Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer Clothes

Summer Clothes
With summer just around the corner, the mercury is all set to work without rest. Heat and humidity levels will be on the rise. Check our guide to summer clothes so as to remain cool and chic this summer!

Summer clothes - key to staying cool

Taking shorter, warmer showers and baths, more ice creams, drinking plenty of water, increasing other liquid intakes, taking foods high in water content or reaching for the air-conditioner alone can’t keep you cool in summer. Take care to protect the body from the harmful effects of the sun and make suitable changes to your dressing too. Bundle up spring clothes and make room for fresh summer clothes that can make you feel absolutely cool. Choose open sandals, shorts, t-shirts for that casual look and head for the beach with your sundresses, sunhats, bathing costumes and sunglasses.

Summer – dress appropriately

It is essential to dress appropriately during the summer months to avoid heat-related illnesses. The biggest organ of the human body, the skin should be pampered with good care. The soaring temperature and humidity levels during the summer months increase the amount of sweat the body produces in an attempt to cool off. Clothes made of fabrics that breathe help pull moisture away from your body and allow it to evaporate. You should choose fabrics that help promote sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass over your body. Give importance to the weight and size of summer clothes. Opt for lightweight, loose fitting clothes. Dark colors absorb heat; light colors make you feel cool. Ultimately, your summer clothes profile should be breathable, lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

Summer clothes fabrics

Always remember sheer lightweight fabrics will provide welcome relief from the soaring temperature. The best fabric for summer clothes is one that soaks sweat and gives you a cool feeling. Lightweight fabrics are thinner, the texture is soft, makes you feel cool and comfortable. Selecting summer clothes fabrics and colors is the first step towards gearing up for summer.

Cotton used since primitive ages, is the preferred fabric for maximizing ventilation to the body. Cotton is a natural fiber with a soft texture capable of absorbing perspiration. Clothes made of cotton are soft and comfortable. Chic, trendy or elegant - cotton is available in variety of designs and patterns all through the summer months. Shop for summer cotton outfits in variety of colors to epitomize stylish elegance and cool flair.

Yet another option during summer would be to wear fabrics made of cotton and polyester blend with a bigger proportion of cotton. Pure cotton summer clothes have to be ironed. The advantage of blended fabric is that the cotton will keep body cool and the polyester doesn't have to be ironed.

Denim is also a popular summer fabric. Made from tightly woven cotton, denim is breathable and sweat-absorbent just like cotton. But, compared to pure cotton, denim is heavier. Hence, go in for lightweight denim for keeping cool.

Linen too ‘breathes’, hence qualifies as a summer fabric. For thousands of years people living in the hot zones of the earth have preferred 100% linen fabric. Being a lightweight fabric, summer clothes made of good quality linen are soft, can absorb and lose perspiration quickly.

Summer clothes colors

With regard to colors, choose light colors for summer clothes. White is considered a summer season color. Going for white fabrics ensures a relatively high level of ultraviolet radiation protection. White color or any other light color fabric is light, airy and has versatile appeal. White can be matched easily with any other color. So, choose white tops and combine with blue denim jeans, bright skirts or neutral trousers. You can be sure to feel cool and comfortable. Pay attention to the fabric and style.

Summer clothes apparel

The essence of summer clothes is feeling light and comfortable. Tracks, t-shirts, capris, tops, tanks, pant ensembles, lacy skirts, sundresses, micro minis if you have the legs to flaunt otherwise long flowing dresses should form part of your summer closet. Get creative. Experiment with patterns. With a bit of ingenuity, you can turn a simple summer dress into a dressy outfit. Appropriate accessories, heeled sandals, hint of makeup – and you can turn a flowery slip dress into an evening outfit.

Cozy shorts are fashionably acceptable during the hot summer months. Depending on your physique, fat or slim and the comfort level, select super short, modest Bermudas to long crops. A few tank tops in a variety of colors and patterns can be mixed and matched with other tops, under shirts, jackets and other dresses. Short-sleeves, sleeveless or spaghetti strap shirts or tops in floral or stripes and a variety of new patterns offer wide selection options.

Chic capri pants, cargo capri pants can lend a casual and fresh look during this summer. Select the length with due consideration to your legs. Capri pants that fall anywhere from right above the knee to mid-calf to just above the ankle are in vogue.

Think before shopping

Summer clothing shopping need not be expensive. In fact, with minimum investment you can afford to look fashionable, fresh and current this summer season. Use these shopping tips while going to the mall.

* Read magazines, browse the Internet. Get updated with new trends in summer clothes.

* Give importance to colors, fabrics, size, length and styles of clothes

* Try new fashionable styles to keep pace with changing fashion trends

* Buy neutral colors, mix and matching become easier.

* Keep accessories to minimum unless the ocassion demands

* Find a blend of comfort and style while choosing summer clothes.

Sheer Lingerie

Sheer Lingerie

Lingerie occupies an important role in a woman's apparel. The most intimate apparel, lingerie enhances female sexuality. No denying that the right lingerie accentuates a woman's figure, personality and outfit. Take a peep into the world of sheer lingerie. Lingerie is fashionable, luxuriously stylish and trendy. Whether it's plus size lingerie, bridal lingerie, sheer lingerie, exotic lingerie, it's all a matter of choice.

Are you looking at lingerie that adds glamour, lingerie that accentuates body shape or lingerie that appeals to your intimate partner? Well, the choice of lingerie is best decided by your mood, preference and purpose. Before you embark on lingerie shopping, consider your body shape, what compliments your body figure and the occasion.

Lingerie secrets
Lingerie is usually available in three basic sizes- small, medium and large. For those who seem voluptuous, plus-size lingerie is ideal. Corsets and bustiers enjoy wide preference amongst plus-size lingerie buyers. Bridal lingerie caters to special needs of the bride-to-be. Gorgeous bustiers and bridal lingerie are designed to enhance the beauty of wedding dress. White or off-white corsets and long gowns are the most preferred bridal lingerie. Choosing proper-fitting bridal lingerie made of satin; silk with lace builds confidence and adds beauty inside out.

Women choose sheer lingerie for its tempting and alluring effect. Sheer lingerie is made of power mesh, stretch mesh and transparent fabrics. Sheer bras may not offer much support. Lycra is lightweight and tear-resistant and is ideal for tight lingerie. The use and purpose of lingerie can differ from woman to another. Lingerie shopping is based on style, design and type of lingerie:
# Lingerie to enhance one's special features
# Lingerie, a means to cover specific body parts
# Lingerie to look erotic, taunt and tease

Lingerie fabrics
Lingerie fabric determines how it feels next to your skin. Cotton lingerie is chosen for its comfort and breathability. Cotton lingerie is reasonably priced and easy to care for. Other fabrics used in the making of lingerie are Lycra/Spandex, microfiber, nylon, polyester, leather, jacquard, rayon, chiffon and silk. Cotton embroidery lingerie comes in elegant styles, with colored threads sewn into the fabric to create designs. Polyester lingerie stretches easily and resists wrinkling. Sheer lingerie fabrics feel good on the skin and forms to the body shape. For bridal lingerie, you can look at brocade or damask fabrics.

Lingerie guide
Baby doll nightgown: A two-piece short nightgown up to the thighs with matching panty.
Basque: Replaces a bra and covers from the bust to hips.
Bustier: A form of elongated Basque up to the waist, usually strapless.
Body stocking/catsuit: A one-piece that covers the whole body.
Bras: More than providing support, bra styles offer various options.
Teddy: Similar to a one-piece swimming costume with a built- in panty section.
Camisole: Usually worn under a jacket, a sleeveless top that covers from the bust to hips.
Chemise: A short nightgown upto the thighs.
Thongs: Panty made of transparent fabric, has more coverage in the front and the back is a g-string. You can get sensual curves sans panty line.
Negligee: A longer, lightweight nightgown or robe.
Pajamas: Two-piece set with a pant and top.

Bridal Lingerie
Choosing the right bridal lingerie can go a long way in making you look and feel your best on the most special day of your life. Choose lingerie to suit your wedding dress. Opt for basques that create a smooth line beneath your dress. Matching bra and brief in lacy styles is another option. No better way to seduce your partner than with sheer lingerie that will set his heart racing! Bridal lingerie can be chosen in silk or satin. Enjoy the comfort, beauty and versatility that silk bridal lingerie offers. With silk lingerie, you can keep warm in winter and comfortably cool in summer. Pastel shades work well for blondes while redheads can carry of green and earthy tones of lingerie. Popular shades are white, black and nude. Bold shades, animal prints, lace or other exotic lingerie appeals to some.

Lingerie shopping
Shop for lingerie that will make you look attractive and flatter your figure. Buy the right lingerie for the outfit. The wrong undergarments can ruin a perfectly good dress.
# Buy a seamless bra for t-shirts.
# Under-wired bras can balance hip and shoulder width. You can go in for high-cut panties.
# Bras in Lycra and other stretch materials adjust and flatten your bust line.
# Sheer lingerie may not be the right thing for a small-breasted woman. You can opt for push-up bras or bras with padded cups to create an illusion of curves.

Care of Lingerie
The best way to care for lingerie is to follow the label instructions. A lot depends on the lingerie fabric. Use these general tips to maintain durable lingerie in its original shape and appeal.
# Attach hooks and eyes before wash
# Preferably hand wash lingerie
# Wash with cool water, as it helps keep the lingerie color and prevent white fabrics from going grey
# Allow to air dry away from sunlight
# Use a mild fabric wash
# Avoid bleach
# Use mild stain remover
# Never twist or squeeze
# Wash separately dark and light colored lingerie
# After wash, hang on a plastic hanger

Mohair Sweater

Mohair Sweater

The word Mohair is derived from the Turkish word 'muyhyar', meaning the 'best selected
fleece'. Mohair is the wool collected from the Angora goats. Initially, the goats were natives of the province of Angora in Turkey. So valuable was the fleece of these goats that the Sultan of Turkey placed an embargo on the export of the animal and its fiber. After 1820, European conquerors started exporting this soft and gentle animal and its fleece. In more recent times, Angora goats have flourished on similar terrain in South Africa and Texas. Today, Mohair is prized as one of the world's most luxurious natural fibers.

Mohair is a silk-like fabric that is popularly used in fashion garments and sweaters, suits, coats, dresses, loungewear, socks and other clothing items. It is durable, light and warm. Mohair sweaters can make a style statement. It is also used in making hair for dolls, beards for Santa, teddy bears, blankets, upholstery, draperies, carpets and rugs.

Types of Mohair
Kid Mohair: This fleece is the first shearing from a young Angora goat and is very soft and fine to handle. Fineness ranges from 23-27 microns with a staple length of 100 - 150mm.

Goatling: This is the second shearing from a goat and is also fine and soft.

Adult Mohair: This is the fleece from the mature goat. It is fine to coarse, with a fineness of 30 microns onwards.

Mohair rates amongst the warmest natural fibers known to man. Mohair is also renowned for its ability to be dyed into brilliant colors. When blended with other fibers, mohair adds sheen to the fabric. These characteristics are what make it highly sought after by top designers of clothing and soft furnishings worldwide. Leading fashion houses make use mohair as a luxury fiber. South Africa currently produces more than 60% of total world production of mohair.

Characteristics of Mohair
Mohair is a strong, lustrous fiber that makes it an ideal yarn and fabric. It drapes well and resists wrinkling and shrinking. It is stronger and warmer than wool, keeping heat in during cold weather and acting as a barrier against hot summer temperatures. Mohair isn't itchy because it doesn't have scales like wool. It accepts dye with an unparalleled ease. Natural colored mohair has variations of shades that are exceptionally beautiful. Mohair has several unique properties that are not found in any other animal fiber.

Insulating: Mohair's hollow fibers do not conduct heat like wool and provide good insulation, even when wet.

Durability: Mohair can be twisted and bent without damage to the fiber. It is the most durable of animal fibers.

Comfort: Mohair does not irritate the skin, even for people who are sensitive to wool.

Strength: Mohair is stronger than steel of the same diameter.

Shrink resistance: Mohair fabrics shrink much less than wool because mohair's smooth fibers do not felt.

Elasticity: Mohair is very elastic; it can be stretched up to 30%, and will spring back to shape. Mohair garments resist wrinkling, stretching or sagging.

Moisture transfer: Mohair easily absorbs and releases moisture, moving perspiration away from the skin. It is comfortable to wear in cold and hot weather.

Luster: One of mohair's most important qualities is its ability to take dye and retain it for long, resisting by time or hard wear.

Lightweight: Mohair's smooth fibers can be made into fabrics that have a cooling effect. It is ideal for summer garments.

Non-flammability: Mohair will not burn unless it is exposed to a direct flame.

Taking care of your Mohair
Mohair, like other wools, requires delicate care and storage. By taking proper care you can increase the life expectancy of the mohair garments. Read and follow label instructions for the care of each garment. Hang garments in a steamy bathroom after wearing or unpacking to help remove wrinkles. Hang garments on padded hangers between uses, for 24 hours to smooth out wrinkles and restore original shape. Store garments in a well ventilated closet with fresh cedar blocks to keep the moths away. You can also use a sweater bag for storing mohair. Fold knits, or hang with closures zipped or buttoned. Dry the garment at room temperature if you accidentally get it wet. Keep it away from heat. Remove soil surface with a brush or a damp sponge.

Dry cleaning may be the most convenient way to clean your delicate sweaters. The cost of cleaning is minimal compared to the cost of a new sweater. But, it should also be kept in mind that excess chemical treatments may shorten your sweater's life. Dry cleaning once or twice a year should be sufficient.

Machine washing can be done with cold water on the gentle cycle and detergents specifically intended for cleaning fine garments. Protect your mohair sweater by placing it in a mesh washing bag while machine washing.

Mohair sweater fashion tips
# Whether you are wearing a sweater with jeans or a dress with shawl, mohair is the ultimate in elegance and luxury. As it is one of the most versatile of all textile fibers, it can be designed into almost anything.

# You can wear an elegant mohair sweater coat cardigan, which can easily fit as formal as well as casual wear. Alternatively buy a cowl neck sweater with loose sleeves, which gives a very feminine look.

# You can also try out mohair capes and shawls that can be worn with evening dresses. They can be worn in a variety of manners - from a poncho-like drape to pinning with spectacular brooches.

# Buy a sleeveless mohair sweater in tank style. The soft luxurious mohair elevates the basic tank style from everyday wear to luxury.

# Teem up a long sleeve boat neck sweater with black jeans.

# Wear a keyhole mohair sweater with cord pants to look cool and chic. Else stick to a basic v-neck mohair sweater. Try a fitted mohair sweater in cable pattern with snap cuffs and ribbed neckline and waist.

# Alternatively, try out a long sleeved, cropped styled, hooded mohair sweater with a low rise corduroy pant. This also teams well with cord skirt and wedge heel boots.

# Wear a ladies anorak sweater with hood with a checked knitted skirt.

# For a fun-filled evening, wear zigzag striped mohair full length dress with side slits in black.

Lavender, sage green, teal, raspberry or beige; turtle neck, cowl neck, v-neck or crew neck; tunic, cardigan, shawl or poncho - mohair sweaters are versatile and elegant.

Shopping for Warmer Weather Clothes

The stores are now ready for our warm weather shopping. How many of us are planning on picking up an item or two for ourselves, or our families?

The stores will be tempting us with all the latest fashion colors. Before you impulsively reach for that pair of pink shorts and matching top, REMEMBER YOUR BASICS!

Don't wear a top and bottom in the same color. It's boring! It's much more interesting to wear contrasting colors. This makes using basics as the foundation of your wardrobe easy!

Remember to buy all the garments for the lower part of your body in neutrals like white or beige. Then you can wear whatever color you like on top. Darker colors like navy blue can also be basics in summertime in some geographic areas. Jeans are also a basic now. Check the thrift stores for jeans that can be cutoff and worn as shorts.

Dressing is easy when you own garments that mix and match. You need fewer of them, and yet you feel like you own more clothes. You wear a pair of pink shorts one time, and everyone will remember them. You can wear a pair of khaki shorts over and over without drawing attention to them.

T-shirts and blouses tend to wear out quicker through soil and wear. Pants are usually made of stronger fibers more closely woven together, and last longer. Spend as little as you can for the tops, and a bit more for the bottoms.

Certain colors just don't look good on every clothing item. Take the color purple. Not long ago purple was the color everyone wanted to wear. Envision a woman dressed in purple pants and a white shirt. Now, change it around. Put her in a purple shirt and white pants. Which looks better? This is a much more sophisticated look and a much better use of color.

Look through catalogs to see the colors the models are wearing. Some people's sense of clothing style is so undeveloped that they think that when they wear a blue blouse, they must wear blue pants. It doesn't cost anything to leaf through catalogs. Learn your taste, your style, and what looks good on you. You may not be able to afford any clothes right now, but when you do have the money, you will be more aware and not repeat bad shopping habits.

When you buy for your children, and want to pass down clothes, remember to buy them in primary colors and with a unisex design.

Resist impulse buying this spring. It is easy to do when the weather is warm and everyone is happy! Clothing is a major investment. If you are lucky, you will find the items in a non- retail store. Choose wisely!