Latest Menswear and Women's Fashion News/ Advice:

How to Enjoy the Western Fashion Trend

One of the biggest trends in fashion is the Western style trend, which is surprisingly easy to pull off, totally comfortable, and definitely unique. But a lot of people may be wondering how they can get away with wearing western clothing without looking ridiculous or cheesy. After all, you do not want to come across like you are wearing a costume. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to embrace this style without going overboard. Check out the helpful tips below to get started.


Photo by vendicatorre

Incorporate Suede into Your Wardrobe

One of the easiest ways that you can start incorporating a Western look in your wardrobe is by purchasing more suede or faux-suede pieces. Whether you add a suede coat or purse to your outfit, or even a suede skirt, there are plenty of options available. Just make sure it is in a rustic, natural hue that will really bring out the vibe of the West. This soft fabric is sure to delight you, and you will definitely feel comfortable in it, especially when the weather gets cooler.

Wear a Hat

When you think of Western fashion, you probably envision a cowboy or cowgirl with a cowboy hat on. And while plenty of trends call for wearing a hat to accessorize your already fabulous outfit, when it comes to the Western trend, stick with a wide-brim, oversized hat. Again, the key is to choose a color that is natural, such as black or brown, so that it will complement the rest of your outfit without taking too much attention away from other details. Not only will you look great with this accessory, but you will also be protecting your face and eyes from the sun, so enjoy the benefits that you get, as well as the compliments.

Add Fringe

Fringe is big in the world of Western fashion, so find pieces that have fringe, from purses to jackets, tops, skirts, and even ankle boots, and rock the look. This is the epitome of Western fashion, as it makes you immediately think of cowgirls wearing adorable outfits as they ride their horses. And there are plenty of different types of fringe to choose from, including really long fringe to very short and subtle fringe, so you can decide to be dramatic or subdued in your appearance, depending on if you are going out for the day or night.

Accessorize Appropriately

When it comes to accessorizing for a Western look, stick with pieces that have silver, such as belts with silver buckles or silver pieces of jewelry. These will complement the other natural tones in your outfit while bringing out the flavor of the Wild West. Turquoise is also a popular color when it comes to accessories, from belts to purses and jewelry.

With so many great and easy ways to look fabulous while donning Western inspired fashion, from tops and boots, to purses and jewelry, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t embrace your inner cowgirl and make the most of d before it fades.

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City Chic: 4 Best Dressed Cities in the US

Best-dressed does not mean trendy or fast fashion “looks” of the moment. It involves looking good, no matter the occasion, and selecting stylish clothes that make a statement. Best-dressed does not even mean owning the most expensive clothes. It’s more about the vibe and attitude that goes with the looks that makes these cities, listed among the best places to live, stand out as the best-dressed areas in America.


New York: Metropolitan Modern

This metropolitan fashion hub of New York City has been the home of high fashion since its inception, which appeals to residents who tend to be in their mid-30s. Every year, fashion weeks display the best of local designers as well as those from around the world. With Wall Street and business districts, as well as celebrity hot spots, club culture, and diverse neighborhoods, this is the fashionable city to spot the latest statements alongside traditional designs. Many up-and-coming urban fashion designers show their looks here while international fashion brands open up stores in this modern metropolis.

Los Angeles: Beach City Vibe

With residents averaging in their early 40s, Los Angeles is still fashion conscious. It’s where you can go from swimsuit and shorts to formal wear in the same day. It’s a city that offers all types of fashion, from local surfboard designers to casual chic like American Apparel. Home to celebrities, Los Angeles also has all the luxury brands found on Rodeo Drive as well as the funky boutiques of Melrose Avenue and the trunk shows and thrift shops throughout the city.

Chicago: Not a Hair or Accessory Out of Place

Despite the wind and those snowy winters, Chicago’s residents, who are mostly in their mid-30s, still prove that they know how to dress in something more than five layers and a parka. Besides being home to style icons and a wide range of local boutiques that personify Midwest chic, Chicago is offers all the global brands, including everything from luxury designers to streetwear and urban designs.

Miami: South Beach Sizzle

More than swimsuits and sandals, Miami’s residents, who average in their mid-30s, represent one of the style capitals in the U.S. with major influences coming from Latin America and other international fashion sites. Thanks to shows like “Miami Vice” and the growing popularity of the area among celebrities, Miami has become a fashion capital. With Ocean Drive’s luxury brands and boutiques as well as a “be-seen” club and beach scene and the polo set, Miami personifies cool, relaxed dress even in the midst of those humid, hot summers.

San Francisco: Relaxed and Hip

Known as the home to denim thanks to Levi Strauss and the Gap starting in this city, San Francisco personifies the casual and relaxed look without coming off as sloppy. If anything, this hip city’s carefree vibe, despite its residents’ average age of 40, illustrates that homegrown designers like Department 17, Shotwell, Unionmade, General Store, Brooks Brothers, Bebe, and more have captured the essence of looking good while still taking it easy.

For men and women alike, these best-dressed cities show you how to look good no matter the occasion or time of year. Look to the best places to live for everything from the best of high fashion to how to turn retro, secondhand pieces into a stylish ensemble.

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Top Trends for Men’s Suits for the Summer of 2015

While suits have been around for ages, you’d be surprised to learn just how many different styles of them are available, from the obvious in terms of colors to the not-so-obvious subtle differences in cuts. Some suits may always be in style, but if you want to really stay ahead of the fashion trends and formal menswear, the following are THE styles of suits for the (hopefully) hot, sweltering summer of 2015:

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are anything BUT boring. If your personal tastes for menswear tends to gravitate towards neutral colors, you’re in luck. Beige and creamy colors are in, including nude tones as well. Because they’re quite light in appearance, these colors give off a fresh look that’s perfect for a warm summer’s day. Plus, you can experiment with them and wear white dress shoes or casual summer sneakers.

Redish-Pink Monochromatic

No, that’s not a tongue twister. Redish-pink hue suits are in for the summer of 2015. The only thing is to go completely uniform in it, so make sure that pants and the jacket both match. It’s not only eye-catching, but it allows you to play around with some striped pattern dress shirts under the jacket. Our recommendation: a white and black checkered shirt. Even a traditional white dress shirt with a black tie gives off a sharp, yet casual appearance.


Blue is the New Black

Unlike the TV series, for mens suits, BLUE is the new black when it comes to menswear in the Summer of 2015. What blue offers that black doesn’t are the sheer number of variations in color tones that can accompany it. You have a multitude of more options to chose from, and you also can play around with more patterns. Black suits will always be in no matter what, but blue is certainly the more trendier of the two right now, and when you see the sheer amount of options you have with it, you’ll understand why.


Separate But Solid Color Schemes

This trend is simple but still lets your personality shine forth. All you have to do is make sure that every piece of your suit is a different, yet solid color, from your pants to your dress shirt to your jacket to your tie. You could have four different colors if you prefer, it doesn’t matter. You’ll really be able to mix and match and see what you feel comfortable with, all while being extremely fashionable.

Silhouettes and Casual Suits

There’s been more of a focus on being comfortable during the hot months this year. We all know how hot you can feel in suits at times, even during the winter, so if that really seems to bother you, you’ll be happy to know that silhouettes are now not only becoming a standard for those who live next to the beach, but also for those attending various workplace meetings. If silhouettes just don’t do it for you, you can try pants that go down to just below your knee, various sporty jackets, or low cut dress shoes / sandals.

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Primer on Men’s Leather Summer Sandals

As the weather is getting warmer, it is time to shed the heavy, closed shoes and look for something a little more open and airy for the summer.  In men’s leather sandals – a very particular focus of menswear – there are at least three basic styles.


First, are the ever-popular flip-flop or thong men’s sandals.  It is the most open type of sandals and a great choice for casual wear.  Sometimes this type of flip-flop sandal can be more of an athletic or beachy look, but there are some that can be worn with a dressier outfit.  These white leather thong sandals, for example, have a white leather upper and twisted/woven brown and blue leather that keeps the sandal interesting and less boring than the rubber type of flip-flops. Something a little different from the typical Birkenstock and Vince fare!
Mens flat leather sandals Conquest $70 Etsy handmade

Another favorite style of men’s sandals is the gladiator or strap sandals.  One, like this pair of brown leather sandals, gives you a little more support than the thong style sandal because of the straps across the toes and at the heel.  They would be a nice alternative to a walking sandal because it is a look that can be worn with both shorts and casual pants.


The third basic style of sandal is the slide  This one is easy on and easy off and doesn’t have what might be an annoyance, if you are not partial to anyone around or between the big toe.  In this photo, they have overlapping leather uppers that have side cut-outs, which will give you a fuller coverage on the foot, as well as a more secure fit.  It is a great sandal to keep by the door because it will be a shoe that you will reach for over and over again.  The stud detail that runs down the front, is also a nice modern touch and the gives the sandal more interest.

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How the ’70s Ruled the Runways

After seasons of skinny jeans and slim silhouettes, the funky prints and bell cuts are back, bringing with them the look of the 1970s. With super straight hair and sultry eyes, this season took an old school approach to beauty.


Lead stylist Anthony Turner for Bumble and Bumble, wanted the hair to mimic the feel of Creatures of the Wind’s Fall 2015 ’70s inspired collection, but still keep the hair fresh and relevant. “It’s almost ’70s hair through a very modern lens,”  Turner explains. “We’re taking nuances from ’70s hair and applying it to a very modern texture.”  Using Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray all throughout the hair with a little bit of water mixed in, He then dries the hair using his fingers rather than a brush. The whole time he’s pushing the hair down in the front and bending the corners of the hairline to create a “curtain effect through the front.” Turner shares, “Whenever I think of ’70s hair I think of this  being very closed in [referring to how straight the hair falls, covering part of the face.]”  He then brushes the hair giving it that soft ’70s feel and then completely destroys it. “Ultimately what I’m doing is taking this 1970s girl and then I’m deglamourizing [the hair] which is fun. It just feels really great.” “Using the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray all throughout saturating it and pushing it in with my fingers, keeping this little bend in the front but really mushing it in,” he’s able to get this modern nod to the past. “It feels very cool, very modern and downtown. It’s super skinny hair. One of the references was Sissy Spacek, but we’re making it feel a lot dirtier and modern.”


The 1970s in Paris were Pamella Roland’s inspiration. She complemented messy waves with dramatic eyes by Rick Dicecca for Artistry. DiCecca  created the look using Artistry Signature Color Eye Shadow Quad in Smoky (launching Fall 2015)  He used all four colors to make grey eyes that really popped. DiCecca first applied “Eye Shadow #1″ over the entire eye area blending from the lash line up over the lid to the eyebrow. Next he took “Eye Shadow #3″ and applied it from the lashline to just below the crease. He then took “Eye Shadow #2″ and added it just below the crease and along the upper and lower lashes (joining them at the corner) using a small brush. Lastly, DiCecca lightly blended “Eye Shadow #4″ over the outer corners of the eyes “sweeping toward the inner corner to create an ombre effect, then pulling shadow towards the outer corner of the eye to soften the wing.”  He completed the look with black liner smudged into the lower lash line and two coats of mascara for fullness. If you can’t wait for next fall to get runway worthy eyes, try Burberry’s Complete Eye Palette in “Smokey Grey.”  By numbering the colors (starting with the lightest color as 1) you can get a 1970’s Parisian eye today.

Dennis Basso also opted for a disco feel with winged eyes and stand out glossy lips.   Lauren Andersen created the perfect pout by dabbing Avon’s Ultra Color Indulgence Lipstick in “Chocolate Rose” for a hint of color. Then to get them super glossy, Andersen generously applied Avon’s Ultra Glazewear Lip Gloss in “Clear.”

Keep the 1970’s alive with these modern takes on classic beauty techniques.

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How Trade Schools are Becoming the Way People Start Their Careers Again

Trade schools used to be the entryway into the working world for the majority of people without wealthy means. And this used to be most everybody. The American middle class didn’t start to emerge in a big way until the 40’s and 50’s. Previous to this, most Americans were either rich or poor. “Poor” doesn’t mean destitute, but such families certainly wouldn’t have had the money to send their kids to the equivalent of modern American universities. If they wanted their kids to have good jobs, they sent them to trade or vocational schools, or just signed them up directly with an apprenticeship. In the last couple of generations, the American economy was such that the average family had a fair amount of money to throw around. They used it to invest in sprawling new construction projects for homes to live in. They bought swimming pools, expensive cars, and other middle class status symbols. And they also sent their kids to get ever-more-expensive educations. It wouldn’t be long before the growing price of education would no longer pay off in terms of good compensation on the other side of graduation.

fashion student trade school

This being the case, the system was bound to lose steam. And lose steam it has, as demonstrated by the collapse of many educational institutions and the financial firms that prop them up in the past decade. Not as many families can afford to send their students to these. So they’re looking for another way. Families everywhere want their kids to be educated and competitive. But they also want that education to pay off. A few can afford competitive STEM educations, intellectually and financially. But these are in the minority. Many of the rest are avoiding college at all or are reinvestigating trade schools.

In the field of beauty, cosmetology school is looking like one of the best options. Marinello Schools of Beauty are an example of an old idea whose time has come, once again. In 1903, when the first Marinello schools of beauty were founded, they were answering the same questions they are solving today. People needed practical, accessible educations, that didn’t put them into debt for the rest of their lives. Marinello schools of beauty offered short duration education. They also didn’t give students a lot of costs like housing and expensive books. Instead, they opened up schools in many locations, so students could get to them without having to rent housing nearby. They also focused on practical experience and training, quickly getting students set up with real work opportunities to get good at their craft.

If this sounds great, it’s because this is the kind of situation that’s needed today. People need work, and without accessible fields and inexpensive educations, they won’t be able to find meaningful work anywhere they look. Marinello schools of beauty still provide this path into meaningful and gainful employment, giving thousands of students each year the educations they need to make a life within the field of beauty. Marinello schools of beauty are just one example of how an old model of education is showing its value once again. It’s a sustainable model, one built on real world benefits to students of all ages and income levels. These students can then become part of lots of different kinds of work, all thanks to an educational system that hasn’t left them financially crippled. No doubt, we’ll start to see trade and vocational school become more and more relevant to the way people seek out education in the United States. It’s an old idea whose time has come, one more time. If you are looking for an education that’s going to pay off, consider trade or vocational training.

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The 2015 Met Gala

On May 4th 2015, the annual Met Gala was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.  It is a yearly fund-raiser that marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s fashion exhibit, and excuse to show off some of the most elegant menswear and gowns of the moment!  A key difference with this event compared to other extravagant displays of fashion is that the attendees are required to select their formal wear according to the “theme” that year.  This year’s theme at The Met Gala was, “China:  Though the Looking Glass”.


Of all the notable women’s and men’s accessories that were sported by those present, several of the ladies went all out with the China theme and donned headdresses.  In the above photo, there is more of a “nature theme” with her crown of golden flowers and stocks to go with her bejeweled neckline and dress.   Next, is the flaming red headdress worn by Sara Jessica Parker with a crystal encrusted cap and long side tassels to celebrate the Chinese theme.  The photo on the far right is the most ornate with the waves of gold and silver swirls with floral accents that tie right in to her gold-lame, jeweled dress.  I’m curious about how much they weigh.

One design house that is always prominent for any red carpet event is Dolce & Gabbana and its array of suits & blazers.  Here are three examples of their use of texture to dress up the black tuxedo or suit.  The double-breasted suit on the left has a more subtle crinkle texture that adds interest to the black fabric, while the center tuxedo is more of an embossed floral/paisley that is more prominent in design.  The last Dolce & Gabbana men’s suit is more boldly adorned with its quilted texture jacket and hanging jewels. I can’t really tell from the existing coverage from the event, but I’d love to know how everyone accessorized, e.g. with cufflinks, to add to these handsome pieces.

Met-Gala-2015-almost naked celebrity ladies - beyonce - kim kardashian - jennifer lopez

Another trend for this year’s Met Gala was the barely there gown.  Versions were worn by Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez.  These dresses left very little to the imagination and even bordered on tacky as opposed to elegant.  The more subdued versions worn by Kendall Jenner and Rosie-Huntington White  were still sexy, but less of an open book (so to speak).

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