23 June 2010

Bikinis Then & Now

It’s summer time. That means no school (for some) and lots of relaxing by the pool (hopefully) for most.  For the ultimate chill-sesh you will probably need your iPod, a good book or gossip magazine, your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and of course, your itsy-bitsy-bikini! The bikini is a part of our poolside attire that most of us take for granted, and we never really think about life before the bikini. However, it has actually only been around for about 64 years now.  In fact, when it was first created in France, it was considered so scandalous that the models refused to wear it, and the original designer had to enlist a stripper instead.  Below is a brief time line all about how the bikini evolved to the beachfront and poolside staple it is today

4th Century: It was not uncommon for Greek and Roman gymnasts to dawn what we would call bandeau tops and bikini bottoms that would not look out of place at the beach today.

18th Century: In the 18th century, it was fashionable to keep the skin white and untouched by the sun. So, when it became popular to flock to the beaches with the invention of railroads and convenient transportation, ladies dressed accordingly. They would often wear bonnets, shawls, and gloves as they approached the bathing machines (like a cabana on wheels), and would often sew weights at the bottom of their dresses to prevent them from flying up with a gust of wind.

1915: Thanks to Australian swimmer and silent film star Annette Kellerman, American women began embracing the one-piece knitted maillots to beaches.

1940’s: Two-piece bathing suits jump on the scene, with actresses such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner all wearing the halter top, high waist suit. Interestingly, the bottoms had to cover the hips, naval, and bottom, and even that was controversial!

1940’s Cont’: At this time, “hot” women were known as “bombshells” and any woman that was intensely attractive was “atomic”. So, when two French designers created even skimpier versions to the two piece, they were given explosive names. The first was the atome, and the second was le bikini, referring to where the United States began atomic testing-Bikini Atoll.

1960: After bashing the French women for their “scandalous” and indecent tastes in swimwear, women in the United States embrace the bikini, and gradually accept it as acceptable beachwear.

1970’s: Models like Cheryl Tiegs began to change the way women decided who should wear a bikini. Before, it was common for curvier women who were busty and soft around the middle. Teigs and other models who possessed an athletic figure then set the precedent for what is still in vogue today. However, more and more designers are creating bikinis for all shapes and body types.

Today: Looking at a beach or poolside these days you will notice that bikinis are even more popular than one-pieces with younger (and sometimes older) women. Bikinis can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes! After all, it’s not the suit that makes you sexy…it’s your confidence!

If you want to make a splash by wearing a completely original bikini, check out our customizable swimwear and make your own bombshell design!

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21 June 2010

Helloooo Summer!

Although it’s been feeling like summer for weeks now, June 21st officially marks the first day of summer!  Often referred to as the “Summer Solstice”, this marks a major celestial event resulting in the longest day of the year, and the shortest night of the year.  On the day of the solstice, the sun appears to stand still, which is where it gets its name; A combination of the Latin terms “Sol” meaning “sun”, and “Stice” meaning “to stand still”.

Early Celebrations of the Summer Solstice

For centuries civilizations have been influenced by the sun, and have celebrated the Summer Solstice in a variety of different ways and by a variety of different names.  Some call it “Midsummer”,(Shakespeare, anyone?), “St. John’s Day”, or the Wiccan “Litha”.

Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids so that the solstice sunset, when viewed from the sphinx, sets directly between two of the Pyramids.  Also, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom has been associated with the winter and summer solstices for about 5,000 years.

Druids celebrated this day as the “wedding of Heaven and Earth”, resulting in today’s common belief that it is “lucky” to have your wedding in June.

Fun Facts

Midsummer celebrations for Pagans went a little something like this: They would celebrate with bonfires and couples would leap through the flames, believing that their crops would grow as high as they were able to jump.  Better hope it was pretty high!

Pagans were also known to wear protective garlands made of herbs and flowers on Midsummer, as this was thought to be a time of magic where evil spirits were likely to appear. The most popular and “powerful” plant used for protection was St. John’s Wort; hence the name “St. John’s Day”.

The Midsummer moon was referred to as the “Honey Moon” for the mead that was made from fermented honey that was part of the wedding ceremonies performed at the summer solstice.

Today’s Celebrations

The most notable celebration of the Summer Solstice is in England at Stonehenge and Avebury where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.

If you are not going to be near Stonehenge at sunrise to celebrate the beginning of summer, maybe a day at the pool or a cookout with the family will suffice as a nice kick-off to summer! Enjoy!

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20 June 2010

Happy Father’s Day

Best Dad Shirt

What is Father’s Day, you may ask? Well, the idea of Father’s Day was conceived when Sonora Dodd, of Spokane Washington was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.  She wanted a holiday to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War widower who raised his six children on his own.

On June 19th, 1910 the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane.  This month was chosen because it was the birth month of William Smart.  Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when Richard Nixon signed a public law that made it permanent.

What it has come to mean to us today: Even though Father’s Day has been around since 1909 and some of the traditions have changed, the basic sentiments of this holiday are the same.  At its heart, Father’s Day is about family, with the focus on dad. You can say “thanks” to your dad by making hand-made crafts, cards, his favorite meal or dessert, a photo album,  or anything else that lets him know that he is appreciated.  This holiday is not meant to be about extravagant gifts and cards, but about the paternal bonds between fathers and their sons and daughters.

When is it celebrated? Father’s Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

Quotes about Dad: “A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.” — Enid Bagnold

“If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.” — Bill Cosby

“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” — Anne Sexton

Suggestions for things to do with/for Dad on Father’s Day:

  • BBQ: What dad doesn’t like to play grill master while enjoying the outdoors with his family? Keep it simple and intimate with a backyard celebration of good food, and maybe toss a football or a Frisbee.
  • Zoo: The zoo is another great place to take Dad on Father’s Day, whether you have a young family or the kids are a little older, you can never grow too old for some fun in the sun at the zoo!
  • Baseball game: An all-American game of baseball is a sure way to please an athletic dad.   You could even surprise dad with a screen printed baseball tee, or any other Father’s Day designs like these.

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18 June 2010

Personalized Stuffed Animals! CG Fan Spotlight: Erica

Hey CG fans! Just wanted to give a little shout-out to one of our super-sweet Facebook followers, Erica Mazzini! Erica created this design to show some love for her fiancé Mario, and we think it turned out pretty cute! She also posted pictures of the Plush Tiger that she customized! If you have a design you love that you want to be featured on our blog, simply post you picture to Customized Girl’s Facebook Page!

Like Erica’s tiger design? Customize your own stuffed animal at CustomizedGirl.com!

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11 June 2010

Summer 2010 Fashion Trends

Denim Everything: This summer don’t be surprised to find jean jackets, skirts, accessories, tunics, leggings, and even shoes.  Pair denim with whites, brights, and neutrals for a fresh summer look.

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Jazzed-Up Leggings: Change things up with your leggings this summer, and go for a pair of acid washed, tie-dye, khaki neutrals, zip ankle details, or denim.

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Plaid: This summer designers are mixing plaids with prints, mixing and matching plaids, and going plaid crazy. Plaid can be either sporty or formal depending on the fabric, print, and scale. Wear plaids with neutrals or use a bright color to accentuate the color of your plaid.

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Shirtdresses: Is it a shirt or a dress? Both? Shirtdresses are a working girl’s best friend because they just look so great on! Knee-length or shorter usually looks good on most women, and can be worn to the office and then for a night out.

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Eye-Popping Shoes: Cage shoes, wedges, ankle boots, are all great ways to spice up a less-than-fab outfit. It’s even easier than ever now because pants are being made shorter to show off great shoes. Cage shoes (update of gladiator sandals, with more of a cage-like design) will probably be the biggest trend, as well as wedges of every color and detail!

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City Suit: One of my personal favorite looks this summer is the city suite (short suite). This is a “younger” alternative to the traditional skirt suite. The city suite is easy to dressy up or down, and with the right color, you’re well on your way to a hip and enviable summer look!

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Fringed Bags: This is an east trend to incorporate into your wardrobe this summer. Fringe bags add a boho/western theme to just about any outfit, and look especially good with denim.

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The LWD: Much like the LBD (little black dress) is a staple for the cooler months, the little white dress is perfect for spring and summer occasions! You can dress it up, or make it casual; whatever you choose, the LWD is a staple for your summer wardrobe.

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Coral: Choose a shade of orange that looks best with your skin anything from coral to peach works for most women. This hue works perfectly with softer neutrals like khaki or white. You can also pair it nicely with metallics like gold and silver and blues.

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