Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Women Western Apparel

The journey of western apparel began with the Red Indians who were the first inhabitants of the United States. It can in fact be called the ethnic clothing of the United States. But because of its flexible and high comfort levels, it has become the fashion buzzword the world over.

Western Apparel

When we think of western apparel, the ‘Wild Wild West cowboy image’ is what comes to our mind. Synonymous with it are cowboy boots, cowboy hats, men’s and women’s jeans, western shirts, western suits, western belts and buckles, western d├ęcor and a whole range of western accessories. How can we forget the saddle and tack and other riding apparel that are so intrinsic to western wear? Cotton and leather seems to be the favorite fabrics for western apparel. They have a bold and unique appeal and designs and style, differing to suit the local tastes and traditions. Some have a southwestern flair, others a tribal look, while many have a north woods or a mountain appeal. Animal designs like the horses, bears, moose and turtles, bright colors and mountain designs predominate the western apparel designing.

High quality, durable, functional, stylish and durable western apparel is what one wants for that perfect evening out or for a quiet moment at home. Winter clothing like the Shearling coats and jackets are the ideal ones for keeping the heat in and the weather out. Airmen extensively used these during the World War 11.These are made of lambskin and have a softer and silky feeling about them. They are cheap and affordable and a clothing investment for long years to come. Among the world’s costliest coats, you can find the expensive Shearling Icelandic coat. A rancher’s preference is the Cody shearling range coats and the Arapaho shearling vest, which is also a favorite amongst the cowboys. Other common western apparel is the sweater and the vests, which are a must during the cold winter months. Here too there are differing ranges and qualities of sweaters and vests to choose from. Extensive range of long sleeves shirts and wide collection of pants for all occasions are also an important part of the western apparel. No western apparel is complete without the ubiquitous collection of hats, belts and scarves.

Western apparel also includes a whole range of cool designer wear for that perfect western look for men, women and children. Men’s wardrobe of western apparel includes jeans, pants, slacks, shirts, suits, hats, boots, underwear, belts and buckles. Women western apparel includes ladies’ jeans, pants, slacks, shirts, suits, hats, boots, belts and buckles. The western apparel tops for women includes sleeve western fashion tops, retro western tops and long sleeve knit tops, short sleeve western fashion tops and short sleeve knit tops. There are also skirts, fleece, leather, outerwear T-shirts and sleepwear. Mountain rocky tops are all-time favorites. Children have a wide range of western apparel such as children’s jeans, pants, slacks, shirts, suits, hats, boots, belts and buckles to choose from.

Western apparel also caters to work place dressing like workwear belts, workwear pants, workwear slacks, workwear shirts, workwear hats, workwear boots, workwear underwear, workwear belts, coveralls and overalls. Motorcycle jeans, pants, shirts, boots, belts, buckles and western jewelry along with other accessories are available in many leading western apparel showrooms.

Nothing to beat western apparel when it comes to comfort and cool looks. With its’ style, appeal and durability, flexibility and comfort, it is the mostly widely preferred apparel not only in the United States of America but the world over.

The Bluing of America

Color psychology is used routinely to manipulate tastes

The eight stylishly dressed jurists huddled around a stark, white, rectangular table were sifting through endless snippets of yarn and swatch upon swatch of silk, rayon and linen. "We need to soften the yellow to almost a blond yellow," one mulled aloud, squinting at several fabric squares. A green swatch was rejected by one woman with a disapproving, "That's too much of a bathroom tile shade." Another tan square drew the comment, "Good. It doesn't have any shine, like a brown paper bag." It seemed for a time that no decisions would be reached, but after 2½ hours of gentle tussling, the group last month in the Manhattan town house offices of the Color Association of the United States (CAUS) finally accomplished its goal: predicting the color of women's apparel for the spring/summer season of 1985.

Psychologists have long declared that color conveys emotional messages and exerts a profound effect on behavior. Accordingly, advertisers and manufacturers, who receive information from CAUS, routinely use color psychology to manipulate consumer tastes. Thus, detergent boxes tend to have pure white backgrounds or designs in bold, primary colors to foster an image of cleanliness and strength. Vacuum cleaners for the home are light colored, indicating subtly to women that the machines are light in weight and easily maneuverable; a similar model may appear in a bold, primary color when its intended buyer is a man who wants the machine for heavy garage duty. Brands of low-tar and -nicotine cigarettes sport labels with large white areas and light-colored letters to convey a feeling of purity. White on cans of light beer and diet soda connotes low calories.

Outside the world of commerce, color is employed in therapeutic settings. At Aid for the Retarded, a shelter and workshop in Stamford, Conn., the walls are painted peach, blue and yellow to promote relaxation. Colored yarns are used in occupational therapy to compensate for the monotony of the tasks. Says Faber Birren, 82, the dean of American color researchers: "Color distracts you from yourself and relieves you of inner anxieties, melancholies and fears."

The Color Association, a major force in guiding U.S. color tastes, has been issuing projections for clothing for more than 60 years and a forecast covering home furnishings and appliances for nearly 30 years. About 700 companies, ranging from textile houses to car manufacturers to bathroom-fixture makers, receive each year the color forecast cards. Membership annually: $320. According to the current women's apparel color selectors, all of them from fashion and textile firms, stores will be stocked 18 to 24 months from now with clothing in mint green, lemon yellow, orange-red and many shades of blue. Says Art Historian Margaret Walch, associate director of CAUS: "The palette is bright, pretty, feminine."

The color prophesies of CAUS and other organizations have a demonstrable effect. After studying the 1983-84 forecast, which predicted the increased popularity of soft, muted greens, Fieldcrest has introduced new shades of green in its line of towels. The auto companies, working with CAUS charts, are hoping that buyers in 1985 will flock to silver cars.,9171,950987,00.html

An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality

Publisher Comments:
Intimate apparel, a term in use by 1921, has played a crucial role in the development of the naughty but nice feminine ideal that emerged in the twentieth century. An Intimate Affair, Jill Fields's engaging, imaginative, and sophisticated history of twentieth-century lingerie, takes the reader on a tour of the world of women's intimate apparel and arrives at nothing less than a sweeping view of twentieth-century women's history via the undergarments women wore.

Undergarments have long given shape to the clothed female form while also shaping our understanding of femininity. Fields charts the changes in both the design of these garments and the meaning of intimate apparel in America by closely examining the history of specific garments - including drawers, corsets, girdles, brassieres, and black lingerie - and by exploring the visual world of intimate apparel advertising, the fashion sensibilities and contribution of garment workers, and intimate apparel art. Lavishly illustrated throughout and drawing on a wealth of evidence from fashion magazines, trade periodicals, costume artifacts, Hollywood films, and the records of organized labor, An Intimate Affair is a provocative examination of the ways cultural meanings are orchestrated by the fashion-industrial complex, and the ways in which individuals and groups embrace, reject, or derive meaning from these everyday, yet highly significant, intimate articles of clothing.

"In November 1937 a surprise hit opened on Broadway: 'Pins and Needles,' a musical revue/political commentary staged by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The play featured actual garment workers entertaining Depression-era audiences with a surprisingly professional production featuring songs, dances and skits about working-class life. In 1938, 'Pins and Needles' was performed for Franklin..." Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) and Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House.

What does a musical revue have to do with the history of lingerie? In the skilled hands of historian Jill Fields, 'Pins and Needles' bridges 'the glamorous culture industry' represented by fashion and Broadway and the 'unglamorous garment industry,' where predominantly female — and predominantly white — workers toiled in drab conditions to make sexy items of intimate apparel. Fields challenges modern readers to think about the often invisible connections between production and consumption, an invisibility that parallels the nature of garments not meant to be seen — at least not until recently — and yet which play such a key role in influencing notions of femininity, sexuality and erotic behavior.

This wide-ranging and literate book is not a coffee-table history of lingerie. Instead, it treats intimate apparel, a term first used in the 1920s, as social and cultural history. For example, the evolution of drawers (as underpants were called until the 1920s) from open-crotch to closed-crotch was not just a matter of changing fashion styles but also represented women's new freedom to wear divided garments (as in trousers) previously associated only with men. The transition (by the 1920s) from corsets to girdles reflected a complicated interplay between corset manufacturers, who argued that all women should wear corsets, and individual women, often young, who demanded less restrictive garments to match their more active lifestyles. And the emergence of the brassiere paralleled the increasing cultural attention to breasts as the most important bodily marker of gender in 20th-century America.

Fields provides an especially rich discussion of black-colored lingerie, tracing its history to traditional mourning clothes (playing on the connection of sex and death) as well as the changing role of black clothing in the fashion industry. In addition to introducing us to garment workers and their unions, she analyzes the ongoing attempts by manufacturers to market their lingerie through advertisements that often border on voyeurism. The book is generously illustrated but will still leave readers wishing for more. After all, a book about lingerie should be fun as well as a little bit naughty.

'An Intimate Affair' begins in the late 19th century and ends with the introduction of Dior's New Look in 1947, a cinch-waisted silhouette that symbolized a return to femininity after the rigors of World War II but also a possible step backward for convenience and comfort in women's attire. Unfortunately, Fields doesn't present much to take her story up to the present. Instead of its epilogue on representations of women's intimate apparel in contemporary feminist art, the book cries out for at least a stab at the changing cultural meanings of underwear in all aspects of popular culture since the 1950s, such as the link between second-wave feminism and bra-burning, the significance of lingerie for cross-dressers and drag queens and the recent phenomenon of underwear as outerwear.

Despite these limitations, 'An Intimate Affair' offers a rich and nuanced understanding of how pieces of everyday clothing reflect the changing historical context of women's lives just as much as they shape the actual contours of women's bodies. Reaching into the top drawer for a piece of black lingerie will never be the same.

Susan Ware is writing a book about Billie Jean King, Title IX and the history of women's sports.

" Reviewed by Lily KingRon CharlesBruce SchoenfeldSusan Ware, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)

Intimate apparel, a term in use by 1921, has played a crucial role in the development of the naughty but nice feminine ideal that emerged in the twentieth century. Jill Fields's engaging, imaginative, and sophisticated history of twentieth-century lingerie tours the world of women's intimate apparel and arrives at nothing less than a sweeping view of twentieth-century women's history via the undergarments they wore. Illustrated throughout and drawing on a wealth of evidence from fashion magazines, trade periodicals, costume artifacts, Hollywood films, and the records of organized labor, An Intimate Affair is a provocative examination of the ways cultural meanings are orchestrated by the fashion-industrial complex, and the ways in which individuals and groups embrace, reject, or derive meaning from these everyday, yet highly significant, intimate articles of clothing.

"Erudite, exhaustive, and engaging, Fields' wonderfully original study deftly navigates several current literatures: women's and gender history, the history of sexuality, cultural studies, and the burgeoning scholarship on consumer culture. Using fashion to gauge changing conceptualizations of femininity and the female body, Fields traces discursive production and the policing of boundaries without ever neglecting the material contexts of social and economic relations."--Regina Morantz-Sanchez, author of "Conduct Unbecoming a Woman: Medicine on Trial in Turn-of-the-Century Brooklyn"

"Theoretically sophisticated, methodologically innovative and just provocative, "An Intimate Affair" joins together the histories of production, consumption, representation, and fashion to claim the body as an arena upon which questions of pleasure and danger, power and authority, gender identities, racial purity and class access, became contested during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. After reading Fields, putting on or taking off lingerie will never again feel the same."--Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Women's Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

"This is a delightful book on a surprisingly important-and one can legitimately say-revealing topic. The archival work is impressive, the analysis solid; we gain greater knowledge of women in consumer society and of ongoing controversies about sexuality from the results."--Peter N. Stearns, Provost, George Mason University

""An Intimate Affair "is a major contribution to the histories of fashion and of women. Wide-ranging in scope, this book demonstrates conclusively the importance of clothing in historicalanalysis and pushes the boundaries of cultural studies theory about the body to encompass the most intimate body covering. Fields illustrates how cultural studies and women's studies theory, the investigation of material objects, and the history of laboring people and women can be brought together to produce a compelling narrative. Both academics and general readers will find this book fascinating, for it has major implications for how all of us regard our bodies."--Lois W. Banner, Professor of History and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, and author of "American Beauty"

"Jill Fields has produced a remarkable book that reveals the ways in which intimate apparel has shaped modern conceptions of glamour, femininity, beauty, and sexuality. She brilliantly traces the creation of lingerie from the workers who made it to the advertisers who glamorized it to the women who bought it."--Steven J. Ross, Professor of History, University of Southern California

Coldwater Creek's A Strong Bounce Candidate

CIBC has some very interesting comments on Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ:CWTR) after the women's apparel retailer last night reported a nearly 28 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by higher promotional activity, and forecast a "particularly challenging" third quarter. Coldwater shares fell more than 13 percent to $15.05 in late electronic trade after closing at $17.39 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday:

CIBC notes 2Q EPS of $0.09 were below their and the Street’s $0.12, with the miss to firm's model stemming from lower than expected sales (a -6% comp and lighter than expected direct sales growth) and a 270 bp decline in merchandise margin from higher markdowns.

While the bar for earnings was lowered early in the year (and they were hoping it was sufficiently low enough at that time), management in all fairness could not have accounted for the current psychological and/or real impact that the housing market has on the consumer. CIBC continues to believe that CWTR’s issues are indeed macro related and that the product looks strong. Since 2Q, initiatives have been in place to improve the store layout, website and catalog. Importantly, the company is incentivizing store managers to meet daily conversion targets - this was done successfully in 1Q and was started again this past Monday.

While CIBC was disappointed by the need to lower 2H guidance, CWTR isn’t exactly alone in the women’s space – there really hasn’t been any company focused on boomers that has thrived as of late. However, the difference between CWTR and its peers is that CWTR continues to be fundamentally strong; it isn’t facing serious product issues, it isn’t waiting for a new merchant or executive to formulate a new strategy, and it hasn’t hit a stumbling block in its growth. In their view, CWTR continues to be among the best stories in specialty retail given the attractive, underserved market it caters to, strength of the management team, significant store expansion still ahead, and the opportunity to more than double the operating margin via direct sourcing and sales leverage. CIBC believes that despite low visibility now is the time to step in.

CWTR remains CIBC's top pick into 2H. Firm maintains Sector Outperformer rating while cutting 12 month tgt to $25 from $29.

Notablecalls: I love this call from CIBC's Roxanne Meyer. I think lowering the bar for H2 was somewhat expected and I think there are investors who were waiting for it to happen in order to step in. Coldwater Creek continues to be one of the most compelling growth stories in the industry. The risk/reward is very favorable with the core earnings power both a supporter and driver of the stock price. Investors who wait on the sidelines for the news of an eventual earnings' rebound will likely miss a large percentage gain as the stock will likely slingshot when the improvement is realized.

Short interest in the stock stands at close to 20%. I think shorts have made decent money shorting CWTR and I feel that at least some of them will want to bank some profits into today's weakness.

CWTR could easily be a $25 to $30 stock if and when visibility returns. That makes it a shaky short and a very interesting long.

I wish some bow-wow firm downgraded CWTR this AM, giving you guys decent fills a tad below the $15 level. Absent any downgrades, $15 is the price I'd be willing to pay with a big smile on my face.

I feel CWTR is a bounce candidate here. Going to call the CIBC note actionable here!

USA: Women apparel manufacturer to open first retail store in Clarkesville

FLORIDA: Women's apparel manufacturer Erin London has plans to open its first retail store on the Square in Clarkesville this fall. “The previous stores were outlets for our overstocked merchandise," said founder Joseph Corry. "Our plan for this store is to carry brand new, current fashions at reasonable prices."

Although Erin London women's apparel has been around for more than 10 years, Corry feels as though he enters into a new world every day at the company's distribution center at Old Clarkesville Mill in Clarkesville.

"There's always something great coming in," said Corry. "We want to stay on the forefront of style for women so the designs are constantly changing. We have something classic and contemporary for every woman who shops with us."

Corry moved their headquarters from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Clarkesville more than a year ago. He had a vision of the future that lures the shopping public away from big box stores and back to the unique shops of small towns and villages.

"I believe people want to get out of their cars and be able to walk from home to the local downtown shopping and restaurants," he said. "They want to return to a simpler time, but they don't want to overpay. We offer a beautiful product at a compelling value."

While returning to a simpler time is appealing, it hasn't kept the Erin London team from keeping up with the faster pace of fashion and technology. The company has recently revamped its image with a strong, unique new logo and a soft pallet of colors to help build their brand in the competitive apparel industry.

Branding manager Laurence London said "Not only do we continue to evolve with incredible new styles in clothing, but the entire brand itself has really grown into something truly unique. We're not out to re-define the woman of today, we're out to show the world that the woman of today continues to re-define us."

"I am excited to be involved with the opening of this new store. All I have heard from women locally is how much Clarkesville needs a nice women's apparel store. I can't wait to see the response we get from the locals and tourists," said Director of Retail Services Emily Conner. "Having worked internally, it is interesting to try to create an external image that we feel our brand already carries worldwide."

USA : Women's fashion apparel retailer Cato reaffirms H2 guidance

The Cato Corporation reported net income of $12.5 million or $.39 per diluted share for the second quarter ended August 4, 2007, compared to net income of $12.1 million or $.38 per diluted share for the second quarter ended July 29, 2006.

Both net income and earnings per diluted share increased 3% over last year. Sales for the second quarter were $219.0 million, a 2% increase over sales of $214.6 million last year. Second quarter comparable store sales decreased 1%.

For the six months ended August 4, 2007, the Company earned net income of $31.2 million or $.97 per diluted share, compared with net income of $32.9 million or $1.04 per diluted share for the six months ended July 29, 2006, a decrease in net income of 5% and a decrease in earnings per diluted share of 7%.

Sales for the first half were $443.1 million, flat compared to the prior year's first half sales of $444.4 million. Comparable store sales for the first half decreased 3% from first half 2006.

"Our results through the first half reflect the challenging apparel retail environment," said John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "Sell-throughs of regular priced goods have been below last year and, when coupled with higher markdowns, are the primary reason for the decrease in gross margin. Our inventory is in line with sales as we begin the third quarter."

The Company's income from operations was in line with previous guidance. Second quarter results were $.02 above the Company's estimate due primarily to an effective tax rate lower than anticipated due to volatility between quarters and higher tax credits.

How To Buy Women's Athletic Apparel

Women's athletic apparel is not just for the gym anymore. Now many of the styles available for workout wear not only make you look good while you exercise but are also hip enough to wear for every day, too. With such a large demand for the sophisticated and yet comfortable range of options available, it is no wonder that today the women's athletic apparel industry has become a booming business. If you are in the market for women's athletic clothes, shop around before you buy and keep the following tips in mind:

1. Look for fabrics that keep moisture away from the body.
2. Try on form-fitting styles that hug your curves but are stretchy enough to move with you.
3. Comfort matters when it comes to working out so make sure whatever you pick will be functional for your exercise routine.
4. Make sure that the clothing doesn't chafe your skin.
5. See what's available through some of the most popular brands like Nike and Reebok or browse the selection at a sporting goods superstore.
6. Check out smaller lines as well to compare styles and prices.
7. Understand that some of the higher quality lines cost more but their merchandise will also last for a long time.
8. Visit a small sporting goods store for personalized service to help you find the right workout wear for your favorite activities. Let the salespeople help you find the styles and fit that will be appropriate for you.
9. You can also order some athletic clothing brand catalogues or shop online, so you can review your choices from the comfort of your own home.
10. Buy styles that work with your body type. If you are bottom-heavy, try some less fitted pants or looser shorts. For very fit bodies, don't be afraid to try more form-fitting options.
11. Consider easy-to-wear yoga clothing, such as drawstring pants and capris that pair well with a comfortable T-shirt. Add a fitted cardigan that you can throw on when your workout ends.
12. Make sure to have several track suits on hand that can adapt to any exercise routine and also double for everyday wear.
13. Select workout clothing that looks as good as it feels.
14. Don't limit your wearing time to your workout. Feel free to keep the clothes on to stop at the grocery store or to meet friends for lunch.

How to Choose Lingerie

In my business, I talk to a lot of gals and guys about lingerie. Ladies, if you heard what the guys say, you'd feel a lot better about your bodies. And, men, if you heard what the gals say, that last piece of lingerie you bought her.....well...she used it to decorate her shoelaces. Men want skimpy. Women want enhancement.

So how do you pick something sexy that both of you will like? The answer is simple. Be aware of the other's preferences. Men and women are different in what turns them on romantically.

Usually, when a man strolls into my store, he walks in, buys something, walks out. When he needs help he's specific in his needs. “Miss, do you have a piece of string, size medium, in Jeep Cherokee white, for my wife? It's our anniversary.”

Men want to see skin. Lots of it. and, the more skin they want to see, the more likely it is that it's going to be skin that's bumpy or birthmarky. Women don't want guys to see those parts. Most women have at least one of these parts. Sometimes, it's even part of a set. Like many women, the part that I'm trying to hide is my stomach. To ensure that my belly's seen by as few people as possible I've tattooed these instructions on it: to be viewed only by medical personnel who are removing something underneath..

When a woman buys lingerie, she is trying to accomplish at least one of three objectives: show something, hide something or pretend you've got something. The skinny girls usually don't want to hide anything; they want to show stuff, and pretend they've got stuff. The bigger girls want to show and hide stuff. And, if the stuff is supposed to be big and it's little, that's when you buy the stuff to pretend you've got it. And, if the stuff is big and that stuff looks good big, that's when you show it. And, if it's big and it should be small, cover it up. Guys, we work so hard to please you, that we not only cover up the big parts that don't look good big, we actually try to squish them in. That's why women go to the bathroom in pairs. To make sure no one explodes.

Women who have a C cup or larger need support when they're wearing lingerie. Applauding is not what I mean by support. Guys think architectural engineering. You know the way those cables hold the Golden Gate Bridge up? Bra straps work the same way, except you don't have all those cars going through.. And, underwires are like support beams. Without basic support, a structure will fall. Think about that Leaning Tower of Pisa. It looks like it will topple over any moment. That's the fate awaiting large chested women without the proper bra support. Years from now, they'll be leaning over from the weight of it all.

So, the bottom line is that women want to look beautiful for their sweeties. And, men think that a woman's bare skin is what looks sexiest on her. Keep that in mind, folks, next time you go shopping for lingerie.

Hey, wait a honey just bought me a gift. It's....what appears to be..... lingerie. Hmmmmmm. What the?! ...... It's a piece of string... with a neon feather. I guess it'll work as an anklet. For my sister's next birthday.

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Edie and Jim own and opererate a Lingerie and Biker Gear shop in Augusta Ga. They also have a web site where they write about love, romance, relationships, and of course Sexy Lingerie. You may also read all their informative articles and post comments in our pillow-talk forum all at

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