You Want Me to Wear This?


I can honestly say I am grateful to have been born in 20th century. The face of fashion has drastically changed since the 1900s. While women of the past were constricted and limited to only a few fashionable options, women of the 21st century have freedom of expression. Women are now, more than ever, allowed to create art and express themselves through their personal style transforming from street style to evening style to future style icons. No longer are we forced to endure petticoats or hoop skirts and risk being burned to death when we got too close to the blazing fires to keep warm. We are able to bare all or keep a modest profile. All women have a unique style that adds color to the world. Here is a look at how fashion has changed over the course of time.

1900s: Women were required to have morning dresses, afternoon dresses, simple dresses, and evening dresses. Women were expected to dress according to the nature of each social gathering they attended. During the second half of the 1900s, rich and exotic patterns were introduced while skirt hems were shortened, skimming above the ankle.

1920s: Known as the time when modern fashion took form, women were liberated from the constricted clothing of the past and were introduced to pleated skirts, gathers and slits which allowed women to move more freely. These trends would also appear later in the future and be reintroduced to the public. Other sought after fashion items included flapper dresses, low cut necklines, lingerie (as opposed to the corset), below the ankle skirts, and conservative dresses.

1930s: Because of the Great Depression, thrifting was considered the rage and many women converted their old clothing items into new styles. Women gravitated toward flowing hemlines at the hips and natural hemlines. Nylon stockings became all the rage as more women were baring more leg.

1940s: Many women wore padded shoulders (I seriously never got the point of these. I recently purchased a Topshop dress which had shoulder pads. I wasted no time in taking some shears and ripping those suckers out) and knee length skirts while sportswear became popular as well, adding a sense of diversity in a woman’s wardrobe. Clothing resembled simple styles and the emergence of pants on women began. During the late 40s, Christian Dior pioneered the nipped waist, longer lengths, and fuller skirts. This, in turn, created a drastic feminine look.

1950s: The age of the baby boomers (when my father was born). The age where poodle skirts (sad to say I actually used to own one) and glamorous outfits, making their début on actresses Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, ruled. European designers made it their goal to present glamorous, more feminine fabrics and cuts to women all around the world. Emphasis was placed on a narrow waist as pencil and full skirts were worn during this decade.

1960s: Because of the sexual revolution, drastic changes were made to women’s wear. The early 60s heralded in the mod look which included shorter hems above the knee and fitted fabrics. Geometrical shapes and patterns became all the rage. During the late 60s (Woodstock era), those who opposed the Vietnam War and conveyed a sense of free love began displaying fashion pieces such as tie dyed items, bell bottoms, loose shirts and flowing hemlines.

1970: Home of the disco era (Yay?). The hippie looked continued, however, as bell bottoms and hip huggers remained popular. Maxi skirts blossomed onto the scene but only for a brief moment (funny how it made a comeback and today we are mad about maxi skirts and dresses). Miniskirts and hot pants rose to fame during this era as well. During the mid 70s rock glam heralds such as David Bowie and Roxy Music, contributed to the rise of glam fashion (Twisted Sister anyone?). Rock glam mainly consisted of glitter and high waisted pants made from various materials. The late 70s brought about the disco era as well as new wave.

1980s (my generation): An array of fashion styles were introduced such as gothic, pretty and the ever continuing disco wear. Madonna became a fashion icon as girls channeled her style through tulle skirts, lingerie, leather gloves and gobs of jewelry. Lycra became popular along with skin tight jeans, ripped sweatshirts, and leggings.

1990s-Today: Birth of the grunge look which originated in Seattle, Washington. The grunge uniform consisted of ripped pants, Doc Martins/combat boots, and flannel shirts. The 1960s and 70s experienced a revival as it made a comeback under the guise of the Alternative look. Hip hop culture became popular as women wore tighter clothes in the hopes of accentuating their curves.

Today, it is a free for all as women as allowed to wear whatever they want when they want to. We no longer have to endure the pain of wear bone crushing corsets, clothes that were not designed to keep in warmth or spend all our time donning 50 million things. I’m sure, however, that we all have endured a certain amount of pain whether it be through heel pinching shoes or too skinny jeans. We all have also gone through embarrassing clothing eras ourselves (I know I have). But luckily modern fashion has come to save us as there is a vast array of choices and options. Sometimes the selection is too vast and you get a brain cramp just trying to choose between one or the other. Women are now, more than ever entitled to freedom of expression which we convey through our clothes and personalities.

Advertisements

Oh Baby!


I have personally never watched Toddlers and Tiaras but from what I have seen in the news, they are becoming a highly controversial show. Fake boobs? Spray tans? Fake teeth? This sounds more like a porn show than a beauty pageant. I was horrified to see toddlers in hooker outfits and cone bras. It’s bad enough we have pedophiles and child molesters, but now we are only inflaming their lust even more by sexualizing children on tv. Children should not be robbed of their childhood, which will prove to be the most critical times leading up to their future. Mothers especially should be taken aback by their obsessive natures and question why they are pushing their daughters to be “tiny adults” at the tender age of 7. The mothers seem to have worst catfights than the children and this same trait will be passed onto the little girl and onto her daughter. It will produce a vicious cycle of vain, ill-mannered women. Are we teaching our children to be vain and conceited at an early age? I understand that many women wish to see their daughters married and have a better life, but in order to achieve this goal, beauty should not be the main objective. I can tell you from experience beauty only gets you so far and it usually doesn’t land you husband material. Girls should be brought up to be smart, intelligent sophisticated women who do not rely on beauty to manipulate and connive their way to the top. Creating children into sexualized beings is just as bad as prostitution if not pornography. Society says it abhors child pornography yet they allow shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras to remain on the air which shows young children in sexualized costumes, dirty dance performances and makeup/prop stints that adult women take part in. You begin to think you’re watching an episode of Jersey Shore: Kid’s Edition. It is an outrage how far our shallow society has misconstrued the true meaning of beauty. Now women view beauty in the form of Miss America or supermodels who have so many issues themselves we might as well watch a soap opera. I am not against beauty pageants and believe it can bring out a women’s confidence and strength (like in Miss Congeniality) however, kids should be kids and adults need to grow up.

Drama Mama


It seems that mothers becoming “consumer doppelgänger” (Temple University) of their teenage counterparts is now becoming a common occurence. Many teenage daughters are outright protesting against their mothers shopping in “their stores” as this is somehow seen as a social taboo in the adolescent world. Many women thirty and above are given less than hospitable looks if they are seen wandering the junior’s section of the mall. Should women beyond thirty be subjected to wearing “grandma clothes”? Is it a crime to still want to remain fashionable at the age of 40? Society has taken on the position that once a women has kids she should look frumpy, old and disheveled. The needs of her children are of the utmost importance. She should have no time for herself. Wrong! Though children are important, it is important for mothers to take time off and pamper themselves now and then. There is nothing wrong with a woman’s desire to look good and show off her good physique without being slutty and immature. While many experts see this as a damper on the mother-daughter bond, creating a sense of competition, I believe it can also bring them together. I always enjoy mother-daughter shopping experiences as we have appointed each other as our unofficial wardrobe advisors. We constantly ask each other “How does this look?” “Do you think this would work on me?”. There is a big difference between dressing like a teenager and the desire to be stylish. I have been in the women’s department and I can honestly say there are not as many choices to pick from. Most women’s clothing is baggy, frumpy and shapeless not to mention unsuitable for my small frame. Some women, like my mother, are forced to shop in the juniors section because women’s sizes are merely too big for their body type. Older women should not have to feel they are committing a crime by dressing in a fashionable, yet sophisticated manner, even if it means they shop in the junior’s department. This, however, should not give women a licence to wear anything they want such as short skirts or body bearing hemlines. Some fashion should be deemed inappropriate beyond a certain age and saved for the younger generation (though I don’t support the younger generation wearing them either). Should women be able to dress like their teenage daughters? Yes and no. Women should not be limited to merely the women’s section of the mall. They should be able to freely roam the junior’s racks if they wish without being subjected to a critical eye. However, women should take into consideration their age and what would be deemed age appropriate for them to wear. Style is ageless. Fashion is timeless. Society need not put an age on the label tag. Women can look fabulous without dressing like a teenager.

Model Disclaimer


From the time we are a little girl most of us dream of becoming supermodels. Little do we know, the world of supermodels is less than glamorous for most. Is it our social upbringing that makes up emulate models? According to various polls, most models were not regarded as highly attractive from the general public (so I’m not crazy). There are many reasons not to engage in model worship. One, they are forced to starve themselves or engage in outrageous dieting that may result in getting fired even if they are only a fraction of a pound over the ideal weight. If you haven’t heard, anorexia can lead to hair loss, missing periods and other nasty side effects. Much like Jean Rhys’s “Mannequin” (if you haven’t read this short story you need to get yourself acquainted with it) models are pushed and prodded backstage as they are stuffed and fitted into sample size clothing pieces and pushed out on display for everyone to view and critique. There is little regard for the model themselves as they are used, abused and treated like an everyday mannequin that can be man-handled and treated with disrespect. Many supermodels, contrary to popular belief, were seen as tall, lanky freaks who were mercilessly teased and picked on during their adolescent years. Their only place of acceptance seemed to be in the world of other tall “freaks” who walked the fashion runway, displaying on their bodies works of art. Most of their time is spent in a chair having others pull at their hair while jabbing them with make up sticks and mascaras. Because of this practice some models begin to experience thinning hair and their skin suffers from the vast amounts of makeup that is painted onto their face. Why would you want to be subjected to looking like a clown? Most models wear such heavy, outrageous makeup it feels more like a circus show than a fashion show.

This reminds me of a girl I once knew in high school who was a professional model. She starved herself most of the time and claimed that she had dyed her hair so many times that it was starting to fall out. A few years later I had a dance instructor who worked for a hair company and pursuing to become a Rockette. She had to dye her hair so many times that it started becoming frazzled and damaged. There were many accounts of backstabbing and bitter criticism among the other models and Rockettes behind each others’ backs. If you’re looking for a self-esteem booster and assurance, this is not the career for you. After hearing their stories I couldn’t help but feel pity for them as well as disgust towards the lucrative business of fashion and beauty that only convey to women that they are flawed. “You need to change” they will say. “You need this operation” they will say. I say “Who died and made you ruler?”.

For those models we see in the magazines, more often than not their faces and bodies are heavily retouched with state of the art technology. Women were not meant to fit one standard mold. Women’s bodies were meant to be curvy, not straight and flat. Note that some women are born without curves which we hold nothing against them. According to Darwinian theory, males tended to pick those with bigger breasts and butts. Bigger breasts meant a mother was able to supply food to her young child while a big butt signaled that she had wide hips which are more suitable for childbirth. How we came to the idea that anorexic is beautiful may forever remain a mystery. Models like Gisele and Coco Rocha are very fortunate unlike many of their other counterparts in the industry.

Image courtesy of: todayjokes.blogspot.com

Fashion Pangs


How far would you go to wear the latest trend even if you knew the potential risks it could have on your health? Would you risk it? Would it be worth it? Most fashion we see today is not designed in a practical way nor do designers have these concerns in the forefront of their mind. Fashion is a statement piece that we subject ourselves too despite the toll it may have on our physical body. They say pain is beauty but at what cost? I was first introduced to this subject when I was watching an episode of America’s Next Top Model. During one of the photo shoots, a model was forced to wear shoes that were too small for her feet and subjected to criticism when she didn’t keep an energetic vibe. After viewing this horrid display of unconcern in which models were treated like plastic mannequins my thoughts were “Hello! They’re too small for her feet! Can’t you get a bigger size? How do you expect a model to be happy and smiling when she has daggers on her feet?”. The fashion world sometimes can be very crude and impractical if you ask me. Fashion is designed and aimed at audiences that don’t exist beyond the runway. While it may be an artistic display of a designers achievements, most women would not wear half the creations in everyday life. Even items that are made for everyday use are not built for the everyday wear and comfort. Those high heels and heavy bags may look good now but eventually it will lead to a future filled with legs, back, shoulder, spine and neck problems. For those of us who love high heels, they may be the worst fashion piece of them all. Not only do they alter the natural shape of the foot but also your overall balance. High heels have been known to increase the forward curve of the spine while tipping the pelvis forward, therefore shifting the body’s center of gravity. Other fashion culprits are tight, body clinching outfits which restricts and changes bodily movement which the body must compensate for. Also, when carrying heavy bags that are more than 10% of your body weight, the body will become imbalanced, the legs and arms will be less coordinated, while the spine curves towards the shoulder bearing the most weight. For those of you who are college students, colleges are notorious for forcing their students to carry massive books to class not to mention extra materials such as notebooks and folders.

Note that I’m very notorious for putting my own health at risk for the sake of fashion but for the most part I try to be cautious of what I wear, otherwise I will later regret it. I never dress in high heels or anything fancy for college. Let’s face it. It’s college. Nobody really cares how you dress unless you’re going to a party.

Here are a few other tips to consider when choosing fashion options that won’t detriment your health. Choose wisely.

1. Purchase comfortable, long-lasting shoes. If and when wearing heels, be sure to take a pair of flats (Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats are amazing!) to change into when they start to become uncomfortable.

2. If a shoe if only semi confortable when walking around in the store, walking in them out on the streets will be even more painful.

3. Don’t wear clothes so tight that you can not breathe or move properly in them (talking to you Beyoncé with you super tight mermaid dresses. she had to be helped up the stairs because it was so tight.). I know it’s tempting to show off your body or create the illusion of a slim body to impress a guy but in the long run you’re doing more harm than good.

4. Select bags that will allow you to distribute the weight equally throughout your body, or frequently switch hands and sides.

5. Remove unnecessary items from your bag that may prove more of a burden and weigh you down.

 

Zalando UK


While browsing my email box I came across an email from Zalando’s Online Marketing representative and was more than happy to explore the fashion site. While Zalando is the UK’s online shoe shop, don’t let the title fool you. While they’re main focus is shoes they also offer an array of clothing and accessories from different brands and vendors. These brands include Diesel, Guess, D&G, Nina Ricci and Tommy Hilfiger just to name a few. They have successfully create a website which can easily be navigated while providing a pleasant online shopping experience. Their shipping is unquestionably fast (“flash shipping” as their customers would say) while offering a wide range of payment options from Visa to PayPal. For those of you who currently reside in the UK, I highly encourage you to explore the Zalando link as well as my top 3 picks on the right sidebar. While they do not currently ship to the United States, there is always the possibility of this option being available in the future. As I’m sure you will find out, it will be difficult to checkout with only three items.

Image Provided By: http://www.idreamto.be/?p=478

New and Improved


Here is a new and improved article that I did for another fashion site pertaining to Lady G’s Monster headphones.

Here is the full article or you can view more at http://www.fashion-tips-and-trends-for-all.com/techno-chick.html.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years it’s that fashion extends beyond just clothes and accessories.

It has taken over the technological world as well. One could say apple has become a style icon for fashionistas around the world.

Ever since Lady Gaga stepped onto the Hollywood scene, she has constantly altered our perspectives on fashion and art.

One of the ways she has broadened our view is by inventing her very own trademark headphones which go by the name of “Heartbeats”.

These headphones consist of a triangle-shaped earpiece with little metallic triangle pieces displaying in the front.

Little hearts lovingly encircle the “L” and “R” indicating where the earbud is to be placed. No longer are earrings the ultimate ear accessory.

These earphones serve as fashion jewelry on their own. Aside from being a fashion statement, they produce a vibrant sound which resonates in your ears while blocking out the outside environment. Fashion has just defined gravity and taken over a new world all their own.