Fashion Tips: Women’s Dresses

It is fair to say that the majority of women love fashion and wearing beautiful clothing. It is probably equally fair to say, that only a minority of women choose to wear dresses as part of their clothing. There are many reasons for this, but mostly it is due to a lack in confidence in their ability to carry-off a casual and natural air when wearing dresses.

However, there is nothing more simple, or easy, to wear than a casual dress. Here, we will offer some advice on the types of dresses available today, in the hope that by understanding a little, a lot of confidence can be gained and that perhaps a few more women will experiment with their clothing and begin to wear dresses with poise and self-assurance. If just one woman changes her mind, and decides to experiment with dresses, then this article has done its job correctly.

There are various styles of dress, which can be separated into different categories depending on their cut. There are many styles of dress, from the casual dress that can be worn every day, to the formal dress that is generally worn only on special occasions. In this latter category is the gown, made famous through various fairytales, such as Cinderella and Rapunzel – and many girls spend their childhoods dreaming of the opportunity when they can finally wear a gown themselves.

In adulthood, there are many opportunities for wearing such a dress, most notable are the end-of-school Dinner Dance, graduation ceremonies, and most of all, weddings. The gown style dress is arguably the most feminine style of dress, flattering the figure in a manner that is attractive, and yet, not too revealing. Although they are not ‘sexy’ in the sense that a little black dress may be, they are supremely alluring nonetheless.

Beyond the gown, there are various styles of casual dress, such as the mini-dress, the sheath dress, the shift dress, the sweater dress…so much so, in fact, that women are spoilt for choice. And given the incredible range of dresses that can be found, there is certain to be a cut/style to suit even the most ardent of dress-protesters! Dresses can make a statement to the world about the type of person you are, saying ‘I am confident, chic, and sure of who I am’ – no other item of clothing can boast quite that reputation, with the exception, perhaps, of the stiletto heel.

Different countries have different traditions when it comes to wearing dresses, and indeed, even in the UK, until the Women’s Movement of the 1960s, it was practically unheard of for women to wear trousers!

The Five Most Popular African Clothing Styles for Men

African clothing styles for men have come a long way and have evolved from traditions dating back hundreds of years ago. There is a wide selection of fashionable clothing for African men, that comes in various colours, design, materials, and styles. These clothing styles are usually designed to correspond to various functions and occasions.

Here are the top five African clothing styles for men:

1. Kente

Arguably, Kente is the best known and the most celebrated of all African clothing styles. It is considered as the embodiment of the African heritage that is known all over the world. Traditionally, Kente is made from African silk originating from the Ashanti Kingdom of Ghana. This African design for men, dating back almost 400 years ago, is intended to be worn only by kings and chiefs. The geometric pattern, colour and design of every piece of Kente come with specific meanings. Aside from making a statement, it also embodies the creativity, life experiences, religious beliefs, cultural heritage, and family line of the wearer.

2. The Grand Boubou

The Grand Boubou is the definition of African masculinity. This four-piece garment for men is a brilliant piece of clothing is a popular African attire for men, hand crafted only by the most skilful tailors. The entire ensemble would include pants, top, Boubou outer garment, and Kufi hat. The grand Boubou, originally made in Ghana and Gambia, comes with meticulously embroidered gold patterns that would normally take several weeks to complete.

3. Dashikis

Generally made from African print, lace, silk, brocade, suiting or cotton fabrics, Dashikis is either loose-fitting or tailored shirt, often in the V-shape neckline. This fine piece of African clothing style for men comes with simple or elaborate embroidery patterns, especially along the sleeve, chest and necklines. Modern dashikis come in various designs and patterns; however, the traditional look is well preserved. In some instances, the shapes of Dashiki necklines vary in many shapes and forms, such as square, rounded or closed necklines. Although Dashikis are commonly worn in West Africa, this clothing style for men is also becoming popular in other parts of Africa.

4. Brocade Suits

Brocade Suits, often comes with gold embellishment, is one of the most invigorating African clothing styles for men. This bold, brocade pant set made from luxurious cotton brocade fabric, denotes the African roots of the wearer. This fine piece of clothing becomes even more sophisticated because of the detailed embroidery, throughout the fabric.

5. Yoruba

This traditional African clothing style is widely used in Nigeria. Yoruba clothes are called by different names, depending on the particular style or design. It is called Agbada, as a four-piece apparel consisting of a hat, Buba, embroidered pants, and a flowing Agbada. Sometimes, it is also considered as African Bariga, an apparel that is comprised of a long sleeved shirt, a hat, and embroidered pants, and a flowing Buba.

African clothing styles are generally characterized by dazzling shapes, bright colours, multicoloured patterns, and bold designs. They also come with an assortment of accessories, head wraps, caps, hats, shoes and many more.

History of Rubber Bracelets – From Fashion To Fundraising

Rubber Bracelets, began as a punk rock anti-fashion, anti-establishment statement in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s. Originally, black, rubber 0-rings were worn as bracelets. These bracelets depicted the anti-jewelry sentiment, as rubber has no value whatsoever or status compared to precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum.

They became highly popular in the 1980’s when they were worn by celebrities during their concerts and videos, but these bracelets weren’t really rubber, they were actually silicone bracelets; today they are still made from silicone. Around the same time, jelly bracelets became a hot item; thin rubber bands that came in many opaque and translucent colors. The translucent ones could even be found with glitter embedded in them. These exciting new novelties could be bought anywhere; drug stores, bubble gum machines, mail order, or off other people. The object was to wear as many as one possibly could, sometimes in the hundreds. It was very common to swap and share among friends.

In the late 1990’s, Rubber Band Bracelets became popular. In this case, thick rubber bands were obtained from around banded vegetables in the food store and worn around the wrist. This trend, however, did not last long as real rubber is very uncomfortable; it snaps and sticks to the skin and hair, and it breaks down quickly from sweat and body oils and disintegrates.

Once again, this fad had its flaws, and faded into history. The next popular bracelet fad was that of the Jelly Bracelets that came in different colors and became known as Sex Bracelets. The different colors, as you may have guessed, depicted a certain sex act that the wearer was willing to perform. An interested party would just have to approach the wearer, snap the band of his/her choosing, and he/she would become the recipient of that particular act.

The sex bracelet code breakdown was known among the teens, listed on websites, and posted anywhere teens seem to research. The meanings varied, some made up their own, but it was widely known among this age group what one was saying when wearing the bracelets. As one would expect, it wasn’t long before Sex Bracelets were banned from the schools. If interested, anyone can still go online and find the different sex colors listed!

If one didn’t feel like purchasing jelly bands, there were instructions to be found on how to make one. One set of instructions required cutting thin strands of rubber from an old tire with a very sharp knife. Once done, the strands could be braided or woven into the desired style.

Another intriguing way to make a bracelet is to unroll 3 prophylactics, using as many color combinations as desired, and braid them together; the more color and texture, the better. Once done, thread a metal clasp onto each end to keep it secure and, voila! You are now the proud owner of your own exclusively unique Jelly Bracelet.

Like all fads, these bracelets seem to come and go with different purposes. In the year 2004, Lance Armstrong and Nike united their efforts. They created the LiveStrong yellow band which quickly became the motto of, and helped raise money for, Armstrong’s foundation for cancer research. Today, almost anyone with a purpose and a cause can create a rubber bracelet. Besides being fun and decorative, these bracelets can also be positive and instrumental in passing along an important message. Who knows; one may even have a message that is important to you some day.

Today, rubber bracelets are used extensively by groups of all sizes to raise money. They’re inexpensive, yet very popular and highly profitable. Plus, they have the long-term benefit of spreading awareness of your cause.

Men’s Fashion Suit Tips

Advice is sometimes better given than taken, I know. Men wear suits to different functions or events all the time. I think some tips on how, when and what to wear, would be of great help to all suit wearing men out there.

  • When you buy an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit. Business men should go for the doubled button notched lapel jacket.
  • Always unbutton your jacket before sitting.
  • For a more casual but trendy look take a jacket with a single button. It’s more fashionable to choose a suit with a double vent.
  • Choose a grey suit instead of a black suit unless you are attending a funeral.
  • The collar gap between your jacket lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket. Thin lapels are more modern and should always be kept in mind when buying a suit.
  • When wearing a tie remember the width of the tie should match the width of the lapel and always go for a classic knot for your tie.
  • A pocket square adds extra volume to your suit and should always match your tie.
  • Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.
  • Always take the same colour belt as your shoes and make sure your shoes complement your suit.
  • When wearing a waistcoat, always keep the last button unbuttoned. Wear your waistcoat with a single breasted suit; this adds a formal touch to your suit.
  • If you are wearing a shirt that can expose the cuffs make sure your cuffs are exposed half an inch.
  • If you are wearing a suit with the same colour waistcoat it’s called a three piece suit. When you prefer to wear a suit without a waistcoat you can also wear a cumber band set, which consists of a bowtie and a cumber band which is normally tied around the waist.
  • Remember to unstitch your jackets pocket; it’s normally just tack stitches that can easily be removed with a stitch remover. Also remember to remove the labels from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully as you can rip the fabric or neighbouring threads.
  • Do not wear bright socks and make sure your socks are long enough so that when you sit, no leg shows. White socks are also a no-no unless you’re wearing a white suit and shoes.
  • Make sure your jacket is long enough so it covers your zipper and buttocks.
  • Your tie shouldn’t be longer than your waist and also not very short.
  • The hem of your pants should reach the top of your shoes and for a more conservative look, wear your pants long enough to cover your laces.
  • If you are a very sweaty person wear a vest under your shirt so you don’t end up with a wet and sweaty shirt. When wearing a vest make sure it has a deep neck so it won’t stick out at the collar.
  • Make sure you put your men’s suit back into its original bag so that it will stay dust and crease free for a long time.