Fashion Theory – How To Calculate Your Clothing Budget

I suggested to Aisha, a recent client, that she invest in a durable leather handbag. Aisha argued that she simply couldn’t afford to spend upwards of $300. The remarkable thing about this was that once we analyzed her recent clothing purchases we realized that she was spending about $300 monthly on clothing! Aisha was actually suffering from sticker shock and had kind of become accustomed to buying quantity instead of quality. The end result was that her closet was essentially bursting at the seams with discount and poorly constructed clothing. In the end, Aisha was in effect spending $3,600 annually (nearly 10% of her $37,000 salary) on a wardrobe that lacked both function and style.

Establishing a budget is a very difficult question to answer from a general perspective because everyone’s financial and clothing situation is different. If you have a job that allows you to work in a casual environment where some of your everyday clothing can be incorporated into you daily work outfits, I would estimate the overall clothing allowance to be somewhere around 7%. For those that work in a more professional office environment where you are expected to dress the part and dressing the part may overall affect your promotion-ability factor; I would estimate around 10% of your salary. Keep in mind, this budget should include the costs of alterations and professional cleaning services. It is also important to note that if you are maintaining a household on this salary, i.e. you have children or a spouse you must allocate a portion of this amount to their clothing allowance as well.

Example 1: Aisha works in a business casual environment. Her salary is $37,000. Her clothing allowance is: $2,590.

Example 2: Elaine works in a professional business environment. Her salary is $85,000. Her clothing allowance is: $8,500.

1. Invest in Investment Pieces: Investment pieces are just that – “investment” pieces! So, don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on the classics which are required to create a functional wardrobe. Discount stores such as Marshalls, Century 21, and DSW could produce some very valuable finds, however it is important that you don’t become distracted and divert from the standard classics when shopping at these stores. For classics, I recommend shopping at a formula store. A formula store is typically a specialty retail store that stocks key basics. Some great formula stores are Gap, Ann Taylor LOFT and The Limited. The great thing about a formula store is that once you find the sizes and styles that suit you best, you can shop there season to season with little difficulty. These are great stores for purchasing a classic a-line skirt, trousers, jeans, button-ups, and tees, tanks and camis of variety.

2. Don’t Be a Label Whore: When it comes to beautiful dresses, handbags, shoes and scarves there are some designers that are simply ahead of the par, however to simply focus all of your efforts into collecting clothing that has a designer label tag regardless of how flattering or well-fitting the item is – is simply not a good option.

3. Do Apply The Cost-Per-Wear Concept: To get back to the example I gave previously of Aisha spending $300 on a leather handbag. The leather handbag is an investment piece which can be carried for months or possibly years to come. If Aisha carried this handbag for just six months her cost per wear would be $50. I discuss the Cost per Wear Concept in more detail in a recent post.

4. Don’t Charge: I know to some people this may seem unthinkable; however I think whenever you shop with credit cards you are always tempted to get caught up in the emotional buzz of said item and go well over your budget. If you’re carrying a lot of debt (particularly from past shopping activities) you really need to think long and hard about plunking 7-10% of your income towards clothing. A simple rule of thumb I often use is “Don’t buy it unless you can afford to buy two.” No, I’m not saying that you should buy two of everything; rather what I am suggesting is that every time you buy something, you take that same dollar amount and apply it towards paying off debt or towards savings. So in effect, that $300 handbag will now cost you $600; $300 to purchase and another $300 in savings or debt payment. The amount of your clothing budget should match or exceed the amount you are saving or applying towards debt repayment.

5. Make It Automatic: Now that you have established your clothing budget, the only sure fire way to stick to it is to make it automatic. Here are two great ideas for actually staying on budget.
Low Tech Option: If your budget allows for $200 to be spent a month on clothing. Place this amount of cash in an envelope. When shopping for clothing only spend what is in the envelope. Once this amount is gone you have exhausted your clothing budget for the month.
High Tech Option: Set up a separate checking account (I suggest an ING Orange account) and have a specific amount deposited into your account periodically; for example $50 a week. When shopping for clothing only use the debit card associated with this checking account. The nice thing about this option is that if you are not someone who shops on a weekly or monthly basis the money continues to grow towards your much anticipated shopping spree.

6. Maximize Your Budget: A pair of Jimmy Choo shoes is no longer $500. It’s $500 minus the $165 you will get for selling them on EBay the following year. EBay and consignment stores are a great source for stretching your clothing allowance. If you don’t have a lot of designer clothing in your closet you can still receive some financial benefit from making a tax-deductible donation to your local goodwill or charity.

Ladies Golf Clothes – Guide to Ladies Knitwear

Think of golf clothes and a golf sweater, probably with an Argyle pattern, is most likely the first thing to spring to mind. Knitwear is synonymous with golf and as such there are a wide number of options to choose from. A great sweater is a much smarter option than a sporty fleece, it will last for years and styles are unlikely to date. They are also a great fashion item so if your golf outfit needs an instant fix why not update your look with one of this seasons on-trend colours?

Style option 1: Lined sweaters Lined sweaters fall into the practical category – generally they are designed to be worn as outerwear as they have a woven lining to help keep the wind out. If you are looking for a more elegant alternative to a fleece they are a good option as will keep you warm and snug whilst still looking smart. Often these styles have a turtle neck with a zip opening and some will have a Teflon coating to protect against drizzle too.

Style tip: Brighten up a practical lined sweater with a contrast coloured or patterned scarf. Zip neck styles work perfectly with scarves as you tuck them inside for a warm and on trend look.

Style option 2: The classic sweater You can’t beat a great mid weight sweater for versatility. This classic golfing item comes in patterned or plain versions and can be worn season after season. V-necks are more flattering if you have a larger bust and can be teamed with a polo shirt for a smarter look. A crew neck is more practical and warm and it’s a good idea to have a couple of each in your golfing wardrobe to suit all conditions and occasions. Also look out for sleeveless sweaters which are ideal for the summer months.

Patterns: The traditional Argyle pattern – made of diamonds in a diagonal checkerboard arrangement – is a golfing classic. Go for a smaller scale pattern if you are looking for a more elegant style or a bolder large scale if you like to make a statement. If the Argyle look is too bold for you then why not try a cable knit? This is a style that has a patterned stitch and adds texture to the surface of the sweater. Often these styles are one colour and are an easy way to add a subtle detail to your outfit. Stripes have a great sporty appeal. Again, horizontal stripes can make you look broader, so go for a softer tonal colourway if you want to avoid this. If you have small shoulders and want to add emphasis here then stripes are the perfect pattern for you. Spots and dots are a great choice for all body shapes and have a fun, feminine appeal, they do tend to be more trend lead though so you won’t find them every season. Style tip: Patterns that run in a vertical direction will elongate your figure, while those running horizontal or across the chest area can broaden it – so be careful that your selection will flatter your shape.

Style option 3: Cardigans Although cardigans are less popular than sweaters, they are still a good choice. Often golfing cardigans are zip through and have a sportier look rather than using buttons. They make a great choice in the spring and summer as you can easily layer up or down depending on the changeable weather.

Fabrics:

If you are looking for a season round option go for a wool, lambswool or wool mix style. If you are looking for luxury or a treat then cashmere or a cashmere blend can’t be beaten and can be worn all year round (perfect for chillier summer evenings). Wool has natural stretch and breathability and many performance wool items, often made from Merino wool, will move with your body for the ultimate comfort. They also help to keep you warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s warm thanks to their thermo regulatory properties. For the spring and summer you may prefer a lighter cotton or merino wool fabrication. Many of these styles are now machine washable which is a great practical advancement.

Style tip: If you have a pear shaped figure and want to draw attention away from your hips, then team dark bottoms with an eye-catching or contrast colour sweater.

Technology Like with many sports garments seamless technology has also been incorporated into knitwear. This means that an item is produced in one entire piece rather than consisting of separate parts and then stitched together. The advantage of seamless knits is that of superior comfort. By eliminating often bulky seams at the shoulders and sides you get a much better fit and the natural elasticity of the knitwear is not interfered with.

Still can’t decide? With so much choice around it is often difficult to choose – especially if you are looking for a gift. If you are unsure then opt for a good quality plain style. If you have paler colouring then softer colours tend to be more flattering – darker skin tones can take bolder, brighter shades. This season’s top shades Golf is a sport known for its vibrant colours and bold looks, so don’t feel like you need to be a shrinking violet when making your choices. A classic palette of navy and black can easily be updated with vibrant shades to suit the season. This winter look for deep reds, strong blues, chocolate browns and light greys alongside the golf classics of pale blue and power pink.

The Classic Look in LDS Clothing Now Growing in Popularity

Who could have guessed that LDS Clothing would become what it is today?.. and that is one of of the fastest growing fashion trends on the market. However; for those who have been wearing LDS clothing all these years, it really comes as little surprise.

A Truly Classic Look and Style

It’s a classic look that hearkens back to the mid 1800’s, to a time when men dressed like men and women dressed like women. Clothes back then were also far more functional sand comfortable and women didn’t feel like they had to expose themselves to look attractive.

Bonnets Caps and Hats In LDS Clothing Boutiques

Also as clothing accessories, such as bonnets faded from the fashion scene several decades back, designers of LDS clothing stubbornly hung onto to them and other simple yet very becoming LDS clothing accessories. Now they have been rewarded handsomely with new international recognition for their fashion foresight.

Always Stylish Totes , Shoulder Bags and Purses

Flip through any top fashion magazine today and you will see “new” styles in voluminous tote bags and purses that have replaced leather with heavy duty natural fabrics. The truth be told, bags totes and purses just like these were always available at LDS clothing venues and boutiques long before they were in “style”.

LDS Clothing and Fashion Accessories For the Woman On The Go

LDS clothing and fashion accessory designers have always known that what women really wanted from a purse or tote bag was room to carry with them all the things that they would need throughout the day. How can someone fit a sewing or knitting project in small purse or clutch?

The CTR Ring – Just a Little Reminder

To finish off the LDS clothing ensemble there is the always classic CTR ring. This unique piece of jewelry feature the letters CTR which stand for (choose the right) set against a green background. The CTR ring is a great way to accessories any LDS clothing ensemble with a little reminder to always make the right choices while you are out.

Fashion and Apparel Clothing: What Binds Women Together

A woman’s wardrobe is often considered off-limits to other people, especially men. You will not be able to see or enter these private spaces without uttering the password. Here’s a hint about the password: it’s a word that rings a bell to every woman’s ear. If there is a word that depicts femininity and womanhood, that would be the password. The magical password is none other than ‘fashion’.

Truly, you cannot enter woman’s private space without having some knowledge about fashion. Fashion is the blood of every woman’s social and psychological life. A good taste in fashion enables women to interact with different kinds of people. Fashion helps women feel good about themselves, enabling them to confidently strut along streets. Fashionable pieces of clothing highlight a woman’s assets and contours.

Take a look at women’s wardrobes, and you’ll see that most of their clothes look alike. Fashion experts recommend women to stock up on classic pieces of clothing for timeless fashion statements. Classic pieces of clothing such as shirts, jeans, and dresses do not go out of style. Unlike pleated skirts and puffy sleeves, plain shirts can be paired with almost any clothing item.

An elegant black dress is a must-have for every woman. A stylish black dress can be worn to many social gatherings – from an ordinary cocktail party to a formal gathering. A simple black dress like like Alternative Apparel clothing can be worn in the workplace, too. Simply match the dress with slacks or leggings, and accentuate the outfit with pearl accessories. In an instant, your outfit gives off a stylish corporate vibe.

Other classic pieces in a woman’s wardrobe are sexy stilettos and perfectly-fitting jeans. Stilettos, like the black dress, are flexible wardrobe pieces. They can be worn to any occasion. Similarly, perfectly fitting jeans, such as Alternative Apparel clothing can be paired with almost any kind of top.

Often, men misunderstood women’s love for fashion. You need to understand feminine psychology before you can judge a woman’s love for clothing and apparel. Classic pieces of clothing, such as Alternative Apparel clothing are essential in every woman’s life.

Try Being Classy Adopting a Classic Style With Your Outfits

There are certain fashion trends which never die and which always succeed in making a good impression wherever they are represented. Such a fashion trend or a style to be more accurate is the classic style, one that can get you out of trouble on any occasion and which always catches the eye if its rules are obeyed. However, if you don’t obey its rules, your results can be disastrous.

If you are looking to adopt the classic style, you should be looking for designers such as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss or Levis, these being maybe the best-known designers who have helped the classic style earn the attention and popularity it has today. Being classic also means following classic examples, may we refer to classic designers or to classic fashion or outbursts.

The signature pieces of this style start with the knee length wool coats and the silk ties and go on with the white dress shirts and the impeccable suits and trench coats. The classic style also stands in pieces such as sleek dress shoes, cardigans, cashmere sweaters and scarves, all these having a serious and somehow simple touch which makes them appropriate for a great variety of occasions and events.

The classic style leans towards the French clothing style, being built around colours such as black, gray, navy, white or camel which emphasize the characteristics of the classic way of dressing. Some other characteristics of the classic style would be the sense of quality, the sense of simplicity, the sense of persistence and seriousness. If you are such a person, the classic style is your characteristic style and you will never have problems as far as your image is concerned if you obey the rules of the classic way of dressing.

Therefore, if you have what we define as a classic person, you should also go for the classic style when it comes to clothes and you will always have an impeccable image because the classic style is also impeccable. Choose classy and you will also gain more popularity and appreciation from everybody around you.

5 Best Women’s Clothing Options for Summer

Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas? Or have fun during spring break? Summer has arrived swiftly and it’s time to get creative with fun summer outfits! Every woman should have some essential summer items in her closet – whether it’s simple shorts or dresses, you can mix and match your most important clothing items and create memorable outfits! If you could choose 5 summer clothing items to include in your wardrobe, these are your best choices-these items are versatile, easy to wear and offer comfort during summer days when you need to not only look good but also feel good in what you’re wearing.

#1 High-waisted shorts

Shorts with a high waist have been a classic item in a woman’s wardrobe for decades. but in recent years they have been extremely trendy among young people, and for a good reason. The upper part of the shorts shapes a woman’s body beautifully, hiding her belly and accentuating curves. It is a very flattering clothing item if you need a bit of tummy coverage or if you want to create the illusion of having more curves. High-waisted shorts are a very versatile clothing item since you can style them in so many great ways- you can pair them with a simple top tucked in at the front or wear them with a crop top, which is perfect for hotter days! High-waisted shots are a truly versatile clothing item that will not be going out of style any time soon.

#2 Cargo Shorts

If you’re into a more classic, European look, you will definitely have fun wearing cargo shorts. They are chic and yet super comfortable and allow you to experiment with different styling options. Cargo shorts can be combined with a simple t-shirt and sneakers when you need to run errands or just feel very comfortable. They can also be dressed up by pairing them with a blouse and high heels. Whether you’re dressing for a casual event or for something more chic, cargo shorts are an excellent choice for looking good and feeling comfortable at the same time.

#3 Crop Tops

Crop tops aren’t just a trend from the past- they are here to stay. Very easy to pair up with different clothing styles, sexy and flattering, crop tops come in different shapes and sizes. You don’t have to go for the skin-tight top if you don’t feel like it-crop tops can be loose-fitting or just barely cropped, the styling is only limited by your imagination! You can wear a simple crop top with all kinds of skirts, shorts or jeans and look great. Crop tops can be paired up with high waistlines, maxi and miniskirts, casual jeans or flashy, patterned pants. Dare to show a little skin, it’s summer after all!

#4 Summer Dresses

Want a truly classic summer item? Take a pick from dozens of unique patterns and colors and wear a classic summer dress to work, the beach or to a party. A Summer dress doesn’t have to be just a long dress, there are so many styles out there, flattering to different body types and complimenting different styles. Maxi dresses are feminine, flirty and they are very easy to wear. Go for a bold print and leave the rest minimal and you will have a quick outfit you don’t even have to think about-just slip on the dress and you’re ready to go! If you love to accessorize, consider a more minimalistic dress, preferably in one single color. You can style a simple dress by adding a statement necklace, contrasting bag or a headpiece. Maxi dresses are one of the easiest summer clothing items to wear and they are so so comfy!

#5 Rompers

Rompers have made a huge comeback. They are very easy to wear and style and, like maxi dresses, don’t require a lot of styling. Due to having shorts part on the bottom, rompers can be a great choice if you want to wear something short but don’t want to worry about being uncomfortable or showing a bit too much by accident. Just slip a romper on, pair it with a cool belt and you’re ready to go! Another trendy way to style your romper is to pair it with a kimono and sandals. But romper can also look very sophisticated- pairing it with a blazer and heels can look very classy and yet still have you feel comfortable throughout the whole day.

Body + Clothes + Personality = Harmony

For much of the 20th century women thought that their clothing should “mask” what was beneath. Thankfully, that thinking has pretty much gone by the way-side; however, many women still try to cover their figure flaws by wearing clothing that does not follow the natural line of their bodies. It may sound odd, but the best way to accentuate figure assets and draw attention away from figure flaws is to wear clothing that conforms to your bone structure.

To determine what clothing will harmonize with your body you need to look at these four areas; your shoulders; your waist and your hips. What you want to look for is whether the bones in these areas are rounded our angular. Take for example your shoulders. Do they curve gently from your neck into your arms – or are they a straight line into another straight line from your neck to your arms? When looking at your waist; does it curve in and back out at your hips – or does your waist have little, or no, curve to it? Are your hips straight and somewhat narrow – or do have a very definite roundness to them?

Please DO NOT think that rounded is “fat” and angular is “thin”. That could not be further from the truth! We are looking at the bone structure underneath the skin…NOT the amount of flesh covering those bones. You might be rounded or angular in all four of these areas however, most women are rounded in one or two areas and angular in the others. If the latter is you, then you are a hybrid…not rounded or angular, but a combination…just like an egg. Its oval shape is part rounded and part angular.

A side note: An oval (hybrid) face shape is considered the perfect. This shape allows the most freedom in hairstyle and clothing neckline choices. A rounded or angular face shape will limit the shape necklines that look the best on you. Rounded or princess necklines will frame a rounded face whereas square necklines or deep v-necks will be the best choice for an angular face or square jaw line.

You create harmony between your body and your clothing by choosing fabrics and clothing lines that follow your bone structure. Where you are rounded you should choose soft, flowing or filmy fabrics; gathers ruffles and bows. Accordingly, stiffer-bodied fabrics in clothing with straight detail lines such as pleats and darts will create harmony with angular bone structures.

Every woman has her own unique personality traits that determine the kinds of clothing she is most comfortable in. It is important to consider your personality when making clothing choices. It does not matter how beautiful your clothing is OR how great the color is on you OR how much your friend likes it…if it does not suit your personality, the overall impact will not be as harmonious as it could be. Your body language will tattle on you when you are not mentally comfortable in what your wear.

Women with dramatic personalities want to draw attention to themselves. They will choose trendy styles, bold colors and designs and dramatic accessories. Your message when you walk into a room is – look at me. A textured sweater tunic in a jewel tone with neutral leggings and boots suit you perfectly.

Those of us who are practical, meticulous and cost/quality conscious are comfortable in well-made coordinated classic clothing such as a classic blouse, skirt and princess flats. We are at ease with our message – my style is timeless.

However, if your idea of a perfect outfit is a little dress and a strappy heeled sandal, you probably love to dress up and would never be caught dead without your makeup. It is very important that your message convey that – you are always put together.

Comfort at all cost – is the final message some of us want to convey. We are athletic, natural galls who are drawn to natural fiber, “no-fuss” clothing. What we wear is not as important to us as whether they are functional and comfortable.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to personal style. However, each style type has its drawbacks. •Dramatic women must be cautious that they do not steal the show when that is not appropriate.

•Make certain, if you love classic clothing, to mix it up a bit so that you are not boring.

•Frilly, filmy dresses with heels may appear too “sexy” for an office work setting. Save the look for evening.

•Natural style woman have to work at dressing up when that is what the occasion calls for.

In other words, whatever your style signature is – use some creativity and ingenuity to match the occasion.

This is one part of fashion that is ALL ABOUT YOU! So have fun and enjoy making harmony between your body, personality and clothes!

Designer’s Classics of Today is Modern Vintage of Tomorrow

Discovering the timeless pieces of today that will endure

When I look at the fashion styles in today’s Vogue, W Magazine, or Bazaar, it is hard to see what might turn into a vintage classic of tomorrow. Some of designer clothes are too arty to be considered, and are only photographed for the now – most of which I would deem unwearable anyway. I have a few designer’s original things hanging in my closet right now that was passed on to me by my mother and gained incredible value over the years.

When you are twenty, no trend seems too far out, and the classics appear downright prudish. Then, reality hits somewhere closer to thirty, and when we are responsible for everything. The fashion faux-pas start to look a little more ridiculous, and get a bit expensive. As we age, certain things don’t look as good, or right anymore. I think that is just fine, because the wisdom gained is invaluable, and we know that those trendy pieces tell a story later in life.

What’s important to know is how to add value to your fashion wardrobe without wasting clothes. Look to a little bit of fashion history to know what pieces remain timeless, and are worth owning twenty years from now – the little black dress, the luxury handbag, or an exquisite blouse. It starts to take hold somewhere around age 27, when you realize the value of certain items. You want to become that individual, and get away from the cookie cutter mall rats.

I would recommend finding that designer boutique that gets to know you. The individual attention you receive is invaluable, and you know you’ll be procuring better items for the long run. My favorite style associate will call me when she sees items that suit my style, and she’s honest in telling me how I look. Boutiques will hold trunk shows for their favorite designers, where you can be the first to order the upcoming season’s looks, and know that you are purchasing quality that endures. Designers produce limited quantities of their items which brings exclusivity and value. This is what makes your wardrobe more distinct and individual to your style.

Vintage Clothes of Tomorrow… What makes a timeless piece? “Designs that have strong individuality, signature style, and a sense of mystery” says Natasha Leratti, a High End Miami based Fashion Designer and Stylist. While it is hard to say exactly which modern pieces of today will make statement point of tomorrow’s vintage, there are some pieces that make obviously choices. The “Little Black Dress” that combines classic lines with a little flair will be one that can be updated with the modern shoes and accessories, regardless of the decade. A simple cut jacket can be instantly updated with a modern shirt or jewelry underneath. Designer Clothes that are classic, with unexpected elements will be tomorrow’s vintage – a romantic silk blouse, an embellished shift dress, or a crocodile handbag will be choices I would look for.

When you shop for vintage today, you should be prepared to pay more for better designer clothes and fashion accessories, just as you would new. If an item is well made and cared for, then it will last for years. The details of the designer items have been paid attention to, and are worth the extra. The early creations of Christian Dior exuded a charm and grace that is quite timeless in design, yet is easily modernized with a blend of today’s chunky jewels, architectural heels, and colorful handbags. Head to toe vintage can look too much like a costume, so the unity is key.

Designer Auctions are great opportunity to find new as well as vintage items. You never know when someone does not realize the significance of a piece and you can pick it up for under face value. It’s important to do your homework when buying vintage to know if something is worth the price.

Our design philosophy revolves around the idea of buying for tomorrow. We offer Collections daytime and cocktail dresses, as well as evening skirts, knits, and fashion accessories that exude a couture flair for today, and quality to be the vintage of tomorrow. Her keen design sense makes her a frontrunner for the modern woman’s fashion wardrobe. She can creates one of a kind couture items that are resold on Auctions and Trunk Shows. That kind Clothes will last a lifetime, gain in value and become classics you pass down.

My Best Wishes To All Fashionably Fabulous Women,

Your Fashion Guru and Stylist,

Natasha Leratti

Classic Women’s Summer Fashions Are Nautical, Seersucker, Country Checks, and Tropical Prints

Four flattering and classic looks in women’s summer fashion are

  • the nautical look
  • crisp seersucker suits and dresses
  • country cotton red-and-white checks
  • and tropical print fabric.

How flattering any style is depends on how it looks on you. Buy clothing that fits or spend money to have it fitted. Check the finishing for hanging threads and loose buttons. Choose fabrics that feel nice against your skin and drape well.

The nautical look can be achieved by pairing sparkling, crisp white with darker shades of blue. A horizontally-striped cotton knit T-shirt is a good start. Add earrings with a nautical motif such as an anchor, dolphins, seahorses, or a ship’s wheel. A hemp braid belt and comfortable rubber-soled deck shoes complete this fashion style.

We no longer see many blouses with the traditional large, square sailor’s collar. MIddy blouses, as they were called (for midshipman, a rank in the Navy) were popular in years past and may come into style again.

Red is a dramatic accent color. Try red shoes, bag, and belt to spark your white-and-blue nautical ensemble. Red lipstick is appropriate, if you can find a shade that complements your skin tone.

Red-and-white cotton checks are another summer fashion classic. County checks have an easy-going, cheerful look, especially in carefree cotton. Stick to a smaller check so you don’t end up looking like a picnic tablecloth.

Country red checks are ideal for a pretty blouse or a summer sun dress. Pair the blouse with bright yellow shorts or yellow accent sandals and handbag, for a combination that is fresh. Fred Perry has two styles and a handbag in red-and-white checks for summer 2009. This is an innovative way to add this classic women’s summer fashion to update clothing you already own.

A third summer fashion classic is crisp, cool seersucker suits and dresses. This timeless cotton fabric traditionally is a subtle stripe of white and an alternative color, with little puckers in the white stripes. Ironing is mostly unnecessary because of these natural wrinkles in seersucker natural cotton. Today’s stretch blends make it easier than ever to wash and air-dry seersucker suits, dresses, and blouses. Seersucker is perfect for robes and sleepwear, too.

Once upon a time, the only seersucker color was pinstripe navy blue and white. Now, stripe widths vary and occasionally we see a seersucker check. Gray and white, green and white, red and white are among the expanding range of colors for seersucker clothing.

A fourth summer fashion classic is tropical print fabric. Hawaiian print dresses, blouses, and shirts evoke umbrella drinks and white beaches.

Tropical print fabric became popular in the wake of World War II, chiefly as patterns for draperies and furniture in the warmer United States. These big, bold tropical print fabric designs have been scaled down for the colorful shirts and dresses we wear today. Florals and travel themes are among choices you will find available for women’s summer clothing.

To wrap it all up, four summer fashion wardrobe investments that will pay off for years to come are the blue-and-white nautical look, red-and-white country cotton checks, crisp seersucker, and tropical print fabric in shirts, dresses, and skirts.

The Historical Development of Corporate Clothing

Corporate clothing or work wear, the clothing worn by a great part of the population, is seldom written about. However, the history of it does deserve some attention, as it is inextricably bound up with social issues of the day.

Diana de Marley, produced an interesting review of corporate wear and staff uniforms for the artisans and professionals during the twentieth century. She stated that “after the First World War most professional work wear was in black, as so many people were in mourning, however during the 1920’s grey suits became more common.The battle was on between frock coats and top hats versus lounge suits and bowlers hats, as people selected their corporate clothing.

The short jacket gradually replaced the frock coat, and at the same time the lounge suit became more popular among the working class. They wanted to wear suits, even if they were shoddy. The short jacket and trousers were the modern version of the hip length jacket and knee breeches that they had been wearing since the seventeenth century. The lounge suit had none of the inconvenience of long frock coats, so the workers adopted it in great numbers to such an extent that black lounge suits were accepted as Socialist suits, worn by some into the 1950’s.

When Gordon Selfridge opened his London store in 1909, the male staff had to wear black suits and the women black dresses with high necks. After the War in the Twenties the girls were allowed white blouses, black cardigans and black skirts. The men still had black suits. This was typical of all corporate uniforms for large retailers of merchandise at the time.

A great many uniforms followed fashion. The girls working for Heinz wore long striped blue dresses with gigot sleeves, white aprons, and large white caps to cover their hair. During the Twenties staff uniforms in food factories changed to shorter skirts and lower waists, and in the Thirties the waists went up and the hems went down as part of the return to a more feminine look. It put companies to a lot of expense, but workers did not like to look dated when the cinema made them more conscious of changes in fashion.

A large part of the working population worked on the land during the early part of the twentieth century. Even by the late 1950’s one man in twenty still worked in agriculture, however by the 1980’s this had fallen to one in a hundred. The old labourers who had stuck to their traditional clothing wore heavy corduroy trousers, boots, and leather leggings called buskins in Suffolk and corduroy waistcoats with a cloth back. The old sleeved waistcoats in corduroy were so thick a jacket was not necessary for work wear.

The Great Western Railway prided itself upon its smartness and looks, which characterized just how many companies, expected their workers to represent the corporate image. The GWR rule book of 19333 stated:”when on duty be neat in appearance, and where supplied, wear uniform, number and badge.”

In the mill towns “the first sound in the morning was the clumping of the mill girls clogs down the cobbled street” wrote Orwell in 1937.Clogs continued into the war, along with the tartan shawl , calf length skirt and dark stockings. In the cotton factory their now traditional pinafores continued as the principal form of protection for work wear.”

With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the shift of labour towards the towns, the gradual development of occupational dress suited to the job in hand occurred.

In recent times, we now see more emphasis in corporate clothing and work wear related to the service sector, where the corporate image and brand awareness plays a more important role, and the perception of the business to its customers is ever more important, reinforcing the need for classic corporate wear.