall open. In some cases a slightly lower cut is ok for the neck line, but you will want to make certain that the collar of the top does not dip all the way to the top of the breasts.

Modesty in clothing is not new, but its growing popularity in the United States is something the culture has never seen before. When you start to dress more modestly you will notice that people treat you a little differently and your interactions with those around you will change somewhat, but these will be positive changes in the long run that you will appreciate.

 

Guest feature from Susan Bahri who tells us that she has been trying to instill the values of modest dress in my children for the last sixteen years. I wrote this article to talk about some of the issues I have had to discuss with my daughters when they brought home clothing that my husband and I deemed unacceptable.

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Size Matters

I think it is fair to say that I am a little older than the target market of some of the fashion shops on the high street. I am 50 but have no desire to be consigned to the scrap heap or to wear frumpy clothes. I am not saying that I want to walk down the high street in a cropped top and mini skirt but I am not ready for the twin set yet and still enjoy exploring new looks. Whilst I may look a little older than the average visitor to some of the stores nobody seems to give me a second glance but the real issue I encounter is sizing.

size-matters

Deliberate Exlusion

I often wondered why the garments in some of the stores seem to be available only in small sizes. I am not exactly huge and usually require a UK size 12 or 14 and yet some brands don’t offer these sizes. It is always depressing when I have to buy an XL in Desigual and there are other shops where everything is too small. I honestly thought that the brands concerned just believed that only very slim, young people would be interested in their clothes but I now realise that they are using sizing as a means of control over their client base.

Brand Positioning

I must have had my head in a bag for the last few years because I simply didn’t realise that some labels are anxious to define their own customers and deliberately exclude those who don’t fit the profile. They want only the coolest people to wear their garments and keep the rest of us away by offering nothing that would fit us. They believe this tactic strengthens their brand but I think they are wrong. The worst offenders have been Abercrombie and Fitch who clearly believed that people like me were deeply uncool and not to be seen in their clothes.

Only Slim Will Do

This is brand which until now has only offered clothing in sizes up to a UK 10 for women and 24 waist for men which strikes me as rather short sighted. I know many brands see great strength in establishing a niche market for themselves but in fashion retailing the exclusion of most of your potential clients is probably not such a great idea and so it has proved to be.

Falling Down

Abercrombie and Fitch had seen profits slump and the value of its stock plummet and now, a little after the fact, they are to bring larger sizes into their stores. The notion that only very slim people can be cool is ridiculous as is a brand positioning policy which openly declares that you only want slim people to wear your clothes. It remains to be seen whether a change of policy will lead to an upturn in the company’s fortunes but it certainly won’t do it any harm. They might want to take a look at their pricing too. Their styles are only T shirts and hoodies for Christ sake, not haute couture, but many youngsters simply can’t afford to buy them.

Choices

With the amount of choice now on offer it will pay to be inclusive. I look forward to the day when I can buy clothes that will fit me in any store and that includes Jeans. It is extremely provoking that designer jeans are only ever available in ludicrously long lengths. Most women are not 6ft tall so this must have been an exclusionary tactic too. I have grown sick and tired of jeans which extend miles beyond the ends of my feet and I really can’t be bothered to take them up. There is plenty of choice out there whether you are looking for jeans, hoodies or anything else and so it is time for certain labels to change their policy or disappear.

fat women in jeans

Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop where dresses are available in all sizes!

Big!

Size matters

Is bigger better?
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Lingerie Could Be The Perfect Gift

Buying lingerie for your significant other is not the dangerous waters you may think. You’ll find that with a little guidance and some good judgment, you can make her happy which, of course, makes you happy.

alessandra ambrosio victorias secret pink

 

Thoughtful

When you buy lingerie for someone, you are buying a very personal item. Even if you are buying a wedding gift, lingerie is still very personal. When you purchase one of these items for a loved one, you are showing that you’re taking time out to think of them in particular. One of the nicest things about this is that you are also telling your spouse that you love her. Face it, it takes a little more thought to purchase lingerie. You don’t want to buy racy items that will make her feel cheap, but you don’t want to go too far the other way and make her feel like a grandma. You usually have to know your significant other quite well to make those selections, and the thoughtfulness does not go unnoticed.

Build Her Ego

You can build her ego with a thoughtful selection of lingerie. Many women lose their confidence as they age, have babies, and gain, lose, and gain weight again. With a nice choice of lingerie, you are acknowledging her femininity and attractiveness. A chemise night set can be plenty sexy, yet modest, and is intimate enough to let her know that you find her attractive without being overtly racy. A satin robe is luxurious, and can make any woman feel appreciated. If you want to include a racy little thong and cami, go ahead – with the robe, you’re giving her the option of being modest when she is so inclined. When you buy her lingerie, you are telling her that you like her looks, and that you want her to feel pretty.

Sexy or Not

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So often, men think that if they buy their woman lingerie, they have to buy something sexy. However, most will agree that the nightie itself is not as sexy as the woman in it. If you’re into role-playing, that’s something different. Here, we’re talking about lace, studs, thongs, bras, and fabrics. Believe it or not, a woman will go buy weird or kinky stuff for herself, so that she can please her man. You want to reinforce that you find her to be beautiful and sexy on her own. So, think in terms of buying satin, soft materials with cotton gussets. If an item has lace, feel of the lace. Pull it across your arm – if it feels scratchy, and snags the hair on your arm, it won’t be comfortable for her to wear. Most lace is very rough and scratchy.

Take Requests

Has she asked for any particular item of lingerie? If she has asked for it, see if you can find it. Some women want specific items. In such cases, you can probably get the sizes from her. This makes it much easier to go shopping,

Nina Edwards loves to talk about all things fashion, whether it’s lingerie, brand names or budget clothing. She enjoys giving advice and currently works for Blushhh Lingerie.

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