This Week's Fashion News and Advice:

Maternity Coats You’ll Love Even if You’re NOT Pregnant!

Keep that bun in the oven warm all winter long in these stylish coats, which maternity style mavens like Blake Lively and Kate Middleton would approve of.  From a fall breeze to those cold winter nights, you can still look oh so chic while keeping cozy.

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The sophisticated MAMA Wool-blend Bouclé Coat from H&M is for the downtown cool mom-to-be. With a tie belt waist and concealed fasteners, this coat is able to cover your expanding baby bump from 12 weeks to nine months.

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Blank NYC Zipper Detail Faux Leather Maternity Jacket will be your favorite “throw over everything” piece this fall.  This motorcycle style jacket with silver hardware is edgy and tough, but can be softened when paired with a flowy dress.  Or add some great boots for the perfect fall ensemble.

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Punch up your prenatal wardrobe with some color! This wool maternity coat with a high collar and a bubble hem will lend sophistication to any outfit.  At under $50, this fun coat will infuse a little extra fun and the elegant shape you’ll want to wear again, well after your child is born!

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When the chill in the air turns icy, MAMA Padded Parka with a detachable faux fur trimmed hood will keep you nice and warm, while looking cool.  The drawstring waist and side pockets give some shape to the coat and make it a great option for the woman who’s too hip for regular old, oversized maternity wear.

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Look Out for These Fashion Girl Musts This BLACK FRIDAY

While we love Thanksgiving, it’s common knowledge that the day after might just be one of the best days of the year to score some killer sales.  While it’s possible to score big, be careful not to get caught up in the chaos and excitement as not every sale is really the best.  Experts say this is a great time to purchase electronics and high end items, but other gifts such as sweaters and sneakers might actually get cheaper closer to the holidays!  Want in on the shopping fun but are unwilling to wake up at 3am and lose some precious family time?  You’re in luck; the following Monday, which is now known as Cyber Monday, provides some fantastic deals online!

While we’re sure our cult fashion favorites won’t lose their hefty price tags completely,  these are the items that we’ll be on the look out for:

The Burberry Sandringham Slim Fit Trench Coat: regularly $1,795

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Why we love it:  This iconic coat has a rich military history which is reflected in the epaulettes on the shoulder, the gun flap fastens at the chest and a storm shield cover on the upper back.  Made of tightly woven yet lightweight breathable cloth, the coat is protective against wind and rain.  Made in England, this coat was originally designed by Thomas Burberry back in 1879!  The Sandringham takes this classic coat and updates it slightly with a slimmer fit that nips in at the waist.  The details and tradition of the coat, paired with the famous Burberry check, have landed this item on our must have list.

A blended Burberry scarf: regularly $395

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Why we love it:  These lightweight scarves look great paired with a classic trench or all on their own.  Try the Check Wool Silk Scarf in Trench Check or The Check Wool Silk Gauze Scarf in Stone Check.  No matter which material feels better to you (or which you can find a better deal for) you can’t lose!

Céline Leather Mini Luggage Tote: regularly $2,900 and up

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Why we love it:  It’s hard to go wrong with such a beautiful roomy structured tote.  It looks great in almost every style and color from black pebbled leather to a pop of burgundy.  Be wary though, Céline still doesn’t sell bags online and only certain stores sell them. (Call Barney’s or Nordstrom to see if the store near you carrie.s Céline or if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city, check there website. They have a few boutiques in Manhattan and other major cities as well as the Céline salon at Bergdorf Goodman in NY.)

Louboutin Stilettos: regularly $795- $845

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Why we love them:  They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts but when it comes to shoes it’s the bottom!  There’s nothing more fashionable and recognizable then those red soles.  For a great nude peep toe try Flo, which features a petite platform and comes in a range of “nudes” from light Lea to the darker Ada.  Or opt for a classic pump such as the New Simple Pump which is sure to be your next go-to shoe.

Chanel Classic Flap Bag: regularly $4,900

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Why we love it:  Chanel is the epitome of fashion.  It’s classic, timeless and only gets better with age.  Some people literally purchase Chanel purses as investment pieces.  With its quilted design, double C closure, and chain link handle, this Chanel bag goes with everything.

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IZOD Sporty Casual Menswear For Fall 2014

IZOD is a familiar name in menswear. It is a company that produces upscale casual clothing, footwear, and accessories for both men and women. It is also part of the larger Phillip Van Heusen Company in NYC. The original company name came from the Jack IZOD Tailoring Boutique that created bespoke shirts for men in London England. The company was introduced to the USA in 1938. You might be familiar with their iconic Lacoste Pique Polo Shirt with the crocodile logo, for which IZOD became very well known.

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One men’s clothing item that IZOD consistently does well is the sweater. At Kohl’s, they carry two styles of IZOD sweaters that are very popular in menswear. First, is the IZOD ¼ Zip Pullover. It is a great alternative, comfort-wise, to a sweat shirt and a little more stylish. It is constructed of a cotton/polyester blend that is very easy care. In the cooler weather, the long sleeve pullover can be worn over a turtleneck, button-down shirt, or short sleeve polo. The stand-up collar can be left open or zipped all the way up for more of a “mock-neck” style. The IZOD pullover comes in black, navy, blue, red, and green, which at the price of $19.99 would make it a fantastic holiday gift for any-aged man in your life.

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Next, is the IZOD Solid Sweater. This particular one is a v-neck style, which tends to be not as popular with all men, as the crew neck style sweater. It may be a more modern cut that doesn’t appeal to traditionalists. However, the sweater is a simplistic layering piece that can be worked into what you already may have in your closet. The “IZOD Solid Sweater” is designed in a fine gage cotton knit that will be less bulky than some other sweater knits like cable and fisherman’s knits, fitting more easily under more fitted garments like sports blazers and leather jackets.

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This IZOD sweater at Kohl’s comes in twelve different colors, but if you are giving it as a gift, you would be better off to stick to more basic, neutral colors like black, navy, or charcoal grey. This v-neck style sweater is priced at $32.99, which is about average for this type of sweater, but it is designed for the type of guy who leans more toward the preppy style of dressing, so it may not be the perfect gift for everyone.

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Kate Stoltz Celebrated at The Demiurge Awards

They say, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” New York is a tough place to find your artistic voice, but only because it’s brimming with creativity. From music and art to fashion and theater, the city is practically dripping in creative juices.

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The Demiurge Awards (pronounced dem-ee-urj) was developed to honor those who push boundaries across all platforms in part by the Skinny NYC. The word demiurge was originally taken from the latinized Greek word for artisan, demiourgos. The award was established to give recognition to those who create, produce and encourage business in New York City, through art and innovation.

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Kate Stoltz of TLC’s hit reality show Breaking Amish was the first recipient of the Demiurge award on October 28th at Lair in New York City. The award, which commends Stolz’s growing modeling career under the model management powerhouse, Major Models, as well as her work in the field of fashion design.

Stoltz relocated from a small Amish town in Pennsylvania to the big city and has traded in her traditional garb for something a little more glam. While living in the old-fashioned ways of the Amish, Stoltz shares that her and her friends used to wear jeans under their dresses, and would ditch the Amish attire once they got into town. Sewing practically all her own clothes since the young age of nine, Stoltz can still be seen sporting her own creations.demiurge4 300x259 womens fashion

With a love of textures and patterns, Stoltz collection is anything but drab. Straying away from her Amish roots, the collection features crop tops, fitted skirts and flared dresses. While her clothing may not be accepted in the Amish community, she does pay homage to her upbringing with a collection of genuine Amish quilts.

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Not only was Stoltz dressed to the nines in her black textured dress embellished with a gold zipper down the back that almost felt risqué but Stoltz enlisted the help of some models and notable attendees to help show off her latest creations.

Special guests included Lifetime Girlfiends Intervetion’s Tracy Balan, designer Henry Picado, and model Mercedes Edison who all graced the black carpet in support of Stoltz.

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The Skinny NYC presented the event in conjunction with tdr television, and the event, held at the chic spot Lair, was sponsored in part by whatthedoost.com, cooperatize.com and tazaq. In particular, the Skinny NYC holds events to continue their mission to pay tribute to New York- based forward thinkers in media, visual arts, performing arts, fashion, business, and philanthropy. The Skinny NYC began as a 5-minute entertainment interview segment broadcasted in Canada, Upstate New York, and northern Pennsylvania from 2008-2010. The now digital publication provides New Yorkers and the rest of the world with a taste of entertainment, fashion, music, lifestyle, tech, and beauty from the city that never sleeps. With over 318k hits and 3k unique visitors each day, The Skinny NYC is your one-stop for all things New York!

Feel free to check out The Skinny NYC at www.theskinnyc.com or follow them on Instagram and Twitter (@TheSkinnyNYC), and learn more about the Demiurge Awards at @DemiurgeAwards.

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Congrats, Kate!

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Review: The Night Vision Watch by Victorinox

Victorinox is a company that is well known for their multi-functional tools that were originally developed for the military. However, Swiss Army is also known for state of the art watch-making. Now, they have developed the Night Vision Watch that combines modern design, the superior watch-making ability of the Swiss, and the functionality of a professional tool.

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The features of the Night Vision Watch by Victorinox include the fashion forwardness of a stainless steel case with a black leather strap or the “black ice” version with the bracelet. It has a luminescent dial, a red-tipped second hand, and also expresses military time. The “magic” of the Night Vision watch is in its functionality. It has an LED module with six distinctive functions of dial illumination, extended light mode, low battery indicator, location mode, and even a SOS rescue mode.

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These illuminating features essentially mean that the wearer of the Victorinox Night Vision Watch can illuminate the dial for easy at night, turn on a beam of light to illuminate his path, or even produce an SOS rescue signal that can be seen up to one kilometer away. Also, the use of LED technology is very low in energy consumption, so that the unique lighting features will last.

So, not only is the Swiss Army Night Vision Watch by Victorinox a sleek, modern time piece and fashion statement, but it also has functions that are useful in everyday life or even in an emergent situation.

I partnered with the brand to write this article but every word is mine

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X-Mas Gifts A Brother ACTUALLY Wants

We have all been on the receiving end of the lynx box set, the comical and often novelty tie or the dreaded Christmas-themed sock/jumper. Well luckily I am here to make sure you resist those urges to reciprocate the “gesture” and to make sure you acknowledge that it really ISN’T the thought that counts.

Now I’m not claiming that this guide will solve all your present-giving conundrums but hopefully some of the suggestions will help guide you along the right path and move you sharply away from that budget, reality TV-star, aftershave you are sniffing so inquisitively.

First things first you need to remember that different people will appreciate different gifts. For example my hideously nerdy brother might not like receiving a free skydiving lesson like your adrenaline fuelled psycho sibling. So have a good think about the kind of person they are and try to forget what you like for a moment.

Now is the interesting part. A list of 7 (probably) great gift ideas for your brothers. I will let you know why it is a good gift, where you can get it from and what kind of ‘bro’ will appreciate/deserve it.

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1.    Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kits

The list isn’t in any particular order but this feels like the perfect place to start. The title pretty much lets you know everything you need to. Basically it is the gift that keeps on giving – Beer. Costing a mouth-watering £39.99 the Brooklyn brew shop beer making kit is a guaranteed favourite for those brothers you love, but wouldn’t mind having minor liver irritations throughout January.

In all seriousness this is a great gift idea that is guaranteed to take pride of place on the kitchen worktop come 15:13 on Christmas day. Brooklyn Brew Shop also offer a number of different flavours for the picky amongst us including: Bruxelles Blonde, Chestnut Brown Ale, Chocolate Maple Porter, Everyday IPA and much, much more. Each pack contains enough ingredients for roughly ten beers but also uses easily sourced produce to stop it from becoming the next soda stream, destined for a life of infamy hidden behind the Jacobs Cracker box (empty) in that awkward to reach cupboard.

2.    Rhino Shield for iPhone/iPad or any other Apple products

This is the ideal present for that little brother who never grew out of that crucial “falling” stage in a baby’s development. The Rhino Shield is made from custom-formulated polymer which makes it five times stronger than Gorilla Glass and enables it to absorb some pretty harsh blows.

Its only 0.029cm thick making it the ultimate screen protective solution. It may be considered slightly on the expensive side at £17.99 (£19.99 for your stupid larger iPhone 6s) but it still makes a brilliant present for the manual workers/idiots amongst us.

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3.    Philips Body groom Series 5000 Electric Shaver

Now this may seem a slightly invasive gift for a brother but bear with me (pun intended). An electric shaver falls into the “I would never have bought myself that” gift category. It is a practical gift that is affordable and often overlooked.

In particular I selected the Philips Body Groom Series because they are great little pieces of kit that won’t break the bank. At only £36.99 you really can’t go wrong with this present. Encourage your brosef to remove than unsightly goatee and tame his Tom Jones chest hair, which we all know makes him looks like a Mexican wolf-child. From the 80’s.

4.    Star Wars Light-up Chop Sabers.

No explanation necessary. Buy them.

5.    The Pebble Smartwatch

Dubbed as “App on the wrist” the Pebble Smartwatch is the most functional and customisable smartwatch currently in the market. It allows users check texts, tweets and other notifications without the hassle of reaching into those pesky pockets.

The watch comes with its own sophisticated app store as well as being waterproof and pairing with Apple and Android devices. The Pebble was funded through Kickstarter, as many trendy things are, and costs £99.99 RRP. This is definitely one for the wealthier and more loving brothers or perhaps if you have some kind of “keeping up with the Jones’” rivalry going on.

6.    Game Boy Cartridge Soap

I felt like after the Smartwatch the list needed something for all the brothers who don’t really get on. For the brothers who show their love through drunken fist fights, not gifts. So I present to you Game Boy Cartridge soaps. They are the cheapest idea on the list at only £8.99 but don’t let that put you off.

These make a great nostalgic cleaning product and are great an enforcing the knowledge that you are indeed the funny brother. Visit the geeky clean website to see how great they look.

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7.    Romo

Last but by no means least, is Romo. Every boy loves a good robot around Christmas time. Admittedly that’s normally a robot in the form of a remote or microwave but now there is Romo. A self-proclaimed ‘cheeky robot’ with a number of endless and customizable behaviours, Romo is widely tipped to be this Christmases’ must have.

It will set you back a healthy £129.99 but the list of features really are impressive. I won’t bore you by listing them but basically Romo allows your smartphone to come alive, to learn, to interact and even to teach.

Anyway that’s it. The list is complete and hopefully one of these gifts will be perfect for your brother and if not I hope you are left feel inspired.

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Win a $100 pair of sunglasses of your choice from Woodzee!

This week we’re giving away a pair of $100 or less sunglasses, care of Woodzee. Best part? You get to pick which pair you want! Here’s the full sunglasses collection.

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Woodzees, besides making quality accessories, also standout for their interest and investment in acting green. “Feel good about recycling and get 40% off your next Woodzee product. We accept broken items… if they’re in good shape, we’ll donate them to a person in need. If they are thrashed or have your widdled initials in the arm, we’ll recycle them or reuse the metal parts and grind the old wood for packing material.”

To enter our contest, just use the widget below to follow Woodzee on Twitter! Very easy. Restrictions are:

+ All the limited editions styles are not part of this promotion.

+ The $100 can’t be use as credit towards a more expensive pair.

+ Open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone!


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BigSweeps.com – Sweepstakes & Contests

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