Posts filed under: Fashion

Blossom In 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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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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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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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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The Perfect Party Dress For The Office Party

The mere thought of Christmas may cause you to break into a cold sweat, but before you start fretting about buying presents and sending cards to distant relatives, take a deep breath and remember: Christmas time is party time! So bring on the cracking tunes, office parties and last (but certainly not least) the party dresses.

puff

So is your party dress wardrobe in need of an upgrade? Then why not check out our guide to picking out the right one for you.

What’s the dress code?

You may think Christmas parties are all the same, but the location and theme should play a key part when it comes to identifying the perfect dress.

If the invite alludes to a black tie style, then why not dazzle with a head to toe sequin dress? Simple, yet elegant, this glamorous dress requires no accessories: slip it on, put your hair up and start sipping those cocktails.

Sequin Sweetheart Black Junior Party Dress

For a more casual, let-your-hair-down type theme, take a leap into a fabulous jumpsuit. Cheryl Cole may favour the leopard print style, but why not embrace the season and opt for a sparkly number or any number of brightly coloured pieces?

Remember to find the right balance between style and comfort. Once you’re at the venue, you want to be focussing on talking to people and enjoying yourself instead of worrying about what you’re wearing.

Picking a colour

Finding the right colour for you is crucial to achieving your desired look. But don’t overcomplicate things. By sticking to a few key guidelines, you’ll have your perfect colour picked out in no time.

Focus on a colour that will perfectly match your skin, hair and eye colour to give the desired look.

Those with a lighter complexion may want to opt for colours like white, cream, blue or pink. Be wary of anything too bright, as it may overshadow your own features.

Those of you with darker eyes and hair should embrace the seasonal colours and dazzle in dark red or black, being careful to avoid overly bright outfits. Top tip: Dorothy Perkins offers a wide selection of party dresses to suit every shape and personality this season.

Body shape

An ill-fitting outfit is a sure fire way to kill off your party buzz, so follow these simple rules to find a dress that works for your body shape. Even if you don’t quite manage to stick to the diet, the right outfit could help you to at least look like you’ve dropped a dress size.

If you’ve got fuller hips and thighs, then avoid a skirt that sits too high above the knee. Instead, focus on selecting a fabric that doesn’t cling to your body. And don’t be shy when it comes to adding colour or print.

Those with a bigger bust can go all out in a deep V-neck. Or rock a dress that will draw attention towards your legs by sitting an inch or two above the knee. Remember: the best way to cover up is often to simply draw attention to another feature.

When it comes to slimmer figures, consider a dress that’s nice and fitted at the waist and generally quite form-fitting to show off your shape and waist.

Accessorize

When it comes to adding that extra touch of glamour, bling or quirkiness, accessories are the answer.

If you’re going for the more casual look, why not add some chunky bracelets for extra effect? A more elegant look, meanwhile, can be boosted by some sparkly or colourful jewellery.

No matter what the occasion, a snazzy handbag adds that extra bit of detail and does wonders for your overall look. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Pick what you like and let your personality shine through.

Harriet Andrews is a fashion blogger from the UK who enjoys writing about seasonal warobes.

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Asian Fashion For Guys

If a man heard another guy talking about fashion, he would probably instantly assume he was ‘playing for the other team’, or something along those lines. But this really should not be the case. The way you dress is heavily linked to the way you appeal to a woman, so you should possibly consider re-thinking those baggy pants and stained shirts before you start knocking a guy for having a good taste in fashion, because he is bound to know what the ladies like, which is a man with class and good taste. We all know a ladies’ man is a man who dresses properly.

So, unless you’re already a ladies’ man with class and a good taste in fashion, you’re probably wondering how you can impress the ladies with your dress skills. Well, never fear, even the most unskilled fashion newbie can have all the class of Barney Stinson within days. The answer lies in Asian Fashion. When thinking of Men’s fashion, the first thing that comes to mind will probably not be Asian fashion, but, let me assure you, Asian fashion for men is a huge industry.

Asian fashion is cheap, affordable, of good quality, and has amazing availability for anyone who is interested, assuming you have a good internet connection, that is. Once you have decided on what it is that you want, you can have fashionable clothes waiting for you in a box at your front door within days. Asian fashion websites are easy to order from and have a spectacularly wide range of clothing available for you for insanely cheap prices.

blue men jacket in asian style

You should already know the importance of dressing up well if you are a man. Fashion is not only for women. If you are going on a date or you have an important business meeting, or even if you are hanging out with your friends, what you wear can be really important to how the situation can pan out. Imagine if you turned up to a job interview in your pyjamas, or a date with a really cute girl in some ripped pants and a stained shirt! It most likely would not go your way. Instead, why not turn up to that job interview in a clean pressed suit, and that date with the girl you like in some stylish clothes to really knock her socks off. Asian fashion for men can definitely help you with all of these things.

So now that you know the importance of dressing well, no matter what the occasion (maybe you did already), why not get interested and take a look at some Asian men’s fashion? I’m sure you will like it, and no doubt your girlfriend will too. Asian fashion looks good, especially for men, and I really recommend you give it a try, and see what your friends say. After all, fashion isn’t only for women, especially not Asian fashion.

Frank recommends to check Asian jackets, sweaters, t-shirts and pants for men, and some other stylish Men’s fashion on coco-fashion.com – and ensure you will be inspired by that style.

The author of this piece – Frank writes for known fashion magazines worldwide, he’s addicted to fashion news.

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Cheap Fashion V Ethical Clothing

There appear to be two conflicting trends in successful fashion retailing at the moment and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Ultra cheap ranges from Asda and Primark are flying off the shelves but at the same time organic, eco-friendly products have seen a big surge in popularity. Can both sectors of the fashion industry continue to prosper or are they ultimately mutually exclusive?

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Choices

Whilst the economic downturn has driven many people into the arms of the budget retailers, increasing awareness of environmental issues has led many consumers to make ethical choices about the clothes they wear. Many brands wear their organic credentials as a badge of honour and it is gaining them a good client base amongst those who can afford to be choosy. The problem is that many people believe they do not have the choice but I am beginning to wonder if there really is a choice at all.

Organic Production

Non-organic textile production is extremely damaging to both people and the environment. The toxic chemicals in pesticides and dyes pollute the environment and are detrimental to the health of the workers. Many modern industrial processes use huge volumes of water too and then there is the issue of low paid workers in the factories producing the garments. At the end of the day if the world carries on like this we are going to have serious problems in the near future even producing crops with the soils degraded and the lack of water. We are surely also on the verge of a massive health scandal with many textile workers already suffering from respiratory problems and cancer as a result of working with the chemicals used to dye and sandblast our garments.

Driven by Obsession

The harmful production methods are driven by the thirst for cheap fashion in the developed world and our obsession with being trendy. The fashion industry ensures that new styles and colours are must have items every few months and perhaps it is time for us all to change our habits. We need to view clothing purchases as investments not things to be worn a couple of times and then discarded.

Value

Does it really matter if something is last year’s style? If we are going to right the wrongs, those on a limited budget should spend their money on a few wisely chosen pieces rather than a basket full of cheap rubbish that they will end up throwing away. I am one of those people and I have long ago ceased worrying about wearing the latest in thing mainly because it will be out again before I could ever get my money’s worth out of it. Everyone can afford ethical clothing if they simply accept that they can’t buy so much of it.

Selling Point

The surge in demand for eco-friendly fashion does at least show that some people have woken up and decided to make a stand by supporting ethical production. Many brands are now not just using organic textiles they are using the fact to promote their products. Some, like Seasalt in Cornwall, started the practice years ago and have had great success with their organic cotton stripey tops and t shirts. Now we are seeing a succession of Scandinavian brands like Katvig, Nudie Jeans and Righteous Fashion doing the same thing and demonstrating that you don’t have to sacrifice style to be ethical.

The Real Cost

Some people will always look for the cheapest deals not understanding that in terms of quality, longevity and ethics they are paying a very high price indeed. I guess for the time being cheap fashion will still dominate the high street but things are changing fast and fashion could be in a very different place in the not too distant future.

Sally Stacey is a professional writer who also owns a bridal shop and was on the board of a London based distribution company for 16 years. A frequent traveller for both leisure and business, Sally is always looking for a new adventure to write about.

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How to Match a Handbag to Your Outfit

When it comes to choosing the right handbag there are several things you need to take into consideration, such as colour, shape, pattern and size. As a rule of thumb, your handbag should carry across the main theme of your outfit, but it should not match identically in colour or print because this causes clashes. Ideally, use it to pick out one or two colours which are played down in your clothes or shoes, or vice versa. We’ve included some advice on specific styles and what to wear them with, using carefully chosen high street and designer handbags from Style in View.

Tote Handbag

With a good designer tote bag you can generally wear anything, except for evening gowns of course! Dress your tote up with tailored trouser suits for the office, or use your designer handbag to add a bit of glamour to a casual outfit, such as skinny jeans and a tunic. This Fiorelli red tote bag shows how handbags can be classy yet fun. Use it on shopping trips or as a striking addition to a smart black suit, as the bright colour will lift up your outfit from the shadows.

Red A4 sized tote bag

This tan Michael Kors bag will go with every colour, while the cross-body straps adds a practical twist to the traditional tote, allowing it to double up as an overnight bag or satchel with more casual looks.

Slouch Bag

To add a bit of contemporary fashion a slouch bag is great. These can be available in more interesting fabrics and textures than tote handbags and if that applies to your slouch bag, make sure it doesn’t clash with your outfit. If your handbag is patterned or has lots of detailing, aim for a fairly print-free outfit and vice versa. The shape of a slouch bag is also important; the bigger the better, as you can contrast with a slim-fit ensemble. Pair a handbag such as this white Dune Deja slouch bag with leggings or three-quarter length skinny jeans and a dark-coloured blazer.

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For the oversized shape of the bag to really accentuate your figure, roll your sleeves up so that your arms appear slim and elegant, and team with bangles for boho chic.

Casual Bag

Casual designer handbags are also becoming increasingly in vogue, with satchels one of the current most popular styles of bag. These are perfect for days out or even a casual yet practical addition to your work outfit. This Jasper Conran white faux leather satchel is both stylish and also can also be worn with sleek outfits such as tailored, high-waist trousers and a chiffon blouse, or with floaty floral dresses, and full skirt-cardigan combos. For a holiday alternative, opt for the navy striped version. A patterned bag must be worn with block colours and match at least one dominant colour in your outfit, so with navy and white stripes go for white wide-leg linen trousers, for example.

Clutch Bag

As opposed to the tote bag, the clutch can only really be worn with evening dresses, gowns or formal wear. Clutch bags with a chain are versatile for carrying but also work well for those with a wider middle as they won’t draw attention to your stomach. The clutch is generally considered an extension of your outfit, so it should match your shoes and scarf/jacket. If your outfit is quite plain then pick out clutches in metallic materials, bejewelled with diamantes, or that are embroidered to add some reflective light, such as this glitter envelope clutch by Julien Macdonald available through Style in View.

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