Fashion Vs Silly Gossip

FASHION - Why do fashion magazines often have gossip about celebrities in them?

To me it would make more sense (and appeal to more women's brains) if the magazines contained more feminism or politics. Issues that people can really talk about, discuss and try to change things to make the world a better place.

Gossiping about which celebrity is pregnant and who they are sleeping around with isn't going to change anything. That stuff never changes.

In other news I've noticed a lot more celebrities are now wearing cowboy hats casually... now if only we could get the politicians and feminists to wear more cowboy hats eh?

Just kidding, I know that will never happen.

But I do think there is some politicians and feminists who could use makeovers to make them look more professional.



There is this photo of Barack Obama, but he only did it for a photo shoot. He needs to be wearing his hat more often.


Business Casual = Confusion

FASHION - Note to self... don't wear a hoodie to work, even if its "Casual Fridays".

The term "Business Casual" can be rather confusing... you can get away with small things. Little bits of casualness. Not too much however. No bikinis for obvious reasons.

Lets say you have a good understanding of your company's policy allowing business casual attire.

And then one day you get pulled her aside by one of the IT staff who then tells you it is inappropriate to wear Bermuda shorts, sleeveless tops and capris. Seriously, the nerd is telling the fashionista what she can and cannot wear... Has the world gone completely upside down???

Each generation seems to have a different idea of what is acceptable in the workplace... and in such a situation you can't help but be offended. Seriously. Capris! Get a life loser!

On one occasion I was actually not allowed to attend a meeting because my attire was deemed 'inappropriate.' People my age are taught to express themselves... but then when we enter the workforce we're supposed to shut up and do what we're told. We're told to follow our own initiative and think for ourselves, and then told to suddenly become brainwashed zombies... maybe our schooling system should be training sheep instead?

I mean let's say we go to a Toronto accountants school and we're taught to keep track of numbers on computers... sounds pretty dull right? So dull they could probably make a computer program that could track numbers and do accounting for us, erasing the need for accountants in the first place.

In which case we shouldn't need to dress like boring accountants, right? If we replace all the boring jobs with computer programs the only jobs left should be creative jobs, which implies workers should be encouraged to be more imaginative in terms of their artistic freedom.

Next: Are flip-flops appropriate business casual attire?

How about Crocs? (I'd argue Crocs are a fashion don't wherever you are!) They belong at home in your backyard, maybe the beach (if you don't care who sees them), or maybe in greenhouses or sunrooms. Any place you would normally wear sandals, but not necessarily want to be seen in them.

Anywho back to the office...

Business casual has become a staple of the office, but some idiotic companies are trying to enforce rules that set at least a minimum standard of dress (and this minimum is sometimes raised to gestapo like levels). These companies are increasingly enforcing more formal attire, despite calling it "business casual". Its become an oxymoron (smart idiot). Especially at meetings or on days when clients may visit the office, it reaches a point where you wonder what exactly is acceptable in terms of clothing (when in doubt, ask the HR rep, that way if someone asks or says your clothes are inappropriate you can pass the buck to the HR rep who said it was okay).

As summer heats up and fashion trends become even more laid back, employers are wrestling with how to adopt dress-code policies that encourage both productivity and professionalism... and I'd argue that if they really want to enforce gestapo black suits in the height of summer they had better have a good air conditioner in the building. Because if the AC is shoddy, don't expect people to wear thick clothing...

Business casual is a largely popularized topic in the dot-com crazed Silicon Valley. The argument has permeated the workplace, with 60% of employers allowing a dress-down day at least once a week, according to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

And a backlash is brewing: The number of employers allowing casual dress days every day has plunged from 53% in 2002 to a new low of 38%. Eventually this has to reach a tipping point where people rebel against these often idiotic rules.

And what is even sillier is what is acceptable for "blue collar jobs". You know, work men. Construction workers, factory workers, and so forth. The type of people who fix Ottawa roofing, build decks, dig holes to put in pools, you get the idea. What is acceptable there is a t-shirt and blue jeans. Show up in something different and you will be open to ridicule by the manly men.

So this idea of appropriate work attire isn't limited to the office.

The reason for the return to more dressed-up attire is, in part, is because of the confusion generated by business casual standards. Companies will often lean towards the more gestapo-esque clothing rules when in doubt and then it just becomes a slippery slope.

Lets say for example that flip-flops aren't allowed. What about tennis shoes, jeans and shorts? Sleeveless dresses? T-shirts? Younger employees are more likely to push the envelope, which annoys more veteran workers who have long worked in offices where ties and shirts were expected no matter the day of the week. Such people resent younger workers breaking the rules they've become used to over decades being broken. Meanwhile employers resent becoming fashion police and having to solve disputes between generation gaps (and often managers are older themselves and thus err on the side of the older workers).

Are Casual Fridays getting out of hand?

"It started with casual Fridays and got out of hand," says June Webb, a fashion consultant in Alexandria, Virginia. "Now companies are starting to clamp down a little bit. They've found women have a tendency to show off too much skin, and men tend to show up in clothes that are wrinkled and not ironed."

Seriously. They want us to iron our clothes for "casual fridays"? I have never in my life ironed a pair of jeans.

Despite the push towards gestapo fashion, employer policies still run the gamut and often don't bother to write any official rules down, preferring to handle things on a case by case basis. I'd argue this is because it makes it easier for them to fire people on short notice for "inappropriate attire". An useful tool for bosses who want to fire people and are just waiting for an excuse. Show up wearing capris, get fired.

According to marketing firm McGrath/Power in Santa Clara, California they used to allow shorts, T-shirts and baseball caps on Casual Fridays. But now they require a more businesslike attire, with business casual including 'slacks and skirts'. Like its a school uniform at a prep school.

At McGrath/Power there have been situations where employees were asked to take off a baseball cap, leave on a sweater or not wear something again. With the third warning, employees are sent home to change.

"The pendulum has swung," says McGrath/Power CEO Jonathan Bloom. "We went through a too-casual period. … In the aftermath of the dot-com bubble, we tightened things up a little. When we were very casual, the quality of the work wasn't as good."

Bullshit. Nothing to do with the quality of the work. The economy prior to the dot com bubble bursting was skyrocketing. Unemployment was down. Job satisfaction was up. Companies were in the black (the red is the bad one, because that implies you are bleeding money).

Meanwhile in Auburn, New York, the city manager made headlines in April when he banned most city employees from wearing jeans on Fridays, a day that had long been reserved for casual attire. His office did not return calls seeking comment.

In contrast IBM has thrown out dress codes altogether. Once known as a traditional company of button-down shirts, cuff links and pinstriped suits, today it's an anything-goes approach. People just use common sense.

"As society has changed, so has IBM," says Donna Riley, the human resources vice president at IBM. "We do have a Birkenstock crowd in some of our locations. Many years ago, it was a suit and tie for men and skirt, dress and stockings for women. [Today's policy] says we trust our employees to use good judgment."

General Motors, where suits were once expected, now is also much more casual. Perhaps this is because the managers want to feel more relaxed around their blue collar employees. Not everyone gets away with this however. Employees representing GM to customers, suppliers and visitors are expected to dress consistently with the norms and expectations of the meeting or event, officials say. Business casual does not include athletic shoes, jeans, shorts, tank tops or sweatshirts.

Procter & Gamble also allows employees to dress more casually than in previous generations. Ford Motor Company has a casual business dress code, which is more laid back than 15 or 20 years ago.

"We ask them to use good judgment," says Marcey Evans, a Ford spokeswoman.

Imported Blog: Black Super Models

Hey folks!

I have just imported some older blog content from a different blog I run called Black Super Models. Most of the posts date back to 2007 and the reason behind the blog was to draw attention to the SHORTAGE of black supermodels. Sure there is a few out there, but I wanted to draw attention to the fact that there is no shortage of African models out there worthy of being paid more for what they do.

Amongst the posts imported are collections of photos of:

Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell (obvious choices because they're more well known)

Tyson Beckford (a male supermodel you will probably recognize)

Ajuma Nasenyana (much less well known, but no less worthy)

See my post on Black Supermodels being Left Behind.

I will add more to this post later, I am off to the beach now...

Guide to Fashion Sketches

FASHION - The intense competition in the fashion industry makes it important for any fashion designer to showcase the designs to a larger audience. This can be done by creating fashion sketches and displaying them on the Internet.

The sketches give an insight to the fashion fraternity and also to the common audience on the concept behind a particular fashion design. It is a way of communicating the theme to the people associated with the apparel industry. Hence, they are extremely important for any fashion designer.

Fashion sketches are illustrations made by professional artists and designed in a way that they can be easily displayed on the Internet. They portray the true creative genius of the designer. These can be considered a blue print of the final product.

The perfection in making sketches is a prerequisite as they serve as the main marketing tool of the fashion professionals. The sketches reflect trends and the value added features of the design. They can also be used to evaluate the various patters used by different designers.

Fashion sketches are important, since they are the preliminary designs that have to be taken to the different apparel manufacturers in the market. The sketches are then used to select the different fabric samples from the wide range on offer.

Computers are increasingly being used for the purpose of making fashion design sketches. Several software are now available that assist the designers in making the drawings. While some still prefer the traditional hand-drawn sketches, others choose to opt for the speed and convenience of computer-aided designing. Hand-drawn sketches can also be fed into the computer with the help of a scanner.

The art of making fashion design sketches is important for creating a niche in the highly competitive fashion industry. Fashion designers can make their presence felt only if their sketches are different and original. Good quality sketches are the only means of establishing a firm foothold in the fashion industry.

Is Fashion Design an Art Form?

The question of what constitutes "Art" with a capital T has been around for a long time. People pretty much agree that making a good cup of coffee is not an art form but there is still a lot of dissent about certain modes of expression like writing, movie making and fashion.

There is the idea that fashion cannot be an art because it evolved from sewing and tailoring which is a craft even though tailoring has been referred to as "architecture" and the draping of fabric across the body as being "sculptural".

Many designers make references to art and artistic theories and concepts in their work yet are nevertheless relegated to the ranks of the frivolous where haute couture is viewed as the fetish of the financially well-to-do.

And once haute couture and runway collections have been watered down for consumption by the general public then they are seen as nothing more than financial commodities and functional apparel in the marketplace.

Another reason why fashion is not considered to be art is because, as with film making, a number of people performing different functions take part in the creation of a garment, such as the designer, fabric producer, pattern cutter and seamstress to name but a few.

Because designers often don't work alone to produce a garment, they don't fit with the traditional view of the artist as a solitary genius and are therefore not considered artists even though their vision of what the garment will look like is their own.

In short, there is no clear-cut answer as to whether fashion is Art or not because there are so many ways to interpret and use an individual garment. It can be seen as protection from the elements, an expression of belonging to a particular socio-cultural group, as a personal form of expression when it is worn, or in its purest sense, as the embodiment of the vision of its creator, the designer.

Because fashion is so fluid and open to interpretation, it fits in with the theories of many disciplines and forms of expression, of which Art is only one.

Cruelty-Free Clothes

Fashion for Vegetarians, Vegans and the Animal Friendly

If vegan fashion is all about living a more eco-conscious lifestyle, then you may be wondering how it can possibly go hand-in-hand with stylish living. Can the two co-exist? Today's vegan designers prove that this is certainly the case, by refusing to sacrifice aesthetics to create an earth-friendly look. If anything, the inclusion of eco-friendly materials adds to the appeal of the fashion.

Sample Site: veganchic.com

Cruelty-free fashions come in the same wide array of styles and current trends you'd find in the mainstream market. From clothing to handbags and shoes and more, there is no shortage of great items to buy. Vegan fashions are made from plant materials, such as hemp, or synthetic fibers, such as rayon. Many of them also include recycled materials such as rubber and plastic. The dyes used are organic. No one will be able to tell the difference between vegan styles and mainstream looks, unless you let them know. Vegan fashions are durable, comfortable, stylish and even biodegradable, though they are also beautifully crafted to withstand many years of use.

The stylish look of Vegan fashions could easily fool those who still are not aware of this trend into thinking you are wearing real leather, suede, or velvet. They offer rich colors and textures and a bold fashion statement without the harm to animals or the earth. Any eco-conscious, animal loving individual will want to check this out and take advantage of the great range of vegan fashions that is quickly taking over the fashion world.

Sample Site: bboheme.com

You won't have to sacrifice looks or quality or spend a fortune to find beautiful, well-made vegan clothing and accessories. Take a stand against animal cruelty and environmental sacrifice by purchasing vegan fashions, and you'll know you are doing your part to promote a green and eco-friendly way of life.

Whether you are a vegan or simply recognize that wearing clothing made of leather or fur is not kind to the animals, you can make the switch to vegan clothing rather easily. Beautiful vegan fashions can be found in more and more retail stores, and of course a great selection can be found online. Many major brands and up and coming labels make vegan fashions these days, some for their own ethical reasons, and others because they recognize the changing trends and the importance of buying "green" products.

Sample Site: veganfashionblog.com

We all talk about going green, but what exactly does that mean? Many people see it as recycling and using organic products. Is it really all that simple? To go completely green means to recognize all of nature, including the other creatures inhabiting the earth. Do they deserve to be abused and mistreated just so someone can look good? No way. If you truly want to live as green as can be, take things up a notch and go for vegan fashions.

If you love vegan food I recommend beautiful-vegan.com.

See Also
The Rise of Eco-Fashion
European EcoFashion

Sexy Sweaters

FASHION - Its chilly during the Spring sometimes and if you wanna stay warm without having to carry a jacket everywhere I find sweaters and cardigans work quite well.

And better yet, sweaters can be quite sexy if you know what to look for that will accentuate your figure.

Evidently you need to exercise some brains when picking a sweater... the one below may look interesting on the catwalk, but is certainly not practical.



The one below may be good for showing off cleavage, but its lack of shoulders makes it look slutty.



I really like this one with the matching skirt and grey hat. See Fedora Femme.



Who says stripes and a turtleneck can't be sexy?



Nothing complicated here. Its not even tight fitting. The long length makes you look taller and thinner.



Try to avoid grabbing yourself. Yes. You're sexy. No need to brag about it.

Cowboy Hats back in fashion

FASHION - My friends and I think cowboy hats are coming back into style. We think its because of the film True Grit but maybe its just a cyclical thing. (We also think the film 'Country Strong' might have something to do with it, even though we HATE that film.)

Shown here is a Stetson black cowboy hat. Stetson was the inventor of the cowboy hat and is still considered the best company when it comes to making cowboy hats. (Like Levis inventing jeans.)

The thing about cowboy hats is that they can be quite stylish, while simultaneously looking adventurous.

To show you what I mean about how cowboy hats being stylish I've collected some images of various celebrities, athletes, supermodels and fashion models wearing cowboy hats.

I think the mere fact Emma Watson is wearing a cowboy hat signifies it has gained a wider acceptance as a fashion item, similar to how fedoras, swisses and hamburgs are so popular right now. See Mens Hats.

















The Tuxedo Hoodie

FASHION - A friend of mine in Toronto, a guy, wants to make tuxedo with a hoodie so he can wear it to art galleries and be (without a doubt) the kewlest dressed person in the room.

I admit, fashion conscious heterosexual men are a rarity, but I can say "You go man! You da man!"

The Fairies Pyjamas

FASHION - The Fairies Pyjamas is a cute little boutique shop in Toronto's Kensington Market (its easy to find in the alley of fashion shops) which sells a wide array of handmade clothing... and my favourite, arm and leg warmers!

For those that don't know, Kensington Market is just west of Chinatown and just north of the Queen Street West fashion district.

The Fairies Pyjamas
29 Kensington Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T2J8
(647) 343-1876

Check out thefairiespyjamas.com and don't forget to visit the other great shops in Kensington Market to check out great local fashion.

Afterwards I recommend stopping for espresso, tea (33+ flavours), coffee or whatever you fancy at "Espresso Etc" at 350 Dundas Street West, directly across from the Art Gallery of Ontario (just east of Chinatown).

Hungry? I recommend the Rol San Restaurant, north of Dundas on Spadina, or the Furama Bakery, south of Dundas on Spadina. Don't forget to check out the local shops in Chinatown for great bargains and items you won't find anywhere else.

If you want to make a day of it I recommend going on a Wednesday because it will be less crowded and the AGO is free on Wednesday nights.

Love Art History? The AGO is the largest art gallery in Canada and one of the top five in North America.

Recent Posts

Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Need to Advertise?

The FASHION SALON is accepting sponsors. Why? Because we're totally awesome and we can always use more shoes... and handbags... and shirts... jeans... you know, stuff!

Email suzannemacnevin{atsymbol}gmail.com and ask about our advertising and sponsorship rates.

Cardio Trek