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Man up!

March 11th 2014 09:58
Not that I'm an advocate for trying to change the man in your life, but when it comes to dress sense, a few pointers in the art of male fashion often don't go astray..

With that in mind, dressing the man in your life can be a wondrous thing, or it can be a nightmare. Many a male has not yet embraced the metrosexual within (as in, he is not yet displaying the increasingly common urban manís trait of a strong aesthetic sense and spending a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle), and as a result there are still manly clothing disasters on almost every street corner.

Menís fashion is often not given as much attention as it deserves by a lot of us women. We are usually so busy adapting the latest trend to our budget or body type, we are quite often guilty of forgetting that most of our favourite designers cater for men too. But when it comes to getting ready for a night out with the man in our life, male fashion is suddenly there, right in front of you, in all its glory. Or, all its horror.

How many times have you been out on the town and noticed a stunning girl who has gone all out with her hair, makeup and outfit, only to spot her unacceptably dressed partner tagging along, who looks like he got dressed from the floor?

This is a male fashion tragedy, and one that happens all too often. Although we love our boyfriends, male friends, partners and husbands, and although we accept that some things cannot be changed, I think a little tweaking in the wardrobe area hardly constitutes trying to Ďchangeí your man. If you know someone who has a habit of putting in a virtual zero for effort every time he gets ready, it's time to take action! And the end benefits will far outweigh any of his whining that may happen during the fashion transformation.

Here are the top three tips for getting more fashion sense out of your man are below, and have been designed to make this process as painless as possible!

First, be gentle!
No one likes to be told that his or her wardrobe sucks. I think most of us strong independent females would probably break up with a man who said they hated everything in our closets and we needed to be taken shopping immediately. So, donít make the man you are trying to funkify feel like he has been doing everything wrong for the last ten years. Choose some of his stuff that you do actually like and try to work it into a current trend. It could be as simple as picking his favourite shirt and telling him how great it would look with a different cut of jeans, which you happened to see yesterdayÖor mentioning that itís really not that cool to pop your collar, and suggest he flatten it down for your next night out. If you have worked magic and heís actually agreed to go shopping with you, donít scare him off with a girl infested designer mall, try man friendly places like your trendy local op shop first, and ween him onto browsing gently and in a place he doesnít feel like your handbag. Large department stores are a good option too, as he can wander away to electronics or something equally boring if it all gets too much for him, and still feel like he is having a good time.

Secondly, start with the basics.
If asking your man to coordinate his socks with his belt is way too hard (or he doesnít even own a belt!), at least ask him to coordinate his socks with his trousers. There are basic rules that a fashionable man needs to follow. Highlight the importance of owning more than one pair of shoes, and the fact that some occasions do actually call for (gasp!) leather! I have a girlfriend in the UK whose first impressions of men are based purely on footwear. Whilst out clubbing my eyes would be roaming the room while her eyes would be on the ground, looking only at shoes. Only if she found a pair of shoes that she deemed acceptable would her eyes venture further up to see what he actually looked like! This may be an extreme case, but it proves the point that girls want guys who actually know when itís appropriate to take off the Havianas and put in a little bit of fashion effort. If this is all getting too hard, rely heavily on special occasions to add the items to his wardrobe that he seems incapable of including on his own. Use birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries and Valentineís Day as opportunities to lavish him with trendy wardrobe necessities. Despite despising shopping and fashion themselves, even the most difficult of boyfriends usually love what their better halves give them, and if that hot new shirt is wrapped around the new Playboy Mansion video game, its sure to be a winner of a gift.

Thirdly, choose your trends wisely.
Although you may have successfully mastered steps 1 and 2, itís highly unlikely that your now semi-fashionable man is going to be flipping through your Vogue and demanding to be taken shopping for the latest trends. So suggest looks that you know will suit him, or just help make him better dressed generally. As we know, sometimes just getting a man to throw out a dirty t-shirt full of holes that has ďsentimental valueĒ is a major step in the right fashion direction! Choose styles that you know will show him off as the male trendy he is deep down! Skinny jeans for men, for example, look great in the pages of Rolling Stone, but very few non-rock stars can pull the look off. So even if you love the look on many a band member, unless he is a rock god, chances are you should leave the skinny jeans alone. You also want to avoid pushing him into any trend that he then hates. Forcing your less than stick figure man into skinny jeans and sandshoes may result in him feeling like an overweight idiot and is only going to turn him off anything fashionable and undo all of your hard work. A great pair of trendy jeans such as Nudie or Tsubi on the other hand, scream style and can be purchased in a fit that flatters your man.

Fashion for men is a funny thing. We can fall about laughing at a badly dressed guy, or wonder how his girlfriend lets him out of the house, but when it comes to the men in our lives, we want them to look good. Although it can be a bit of a struggle at first, helping your man find his style and bringing a bit of your fashionista prowess into his wardrobe will ultimately (usually) make him a happier man. Just be mindful that once he realises how hot he looks, you may have to battle for the mirror from now on, and reflective surfaces everywhere will quite possibly become your enemy!

Fashion for one

January 13th 2014 07:51
Something struck me as I was watching MTV the other Sunday afternoon, and it struck me again when I was out and about the next Saturday, and the more I look around the more apparent it becomes...being an individual when it comes to fashion is actually impossible. And so I turned off the TV to ponder this some more.

I first started to think about this when I saw a group of hipsters, who despite hipping about in their "individual" style, were actually almost identical to each other, and every manufactured hipster styled pop star or model I'd seen around town, or on the TV. They're like a better dressed group of emos - a trend spawned because these people wanted a physical way to express themselves and their interests, and like I always say, what better way is there than fashion? Body adornments were added to the mix and this homogenous group were suddenly individuals! See the oxymoron? Itís popping up everywhere, and Iíve termed it generic individualism.

When you look at fashion, fashion statements, trends and styles itís all about copy-catting to a certain extent, and something that to a great extent is accepted. How often will you be at a bar and see three or four girls rock in wearing almost identical outfits right down to hairstyle and accessories? In my past partying life, my friends and I insisted someone get changed before we headed out when the same situation arose, but it seems times have changed and today there is fashion safety in numbers.

If thatís the way some fashion followers want to roll, thatís fine, but what gets me is when people claim to be unique and individual and really they too are just following a style conceived and made available through someone elseís creativity. Of course to begin a trend there must be an individual concept to begin with, and the like of Vivienne Westwood who is a testament to this. But then what happens Ė someone like the Sex Pistols took a shine to her unique style, gave her the means to make the trend available en masse, and then suddenly everyone who was Ďdifferentí looks like a whole bunch of other Ďdifferentí people and no-oneís actually got individual style any more. It seems to be the unavoidable fashion phenomenon.

Iím all for taking a trend and making it your own, and I do believe that you can still express your own sense of style on a daily basis, but even if you decide to pair your harem pants with stilettos instead of ankle boots, seriously how different are you?

And really, when you consider that fashion is mostly about aspiration and fantasy, who can blame us for copying what the likes of Giselle is wearing?

Embracing the animal in you

November 18th 2013 20:36
Purrfect, or purrfectly awful, we've all had leopard print in our wardrobes, and it seems that this trend wonít be fading away quietly any time soon. See it roar!

On any given occasion, leopard print can be spotted on someone or something, regardless of its current style status. Although always in style when it comes to underwear, leopard print has also demanded attention on varying levels in outerwear for what seems like forever, and now that the 80s are back, so are the more in your face leopard print fashions. From handbags to full leopard print dresses, the urban jungle of fashion is taking its cues from the big cats!

Celebrities throughout the decades have supported leopard print to varying degrees and the look has often been associated with rock chicks, but today the animal factor can be seen everywhere from celebrities to the next girl on the bus - but you have to know how to wear it!

Itís easy to go over the top in animal prints, which is why many of us hesitate in embracing the look, and we have all no doubt seen someone who took the leopard print a little too far. The key to wearing leopard print is to know what you are doing, and to know how far you can go before being labeled tacky. Itís also best to pair leopard print with something plain, usually black, so even if you are going all out with a leopard print dress, tone down the accessories and donít insist on wearing spotty boots too.

Here's a quick how to with animal print!

1. Leopard print for the very brave: Okay, so you have decided that you love the leopard print and want to pay homage to it in all its spotty glory. This is fabulous, and ultimately if you choose a flattering style you will also look fabulous, but remember that leopard print screams out for attention. Make sure that wherever on your body you are putting the print, you are happy for people to be looking. And that means if you are going for the head to toe covering, be feeling very comfortable with yourself that day! Even a leopard print skirt toned down with a classic black button down shirt will grab a lot of attention in the backside area, so big bottom days will not be made better by donning a fabulous fashion.

2. Leopard print for the semi-brave: You have embraced the leopard print trend, but donít want to go all out. There are a couple of options that will make your feline statement with a hint more subtlety than the Very Brave amongst us. A leopard print jacket or coat is a great way to show your style. It can make you the centre of attention if you decide that spots are definitely you after all, and you have the option of removing it if the attention gets a little too much. Another great alternative is the leopard print top or singlet worn beneath a plain jacket, or even layered with other singlets and tops to give a hint of leopard print, but not an in your face assault. If you decide halfway through your day that the spots are definitely for you, you can shed the other layers and move straight into the Very Brave category!

3. Leopard print for the unconvinced: As the fashionista that you are, you donít want to dismiss what is such an obviously hot trend, but youíre just not convinced that leopard print belongs in your wardrobe. The best way around this is to accessorize with your furry friend rather than make it your second skin. Pair a fabulous leopard print handbag or shoes with your outfit to give your day-to-day look a splash of spots. Leopard print gives a rock and roll edge to what can otherwise be considered a relatively ďsafeĒ outfit. By using the print for your accessories, you can achieve a rock chick look without feeling like should be roaming the streets on all fours.

Regardless of how you introduce (or reintroduce) leopard print into your wardrobe, fashion animal instincts all indicate that the leopard print definitely belongs in todayís urban jungle of fashion. And for those of us who didnít succumb to the lure of the print in the 80s, take heart in knowing that this time around us fashion felines can definitely change our spots!

Chanelling Chanel

September 24th 2013 21:24
Of all the designers, Chanel is probably the most coveted amongst women. The lady behind the name has left a legacy that ladies clamor for a piece of the world over.

Whether it be a handbag, a pair of sunglasses, or a classic suit, owning a piece of Chanel is a goal and a source of pride that transcends nations and other fashion tastes

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She's a Lady

July 31st 2013 21:22
For some people fashion is a meaningless ruse. I've heard many a person ask why should they care about what they look, like when it's what's on the inside that counts. Unfortunately we live in a society that does judge a book by it's cover, but as a female I think fashion definitely works in our favour.

There are times when I look at menís clothing options and do feel a tad sorry for them. And then I look at how some ladies dress and I feel sorry for them too. When we have so many options and opportunities to look fabulous, why would anyone insist on wearing anything that makes you look less than a million bucks? I'm all for personal fashion expression, but we also know that ladylike glamour is where itís at. When so many designers make that so easy for us, getting about looking like a trollop is, in my humble opinion, inexcusable

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Vote don't like to shop?

June 6th 2013 22:02
I have a friend who hates shopping. Sorry, used to hate shopping. Loathed it. She was the one person I knew not to invite when I needed to hit the stores. And she is living proof that if you promote the merits of shopping and fashion for long enough, you can convert almost anyone.

She could thing of nothing less fun than spending a day hitting the stores with me. She was happy in her cargos and singlet, never wore makeup (not that she needed it, which may have been part of the problem) and only ever dressed up on the rare occasion she was trying to woo a man. (Again, usually not a problem Ė she is a stunner.) But for the most part she could care less about fashion, definitely despised shopping, and never showed an interest in partaking in either

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The Mall

April 12th 2013 04:00
For many who love fashion, shopping also becomes a bit of a passion, (look at that, I'm rhyming!) which makes sense when you actually have to shop in order to obtain fashion, unless of course you make it yourself.

But what I have found to be a very interesting side effect of a fashion love affair, is the love of the shopping mall itself. Because I developed a special flair for shopping pre the internet, I have spent very many days and hours wandering through shopping centres around the country and even around the world, and as a result I have found that they feel almost like a second home. There is something instantly comforting to me about a shopping centre. Whether I am there to browse, power through to pick up necessities or just to kill time, I truly do love a mall. As much as internet shopping is fun and I can do it in my PJs and I do love the arrival of a package, it's got nothing on shopping in a mall

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Je t'aime Chanel? Oui!

March 2nd 2013 09:08
Whether it be a handbag, a pair of sunglasses, or a classic suit, owning a piece of Chanel is a goal and a source of pride that transcends nations and other fashion tastes. And owning one piece often doesn't satisfy the longing for more. But the glam of the current brand isn't something to be taken as a just a showy fashion status symbol. The woman behind the brand was (and is) inspirational as well as fashionable.

Despite coming from a poor background, and having little education, Coco Chanel had a personality that was considered ahead of her time, and which secured her place in fashion history. She aimed to shock, and challenged what women thought they wanted. She designed clothing that she believed every woman should have, and in the process created an empire with creations that now, every woman wants. Her designs targeted those in the know Ė and the aim was to ensure those in the know wanted what she had. It worked. Coco Chanel modernised the female dress, and is today recognised as the creator of the little black dress, and the desire of every woman to have one. Coco Chanel made her name by bucking the conventional trends and styles of her time

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The dreaded fat day

January 12th 2013 23:49
Fat days are the worst, and you often realise you are having a fat day at the worst possible time. Such as, when you are desperately trying to find an outfit for work because you have a major presentation. Or when you are running late for a lunch date with a hot guy. But the biggest problem with a fat day is once you have decided you are having one, no matter what you put on, your problem area (or areas) only seem to continue to increase in size, and the more outfits you try, the fatter you think you look. And instead of motivating us to exercise, the fat day only seems to encourage sitting on the couch eating copious amounts of ice-cream to console ourselves.

It happens to everyone. You can pull a size 6 dress out of the cupboard, put it on and feel like you have a bigger pot belly than ever seen on a World Vision commercial. The trick is trying not to get so caught up in staring at your wobbly bits that you don't notice that you actually do look good in what you have on

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Money Can't Buy You Style....

November 18th 2012 10:11
Great shoes, fabulous handbags, amazing dresses Ė most of us think that money can buy us the style weíve always dreamed of, but look around you and youíll realise itís not necessarily true.

How often have you snickered at a red carpet outfit, or guffawed at your CEOís suits? The idea that people with a lot of money are equally rich in style is a global misconception. Money canít buy you style. We all say it, but how many of us actually believe it? I know for a fact that mountains of cash would definitely solve my wardrobe woes - and I am fairly confident in saying I think I'd look pretty freaking good every day. But when you start to look closely at what those wealthier people around you are wearing, it becomes very clear that whilst money can buy you many things, it most definitely cannot buy you style

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