How To Rock Retro Swimwear

Swimwear, much the same as all aspects of fashion over centuries gone by has developed and changed. However, the classic, ultra-flattering, vintage chic style is back for another summer.

When we think vintage swimwear, those classic icons Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly immediately spring to mind, with their classic glamour and timeless elegance. And it’s this classic style that so many modern women are now trying to recreate, complete with an up-to-date take on the 1950’s Hollywood one piece.

These retro swimsuits often featured a fitted skirt sitting on the hips, a high and nipped-in hourglass waist, and a strapless or halter neck. Polka dots and bold stripes were also popular in these kinds of swimsuits, as well as colour blocking (usually white) along with various trims like belts, bows, and buckles. More fitted and modest in comparison to the ever popular triangle bikini of more recent years, it’s this chic modesty which is making a comeback. Women want to stand out in the summer, but for style, class, and elegance, rather than for baring it all….

More at Vintage-Inspired Swimwear: 4 Retro Bathing Suits for this Season

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Pick Quality, Save Pennies – Tips On Spotting Quality Clothes

From rejuvenating your makeup regimen and committing to a fitness plan, to staying on budget, the new year inspires positive change. This year, add one more resolution to your list: Devote some time to researching the quality of your clothing before heading to the cash register.

“Today’s clothing is not as durable as it was a few decades ago,” warns Russian designer Marina Makaron. “Quality has dropped whether you shop mainstream or cheap Sunday market.” Studying the quality of your apparel ensures you’ll get the most wardrobe bang for your buck — and looking fabulous in the process certainly doesn’t hurt.

1. Evaluate

Always evaluate the construction of your clothing, especially when they incorporate extra details like buttons, beading and sequins. Pay attention to both the quality of the details and how they’re attached to the clothing, suggests Makaron. Check if studs are glued on or attached via grommet. The former leads to missing and cracked studs while the latter means a longer life span. Also check how beads and sequins are attached. If they’re sewn on as a unit, one unfortunate snag could lead to your apparel’s demise.

2. Dense Denim 

Jeans are often considered a breed of their own in the fashion world. Like all textiles, though, not all jeans are created equal. “My first tip for buying jeans is to pay attention to the density of the fabric,” says Elana Brynes, founder and creative director at Kings of Cole clothing. To check jean density, hold the fabric up to the light and see how much light comes through. This will determine how tight the weave of the fabric is. “The tighter the weave is, the longer the jeans will last,” she says.

3. Stitch Study

Always examine the thread and stitching of your garments before buying. Makaron says that a crooked stitch doesn’t always mean poor quality — it may simply mean hand sewn — but the thickness of the thread is key. The thinner the thread, the less durable the garment typically is. Also look for double stitching, which reinforces the garment and prevents tears in the seam line.

4. Cop A Feel


Sherrie Mathieson, style consultant and author of “Steal This Style,” recommends feeling the fabric to determine its quality. “Some fragile fabrics, like silk, will easily damage via wear,” she says. “Crush a small piece of the garment in your hand and observe the result.” Adds Makaron: “The garment should feel comfortable and soft. It’s all about the touch.”

How to Save Money and What to Look For When Buying Quality Clothing

If you want to transition your own wardrobe from “disposable” fashion to high-quality pieces, don’t underestimate the power of buying pre-worn clothing. It’s a great way to get designer clothes on a budget that still have plenty of “wear” left in them. Try following these tips:

1. Know What You Want

My own wardrobe transition started with one piece of clothing: a James Perse shirt. This Los Angeles designer makes simple but high quality clothing. I stumbled onto one of his pieces at my local Salvation Army ($3.99!) and promptly fell in love with his clothes. My search for discounted James Perse clothing led me to other designers I really love as well.

I’ve since found two other James Perse tops at the Salvation Army. Both, of course, were second-hand clothes, and have now been heavily worn by me. They still look brand new.

My point here is that it helps to find a few designers or lines that really speak to you and your budget. Once you find a designer or line of clothing that really fits well and looks great on you, then scour eBay and your local thrift stores looking for them.

2. Go Slowly

This is a process that takes time, so it’s best not to rush it. Be prepared to come up empty-handed time and time again.

If you can enjoy the process, you’ll find yourself having quite a bit of fun. After all, it’s super easy to hit the mall and fill up a bag full of Abercrombie and Gap. But where’s the fun in that? Scouring consignment shops and thrift stores is like looking for treasure. And when you score second hand designer clothes for a few bucks, you’re going to feel like a million.

Now, this isn’t to say that all my quality clothing has been bought second-hand. It hasn’t. In fact, the sweater I’m wearing as I write this is a piece I paid full price for (well, actually, it was on sale). But most of what I buy is pre-worn. Again, eBay is a great place to find good deals once you’ve found a designer you like.

3. Know Quality

You’re eventually going to come across a piece you love, but have no idea who made it. It’s happened to me plenty of times.

It helps to learn how to recognize a quality piece of clothing when you see it.

Start by looking at the seams. Are they sewn properly? Grip the fabric on both sides of the seam and pull gently. If the thread holding the seams together pulls apart slightly, it’s not sewn properly.

Look at other details. Is there top-stitching? Are there four buttons on the cuff rather than three? Is there any bead work? Is there a 2-inch hem for pants? Are the buttons or fasteners sewn on securely?

All these tiny, subtle details point to a high-quality garment over a cheap one.

4. Go for a Test Run

I know it’s hard to learn how to recognize quality at first. You can shorten your learning curve by heading to a high-quality boutique or retailer, like Saks or Macy’s. Go find high-quality designer clothes and look closely at the details mentioned in step 3. Try on the clothing and see how it feels.

You’ll likely notice an immediate difference. These clothes are simply better made, and you can feel it.

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Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live – the joke is over

When is it not okay for a politician to make an appearance on Saturday Night Live during a campaign season?  Surely, there are exceptions.

I propose that Sarah Palin’s appearance on Saturday Night Live where she starred in, not one, but two skits is that rare exception of an appearance on Saturday Night Live doing more harm than good.

Personally, I found this skit painful to watch. What Lorne Michaels and the writers of Saturday Night Live don’t seem to realize is that the fun of watching Fey illuminate and dissect the persona of Sarah Palin is in the simple fact that Palin was not in on the joke. Quite the contrary, her odd answers to journalists’ questions, crying foul when those answers are thrown back at her and the way the McCain campaign has sheilded her from any serious media scrutiny that any other vice presidential candidate would have to endure feeds the Tina Fey portrayal endlessly. It is as if, through Fey’s spot-on portrayal of Palin, we are being given a glimps into Palin that McCain’s campaign has denied us thus far.

She wasn’t completely horrible. She was just as wooden as most politicians who make an appearance on the show. But her skits fell flat because (i) it is offensive and a sign of mismanagement by the McCain campaign that they will not allow Palin to have serious interviews to answer real, hard-hitting questions that the American people have a right and need to know but they will, however, allow her to do sketch comedy on tv; and (ii) she is no longer seen by the media (and even respected members of the Republican party) as a serious, experienced candadidate who is qualified to be Vice President (much less President and leader of the free world), which makes her being on the show that highlights that very point just seems sad.

In the end, I think the best way to sum up her odd and cringe-worthy appearance on Saturday Night Live is:  we have enjoyed laughing at the rediculousness of Sarah Palin’s candidacy but laughing with her… not so much. It’s just not funny anymore (and, for that matter, neither is her candidacy).