Fashion and Apparel Clothing: What Binds Women Together

A woman’s wardrobe is often considered off-limits to other people, especially men. You will not be able to see or enter these private spaces without uttering the password. Here’s a hint about the password: it’s a word that rings a bell to every woman’s ear. If there is a word that depicts femininity and womanhood, that would be the password. The magical password is none other than ‘fashion’.

Truly, you cannot enter woman’s private space without having some knowledge about fashion. Fashion is the blood of every woman’s social and psychological life. A good taste in fashion enables women to interact with different kinds of people. Fashion helps women feel good about themselves, enabling them to confidently strut along streets. Fashionable pieces of clothing highlight a woman’s assets and contours.

Take a look at women’s wardrobes, and you’ll see that most of their clothes look alike. Fashion experts recommend women to stock up on classic pieces of clothing for timeless fashion statements. Classic pieces of clothing such as shirts, jeans, and dresses do not go out of style. Unlike pleated skirts and puffy sleeves, plain shirts can be paired with almost any clothing item.

An elegant black dress is a must-have for every woman. A stylish black dress can be worn to many social gatherings – from an ordinary cocktail party to a formal gathering. A simple black dress like like Alternative Apparel clothing can be worn in the workplace, too. Simply match the dress with slacks or leggings, and accentuate the outfit with pearl accessories. In an instant, your outfit gives off a stylish corporate vibe.

Other classic pieces in a woman’s wardrobe are sexy stilettos and perfectly-fitting jeans. Stilettos, like the black dress, are flexible wardrobe pieces. They can be worn to any occasion. Similarly, perfectly fitting jeans, such as Alternative Apparel clothing can be paired with almost any kind of top.

Often, men misunderstood women’s love for fashion. You need to understand feminine psychology before you can judge a woman’s love for clothing and apparel. Classic pieces of clothing, such as Alternative Apparel clothing are essential in every woman’s life.

The Historical Development of Corporate Clothing

Corporate clothing or work wear, the clothing worn by a great part of the population, is seldom written about. However, the history of it does deserve some attention, as it is inextricably bound up with social issues of the day.

Diana de Marley, produced an interesting review of corporate wear and staff uniforms for the artisans and professionals during the twentieth century. She stated that “after the First World War most professional work wear was in black, as so many people were in mourning, however during the 1920’s grey suits became more common.The battle was on between frock coats and top hats versus lounge suits and bowlers hats, as people selected their corporate clothing.

The short jacket gradually replaced the frock coat, and at the same time the lounge suit became more popular among the working class. They wanted to wear suits, even if they were shoddy. The short jacket and trousers were the modern version of the hip length jacket and knee breeches that they had been wearing since the seventeenth century. The lounge suit had none of the inconvenience of long frock coats, so the workers adopted it in great numbers to such an extent that black lounge suits were accepted as Socialist suits, worn by some into the 1950’s.

When Gordon Selfridge opened his London store in 1909, the male staff had to wear black suits and the women black dresses with high necks. After the War in the Twenties the girls were allowed white blouses, black cardigans and black skirts. The men still had black suits. This was typical of all corporate uniforms for large retailers of merchandise at the time.

A great many uniforms followed fashion. The girls working for Heinz wore long striped blue dresses with gigot sleeves, white aprons, and large white caps to cover their hair. During the Twenties staff uniforms in food factories changed to shorter skirts and lower waists, and in the Thirties the waists went up and the hems went down as part of the return to a more feminine look. It put companies to a lot of expense, but workers did not like to look dated when the cinema made them more conscious of changes in fashion.

A large part of the working population worked on the land during the early part of the twentieth century. Even by the late 1950’s one man in twenty still worked in agriculture, however by the 1980’s this had fallen to one in a hundred. The old labourers who had stuck to their traditional clothing wore heavy corduroy trousers, boots, and leather leggings called buskins in Suffolk and corduroy waistcoats with a cloth back. The old sleeved waistcoats in corduroy were so thick a jacket was not necessary for work wear.

The Great Western Railway prided itself upon its smartness and looks, which characterized just how many companies, expected their workers to represent the corporate image. The GWR rule book of 19333 stated:”when on duty be neat in appearance, and where supplied, wear uniform, number and badge.”

In the mill towns “the first sound in the morning was the clumping of the mill girls clogs down the cobbled street” wrote Orwell in 1937.Clogs continued into the war, along with the tartan shawl , calf length skirt and dark stockings. In the cotton factory their now traditional pinafores continued as the principal form of protection for work wear.”

With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the shift of labour towards the towns, the gradual development of occupational dress suited to the job in hand occurred.

In recent times, we now see more emphasis in corporate clothing and work wear related to the service sector, where the corporate image and brand awareness plays a more important role, and the perception of the business to its customers is ever more important, reinforcing the need for classic corporate wear.

Fashion Theory – How To Calculate Your Clothing Budget

I suggested to Aisha, a recent client, that she invest in a durable leather handbag. Aisha argued that she simply couldn’t afford to spend upwards of $300. The remarkable thing about this was that once we analyzed her recent clothing purchases we realized that she was spending about $300 monthly on clothing! Aisha was actually suffering from sticker shock and had kind of become accustomed to buying quantity instead of quality. The end result was that her closet was essentially bursting at the seams with discount and poorly constructed clothing. In the end, Aisha was in effect spending $3,600 annually (nearly 10% of her $37,000 salary) on a wardrobe that lacked both function and style.

Establishing a budget is a very difficult question to answer from a general perspective because everyone’s financial and clothing situation is different. If you have a job that allows you to work in a casual environment where some of your everyday clothing can be incorporated into you daily work outfits, I would estimate the overall clothing allowance to be somewhere around 7%. For those that work in a more professional office environment where you are expected to dress the part and dressing the part may overall affect your promotion-ability factor; I would estimate around 10% of your salary. Keep in mind, this budget should include the costs of alterations and professional cleaning services. It is also important to note that if you are maintaining a household on this salary, i.e. you have children or a spouse you must allocate a portion of this amount to their clothing allowance as well.

Example 1: Aisha works in a business casual environment. Her salary is $37,000. Her clothing allowance is: $2,590.

Example 2: Elaine works in a professional business environment. Her salary is $85,000. Her clothing allowance is: $8,500.

1. Invest in Investment Pieces: Investment pieces are just that – “investment” pieces! So, don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on the classics which are required to create a functional wardrobe. Discount stores such as Marshalls, Century 21, and DSW could produce some very valuable finds, however it is important that you don’t become distracted and divert from the standard classics when shopping at these stores. For classics, I recommend shopping at a formula store. A formula store is typically a specialty retail store that stocks key basics. Some great formula stores are Gap, Ann Taylor LOFT and The Limited. The great thing about a formula store is that once you find the sizes and styles that suit you best, you can shop there season to season with little difficulty. These are great stores for purchasing a classic a-line skirt, trousers, jeans, button-ups, and tees, tanks and camis of variety.

2. Don’t Be a Label Whore: When it comes to beautiful dresses, handbags, shoes and scarves there are some designers that are simply ahead of the par, however to simply focus all of your efforts into collecting clothing that has a designer label tag regardless of how flattering or well-fitting the item is – is simply not a good option.

3. Do Apply The Cost-Per-Wear Concept: To get back to the example I gave previously of Aisha spending $300 on a leather handbag. The leather handbag is an investment piece which can be carried for months or possibly years to come. If Aisha carried this handbag for just six months her cost per wear would be $50. I discuss the Cost per Wear Concept in more detail in a recent post.

4. Don’t Charge: I know to some people this may seem unthinkable; however I think whenever you shop with credit cards you are always tempted to get caught up in the emotional buzz of said item and go well over your budget. If you’re carrying a lot of debt (particularly from past shopping activities) you really need to think long and hard about plunking 7-10% of your income towards clothing. A simple rule of thumb I often use is “Don’t buy it unless you can afford to buy two.” No, I’m not saying that you should buy two of everything; rather what I am suggesting is that every time you buy something, you take that same dollar amount and apply it towards paying off debt or towards savings. So in effect, that $300 handbag will now cost you $600; $300 to purchase and another $300 in savings or debt payment. The amount of your clothing budget should match or exceed the amount you are saving or applying towards debt repayment.

5. Make It Automatic: Now that you have established your clothing budget, the only sure fire way to stick to it is to make it automatic. Here are two great ideas for actually staying on budget.
Low Tech Option: If your budget allows for $200 to be spent a month on clothing. Place this amount of cash in an envelope. When shopping for clothing only spend what is in the envelope. Once this amount is gone you have exhausted your clothing budget for the month.
High Tech Option: Set up a separate checking account (I suggest an ING Orange account) and have a specific amount deposited into your account periodically; for example $50 a week. When shopping for clothing only use the debit card associated with this checking account. The nice thing about this option is that if you are not someone who shops on a weekly or monthly basis the money continues to grow towards your much anticipated shopping spree.

6. Maximize Your Budget: A pair of Jimmy Choo shoes is no longer $500. It’s $500 minus the $165 you will get for selling them on EBay the following year. EBay and consignment stores are a great source for stretching your clothing allowance. If you don’t have a lot of designer clothing in your closet you can still receive some financial benefit from making a tax-deductible donation to your local goodwill or charity.

Bebebo Childrens Clothes

For parents who want to choose clothing for their kids and infants that make a return to the basics, Italian children’s wear label, Bebebo, is an ideal choice for the little ones. If you’re the fashion-conscious type of mom or dad, then you’ll most likely know what the upcoming trends are for children’s fashion. For 2011, kids’ wear is poised to go back to the classics. Bebebo Kids Clothes is the perfect designer label that boasts of a line of clothes for infants, toddlers and children that feature classic styles guaranteed to last for many years after your first purchase.

Bebebo kid’s clothing-line boasts of having a wide array of clothes and apparel for children of all ages. The designer label’s line of infant’s clothes is particularly popular with the European market, with parents patronizing Bebebo for its use of exquisite fabrics, as well as its wide variety of styles and colors.

Buying kids’ clothes these days can be very challenging, and with all the trends that come and go as the months pass, how can you be assured that any purchase you make will still be in fashion next year, or the year after that? For older kids in particular, it’s important to not just choose clothes that are durable-you’ve got to make sure they’re stylish as well.

Bebebo kid’s apparel is the perfect solution to this problem. While popular trends evolve and shift, you won’t regret purchasing a set of Bebebo clothes for your little one, thanks to their understated and classic styles.