The husband and I took a nice little roadtrip up to Portland last week and we stopped by the outlets on the way back. (I needed new work clothes and the lack of sales tax in Oregon was just so seductive.) Among other things, I got this little skirt at the Banana Republic outlet. I like wearing knee-length full skirts and picked up a cute camel cotton one. I really love it. It’s got a nice contoured waistband for a nice fit. It has short satin ribbon hanger loops so the skirt won’t get those ugly clamp marks from pincher hangers.
The skirt is in two layers. The top layer (a sheer batiste) is very full and fluffy. The bottom layer (poplin) is a narrower a-line skirt. The two layers are tacked together at the hem with inch-long thread chains at each side. The effect? The a-line is full enough to not restrict leg movement, but prevents the whole skirt from blowing up over one’s head in the wind. As San Francisco is pretty windy, I love how this skirt is constructed–so much so I also bought one in light blue.
I also picked up a couple of skirts at the Calvin Klein outlet. They reinforce the skirt waistlines with grosgrain ribbon to prevent stretching. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, next time you see a grosgrain ribbon, 1/4″ or 2″, at a trim shop or on some kid’s head, trying stretching it. Try harder. Try again. Yup. Unstretchable. Very handy in making corsets.
I am such a clothing geek, this kind of stuff puts a spring in my step.
I go to a small networking event every 2nd Tuesday of each month I found through meetup.com. It’s a ritual at the house. I whine, scream, curse, cajole, beg, cry, anything to not go, and the husband physically drags my whiny butt out the door. I go, and invariably am glad I did. I always have a good time, I always meet interesting people, hear interesting stories. So why do I dread going? I have no idea. I think it’s a mental block with my shyness around fashiony people.
Listening to some conversations around me, I wanted to talk about a few things that don’t get mentioned very often.
A woman was talking about doing her production in China. She was talking about meeting deadlines. I suggested to her it might be a (very) good idea to exchange holiday calendars with the factory. Factories in Hong Kong tend to celebrate both Chinese and British holidays. They take a lot of time off for New Year’s. Italians take the entire month of August off for holiday. The United States actually takes much fewer days off than many other countries.
Someone was talking about starting a new line. One style, six different prints–brand new prints that they would develop and have the rollers carved expressly for them and everything. I didn’t want to butt in, but honestly, I winced at how much startup money that might take. But maybe she has the means? Maybe she discovered an amazing factory that will do all six cheaply? Anywhoo, often the more cost effective way to use prints, especially high minimum exclusives, is to use the prints on different fabrics, across different bodies.
Another person was talking about selling on their own website as well as finding outside retailers to carry his goods. Later, he spoke about his difficulty with pricing. If this is something you’re planning to do, it’s wise to consider your own retail pricing matching up closely to your retail outlets’ pricing. No store wants to carry your goods if you sell wholesale to them for $50, which they retail for $150, if you’re selling them to the public off your website for $60. Just some food for thought. Companies like Ralph Lauren and Built by Wendy have agreements with retailers that items shouldn’t be sold for less than $X through the manufacturer’s own stores. Ralph Lauren also sells items exclusive to his own stores to provide shoppers an incentive to shop their store over the Ralph Lauren section at Bloomingdale’s.
Anywhoo, just some bits as food for thought.
or “How Much Do I Hate Flash? Let Me Count the Ways…”
This t-shirt company based in gorgeous Dana Point called The Ryde emailed me about reviewing their product. As you know, I don’t review product, but I made an exception this time. Why? A few reasons.
First of all, the initial email was polite without being stuffy. Seriously, out of all the emails I get, the majority are not polite and spammy-sounding.
I checked out their website and I was ridiculously happy that their website doesn’t use Flash, and it doesn’t take an eon to load each page. It’s easy to navigate, and there’s a home button on each page. You’d be amazed at how many websites neglect the home button.
I hate Flash! It’s so annoying! And it’s not cool looking at all. Let the product speak for itself. People are impatient–don’t make them wait around forever. They say that the average person waits 4 seconds before their interest in the website starts waning. Not everyone surfs the web with half a dozen tabs open at once.
So in the interest of encouraging clean websites, California fashion, and cool, polite people, I agreed to take a look at their stuff.
I like their graphics, but that stuff is so subjective. Their fabric is thin. The husband is a very standard medium. The only non-medium he owns is a small Calvin Klein cotton pinstripe blazer. Their medium is a snug medium–order accordingly.
After a machine wash and tumble dry, the fabric softens, the screenprint colors remain true. My favorite part is the label–it gives instructions on how to tear it out. Step 3: Memorize care instructions.
Check them out, yo.
R.I.P. Isabella Blow. Her style, and the way she so owned it, was so fierce.
Usually, one writes a fashion blogger these types of questions, but y’all already know I’m not your typical fashion blogger.
So, a friend is getting married this year, and we have both agreed that a black velvet blazer, not too formal looking, would be excellent for him to wear at the reception. He’s around 6′ tall, and I would guess a 2XL or 3XL. Does anyone know of any meatspace or online retailers that can accommodate our needs? Of course, I’ve googled, but I’d also love to hear friends’ recommendations too. Thanks!
So remember when I told y’all that I was looking for a non-design regular part time job so I could have income/start-up capital while I planned My Empire ™? I found one. I start next Thursday. Now I just gotta figure out this public transportation stuff, as parking in that area is a nightmare. Woohoo!