Knitting and Haute Couture

Merry Christmas 2014!

So I went looking for examples of knitting on the catwalk / knitting high fashion, and here are some examples of what I found. C'est knitting haute couture! :)













8 Winter Fashion Tips for Men

Honestly, most men know almost nothing about fashion and how to make themselves look good. It is like their mother's maybe tried to teach them, but teenage rebellion led them to become a skaterboy with a very different view of fashion than their parents.

Thus whether you are shopping for yourself, or you are a female shopping for the man in your life here are some winter fashion tips geared just for men.

Tip #1. Think Tight.

Tighter clothes are warmer than loose fitting clothes. Buying a big jacket may look warmer if you have a "bigger is better" mentality, but tighter clothing traps heat in better. Tighter clothing also makes you look more attractive, so it is a win-win.

If you can find a jacket with a hood, that is good too. Or just wear a hoodie under your jacket.

#2. Black or Brown Leather Winter Gloves.

Leather gloves made for winter are durable, warm and stylish. That is the trifecta right there if you are into horseracing metaphors.

#3. Knitted Hat or Toque.

Go knitted and thick. Honestly it doesn't have to be a huge hat with earflaps to keep your head warm, but you will want something that covers your ears.

The grey knitted hat below is a great example of what to look for. It covers the forehead and ears, looks great and it is very warm.


#4. Think Dark - Black, Brown, Charcoal or Grey.

Darker clothing traps in heat better. The blacker and darker the better. Ask a physicist to explain why, but basically black clothing doesn't reflect light, and it then stores light as heat energy inside the clothing. This means you are warmer because you are wearing clothing that isn't reflecting light/heat rays away from you.

#5. Winter Boots = Fur Lined.

The anti-fur people are going to hate me right now, but yes real fur is warmer than synthetic fur. Much warmer. So much warmer it doesn't even bear comparison. Thus if you can find winter boots that have fur lining, they fit you, they are comfortable and they look great that is something you should definitely purchase.

Below are examples of the same boots in tan brown and black.



#6. Neck Warmer or Scarf.

Whether you prefer scarves or neck warmers, there are plenty of different styles and materials to choose from. Knitted, fur, infinity scarves, etc.

If you don't get a scarf or neck warmer and you are outside on a cold windy day you will really notice the difference and be regretting not having one.

That or just stay inside all winter. Your choice.

Whatever you do just don't buy the neck warmer / ski mask that is designed to look like a giant beard. That is just wrong. Wrong. Bad boy. Stop wearing that ugly thing!


#7. Long Johns.

Last but not least, keep your legs warm by getting several pairs of long johns. They keep everything below the waist a lot warmer than your jeans ever will. Plus they are surprisingly sexy, although I admit it helps if you have the right body for it.


#8. Accessorize!

Honestly, this is the part where I encourage men to get creative. Basically think of an activity to do, take whatever accessories you need to do that activity and then go do it.

Ice skates over your shoulder as you head to the ice rink.

Take the dog for a walk outside. (Please don't make the dog wear anything impractical. If it is to keep the dog warm, fine, but if it is just for looks you are just torturing your dog and should be imprisoned.)

Fur cloak (although where you would buy this, I am not sure). Ponchos work equally well in my opinion since they are so warm and fashionable. What activities can you do while wearing a poncho? Skiing, ice skating, walking the dog, strolling by the icy/windy beach.

Leather Handbag Giveaway

I love free things. People should give away free samples of their fashion products more often.

Click the following link to visit Stearns & Foster to enter your name in the draw to win a free leather handbag.

FREE HANDBAG GIVEAWAY

The handbag is a limited edition Hammitt handbag created for Stearns & Foster. Enter by liking them on Facebook.

American Made Luxury. Superior Craftsmanship. Timeless Design.

Handmade with the finest materials by master craftsman.

Visit the Stearns & Foster facebook page to enter for the chance to win a limited edition handbag by Hammitt.

Black Jeans, Business Casual

Note to self!

Buy black jeans for business casual events, poetry club meetings, etc.

Additional Note - Some brands, Walk Street for example, market specifically to people looking for business casual jeans. The top two photos here are from Walk Street.




Wearing the Same Thing Every Day

Let us pretend for a moment that you find a piece of clothing you really love wearing all the time.

For example lets say you really love white sweater dresses and you just wear them all the time (like the character Lana Kane in the TV show "Archer"). In case you are unfamiliar with sweater dresses, they are basically a sweater with a skirt attached. See the photos below.





Now is there something wrong with wearing the same things all the time? Not really. It definitely makes doing laundry easier if all your clothes are white, and you can still have some variety in terms of what styles of sweater dresses you have - or if you really love one specific style of sweater dress then you could just buy 10 copies of it. That way when you go to the closet and decide what to wear you don't really even have to think about it at all.

Although I do admit sometimes it will be too hot outside to be wearing a sweater dress - in which case you will probably want white knitted swimwear, white t-shirt, white shorts, etc. (Think of all the time you will save not having to worry about what to wear!)


Of course eventually inevitable happens and someone dies. Which means you have to wear black to the funeral. So you just get out your one and only black sweater dress.


Wearing the same things all the time is actually something frequently done by various successful celebrities. Here are some examples.

President Obama always wears grey or blue suits. He is a busy man after all and doesn't have time to be worrying about what to wear. He even explained this:

"You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits" [Obama] said. "I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make."

Steve Jobs wore a black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day during his final years.

Mark Zuckerberg wears a gray t-shirt with a black hoodie and jeans when in public.

Albert Einstein wore several variations of the same grey suit all the time.

Having a diverse collection of clothing is overrated anyway. We waste so much time worrying about what to wear when in reality what we wear often doesn't really matter. Thus if you can pick something fashionable and then just stick with it, you will always be fashionable.

If you pick something that is timeless, looks great regardless of whether it is for work, play, formal or informal, well then you really don't need to worry about that any more.

And the sweater dress is one of those garments that you can do that with. It is good for everything, can be matched with pants or leggings for colder weather or you can choose to wear a sweater dress that is more airy when it is hot outside.

A sweater dress doesn't have to warm or thick during the summer months so it can be made with much lighter fabrics.

Organic Cotton Clothing

Organic Cotton Bra from rawganique.com
Organic Cotton Blouse from Etsy

Organic Cotton Hoodie and Shirt from Horny Toad
Are you looking for ethical clothing? The most ethical clothing you can get in the world is made from organic cotton.

Want to know the fastest way to get clothing made out of organic cotton? Just browse Etsy.

Etsy has 473,000 pages of organic cotton clothing!

AMAZING!!!

One BIG Fashion Tip for Vegans

On the PETA website ( see http://features.peta.org/how-to-wear-vegan/ ) they list acrylic, nylon and polyester as being "vegan materials" - totally ignoring all of the animals and even humans who are killed so the oil industry can make petrochemical fabrics and plastics.

So apparently PETA is okay with people wearing fabrics in which animals were killed in the Alberta Tar Sands to make oil to make petrochemical products.

Remember anything containing nylon, polyester, rayon or so called "synthetic materials" means animals were killed during the process.

Tar Sands = Oil = Petrochemicals = Polyester Shirt = Dead Animals killed by the Tar Sands




So basically what PETA is saying is "It is okay to wear clothing that indirectly killed animals, just so long as you are not directly killing animals and wearing those animals skin or fur or wool."

Learn more by reading Fashion Accessories for Vegans.

Conscious Evolution

If you are looking to lose weight and want to do it in a healthier manner, one way to do so is to become a vegan.

Check out book the Conscious Evolution by Lyn Rose.

Lyn Rose is a vegan writer living in Toronto and writes regularly on her blog Beautiful Vegan.

290 pages, full colour, vegan recipes and more!

If you are looking to make a healthy change to your diet consider reading her website or buying her book.

If you live in Toronto and are looking to lose weight then try getting a certified personal trainer from CardioTrek.ca.

Live well, eat well, exercise lots, and dress to kill!

Fashion Accessories for Vegans

Alberta Tar Sands Duck
Veganism is not just about what you eat.

For those who become vegans due to ethical reasons, veganism is an entire lifestyle that encompasses every aspect of life. When you become vegan you must not only think about what you eat must think about what you wear, what you use to clean your apartment, how you get around (choosing to use a bicycle or public transit instead of gasoline cars fueled by Alberta Tar Sands oil), where you go to have fun, what you teach your children. It really is about changing every part of your life so that the choices you make are cruelty free, animal product free, animal ownership free.

However this is no easy feat as most of the products we use on a daily basis has been touched by an animal at some point even indirectly. Even the plastics used in the packaging are from petrochemicals, which means that in Canada they're from the Alberta Tar Sands - which is a nightmarish ecological disaster of biblical proportions. The Athabasca Tar Sands alone is so large you can see it clearly from outer space, encompassing a space 200 km wide east-to-west and 400 km long north-to-south - roughly 70,000 square km. That is roughly 4.5 times the size of Israel.

Billions of metric tonnes of oil and tar from the Alberta oil industry is killing all the animals in the region - and killing fish and wildlife downstream from the tar sands too. And giving people in the region cancer from tar getting into the drinking water.

So if you live in Canada (and to some extent the USA, who buys a lot of the oil produced in Canada) every time you use gasoline in a car and every time you buy a product containing plastic or petrochemicals, then you are indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of animals and thousands of people in Alberta.

Alberta Tar Sands Ecological Disaster
So regardless of whether you are eating food at your favourite raw vegan restaurant in Toronto's Bloor West or going shopping for a new jacket, you need to start making vegan-friendly decisions.

Holding true to your vegan beliefs for ethical reasons means:

No buying leather.
No buying fur.
No buying anything containing an animal product. (Including certain types of dyes.)
No buying anything made of plastic or petrochemicals because animals/people were killed during the process.

These principles becomes even more complicated to stick to when you try to apply to non-food categories like fashion. You start to ask yourself "Is there such a think a vegan clothing and if so where do I find it?"

Well, if you are vegan you can rest assured that there are vegan clothing options available and below we will look at some fashion accessory options for vegans.

You can get belts, wallets, bags and even shoes at vegan exclusive stores both on the web and in the real world. These are real vegan products that provide you will a stylish option that adheres to true vegan values.

The belt on the right is from Roots of Compassion and is 12 Euros, and is made from polyester and steel. However polyester is a petrochemical product, so while it has "vegan" on the belt, the fact that it was made out of petrochemicals means that animals may have been killed during the process of getting the oil out of the ground.

If it was made out of cotton however then we need to consider whether the cotton was grown organically (with zero pesticides), so organic cotton is something you want to look for when looking for vegan fashion items. If you see the word polyester be suspicious.

Child Labour is popular in Bangladesh
Another thing you may not have considered it that when you look for a vegan product you may find some options in the stores, but often these products might have been made with low wage labour in poorer parts of the world. Child labour laws don't exist or are unpoliced in various parts of the world, thus making it very cheap to have clothing made there using forced labour, child labour, sweatshops, etc.

Veganism does focus on treating animals well both in life and death, but that does not mean that humans should be left out of the equation. It is truly in the spirit of veganism to try to ensure that the products you purchase treat humans being with dignity and respect as well and animals. Many fashion accessories do just that if they are vegan. They can provide you with the peace of mind of buying a product that treats all species well.

Vegan Vs Leather Products

There are always cotton options if you want to wear vegan clothing. Cotton is a natural plant product that if grown organically and without any animal byproducts or effort can be one of the best vegan products available to a practicing vegan. But if cotton is not your thing then why not try vegan faux leather products (faux leather = fake leather).

Yes, that's right, you can get faux leather products that look like the real thing. This includes products from belts to bags to wallets. Vegan belts can run you from $34 to $100 and are made from faux leather and cork. Bags come in a range of styles and colours including brown, black and teal. Bags can be made of vegetan bucky material, ultrasuede or nylon for $90 to $229. Wallets are also available in similar colour, materials and styles for $24 to $60.

Note: Nylon is also a petrochemical, so remember all the ducks, geese, fish and deer that got killed to make that nylon if the oil came from Alberta or other tar sands around the world.

Vegan Shoes

Vegan shoes come in a variety of styles even the most popular styles that most people look for including Uggs and Doc Martins. Shoes are often made of similar materials that the belts, wallets and bags. Of course prices vary with the style and materials, but prices can be from $99 to $199. These shoe options are not only stylish but will put your conscious at ease for being animal cruelty free.

There are many options available to vegans in terms of fashion accessories. They can look like real leather and come in styles that we are already familiar with. There is not need to think that because you are vegan you cannot walk the runway. Not at all, in fact your vegan clothing can turn heads and treat people and animals with dignity.

Okay, go back to drinking your vegan smoothie now. Hopefully you are drinking it out of glass instead of petrochemical plastic.

Lapel Pins

Why Are Lapel Pins So Commemorative?

The lapel pin is something that a company can give to a faithful worker or someone who has given their life's work to something great. There are also pins that can be given to people who have a place at company, and this will help to identify people in the office. The best way to make the most of these pins is to decide who to give them to. When these are given out, people feel like they are the most special people around. It builds morale and it helps to commemorate people who are wonderful for the community.

Laureate or Emeritus

When people are designated as the laureate or emeritus of a certain position, they need to be given these pins to show that they hold this status. The senior pastor emeritus of a church should have this pin so that he or she can show that they hold this standing in the church. The same could be true for the conductor laureate of an orchestra. These are positions of honor, and the people that hold them should have something that denotes that position.

The Executive Board

The people who are on the executive board of a company should have these pins so that they can show people that they are of high standing. They help to identify them to the people in the office, and they help the person to be identified when they are at large gatherings. There are many ways to honor the executive board, and the board should feel like they are special.

For Service

When someone is honored for many years of service, they should be given the chance to show off that service. These pins will give people a chance to show that they have been around a long time, and they will have a good time feeling proud of the things they have accomplished.

The best way for people to be honored is to give them the lapel pins that make them feel great. The business can contact us today to get the pins that are going to make people feel their best.

Beauty Pageant Dresses - How to dress to win

Three tips for a winning pageant look

Whether this is a first pageant, or if you are seasoned in the circuit, there are some strategies that might give you an edge over the competition. Take time to consider three valuable tips when preparing to compete against other women for these much-coveted titles, and take some advice from retailers and businesses that have been dressing women of all ages for beauty pageant competitions.

Three tips to consider include the following:

- Be distinct yet not too unique. A dress that is timelessly styled, though perhaps with some unconventional detailing is a better idea than a gown that pushes the boundaries of what is expected and anticipated at a pageant.

- Black is always an elegant choice. It is rare that women choose black in pageants typically, and there are some sensational styles that really spell out elegance and sophistication. Take a special look at some of the beautiful Alyce pageant dresses found online, for example.

- Just because it costs more doesn't mean it will be more beautiful. Sometimes the cost has little to do with the overall impact and impression that the dress makes on the stage. Look to the experts and those who have experience dressing women for pageants to determine the styles and shapes that will create the most alluring silhouette on the runway. These individuals know what the judges are looking for, and they will share their opinions when asked. Appreciate their input and try to not let your own personal tastes take too much of a stake in the apparel that might be the most practical for these competitions. While a bit of personal flair is definitely a good thing, there are some tried-and-true standards and some features that are revered and that really come to life on the pageant stage.

When investing time and money into these competitions, it pays to take some feedback from any professionals or former contestants who have a sense of what is and is not best-suited to competitive pageants. There are some amazing retail venues found online with a wide range of gowns and apparel that are perfect for an upcoming pageant. They will also be able to help incorporate these three tips into one winning look just for the contestant herself.

Proper Tattoo Etiquette and Fashion Tattoos

Yes, There Is Proper Etiquette for Getting Tattooed

While it may seem somewhat surprising, there is a proper etiquette that your tattoo artist expects you to abide by while you are getting inked. Gone are the days when a tattoo parlor was home to only the gruffest and toughest, and most tattooists today are artists in every sense of the word. In order to ensure that you and your artist both have the best tattooing experience possible, it is necessary for you to understand what is expected of you before you ever enter a tattoo parlor. Since the work that you will have done is permanent, it is absolutely vital that you are well-versed in the etiquette of the tattoo world.

Be Explicit With Your Request, Not Demanding

When you walk into a tattoo parlor, it is best to have a very clear idea of what you want for your tattoo. If you have a specific image in mind, try to bring in a high-resolution version of that image. If you have a general concept in mind, it is helpful to bring in some references that the artist can use in creating your tattoo. If you want to end up with the best-looking tattoo, allow the artist to give you some input on the final design. This is important because there are many occurrences in which an image that looks good on paper will not look good on your skin. Your artist is much more familiar with the medium than you are, so listen to their advice.

It is also important to avoid being demanding. Think of your tattoo more like a collaboration between you and the artist, as this will make you both feel better about the concept of the tattoo and about the end result.

Make an Appointment in Advance

Even when walk-ins are accepted at a tattoo parlor, you are much better off scheduling your appointment in advance. This will allow you to check out the tattoo parlor and meet the artist before you ever get tattooed. It will also give the artist plenty of time to work on creating your tattoo, making it much more likely that you receive a high-quality tattoo. It will also ensure that the artist will not be rushing to “squeeze you in,” or that you end up working with an artist whose skill set does not line up with the type of tattoo that you want.

Keep Your Breath Fresh

When you actually go through the process of getting tattooed, you are going to be in very close quarters with the artist. It is therefore important to ensure that your breath smells fresh and that you will not be offending your artist for the duration of the tattoo. While the majority of artists are professionals and will not mention it, they will be offended by it nonetheless. Carry some fresh breath spray with you, and use it before you enter the parlor.


Make It a Goal to “Sit Well”

One of the biggest compliments that you can receive from a tattoo artist relates to “sitting well.” This means that you did not complain or fidget throughout the tattoo, which makes the job of the artist much easier. You should know that there will be some discomfort, and you should make it a goal to make the job of the artist as easy as possible. When your tattoo is complete, thank your artist and make sure that you tip them well for their efforts in providing you with a permanent piece of artwork.


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