Archive for Fashion

My SIMPLE ECO SNEAKER

My favorite classic suede Converse has seen better days and the side is starting to rip. With a little bit of Shoe Goo, it will not end up in the landfill just yet. I plan to use it as my dirty chores shoe now.

simplesustainSince it’s time to shop for another comfortable walking shoe, I’ve decided to get something made by Simple. They are an interesting green company that was started in Santa Barbara, CA back in 1991. Simple Shoe company is committed to making their product 100% sustainable. Finding materials and processes that make the products sustainable is a method called “Green Toe”. Some of the products found in their shoes are listed in the colorful bubble drawings here – from hemp to bamboo.

The company follows the Deckers Ethical Supply Chain Guidelines. I’ve never heard of it until I came across Simple’s website. It’s a good concept and more companies should strive to do the same. You can read more about it here. A little excerpt below:

“Deckers Outdoor Corporation respects internationally recognized human rights and environmental standards and places them at the core of our business practices. We believe that no business should ever be complicit in human rights abuses. We promote greater environmental responsibility and we encourage the development and use of environmentally friendly technologies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Book Review: Classic Knits

I just saw the most pretty yet subdue knitting book ever. It’s Classic Knits: 15 Timeless Designs to Knit and Keep Forever by Erika Knight. I am not the expert knitter, as I have never successfully knit anything more than a scarf.

If you are interested in classic design and can’t really knit any of the patterns in the book, you can still find ready made items and include them into your wardobe. Personally, I always like the idea of mixing a few classic items with trendy ones. Classic designs are the best since the style will last much longer for years to come. Unlike trendy pieces that can only be worn for a few seasons.

The photography in this book is also very beautiful. The background feels like somewhere in an Irish or English country cottage mixed with Parisian city apartments. Katya de Gunwald, who is the photographer, did a great job highlighting the clothing and setting. At first, it felt a bit solemn, but it’s still bright enough to feel like spring is just around the corner.

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This picture above is a classic, but mix the nice leather boots and it looks modern. I love the combination of polka dot dress and a simple sweater. The decor reminds me of a drafty English home. It could probably use some fresh flowers, or maybe even a sleeping cat.

The three pictures in the photo gallery are some of my favorite from the book. I also like the cute little navy vest. I think I have one like it in wool, but unfortunately it was thrown in the washing machine and shrunk! I love the classic knit messenger bag. Just the right size for all your magazines and books. And finally, the soft caramel color sweater is sweet, but with an air of elegance.

If you like classic designs, I think you’ll like this book. And if you can’t knit, just keep it as an inspirational picture book. Please note, all pictures are copyrighted by Erika Knight and Katya de Grunwald. Please do not take photos without permission of artist. Thank you!

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Caring for Wool

This is an update from my “Caring for Cashmere“. I wanted to add how to care and wash wool and cashmere blend sweaters as well.mensweater
Washing by Hand: Do not use hot water as this will “felt’ the wool. Soak in warm water and add mild soap. I think shampoo or dish washing liquid (Palmolive) should be fine. Soak garment for 5 minutes. Do not use warm water wash followed by cold water rinse. Rinse clean in warm water several times until all the soap is gone.

Squeeze out as much water as possible, but do not twist the garment. Wrap the sweater inside a towel like a sushi roll and squeeze to remove excess water. Unwrap the garment from towel and lay it flat to dry . You may want to first lay down a dry towel before laying down the wet sweater. When finish, shape garment to proper size. Do not hang to dry or put in dryer, as this will shrink the wool.

Storage: It’s best to air out your sweaters for at least 24 hours between wear. After washing, you should store in plastic containers. Do not use plastic bags as it does not breathe well. I do NOT recommend using moth balls, they are toxic. You can make your own natural herbal moth repellent. It’s very simple, see below for recipe.

For cotton/cashmere blend sweaters, you can easily wash by machine and lay flat to dry. If you like things easy, just go for the cotton/cashmere blend. The nice blue one pictured above is from Land’s End. I have one similar to it by Sebastian Cooper in navy. It is very comfortable, light, and warm as well.

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Herbal Moth Repellent Recipe: Mix the herbs well and fill them in empty tea bags or just wrap in cotton fabric and tie with ribbon. Tuck these into your sweater drawers or plastic containers. Or hang in your closets.

8 ounces whole cloves
2 ounces each dried rosemary
1 ounce ginseng
2 ounces dried mint

Photo: Wikepedia Rosemary Sprig

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Pretty Bracelets

Debenhams has these very pretty bracelets. I never heard of Debenhams, but they have 153 stores in the UK and Ireland. Maybe just like another department store in the U.S. But I haven’t seen anything like this over here. Found out about Debenhams at ShopStyle – there are lots more pretty jewelries there.silverbracelet1
Silver enamel flower cuff

There are some neat textile and jewelry designers coming out of Europe. They must have a somewhat different taste over there, the sweaters are usually very happy and bright in colors. As these bracelets are too. And the price isn’t too bad, about $20. You can order them here.
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Silver enamel stone bracelet

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Caring for Cashmere

If you have ever come across cashmere, you’ll notice the exceptional warmth and softness of this material. I always had an interest in fabrics and cashmere is one of my favorite natural fibers. So I thought I find out where they find this type of fiber. And also the best way to care for it. As my last cashmere sweater was attack by moths and I have not worn it again. It was a terrible loss for me, but luckily I have a new sweater that I hope to keep for as long as possible. I also have a cashmere shawl (pashmina) that has been holding up pretty well. But it’s very delicate and the knits can snag easily. So it’s not something you want to go hiking in.

cashmerepashmina1So what exactly is cashmere? It is the fiber found in the soft undercoat of a Cashmere goat. Cashmere wool is much lighter than sheep wool and is very warm. The name cashmere is derived from the area Kashmir, near India. The fiber has been traditionally produced in China, Mongolia, Nepal, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. In these countries, cashmere fiber is often a secondary consideration to the goats primary function of producing meat and milk.

Muccia Cashmere of Denmark also states that the fibers are highly adaptable and are easily construed into fine or thick yarn, and light to heavy-weight fabrics. So it is good to wear in all climates. The cashmere fibers are collected during molting seasons when the animals naturally shed their hairs. Goats molt during a several-week period in spring. In China, Nepal and Mongolia, the down is removed by hand with a coarse comb. The animals are sheared in Iran, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Delia’s Coat Collection

I have not been back to Delia’s for about 5 years now. At it was on a whim that I decided to find some coats that I decided to look into them again. At the moment, I probably have enough of every basic coat or jacket out there. But I thought I might need something a bit less classic and with more of a modern twist. That’s where I found these perfect coat out of Delia’s shop. I really like coat #3 with the toggle closure and the little pleated tuck on the side too.coat2.jpg
Coat # 1 and 2 are both trench style and look very Euro chic! The little red trench is so cheerful, but I don’t think I can go for something that bright. Maybe something more neutral, like beige. And wool coat #4 and 5 are pretty much what I already own. But I thought I post it next to the others as a comparison.
The only thing that’s stopping me cold is that I can’t try it on first. I would just like to know how the material feels, how warm it is and mostly if it would fit like a glove. But at the sale price of $69, you can’t really go wrong. So I will see if I can decide soon.

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20 Lipsticks and counting

One day I sat down and took a count of all my lipsticks. To my surprise I had about 20 in all, and a majority of them came in the same shade too. I guess I’m just as guilty as other ladies out there that just can’t seem to have either too much lipsticks, handbags, or shoes! At one time I thought I would stop purchasing new colors since this was becoming an “unhealthy” obsession.

But then I got lured into the cosmetic aisle of Target and wanted to try these new organic lines. They are made with natural oils and fruit extracts – titled “Boots” and made in England. These lip glosses weren’t like most lip gloss out there (are the kind I knew from high school) that becomes all gooey and shiny. They were really smooth and made my lips instantly softer too. So I was hooked on those. I got two of them. But I haven’t really worn much of it this winter.

Another great line of lipsticks that are great is from DHC. This Japanese company uses olive oil as their main base in many of the products. My favorite item from them is the lip palette is also a lipgloss, but it’s not as glossy. But the only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that I have to apply with my finger. Just not so good when it’s flu season! Note, just found out that they are going to be discountinued soon.

lip.jpgSo I’ve found another great line of lipsticks from Nutrogena. They are sheer and not too glossy, with a slight fruity flavor, and a SPF of 15 too! My latest obession is Honey Breeze, just the most perfect color for everyday wear. But should I have gotten 2 of them? Let’s just hope they don’t stop making them.

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