This post brought to you by Coastal.com. All opinions are 100% mine.
There are a few ways of scoring a pair of vintage Designer Eyeglasses to complete a look, whether you are seeking specs for a theater or film production, or you just like a vintage look. Sifting through the bins at thrift stores might be one option, but one has to hope to find someone willing to grind the right prescription down to size. That, honestly is the greatest challenge with "found glasses."
Another alternative is to find a shop that specializes in vintage frames. They'll want a pretty penny, but you'll get the right correction for your Anisometropia.
The most popular alternative is to find vintage inspired or repopped glasses.
Hipsters and retro reenactors are finding Derek Cardigan Eyeglasses a darling of the spec set. The line features a number of vintage-inspired frames, including full or partial horn rims. If your look is more 1960s librarin or Malcom X, there is something in the collection for you. Sometimes I am surprised that thick horn rims are now as popular as they are. In "my day," the Windsor was an acceptable and expected retro choice that never really went away, but the trend ten, fifteen years ago was to minimize the frames as to not obscure the visage – wire frames, half frames and even virtually invisible frames factored in the mix.
For some reason, the look only carries off on the very young. Unless you are famous and can get away with anything you want, if you wore it the first time around, you might look a bit dated. Oh the irony.
The verdict? If you want to emulate the same look that Alicia Keys sported in her latest video, you can do so for in the neighborhood of $100 rather than several hundred dollars. Bonus.
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Fashion always comes full circle with the subtle paprika of advanced fabric blend discoveries, but so does technology or at least our desire to wear it on our sleeve. New inventions are at first clunkier than strapping a walkman to your arm, and taper down to something you can adhere with a Band-Aid. The same goes for eyewear.
Spectacles revolutionized lives first, and fashion as a side effect. In a world without spectacles? the watchmaker retires as his eye sight falters and many older citizens, and those born with the need for vision correction, might be penniless or cast aside. Imagine if folks such as Dante were not actually blind by today’s standards, but needed extreme correction. What other great works would he have penned?
Advance the clock a few hundred years and contact lenses helped folks in the 1970s hide their myopia until Lisa Loeb came along and made thick spectacles for young women desirable, even if they didn’t need them.
Now, Google is working on their own virtual spectacles, according to th Emerging Technology Info Graphic at left. (Click on the link to see it a bit better up close.) This time, the new invention is introduced in bot clunky and micro at the same time. Do we really need social media interaction from our eyeballs?
I am not sure I would want augmented reality in a contact lens inserted in my eye. The reality in my brain is augmented enough, but the technological help for folks who are blind is interesting…sort of like a friend whispering in their ear. But would it distract someone who is very self sufficient and has learned every subtle sound that a car or different types of pavement makes already, and make them dependent on technology. Time will tell if it goes beyond prototype, and then it inspires designers to create stylish glasses (large wraparound sunglasses with a little screen that doesn’t do a thing in homage).modern fashion | Comment (0)
Rhinestones stud many a period appropriate bracelet, and encrust the occasional cufflink. While rhinestones add dazzle where diamonds are impractical or unobtainable, the challenge often lies with durability. The foil backings cannot be immersed in water and must be cleaned extremely delicately. That works or gentle use, but not if the item is your “go to.” Most of the time, depending on the application, it is more practical to just simply replace them.
If you are making a new custom set of cufflinks as a “go with” rather than aiming for historical accuracy, obtain a quantity of Swarovski crystals. They are available with flat backs, in novel shapes and also in adhesive and sew-able forms. The Swarovski Rose is a popular round shape that can fill the holes where round cabochons once flourished. If you run a tailor or seamstress shop, they are more durable and easily cleanable for your creations. Swarovski crystals may be cleaned with a soft cloth, or with mild soapy water. Of course, any findings, fasteners, or backing fabric must be considered when attempting to clean any item, but the crystals themselves clean easily.
It goes without saying that one wouldn’t strip Grandma’s entire demi parure or Great-Grandpa’s tie tacks with crystals, but if you come across a piece that is merely an empty stoneless shell destined for the scrap or crafter heap, it is a thought to consider to gussy it up for everyday use.modern fashion | Comment (0)
While I enjoy the latest fads to walk down the run way, readers know we have a special place in the left breast pocket for vintage goods. Another love is products made right here in the USA. It is easy to find artisan made clothing and items from one-off independent designers, but every day staples get to be a challenge, especially if the T-shirts with “American” in their name, notably still made here, are out of your size range. Clothing, except for plus size pants, which can be made to specific measurements, is difficult to merely just make bigger. In other items, darts, pleats and the overall design must be reimagined.
Blouse House is one of the rare plus size clothiers that manufacture their garments in the US, offering a range of plus size tops, dresses and pants in sizes up to 7x. The styles are fairly conservative. You won’t see any body bearing pinup fashions here, but you will fine staples appropriate for the office as well as patterned tops and swimwear.
Fashion Tips for Sizes 3x and Up:
- Go up a size if the bust, waist or hips are too large for the garment measurements, even if the garment fits perfectly elsewhere. Take the garment in an inch or two at the areas of smaller measurement to avoid volumes of extra fabric. If it is the right measurements but the button pulls very slightly in the bust and the darts don’t lay at the right spot, the brassiere could be the wrong size rather than the shirt
- Plus size tunics are more forgiving in the bust and stomach. To carry off the look without looking like you are wearing a tent, the sleeves must be tailored to fit. Hem up cuffs, move a button, or even take the garment in at the shoulder seam. A detailed collar such as a mandarin collar often flatters more than a wide round neckline.
- Horizontal stripes are universally shunned, although a thin pinstripe that does not appear until the viewer is close does not distort the body. A bold woman can pull off wide bold stripes if it absolutely fits a flamboyant personality, but not on top AND bottom…that goes for anyone of any size.
- Even if you are plus sized, don’t fool yourself that you don’t have a basic body shape. Not all plus size women are apple shaped. Follow other fit recommendations for hourglass, apple or pear figures and look for those cuts. A tunic that hangs from the bust may equalize an apple figure or a very straight figure, but does not flatter an hourglass-shaped woman. To create shape, creatively use layers or belts or choose garments with a tailored waist.
The shoe manufacturer, Toms has run a campaign to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every shoe that a paying customer buys. During their first year of operation, they sold 10,000 pair of shoes, and donated 10,000. Not too shabby! However with good, search engine optimization, including a robust Twitter presence and other social media management, Tom’s donated one MILLION pairs of shoes to children in 23 countries. Similar success was repeated by One Hope Wine.
Its amazing what can be done with just one shoe purchase or the click of the “Like” button. It seems that internet campaigns are replacing the old fashioned act of going door to door to neighbors to collect funds for a cause. It seems so much easier to raise funds for a cause when the individual would purchase the clothing anyway, but might choose to buy sooner for the cause. What do you think about promoting a cause with your wares
One might say that Tom’s is a large operation and “my little shop needs to be known as the ‘best kept secret.’ I could never handle it.” Well, it is all relative. If you did just a little to increase your linkage and presence, a little shop that sells 3 items a month could sell even 10 items a month…you never know!modern fashion, shoes and hoofwear | Comment (0)
As you are donning your top coat and your driving gloves to hail the hansom cab to Grandmother’s house, or your eccentric uncle’s step-back-in-time bungalow, take comfort in the demise of the trend of flashing battery-powered Christmas ties. My dear Jewish friends, you were mercilessly spared, as I have yet to see LED menorah neck wear. You poor things. And menorahs seemed to be the perfect inspiration for glow in the dark novelty items and backlit and illuminated ties, footwear, and of course, hats and crowns.
Despite this obvious gap in the holiday tack, nothing delights your Uncle Mike or Aunt Gert like cheap eyeglasses, apparently with Santa Claus, reindeer or snowflakes on them. They are slightly less subtle than an Ugly Christmas Sweater as you have to be in close proximity, such as in the next seat on the zeppelin. Merely the eyeglass arms contain the highly nuanced scene — as highly nuances of banging out “Chestnuts on an Open Fire” on Aunt Tillie’s Hammond with a pipe wrench. If that’s your thing.
A true barometer of this trend is the annual family gathering of the VintageGent’s, Gent-ettes, and the not-so-vintage Modern Tots at the grandparent’s home. The family has gotten so large and stylish over the years that the only thing given are chocolate dinosaurs, prayers and well wishes of holiday cheer and reverence for the birth of Our Lord and a heavy dose of irony. However, the irony of giving tinsel and cans of snow are lost on the tots who never saw it all the first time. If my astute eyes pick out any of these jewels from the faces of the crowd, it is a sign that we are on the cusp of the biggest trend in eyewear, or we are merely on the back end, that they are so out that they are in.
(Photo compliments of ZenniOptical.com – Where you can see an entire gallery of spectacles for every holiday.)modern fashion | Comment (0)
While dressing for work may allow latitude for originality at “creative” companies, jobs requiring uniforms are not as stifling as they may seem. There is something comforting, in some ways, about a routine. As long as one can keep up with the laundry, going to work in a uniform lends some anonymity for some, and tailored style for others. While the most famous uniforms, such as military dress blues, cut a dashing figure, green surgical scrubs are often the same shapeless sacks as they always were.
Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but while gentleman sometimes have an advantage, as many were made for the male form originally, the designs are sometimes equally unflattering to both genders. Scrubs for men are often limited to plain blue, as the patterns are frequently populated by kittens and pastel unicorns. For women, the baggy profile make most ladies look formless.
Next time you look into buying scrubs online, take a gander at Blue Sky Scrubs (On the web at http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/). The contrast-stitching on the pockets gives the plain designs some visual interest. The scrubs come in both male and female sizing scales. There is also a fitted top for ladies. It is not inappropriate or revealing in any way. It merely eliminates some of the superfluous materials under the arms that create a boxy silhouette. In the medical profession, extra fabric is not necessarily modest. It is a safety hazard when flapping sleeves get caught.modern fashion | Comment (0)
Ever since Wagglepop came and went, the inbox runneth over with press releases, pitches and recommendations for new auction and selling sites. Tradze.com is a new one to me. Apparently, its in the barter websites format. Users list items that they want to get rid of, and other users may trade for them with credits. Each user receives 200 credits for signing up, and from there, credits are accumulated through listing like-new and collectible items for the perusal of other site users. The site heavily promotes users to sign up their family and friends, so they can swap through their own trusted network. There is a clothing category in the mix.
Upon inspection, there is little to no Feedback action. Either users are not ingrained with the courtesy of leaving other users feedback stars, or the site just has little action. The site itself appears to be in the early stages as some pages, such as FAQ, are not quite filled in yet. Users do have to register to flip through the item catalog. Be persistent, as almost always only four items show up. Click on subsequent page numbers to browse the entire category.
The full potential of the site lies on the concept of users having a comfort level of bartering in “T-Bills” that only work on this site, versus receiving money. It will not attract folks hoping buy and sell to raise some cash, but it will attract users who truly just want to rid themselves of a few items. There is great potential for an established group to barter, such as a special interest hobby club, a parents group, or an association to park their people there and make it their own. Hosting a clothing swap sometimes is hard to get together because of conflicting schedules and an uneven representation of sizes. If the extended network swapped with credits, everyone would be held accountable to delivering.
In the meantime, I’ll be watching to determine if this is a worthy place to score a fashion find.modern fashion | Comment (0)
As anyone who checks their RSS feed or news sites knows, the Missoni for Target line sold out within hours in stores in many major markets. Early adopters are recycling their duplicates on eBay for a quick buck or two. Were you hankering for a dress, a tie or the coveted Missoni throw blanket? Reports are that some items, such as childrens items and accessories can still be had at certain stores.
Did anyone at the ‘Daily push through the crowds?
No matter what the style is that everyone has to have, on someone that it doesn’t quite suit, it looks as if a hat, tie or dress is coming at you from down the hall, rather than someone cutting out a fashionable figure. When someone stops saying, “You look great,” and replaces it “Here comes that dress again.,” or “Drive by again. You can’t miss that suit,” then you have to do a bit of a review. Though I have some friends that can rock it, but one bit of feeling you are wearing someone else’s skin and it just doesn’t work. The VintageGent=ette’s petite frame and seemingly opposite skin undertone than the current colors that are flattered was overwhelmed. Still, I do have a hankering for some scarves, ties and stationary if the afterglow, after crowd scavenger hunt is a success. The only disappointment is that there are many, many items Made in China, but that seems par for the course.
Are you, too, dreaming of zig zags but are not quite got the gumption to shell out lots of cash on eBay? Look no further than items inspired by Missoni the first time around. One of the most coveted items was and is the Missoni throw blanket. Well, feast a gander here. At left, is the true Target throw. Next to it are several vintage afghans from the 1970s with the undoubted trend for zigzags created the first time around when Missoni was something very new:
The three blankets to the right were made by hand in the 1970s and are available from Etsy sellers right now, unless they sell out of course. I was not able to see and touch the Missoni blanket, but can say some of these undiscovered hand made wonders were usually made to stand the test of time, long after trends change.
Sure, you can go out and buy vintage Missoni clothing, but if you find that untouchable, here is a way to get the look in your home without feeling you are buying designer knockoffs. Handmade pieces from yesteryear may be inspired by the trends of the day but they are truly one of kinds. Just instead of it being draped over a settee at Grandma’s house, they’ll be on the beds of trendsters and fashionistas, if that term isn’t passe.auctions, designers, modern fashion, Stuff for the Pad | Comments (3)
The blog of Street Shirts, an online UK t-shirt printing boutique, touts gray as the “new black” this fall, at least in the world of t-shirts. For the ladies, they suggest a black blazer, leather leggings and heels. For day, ripped jeans and espadrilles are the answer–sort of a rock and roll look.
The best combo: pre-washed jeans, a classic gray tee or a customized hoodie and a pair of Converse sneakers.
Why, aside from sites and blogs and magazines that weddings, or are GQ, do folks assume that men are slobs? Not for nothing–vintage Converse are very collectible and classic and are perfect in some circumstances, and some hoodies these days run $40-300 and can be permanently pressed. That being so, why is it always assumed that for smart casual fashion, hoodies are the way to go if you are under 30? Or under 50? What happened to a classic cut all-American blue jean with a white or gray T, without trying to pretend its formal clothing, yet not also trying to pretend its gym wear? If you must, what about a leather jacket or a blazer? But not a formal one.
At any rate, speaking of t-shirts, StreetShirts has a robust service where an artiste is not limited to the “front center, middle of the chest” placements of designs a la the 1980s t-shirt shops. For your band, or to promote your clothing store, you can actually create those funky off center looks. Want a blank shirt with only your design in the lower right? Done. When you have that flexibility, a T can be an artistic expression and not merely a logo shout out.
modern fashion | Comment (0)
While dressing for work may allow latitude for originality at “creative” companies, jobs requiring uniforms are not as stifling as they may seem. There is something comforting, in some ways, about a routine. As long as one can keep up with the laundry, going to work in a uniform lends some anonymity for some, and tailored style for others. While the most famous uniforms, such as military dress blues, cut a dashing figure, surgical scrubs and other scrub clothing are often the same shapeless sacks as they always were.
Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but while gentleman sometimes have an advantage, as many were made for the male form originally, the designs are sometimes equally unflattering to both genders. Scrubs for men are often limited to plain blue, as the patterns are frequently populated by kittens and pastel unicorns–that is, unless you LIKE smiling kitties and pastel unicorns. They are really not as compulsory for nursing scrubs as you would imagine. For women, the baggy profile make most ladies look formless.
Next time you look to buy scrubs online, take a gander at Blue Sky Scrubs. The contrast-stitching on the pockets gives the plain designs some visual interest. The scrubs come in both male and female sizing scales. There is also a fitted top for ladies (Take a peep here: http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Women/) It is not inappropriate or revealing in any way. It merely eliminates some of the superfluous materials under the arms that create a boxy silhouette. In the medical profession, extra fabric is not necessarily modest. It is a safety hazard when flapping sleeves get caught.modern fashion | Comment (0)
The shoe in the left is just your typical basic pull on boot or something that might cover a dress show, right? Actually, it isn’t going to show up on the morning commute anytime soon, unless its the commute to preschool. Yes, it’s a pint-sized version of a pretty standard classic. Recently I stumbled across Tea Collection, a clothing line that has a fair share of boys clothing that boasts an international influence. Rather than being full of exotic prints and silhouettes very unlikely to appeal to American boys, the line has more of the feel of a look that is not country or region specific. Yes, there are a few graphic T-shirts, but for the most part, you’ll see cargo pants, non-sneaker casual shoes in a variety of textures and colors, button-down shirts and more.
I don’t normally gush over baby and toddler clothes…but look at the pinstriped pocketed onesie, at right. It could be worn with a smart pair of flat-front pants, jeans, or….just as a onesie. The pockets and lay-down collar show signs that the Mini-Gent might just have the makings of the bigger, tailored VintageGent to come many years down the line. A nice departure from ironic Che Guevera or KISS onesies, no?
Vintage children’s clothing is so hard to find. Kids just wore the heck out of it, and the only things parents or collectors seemed to have held onto is frilly little girl dresses that don’t really scream a particular time frame, or of course, christening gowns and boy’s suits. The every day clothes is something that parents who like to dress in vintage clothing can’t really find for their kids, unless its something that is from the 80s. Some of the items here have some styling that would definitely appeal to this demographic of parent who are tired of baggy pants (except those that are baggy to cover up a diaper). If the boy on the right was wearing a white instead of a tan/ecru shirt, I would say it is a bit guyabara inspired in a way.
The Tea Collection can be ordered online directly from the manufacturer. Also look for shoes, coordinated outfits and separates for boys, girls at children’s boutiques, such as Giggle, with locations in several major cities, Hip Baby Gear in Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts. Also spy them at Bloomingdales, Nordstroms and Saks.modern fashion | Comment (0)
I know, I know; when you hear the term “sports watch,” you think of something with a velcro or sweaty plastic band. I was surprised that the Bulova marine star watch is classified as a “sports watch,” according to the company. It seems counter-intuitive for a “sports watch” to include 24K gold elements, but perhaps I have a very narrow view. Bulova seems to be ascribing to the more classic definition of “sports wear,” which does not include anything remotely like muscle pants, sweat pants with holes in the knees, or especially terry cloth wrist bands, not even for the “ironic.” Back in the day “sportswear” included perhaps a linen jacket instead of wool gabardine, loafers, maybe some well-appointed ensemble to play croquet in. We needn’t be that terribly formally informal, but the term certainly did not imply that the wearer recently arose from slumber or was on their way home from the gym.
So, if your idea of “casual wear” is wearing fleece pajama pants to the mall, regardless of gender or state of personal health, you may want to bypass the entire idea. However, if your idea of sportswear is leaving the pretention of opera scarves and monogrammed pocket squares at home on casual days, but not quite diving in the “somewhat dirty” pile of clothes for your day’s wardrobe, then maybe you’ll agree on the watch’s classification. Or not.modern fashion | Comment (0)
(At left: Messenger Bag? “Murse”? Either way, if it’s leather, it is apparently not “vegan.” Even if it was vegan-approved, I would not eat it either way.)
Merchants of vintage and brand-spanking newly manufactured ladies handbags and men’s valises have used the term “vegan” to describe a satchel for some time now. Actually, if I could be so bold as to say that it started with small online sellers and was adopted by the big guns later, but I have no documented proof. It is just a foggy recollection. So…what IS this “vegan purse” thing now that some of you are scrambling around for that perfect gift for the gal in your life? Okay, I guess there are some guys who carry messenger bags that some would refer to as a “Murse,” or “Manbag,” but for those of you who do, you probably won’t get one for Christmas because you already have one and its really hard to pin a murse-less male down if he really wants to clean out his pockets and do so. If you peg wrong, it could be anywhere form offensive to pulled out only on airline travels to collecting dust. I digress.
Apparently, a “Vegan” bag contains no animal byproducts, such as leather, fur, bone or whale baleen. In fact, it goes as far as to not contain any animal products that don’t harm the animal to take, such as wool, angora (which is sort of like wool), shedded peacock feathers and any chemical made with eggs as an ingredient. Before we get into a debate about unborn baby chickens, if the eggs are not fertilized, there is no baby chicken in there. Chickens lay eggs regardless of a rooster being present. It takes two to put a chicken in the oven…I mean…a bun in the oven. So, in other words, it could be a PVC purse, otherwise affectionately known as “pleather.” Somehow “leatherette” doesn’t seem to have surfaced since 1983. It could also consist of cotton, bamboo fiber, hard plastic, rubber or the like. Now, even though many link “vegan” to “environmentalist,” many vegan bags contain highly manufactured materials to avoid wool and leather.
The term that is new to me in personal accessories that carry stuff is “vegetarian.” How can there be a vegetarian handbag or suitcase? They don’t eat. Unless they really do, when they go bump in the night. Or maybe they get filled with bed bugs and they walk across the floor themselves just like ants may carry a branch together. Eww. That’s unpleasant like the amount of spackle that went into Jack Lord’s hair. “Vegetarian” bags do not contain leather, but they can contain any form of wool. If any bag-making material had dairy products in it, which I challenge you to find, they could have that too.
So, if the gal (we would suppose it was a gal) on your list is vegan or vegetarian, do some investigation and see if it extends to her accessory choices. Some folks are vegetarian of vegan due to health or food sensitivities and wear leather shoes, etcetera, but some may not. Hopefully, your recipient will be gracious. And doesn’t eat it.fashion tips, gift ideas, ladieswear, modern fashion | Comment (0)
(At left: Goldfinger—or Lady Gaga— would approve. A Gold Ugg Boot. )
Just a Swatch is to a Watch, Uggs is to an Ugg. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Don’t I mean “like Uggs is to boots?” Recently, I learned that an “Ugg” is a traditional style of boot hailing from Australia and New Zealand. Uggs® brand makes the style of boot and has registered the plural form, and did not “invent” them. They popularized them, and now interpret them in many other ways. So, what are “real” Ugg Boots. Well, a real Uggs® boot is made by Uggs®. A real ugg boot can be made by a number of companies or can be made traditionally. There are multiple companies that make this traditional style of boot that was co-opted by mass production. Whooga is one such company that manufacturers the boots. Although the boots are no longer made by cobblers in the Kiwi or Aussie countryside, the linings are still New Zealand Merino wool.
Want to compare for yourself? Whooga is offering VintageGent Readers 10% off through November 25th if you use coupon code 862VINTAGE when checking out. This is not limited to American or British Readers. Whooga ships internationally. Good on any boot. . Click on the photos for additional colors and options.
Just a word to the wise: Measure your foot in centimeters to arrive at your size. Measure from the back of the heel to the tip of your longest toe.
In addition, one pair of boots are being given away at the end of every month. To enter, simply sign up for the Whooga newsletter.. It is free to enter. However, to ensure that you receive a pair of boots, take advantage of the discount to snag a few Christmas gifts and if you win, expand your wardrobe!
If you order a pair of boots or win, let me know what you think.contests!, modern fashion | Comment (1)