27 February 2008

Can’t Touch This:Fashion Fads from the 1980′s You Don’t Want to Remember!

The 1980s were ripe for the picking when it comes to bad fads. From boom boxes to Pee Wee Herman to Valley Girl speak, you’ll find reprehensible pop-culture trends in every nook and cranny of this decade. But it’s undeniable that most of the really outrageous fads of the 1980s came from fashion and clothing designers. Here’s the top ten worst 1980s fashion looks on record.

  1. Shoulder Pads: Unfortunately, in the 1980s it was considered attractive for women to look like football players. No matter the age, females sported jackets, sweaters, and even T-shirts (yes, T-shirts) with sewn-in shoulder pads broadening their frames. Was a designer so short-sighted as to not include shoulder pads in their blouses – no problem! A whole sub-industry sprouted up for shoulder pads that could be easily Velcroed inside unfashionable wears. Some theorists point to the fact that the 80s were a decade when women were beginning to really assert themselves in the workplace as an excuse for this God-awful trend.
  2. Fingerless Gloves: One of the more mysterious trends of the 1980s, fingerless gloves were all the rage even among music legends like Billy Idol and Madonna. While Idol preferred his made of leather, Madonna liked to rock the all-lace varietals. The style caught on with the punk crowd and has even been revitalized, albeit in wool knit versions, by the hipsters of late.
  3. Acid Washed Jeans: You were nobody in the 1980s if you didn’t own a pair of acid washed jeans. And hopefully you didn’t embarrass yourself by wearing them without tight rolling the bottom of the legs, unless, of course, you chose a taper-cut pair. Acid washing extended to every denim product made in the 1980s – jackets, skirts, vests, etc. Pair them all together, and you were sure to be the coolest kid in school. The look is created by washing denim in a chemical that took all the dye out of the top layer of the fabric, but left the lower layers dark, creating a splotchy, spotted effect.
  4. Jelly Sandals: A wardrobe staple of the 1980s, jelly sandals were popular among every man, woman, and child, and the brighter the color, the better. Many contemporary fashion designers have resurrected these horrid things, albeit in a slicker format. You have to hand it to one thoughtful blogger, who recently made the astute assessment that Crocs are like the jellies of our time – unexplainable plastic footwear that may feel comfortable, but are uglier than a pair of nurse’s sneakers.
  5. Parachute Pants: The earliest version of these nylon pants were more form-fitting and accented by zippers and various pull-ties. But over time, they morphed into the style MC Hammer made popular, which were eventually termed “Hammer Pants.” People rocking this style looked as if they had fitted an actual parachute to their person, fastening it like you might an oversized diaper. Both styles were mostly popular among breakdancers, hip-hop performers, and Michael Jackson enthusiasts, and they had a good run among the masses. While nylon is still a popular fabric for some garments, thankfully both versions of the parachute pants we know from the 80s have remained dead and gone.
  6. Crimped and Permed Hair: In the 80s, straight hair was for the birds. It was all about crimping and perming. Hair was big and bold, even for some guys. Just think back to those old Poison or Whitesnake music videos. The how-to for hairstyling was pretty simple: tease it to the ceiling and then lacquer it down with as much hairspray as could be mustered without suffocation. And if you had to pull it off your face, a side ponytail was pretty much your only option, lest you wanted to risk social rejection.
  7. Leotards: Like many other 80s fashion items, leotards have made something of a comeback in recent times, but it’s anyone’s guess as to why. While traditionally invented as a garment for exercise, back in the 80s work out gear of all kinds were acceptable worn as regular run-of-the-mill Monday outfits, meaning the leotard was free to double as a shirt paired with jeans (stonewashed, of course), a skirt, or on its own with some requisite legwarmers – why not?! Most recently, the world’s very own queen of the 80s, Madonna, rocked a purple Dolce and Gabbana leotard for her 2006 Grammy’s performance.
  8. Oversized Hair Bows: Again, the world has Madonna to thank for this trend made popular in her video for “Lucky Star”. But regardless of who started it, big, floppy, oversized hair bows were all the rage in the 80s. They usually came attached to a headband or barrette for easy insertion into those big, 80s dos!
  9. Colorful Makeup: Who wore blue and yellow eye shadow, hot pink blusher, purple mascara, and bright red lipstick all at the same time? The ladies of the 80s, of course! While this wild striping of colors has made something of a comeback on fashion runways in recent years, it’s highly unlikely you’ll spot a contemporary person who dares to rock colored mascara. The makeup trend of the 1980s could be likened to war paint – it just shouldn’t be done by anyone, unless the person is culturally obligated to by some ancient tribal law.
  10. Plastic Sunglasses: Sunglasses were not meant to be neutral in the 80s. Take these brightly colored plastic glasses that resemble Venetian blinds, for example. Also, who can forget the Robot glasses made popular by the movie “16 Candles,” which are simply a thin strip of plastic that wraps around the front of the face like a headband.

So the 80′s may or may not have had some questionable fashion statements. But hey, we still love the 80′s and you should too! Show some love to the decade responsible for some of the most unfortunate hair decisions to date! Customize your own 80′s shirt today!

23 Comments

21 February 2008

Price Increase Effective Februrary 22, 2008

Dear Customers,

We regret to inform you that effective Februrary 22, 2008 our prices will be increasing. We held off as long as we could, but our product and delivery costs have increased substantially due to the falling value of the US dollar and rising price of fuel. We are forced to adjust our prices in order to maintain the highest level of quality and customer service that you are used to.

As always, we appreciate your comments, questions, and concerns. If you would like to get in touch with a customer service representative please call 1-800-361-8811 from 9am – 5:30pm EST or email customer service anytime. If you would like to contact me directly regarding this matter you may do so at tschaffnit[at]eretailing.com

Thank you for your understanding,

Taj Schaffnit

CEO

CustomizedGirl.com

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20 February 2008

Sexy and Sleek Top 50 Tech Gadgets!

It seems that year by year, society inches closer to becoming the techno-utopia characterized decades ago in the “Jetsons” cartoon series. No one could have known in the 1960s that Hanna-Barbera would so adeptly predict the future, but as long as inventors continue to roll out more and more advanced contraptions designed to make our lives easier and better, it could be no time at all when we’ll all be subject to George Jetson’s grueling work schedule of 3-hours-a-day, 3-days-a-week. Here are some of this year’s best and brightest techno gadgets.

Video Game Gadgets

  1. Nintendo Wii: Oh, didn’t Nintendo make the very day and life of every teenager in the world with the release of the Wii, an interactive gaming system that you control with your movements, rather than the quickness of your fingers. The Wii has the thinnest console of any gaming system and is so much fun to play that it even has a strong contingent of non-gamer adult fans, as well.
  2. PlayStation Portable: This super-slick, handheld game device puts those GameBoys of the 1990s to serious shame. With all the simple aesthetic beauty and the complex usability of an Apple device, the PSP can play over 350 games, 460 feature length films, MP3s, photos, and more.
  3. I-Vue K59 Video Eyeglasses: Talk about escapism, these glasses, meant as a replacement for a traditional digital monitor, strap on to your face and allow you to view 3D videos and games on a 922,000 pixel LCD screen. Dorky? Yes. But hardcore gamers are sure to appreciate the up-close-and-personal effect it delivers.
  4. Alienware Area 51 M15x: Video game enthusiasts can travel easily now with this ultimate gaming laptop. It’s been called the “most potent 15-inch laptop in the known universe” by Wired Magazine.
  5. Rock Band Video Game: Less a gadget than a complex video game, Rock Band is brought to you by the makers of Guitar Hero, and it combines real-time music making with gaming using all the instruments and elements found in a traditional band – guitars, bass, drums, and vocals.
  6. FPS Gaming Vest: This vest allows gamers to more closely live out the lives of the characters they control with simulated responses that create precise impacts on your person as they happen to your character. For example, if your character gets spayed with bullets, you, too, would feel the pounding sensations across your chest.

Camera Gadgets
camera_front

  1. Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xt: This highly-rated 8.0 megapixel camera is lightweight and offers all the quality and capability of an SLR camera at an affordable price.
  2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80: A camera that delivers more superior picture quality than most other point-and-shoots for a midrange price of $250.
  3. Canon DC 40: Featuring a functional and sleek design, this budget video camera has received high ratings from many tech enthusiasts for its quality and low-light capabilities.
  4. Panasonic AG-HVX200: Quite possibly the best handheld, high-definition camera ever produced, this product is loved by professional filmmakers and documentarians across the world.
  5. JVC DLA-RS2 Projector: A 1080p home theater projector that offers a 30,000:1 contrast ratio! Superb professional quality for your living room.
  6. Backyard Drive-In Projection Screens: Hook that new JVC projector up and point it out your window onto one of these awesome screens that give you a drive-in experience in your own yard.
  7. Leica M8 Camera: Leica enthusiasts will be thrilled by the introduction of this awesome little digital camera that has a retro design and is what the manufacturers are calling “future-proof,” since it has some of the highest resolution lenses available.
  8. Sony Wind-Up Camera: It appears to be a large plastic flower budding in a pot, but this contraption is actually a spy-camera that transfers images directly to a computer. When the battery needs recharging, simply wind it up by rolling over the charger wheel with your fingers.
  9. A 5.0 megapixel camera:that you strap to your head like a pair of goggles. It allows you to take digital pictures you can then transfer to your computer.

Phone Gadgets

  1. iPhone: The coveted iPhone sparked an international frenzy that had people lined up out the door of Apple stores to get the initially-priced $600 smart phone. The touch screen and simple usability design make this phone one of a kind and one of the biggest news stories of the year.
  2. RIM Blackberry Pearl 8130: A smooth phone offered to Verizon customers, this blackberry has a built in GPS system and video-recording capabilities.
  3. Netgear SPH200W Wi-Fi Skype Phone: This cute little phone allows you to make phone calls to fellow Skype members wherever a wireless connection is available – you don’t even need your computer handy. There’s no monthly fee and one of the phone’s features is that it tells you who in your network is online and available to chat.
  4. Palm Centro: A simple smart phone, with hip rounded edges, it has full web capabilities, including instant messaging and email, and the best part is that it has a full keyboard so you don’t have to stumble around looking for the right letters. It’s available through AT&T.
  5. MBW-100 Bluetooth Watch: Feel like a total espionage professional with this cool watch that helps you discreetly keep tabs on your incoming calls and text messages from your cell phone.
  6. Power Monkey Charger: This portable charger is a must-have for individuals who travel frequently. Small enough to fit in your pocket, you just charge it up before you leave home and use it to re-power your cell phone, iPod, or PSP from any location without an outlet. A tiny gadget that can impressively retain its charge for a full year.
  7. StrapYa Solar Charger: StrapYa is a small, Japanese portable charger that gets its energy from the sun.

Music and Audio Gadgets

  1. Zune 30 GB Digital Media Player: The Zune device has an extraordinary amount of memory and can hold up to 7,500 songs, 25,000 pictures or 100 hours of video footage. The sleek design is reminiscent of the iPod and comes in five colors.
  2. XM Satellite Radio Express Series: Cute and simple, this great little, lightweight device lets you access satellite radio stations wherever you may be.
  3. Bose SoundDock Portable: Our generational predecessors had boom boxes; we have portable speakers for iPods. They may have had more style (it’s doubtful you’ll want to hoist this over your shoulder), but we have better sound quality. This portable music system delivers stereo sound no matter your location.
  4. Bonfire Skull Crusher Headphone Snowboard Beanie: Long name, but great design. Snowboarders who usually have to tuck their headphones up under their caps can now rest easy with this stylish beanie that has some serious headphones built in.
  5. The Tonium Pacemaker: No need for clunky turntables now that we have this handheld, portable DJ device that allows users to mix between two different audio tracks.
  6. Ultra-Thin Digital Voice Recorder: Reporters and private investigators of the world will want to take notice of this credit card-sized digital voice recorder that can store up to 69 hours worth of data, and it can also be used as an MP3 player and USB flash drive.

Computer Gadgets

  1. Garmin GPS Units: Sleek GPS units for your car available in several different styles.
  2. Kindle: The Kindle, a wireless reading device that offers the full text of over 100,000 books, is the future of reading. Buy a book for way less than the cover price and you’ll get it digitally delivered to this thin machine that uses an advanced high-speed network. Take the contents of your bookshelf to the recycling bin and make your life completely paper-free.
  3. Mac Book Air: Mac Book Air from Apple is the world’s thinnest computer and the most anticipated release of 2008.
  4. SimpleDrive Portable Hard Drive: Take your entire computer with you in your pocket with these well-designed USB flash drives that can store your whole hard drive.
  5. Buffalo Keyboard with Skype Phone: If you are a Skype user, this keyboard is a must-have. A modern-looking silver and black keyboard with a small phone handset built into the side for easy communications over the Internet.
  6. Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet: These cute digital tablets feel just like a real pen and paper, but plug into your computer so you can communicate your quickly jotted ideas with others electronically.

TV and DVD Gadgets

  1. Samsung LN-T5781F Flat Screen LCD TV: One of the best flat screens on the market, this HD TV wins kudos for contrast ratio and picture quality, though bargain hunters may not want to view the temptation – it costs over $7,000.
  2. Sony BDP-S1 1080p Blu-Ray: This new Blu-Ray offers the highest-quality high definition output available and allows owners to develop several interactive applications.
  3. Pioneer Car DVD and Navigation System: An all-in-one must-have for your vehicle, this device has multimedia capabilities, including a DVD player and a full music library. It also has a great new mapping feature that will get you to your precise location on the fastest route possible.

Miscellaneous Gadgets

  1. FlyTech Dragonfly: If you’re into tech toys for playing purposes only, check out the FlyTech Dragonfly, the world’s first radio-controlled flying insect that has been programmed to move like a real insect and can maneuver in very tight spaces. It’s available in both beginner and advanced models, depending on user skill level.
  2. Reactor Table: Fans of Bjork may recognize this crazy new music instrument that makes noises and sounds when musicians slide different shaped and sized glowing blocks around the perimeter. You truly have to see it to believe it (and then you still may not understand it.)
  3. eStarling Wi-Fi Photo Frame : This futuristic photo frame is email-enabled so you can send photos directly to the frame.
  4. iWave Portable Microwave: Maybe you’re on the road a lot or maybe you just love your Hot Pockets so much you can’t stand to be away from them for a second. Well, now you don’t have to, with the introduction of the iWave portable microwave, measuring the size of a cubed Kleenex box and weighing only 12 pounds.
  5. Prepara Herb: If you love your herb garden but just can’t seem to consume basil and cilantro at such a rapid rate, try the Prepara Herb, a small food storage system that will keep your herbs fresh for 3 weeks!
  6. Clocky Alarm Clock: Snoozers everywhere need a friend like Clocky. A cute alarm clock invented by an MIT student, Clocky will roll right off your table and around your room, buzzing away if you hit snooze more than once – a truly ingenious product that forces oversleepers to get out of bed.
  7. Waring Pro Electric Martini Maker: Let’s face it – we all love martinis, but who can stand the endless shaking? Give your arms a rest with this professional-looking and classy machine that does all the hard work for you. All you do is drink!
  8. 60-second Charcoal Starter: A terrific device that lights your charcoal grill in just one minute without lighter fluid or an unlimited amount of matches and finger burns.
  9. LCD Cat Flap: This product, designed by Elite, is an electronic door for your feline friends that can be programmed to recognize up to eight cats. Just check the LCD display to see which cats are in and which cats are out.
  10. Rovio Home Security Robot: Spy on your own house from anywhere in the world. This small three-wheeled robot has full video and audio capabilities and can be controlled through your computer to check up on any area of your house.
  11. Sportline Talking Pedometer: A pedometer that audibly reports to you the distance you’ve gone when out for a jog or walk.
  12. iRobot Looj: Hate cleaning out your gutters? You don’t have to anymore, thanks to this new robot that does that dirty job for you. Simply climb up, place the robot in your gutter and let it go. It reduces the need for you to keep climbing up and down the ladder and repositioning it along your house. An easy fix for a laborious chore.
  13. Meade MySky: This multimedia device guides you through the night sky like your own private astronomer. Audio and visual features guide you as you point it toward the sky and begin exploring.

Have a gadget lover in your life? Customize them a one of a kind piece! After all, dork is the new black.

4 Comments

15 February 2008

Best Spring Break for your Buck!

In college, nothing is more anxiously anticipated than Spring Break week. But while some students pack up for a luxurious Mexican Riviera getaway on their parents’ dime, others must scrimp and save every dollar earned at the coffee shop. The good news for those of you in the latter group is that it is very possible to have a fun vacation without going broke.

If you have to fund your own travel, however, there are several things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to plan ahead. Booking plane tickets and hotel accommodations in advance is essential to saving money. As Spring Break approaches and rooms and seats fill up, hotels and airlines will increase their rates. So unfortunately those of you on a budget will have to relinquish some of your spontaneity. When making travel arrangements, make sure you do your research. Use online search tools like Sidestep, Priceline, and Travelocity and compare your results. Another thing to check is individual airline sites. Often times airlines will run travel deals that aren’t available through the above mentioned search engines and make sure to check airlines that frequently have specials, like Southwest and Jet Blue.

Location is another consideration. If you are on a strict budget, then you’re probably not going to Maui. Depending on where your college is located, some locales will be cheaper to get to than others. But one good way to save money is to look into travel deals. There are several travel agencies, like STA Travel, that specialize in group rates for spring breakers. Look to them for guidance on all-inclusive packages. While there is less freedom of choice with an all-inclusive package, they do eliminate a lot of worry and unexpected costs that come with things you might not necessarily be thinking about, like cab rides or airport shuttles. These packages often take care of everything you need – airfare, hotel room, food, and transportation – so they’re ideal for curbing costs. But definitely do your research and find a company that is well recommended. Some of these services are less reputable than others and you don’t want to take a risk and end up in a shady situation. Spring Break scams are common and have ruined the vacations of many a sorority sister.

So now that some of the basic issues are out of the way, where to go? One way to keep your costs down when picking a location is to explore something in your own region. For example, if you go to school in Florida, pick a beach, find a cheap motel room, and eliminate travel costs.

If you live or go to school in the southeast, access to beaches is no problem, and if you’re steering yourself away from popular spots because you’re worried about costs, that may actually backfire. Where there are crowds, there tend to be deals.

For example,Panama City Beach, Florida is an extremely popular Spring Break destination, second only to Daytona in the state. But that actually works in your favor if you’re trying to save money. The massive influx of party-ready coeds has given rise to a price war between the city’s hotels. Some offer packages with ridiculously low rates, like $169 for the entire week, a package that includes a daily breakfast and a free beer party. If you live within driving range of the area, then you can definitely take advantage of the competitive spirit among the city’s businesses and find some great deals.
Clearwater, Florida. Clearwater is beautiful and offers ecologically and socially diverse beaches. While a popular spot for Spring Break, Clearwater is much less crowded. You can find packed beaches, but you can also find quiet nature reserves. There is an airport nearby, so getting to and from your hotel will not likely require a rental car. Depending on how many people you’re traveling with, cheap lodging is fairly abundant. Many of the less-fancy motels offer rates starting at $60 per night. You could also look into renting an efficiency for the week, with rates starting around $650. These units sleep at least five and have full kitchens, meaning you’ll spend less on food.

Generally speaking, if travel costs are not prohibitive, popular Spring Break locations like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and South Padre Island, Texas can often be your cheapest options due to the super aggressive and abundant travel packages out there. Granted, if you go to school in Washington State then getting to these locations may be somewhat difficult. But who said Spring Break had to occur at the beach?

In the Pacific Northwest, head north to Canada and check out Vancouver, a huge city with a gorgeous mountainous backdrop. The nightlife is active, the scenery is beautiful, and the drinking age is 18. Elect to stay in a hostel and you’ll pay less than $30 per night. Or stay stateside and go on a camping and hiking trip at Mount Ranier. It might be a little cold for a tent, but you can find lodging from $40 per night in the region. Or if skiing or snowboarding is more your thing, head to Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho for the $36 student lift tickets.

If you live in the Northeast, the same activities apply. Head across the border to Montreal, take advantage of the cosmopolitan culture and shack up in a hostel for $18 per night. Or take a ski trip to Cannon Ski Resort in New Hampshire where you’ll find lift tickets for college students at $42 per day. The mountain also has great package deals and season passes that could save you some more.

In the southwest, you’ll have plenty of outdoor options due to the fact that the March weather will be perfect for hiking and camping. Spring Breakers flock to Lake Havasu in Arizona every year and there are plenty of deals to find. Renting a houseboat is expensive, but could be cheap depending on how many people you can cram on board. But lodging can be found in Havasu City for around $50 a night. Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border offers similar breathtaking scenery and has lots of options for camping. Or consider a road trip through New Mexico, a state resplendent with cheap hotels, plentiful campsites, and cool cities like Santa Fe and breathtaking parks like the White Sands National Monument.

If partying isn’t what you’re after, then you might consider an Alternative Spring Break. This organization offers students the chance to do some meaningful community work in needy communities across the country. To participate, students raise money for the trip with fundraisers, so the personal costs of going are very minimal. A road trip can also be a fun alternative to the standard Spring Break. You’ll get to see a more diverse landscape and the freedom of the open road is just as exhilarating (if not more so) as a throng of well-muscled men at the beach. Check out this New York Times article on how to travel by car with your frugality in tact.

Regardless of where your starting point is located, the fact is you don’t have to feel constrained by a small bank account. The key to keeping your trip under budget is simply planning in advance. Don’t rule out that crazy week in Cancun, but do start thinking early about which foam parties you’ll attend and use every resource available to help you find the best prices. The tourism industry wants you to travel, and they know that they’ll make more money by lowering prices to increase their customer base. A little research and a little forward-thinking and you’ll be frolicking in the surf in no time.

Want to make your trip even more memorable? Customizing one of a kind spring break tees and tanks is the perfect way to forever remember your vacation. Design yours today!

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14 February 2008

Go Go Green Couture: Eco-friendly Fashions for Your Closet


The organic revolution and the growing global concern about the future health of our planet has forced many industries to change their business models. Most grocery stores, save the ones in remote locations, now have organic sections devoted to solely to products made without pesticides or hormones. Natural food grocery stores are popping up in number in every large- and mid-sized city across the country, and some organic scholars predict that most Americans will be eating only organic foods by 2023. Builders and architects are receiving incentives for constructing energy-efficient buildings and manufacturing companies like auto and petroleum makers, the biggest pollution culprits on the planet, are now mandated to cut their carbon emissions.So, it seems only logical that fashion and clothing makers would also make ecological strides. Organic clothing items are commonly found now on the Internet and on the racks in small boutiques and even large chains, like Whole Foods and, the Gap. And, to the delight of many fashion-forward consumers, these products are not all shapeless, beige sacks.

Some may wonder why purchasing organic clothing is important. Since a person doesn’t typically ingest their corduroys, the personal benefit of natural fiber T-shirts may not be readily apparent, and the societal benefit is often overlooked. Cotton is a crop. And non-organic cotton growers spray their yield with chemicals and pesticides the same as any other non-organic farmer. In fact, cotton is the most pesticide-intense crop in the world, using over 50 million pounds of pesticide per year in the U.S. alone. This chemical use is aiding in the rapid destruction of the environment and the deterioration of human health, as many scientific studies are finding.
Thankfully, your efforts to become more environmentally conscious with what you wear will be a little easier thanks to the many activists and fashion designers leading the way. Take for example, Shellie and Michael Lackman, who launched the Organic Clothing Blog in 2006. While this blog won’t give you too many external references to organic clothing makers (the authors have their own business), it will give you supremely in-depth coverage of all the issues surrounding the organic clothing industry. One fascinating article centers on Ayurvastra clothing, which is clothing with microcapsules embedded into the fabric that release scents and lotions that have healing benefits.

The Lackman’s also have their own organic clothing line called Lotus Organics, based in Fairfield, Iowa. While some of the items for sale are fairly standard, the sleek lines of the A-Line skirt and Swan Dress will please even the most high-maintenance fashionistas.

Jonano, a higher-end retail outlet, specializes in bamboo and hemp clothing, and sells fashionable items like the Rio Dress and the Lena Capri pant. Looking for some soft, well-cut T-shirts and hoodies? Try Bamboosa, a line made completely from bamboo fibers.

For social events, turn to Earth Speaks, a line that offers several cute dresses and blouses. For the hipper among us, check out Loomstate, a company that carries the matter-of-fact motto “Giving a shit is sexy,” for trendy bodily organics and jeans. (Loomstate doesn’t sell its wares online, but the website does have a store finder.)

Some of the most notable organic designers are the self-dubbed “organic pioneers” Stewart and Brown, two designers who left their posts at Patagonia to start a natural clothing line that is truly top-of-the-line in its attention to detail and fitting. Cycle through their collection to view their amazing dresses and sophisticated button-down shirts.

If you’re a jean freak, you’ll want to know about Del Forte Denim, an all-natural, fashionable jean line sold in boutiques. The company even started Project Rejeaneration, which encourages customers to send back used pairs of jeans to the company so they can incorporate the materials into their new products. If flowy skirts and ruffled accents are your thing, look to EcoGanik for beautiful designs and simple staples like the < a href=http://secure-shop.mykorazon.com/new/osc_backup/product_info.php?products_id=654> V-neck Pocket Dress.

Sweetgrass constructs their products from hemp and offers a line of mostly basics. But the styles are well fitted and chic. For an edgier look, try Mountains of the Moon, a higher-end design company with a sexier style. The Audrey Hemp Dress is one of the store’s signature items – at $78 it’s very reasonable. And without a doubt, the U.K.-based company Enamore is hemp made runway worthy. Known especially for their lingerie line, items like the Vintage Print Tulip Dress mark Enamore’s edgy style. For more basics, try Rawganique ,another all-hemp line that makes both women’s and men’s clothes.

One designer back from the 1980s with a new approach to fashion is Katharine Hamnett (you may recognize her “Choose Life” T-shirt from Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video). Hamnett is re-launching her revolutionary T-shirts, but this time it’s all natural. She now uses her online store to educate people about the dangers of living carelessly.

If you’re more of a mall shopper, you might want to tryThe Green Loop an Amazon-style website that allows you to peruse through several organic offerings from a diverse group of designers, like Habitude, Passenger Pigeon, and Emily Katz.

Wherever your shopping takes you, the most uplifting thing about the organic trend in the clothing industry is that it’s trickling down to the major chain retailers. Target is now selling organic clothing items and bedding; H&M recently released an organic collection and plans to continue doing so; and Levi Straussnow has organic jeans.

There’s a lot of good news coming from the ever-more-ecologically-progressive fashion industry. Keep up with all the trends and latest news with the following resources: The Sustainable Cotton Center, The Lazy Environmentalist, The Organic Trade Organization, and PAN Germany’s Directory for Organic Cotton.

Want to spread more environmental awareness? Wear your message on your sleeve! Customize your very own green design today!

2 Comments

12 February 2008

Customized Girl Design Contest

Greetings!

We want to give you $200 and feature your design in US Weekly. We hope you accept.

Here is the story:

Every week, we try to come up with witty, funny, and interesting t-shirt sayings for our weekly magazine ads like the one pictured below:

USWeeklyAd

This can be a daunting task. So we were wondering if you wanted to help out.

All you have to do is create a design and save it to the Community Gallery. Tag it “Contest 1”, and we’ll let you know if you win!

Tips for a successful design:

This design will be featured in an advertisement in US Weekly, so it has to fill several requirements. Most importantly, it needs to inspire people. It should be a design that people see and think “Oh my gosh, I want to create my own shirt too!”

One way this can be achieved is through personalization. It would be nice if the design was immediately recognizable as customizable (i.e. “Jon’s Tight End” on a pair of hot shorts). The ideal design would be an inside joke that could apply to a broad audience (i.e. “I won an argument with Jon, December 2008”).

Another type of design is the clever or funny saying that doesn’t require any personalization, and can be purchased as it is (i.e. “Free Paris”).

You can choose any piece of apparel to make your design, but the Women’s Tops and Undies sections are probably your best bet.

If you’ve never saved a design before, here’s a quick lesson:

Click on the piece of apparel with which you want to start. In the Design Center you can add text, clipart, and your own images. Everything is adjustable, so feel free to experiment with the text styles, colors, sizes, etc.

Most importantly, be sure to save your design once you’re finished. Just click the save button in the Design Center, which looks like this:

SaveToGallery

On the next page name your design, choose the first tag from the drop down menu, and add “Contest 1” as an additional tag.

TagItContest1

Be sure to leave your Share Option as “share”. Then click “Save” and you’re done!

This is our first week running this contest, so we’re not exactly sure what to expect. Only a really great design will get chosen. If it’s successful we’d like to do it every week with the same prize.

Once a design is chosen, it will go into the next possible US Weekly ad, which might not appear for a couple of weeks, depending on the deadlines.

Sound good? We really want you guys to have a great time interacting with our site, and if we can put a little extra cash in some cunning person’s pocket, we’d like to do that as well. Thanks and good luck!

If you’d like to see who you’re competing against, just click here.If you see something you like, add a comment to that design. The designer would probably appreciate it!

*You must be 18 years old to claim your prize.

*Enter as many times as you want. You do not have to purchase your design to be entered into the contest.

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5 February 2008

50 Fabulously Unique Shoes

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs has been designing clothing and shoes since he was in high school. As a student at the Parson’s School of Design, he won many awards, including Design Student of the Year. Now, Jacobs has his own line and has been outfitting Hollywood’s elite for over a decade. Here are some of his one-of-a-kind shoe designs.

  1. Mouse Flats: These shoes are simply adorable. The spotted material is eye-catching and versatile, and the leather accents make a cute little mouse face.
  2. Hot Ankle Boots: These dual-toned boots are extremely stylish. While it would be tough to describe them as timeless, they’re definitely trend setters. Pair them with shorts or a miniskirt to cash in on the full leg-lengthening effects.
  3. Scrunch Ruffle Boots: These creative leather boots resemble a small pouch or paper bag.
  4. Backward Heel Shoes: Much spirited debate has been sparked by these new shoes from Jacobs’ 2008 Spring collection. They’re definitely strange.
  5. Red Boots : Check out these fun boots loved by British model Kate Moss.

Rodarte

Fashion bloggers and style reporters have been all over the 2008 Spring shoe collection from Rodarte. Harsh, beautiful, and interesting, these shoes definitely have a style of their own.

  1. Studded Spiky Heels: This pair doubles up on two trends echoed throughout Rodarte’s 2008 Spring collection – studs and spikes.
  2. Blue Spiky Heels : Colorful heels that have been splashed across many a shoe blog.
  3. Zipper Heels : Clever and strappy, these shoes are made entirely from zippers!
  4. Studded Heels: These shiny studded heels are multitalented – they’re neutral enough to go with every outfit and bold enough to command attention.

LAMB

LAMB is the signature fashion line designed by singer Gwen Stephani who is known in Hollywood for her extreme styles and risk-taking outfits.

  1. Oxford Pumps : Androgynous and tomboyish, these shoes are sexy pumps meet formal shoe.
  2. Zeyn : Slouchy boots that are casual and fun.
  3. Kraemer : Give your feet a present with this wrapped-bow design.
  4. Euclid: These platform, suede shoes will give you height.
  5. Crowther: Check out this pair of sophisticated lace-up boots for your dressy or formal outfits.

Chie Mihara

A Brazilian-born designer, Mihara began designing shoes when she was a teenager. When she hit 18, she moved to Japan for school and then to New York City to pursue school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2001, she launched her own line and her style is both understated and funky.

  1. Novella Brown Multi Leather: These simple shoes utilize three different shades of leather for subtle accents.
  2. Ofelia – Viena Gray : Resembling an ankle boot, these grey numbers have very interesting lines and can be worn to both casual and dress up events.
  3. Sopa B: Mihara has taken a variation on the standard pump by adding a belt.
  4. Oda: You’ve got to love the bright blue heel and trim on these clunky, rounded-toe shoes.
  5. Olot : The bright red color of these pumps only enhances the design, bringing attention to the simple and elegant lines.
  6. Giacomo: Adventurous patent leather boots that utilize lots of color and textures.
  7. Jacob B : These amazing sandals are total throwbacks to the ancient days of Rome.

Manolo Blahnik

Any viewer of “Sex and the City” has certainly heard of Manolo Blahnik. Perhaps one of the most well-known names in the shoe design business, Manolo Blahnik is a Spanish designer who got his start with a small boutique headquartered in London. Since then, he has become one of the world’s premier designers, continuing his legacy of unique and groundbreaking shoe design.

  1. Feather Trim D’Orsay: A frilly shoe, light on material and strong on accents, the bright feather placed across the foot brings life to what might otherwise be a pretty basic shoe.
  2. Bandir : The Bandir is a sort of covered peep toe that almost resembles an ankle boot.
  3. Spring 2008 Collection: These are just a few designs from Blahnik’s Spring 2008 collection, which he has dubbed his “brutal shoes” for their harsh lines, stiletto heels, and sharp angles. The collection also features wild patterns and fabrics.
  4. Satin Buckle Sandal: This frisky, key lime sandal features a wide, funky buckle across the ankle.
  5. Scalloped Patent Sandal : An open toe sandal with a nude leather, this shoe wraps the foot creatively and lends height.
  6. Cutout Pump : One of his most versatile shoes, the cutout pump would be great paired with jeans, a sundress, or a suit.

Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman is a classy designer that specializes in adding flare to more traditional looks.

  1. Lingerie : The Lingerie Shoe is aptly named. A lacy, see-through shoe, Lingerie would do the trick in softening up the little black dress.
  2. Poof : Aspen ski bunnies (the anti-PETA kind) will want to snag a pair of these brown leather boots trimmed in rabbit fur.

Fun and Playful

Here’s some shoes by different designers that define spunk and spirit.

  1. Cherry Leopard Rain Boot: Rain galoshes from Chooka Boots that make a strong statement with the funky pattern.
  2. Sidewinder Black Love Kill: These slip-on sneakers from Ed Hardy are both cute and tough – perfect for an evening of live music.
  3. Black Velvet: Edoche Boots has come out with a high boot that would have definitely won points from Frida Kahlo.
  4. Houndstooth Yellow : Oh Deer! has made the quintessential shoe for the trends this season – a houndstooth body is accented by a bright yellow patent leather toe.

The Little Black Shoe

You have to have a little black dress, right? So it makes sense you’d have a little black shoe. Check out these versatile, yet interesting styles.

  1. Mabel : These ankle boots from Jeffrey Campell have an adorable collar and rounded toe.
  2. Jessie : Pedro Garcia brings us these calf-reach boots with folded and rumpled leather.
  3. Georgia: These flats are a campy and cute take on the classic Mary Jane.
  4. Grado : Baggy nylon booties that resemble a sophisticated winter jacket.

Concept Shoes

Some of the world’s most inventive minds have come up with these crazy shoes that are both impeccably crafted and functional.

  1. Keyboard Shoes: These funky sneakers from the Hong Kong Footwear Design Competition resemble a computer keyboard.
  2. MP3 Shoes: Take your music on the go – these concept shoes have speakers built in!
  3. Aphrodite Shoes: Designed for prostitutes who fear for their safety, these shoes feature a built-in cell phone with 911 on speed dial.
  4. Vacuum Shoe: While they have a pretty unattractive design, there is a vacuum cleaner built into the sole of these shoes.
  5. Carvahlo Shoes: Architect Gil Carvahlo released these futuristic-looking metal shoes in 2006 as a study on form and function.

Miscellaneous Must-Haves

Here’s a hodge-podge collection of shoes and shoe websites that are quirky and different.

  1. Punk Your Chucks : This artist-run site offers custom-painted Converse sneakers. Choose from one of the many existing designs or create your own. Definitely a little pricier than what you would expect to pay for a pair of Chuck Taylor’s, but still affordable.
  2. Your Kicks.net : Order a pair of slip-on hand painted sneaks on this site and guarantee that your pair will be one of a kind.
  3. Hand-tooled Slingback Wedge : These shoes are a definite throwback to the 1940’s, but updated and brand new.
  4. Nina Nude Python: These circa-1970s, snakeskin shoes have many features in style today, like their shimmering material and peep-toe.
  5. Garolini Slingbacks: Swirling slingbacks from the 70s that are fun, neutral and work-appropriate.
  6. Multi-Colored Flower Flats : These Prada sandals are comfy and sophisticated and would be great paired with jeans or linens.
  7. Red Fan Slingbacks : Christian Dior must have made these strappy heels with salsa dancing in mind.
  8. Black Camper Boots : These cute leather boots have an interesting flat sole and handles for easy transport.

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