Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Going Green With Vintage and Used Designer Clothes

English: The Community Closet Thrift Store
English: The Community Closet Thrift Store (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Ashley Balstad

Are you still trying to find the "look" for you? Are you trying to find a way to look good and express your individuality at the same time? Or is it just too costly to do so? Here are some answers to all of these questions:

The "Back in Time" Look

People have tried many different tactics to find what suits their style. Some have tried to look like they just stepped out of Hollywood. Others try to pull off the "I just rolled out of bed" look; but if you are looking for something that isn't too hard to keep up yet still stylish and appropriate for everyday life then you should think vintage clothing.

Vintage clothes take the simple beauty of nature and old styles and put them together. Vintage and retro clothing are based on styles of previous eras. A mainstream theme of vintage clothing is prints, specifically floral and animal prints. Accessories also use animals, flowers, and gemstones as their basis of design.

Many people today are concerned about "going green". Wearing vintage clothing is one way to do this. The act of buying vintage items means you are recycling them. Some people are concerned with the fact that reused clothing means that it is less durable.

This is actually false, in older times clothes were made to be more durable, which means vintage clothes will last longer and look prettier over time because they were designed to be wearable. Even if it is not your favorite style it's trendy, it's fun, and it's easy to pull off on a daily basis.

Not for you?

Some people like to stick to their comfort zone, and for many Americans that is designer clothing. A large amount of people want modern or contemporary looks, but cannot afford it. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word say used? Most people would say old or dirty. However, used clothing isn't like that, if you know where to look. Used designer clothes are very popular today. People can get the fashions they want for the prices that they can afford.

Some can't stand the thought of stepping foot into a thrift store. Some feel that they are above thrift shopping. The common misconception is that they are messy and hard to find what you are looking for. Luckily, nowadays you don't have to. Online thrift stores are becoming more and more popular today.

Online shopping is beneficial because most of the time you can go straight to what you are looking for instead or going though racks and racks of unsorted clothing. Another advantage of online thrift stores is that you can find more items than you expected.

If you go designer clothes shopping in a mall you have to go into every store to view the different brands. With thrift shopping you can find all different brands in one place. Not to mention, you would spend half as much as you would buying designer clothes in a mall.

Don't know where to look?

If you are having trouble locating these great fashion finds, The Attic is a great place to start. They are a family owned and operated online thrift store that sells vintage clothing as well as used designer clothing. They are extremely affordable and highly recommended.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Sixties Fashion Revival - Return Of The Hippie

Two hippies at the Woodstock Festival
Two hippies at the Woodstock Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Mike Kliem

The 1960s was really a revolutionary decade. It highlighted an era of change and post-war citizen awareness.

People, especially youth, dressed in a way that expressed rebellion towards fixed and commonly accepted notions and social norms. They experimented and handled experimentation with a sense of responsibility for their actions.

It had also become a time when the world acknowledged the strength of the economy and for people to stay resilient. The 1960s witnessed a major paradigm shift in the way the world viewed experiment and innovation. It was an era that paved the stage for the 'information and communication revolution' that ushered in the 21st century.

The fashion naturally displayed the innermost recesses of the human psyche that was undergoing much change. The changes related to women's empowerment, and various issues relating to human rights and racial equality were reflected in the acceptance of casual, comfortable attire.

Who were the Hippies?

Hippies were part of a youth movement, composed of the younger generation and teenagers between the ages of 15 and 25. These youngsters or hippies rebelled and criticized middle-class values, embraced elements of non-Judeo-Christian religions, opposed the Vietnam War, promoted sexual liberation, and created intentional communities, often considering their tribe as a new religious movement.

Hippies favored "peace, love, and personal freedom over political and social orthodoxy. The hippie fashion was embraced by the youth and even seniors across the continents, in the 1960s. The focus of the decade and later years was on the vibrancy of the apparel and accessories and not on what others thought about a particular appearance.

People, generally, sported clothes that they felt expressed themselves and their individualism and not for the sake of pleasing the regular line of fashion. The empowering rock music and world-wide protests against social stigmas like apartheid churned out the blue jeans and denim.

It was the era of casual attire; an age when people felt that drug addiction was okay to experiment with. The hippies, as they were commonly described by the 'prim and proper' and socially answerable citizens, designed a whole new lifestyle of their own.

1960s Hippie Fashion

1960s hippie fashion comprised apparel that would probably appeal to only the youth of today. The baby boomers, also called the flower children, did not hesitate to flaunt flowers in their hair, much like the customs and sights of the orient.

In the west, the hippies also indulged in body painting, body piercing and tattoo body art. Not much of this was ever appreciated by the older generation. The men sported long, loose flowing hair like the women.

The 'free look' comprised not focusing on what others thought of their self-expression through apparel, believing in 'equality for all' and protesting against social evils.

The hippie fashion statement was a rage with the youth. It showed signs of fading out as they grew older. They pretty much lived up to The Days of Our Youth are the Days of Our Glory! Unlike the formal business environment today, back in the 1960s, the hippie fashion trends offered clothing for work and leisure with a very informal and casual look.

The clothing was a form of counterculture and very nonconformist. The personal expressions of people and the times resulted in easily recognizable styles that made a major impact on the contemporary world.

The fashion was derived along the 'anything goes' line. Hipsters and bell-bottom jeans, ankle fringes, flower patches and peasant blouses were all part of the fray. T-shirts and skimpy halter-neck tops were part of everyday wear. Women wore long skirts and dresses that redefined what was 'acceptable'.

The hemlines were difficult to digest for the conservatives of the era and the micro and mini skirts were a cultural shock. Short skirts were worn with knee-high boots, while the long flowing skirts were considered better matched with sandals. Flowing ribbons in the hair or the dress was nothing unusual.

Flowers strongly emphasized the hippie movement. They were used to represent peace and love. Tired of the toll that World War II took on culture and economy, the hippies sported floral patterns on dresses and skirts and jeans. Artificial flower tiaras and real flowers were worn in the hair.

Hippie Hair and Jewelry

During the hippie movement, men and women grew their hair long and avoided fussy styling and hair products, as braiding hair was popular, although, contrary to popular belief, they did still shampoo. Usually hair was parted in the middle and bang-less.

During this time period, long sideburns were the thing for men. Fashion accessories during the time also included bandanas and other headgear and scarves. Hippies accessorized their hair with flowers or little hair clips or a colorful headband across their forehead. A skinny ribbon tied in the back of the head with long easy flowing hair became a legendary look throughout the 1960s.

Women's jewelry was mostly based on nature or from Native American or any similar handmade designs. Any necklace sporting a peace sign with beads was hugely popular. Jewelry that made music was highly desirable since music was an essential part of the hippie scene.

Necklaces that featured bells as pendants and jangly ankle bracelets were a favorite among women. In general, the ankles received a lot of attention, especially amongst those living on the warm west coast, because many hippies preferred to go barefoot.

Hippies rebelled against the post war ugliness in the world and turned the interest of fashion designers towards as much natural splendor as possible. The youth movement affected the teen fashion industry in a major way.

Trends keep changing with time, but girls that found their own individuality and style in the 1960s have never let it go and passed much of their own hippie influence on to their daughters. For more on fashion please visit Forever 21 Fashion

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Mods - Lifestyle, Fashion and Music

A promotional photo of British rock group The ...
The Kinks (Photo credit: Wikipedia).
By Jade Jennison

The 1960s introduced a complete new variety of youths to Britain and shook the world for years to come. These youths brought mass media coverage and called themselves 'mods' coming from the word 'modernists'.

It was neither a fashion style nor a music genre but a lifestyle. This group of people were the first youths that did not have to go out to work since the World War began so spent their extra money on stylish clothes and general entertainment.

This rebellious stage was for the typical working-class youngster who would prefer to spend their money on clothes; vinyls and alcohol fuelled events rather than food. Although these people were labelled as 'good for nothing kids,' there is no denying that the excitement of the culture and styling of the clothing is extremely appealing.

The Mod revolution was begun by 'teddy boys' who were influenced by the rock and roll which was being released in America and were generally well-known for their immense fashion taste. These stylish and wealthy young men and women dressed to impress with the men wearing slick suits inspired by an Edwardian style whilst the women sported a similar expensive fashion.

Working-class mods were inspired by such style but rebelled against the typical Edwardian suit-wearing teddy boys and created their own sense of fashion which is still seen as stylish today.

With the up-rise of mod subculture the music industry exploded with the likes of The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and more who fit into this specific music category. These types of people generally enjoyed socialising in music-filled all night clubs and coffee shops. They preferred to travel on Lambretta scooters accessorised with lights.

The typical male mod would be sporting either a full-tailored suit or a polo shirt, similar to the Fred Perry polo shirts manufactured today, and would almost always finish their outfit with a parka coat or a Harrington jacket. They had a specific style of haircut and always wore tailored shoes.

Female mods would wear flamboyant dresses, mini skirts and blouses with distinctive hairstyles and smart shoes.

As this typical style became more commercial, models, most famously Twiggy became the epitome of this particular fashion era. This caused a huge stir for the scene as it was no longer a distinctive lifestyle but becoming popular all across the country upsetting the scene and allowing it to eventually die out.

Despite this fact, some people attempt to relive such an important fashion within history by purchasing similar items to the previous mod style. Films like Quadrophenia and the introduction of The Jam to the music scene in the late 1970s early 1980s were both stimulated by the past and such fashions began to rise again.

Famously Paul Weller, the face of Fred Perry and frontman of The Jam, sported a look similar to the mod-style which is still achievable now.

In this modern day, clubs and fashions are still influenced by this particular style and it is still possible to get a gist of such an amazing era.

Jade Jennison is an enthusiastic writer in the subject matter of fashion and aims to provide information to people who share the same interests as her own. The websites recommended by Jade have been thoroughly researched and come highly acclaimed from direct experience. Achieve the mod look with Fred Perry Polo Shirts from Charlie Browns Menswear.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sixties Fashion: Carnaby Street, London

Hi everyone, Have a look at this for a bit of fun. A blast from the past looking at London 1960s fashion. Enjoy!