2011 Summer Fashion Trends for Plus Size Women

Are you feeling the heat yet? Summer is pretty much with us, so now is the perfect time to get in the know about the latest trends in plus size fashion for the upcoming season.

Most stores have already launched their Spring and Summer collections and are adding new items to their shops, both online and in stores around malls. So now is the perfect time to update yourself about the latest trends to update your closet in time for the Summer months.

So here are the top Summer plus size fashion trends you need to know about.

1. Animal Prints

The animal magnetism trend is back this year, and it is back with a vengeance because you can see animal prints everywhere! Front dresses, to top, tunic tops, and even leggings can be found in animal prints. Whether you’re looking for leopard or tiger prints you can find there in various different shades too not just the regular shades. Don’t worry if you’re not too daring to go for an animal print dress, you can incorporate this trend by wearing an animal print clutch-bag with a little black dress for example.

2. Wide Stripes

Stripes were very much in fashion last year, and this Summer they are back, but with a twist. Last year we were used to seeing thin stripes, but the ones hitting the catwalk this season are wide. So watch out for tops with wide stripes, in various colors.

3. Floral Prints

Whilst the animal prints trend exudes a woman’s strong side, the floral prints trend of course brings out a woman’s fragility and femininity. So although quite opposing trends, both of these will be big this Summer season. Look out for floral print tops and dresses. Some are all over prints, whereas other styles just have a touch of floral pattern. Again if you are not very comfortable with wearing prints, add on this trend to your outfits with patterned bags, shoes and scarves.

4. Bright, Vibrant Colors

It’s only fair that after Fall and Winter’s toned down colors, we transition into more fun, fresh and vibrant Summer colors. This season’s colors will be truly bright: watch out for highlighter style greens, pinks, oranges and yellows. Of course play this trend well and make sure not to overdo it. For example, you can wear a bright colored tunic top with a pair of denim leggings. Again do no forget you can play up with trend with accessories as well!

5. Lace

Similarly to the floral trend, lace is very feminine. Lace was quite popular over the cold winter months, we saw it in various collections. This trend will carry on in Summer! So do look out for lace dresses, and lace accented tops and leggings.

6. Gladiator Sandals

The gladiator sandals style of shoe was immensely popular last Summer, so everyone who loved these sandals can rejoice! These sandals are back this season. We might see variations in style of course, with different twists given to it, though they are still in.

So there you have it, these are the top plus size fashion trends for Summer 2011 you need to be aware of!. Take ton these trends and apply them to your personal style, to make sure you are stylish this summer season.

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How Online Shopping Makes The Fashionable World Go Round

Superannuated is the former approach to shopping, in which the ongoing trends of fashion remained confined to only a fraction of the population, since all people bought their apparels and accessories from very different markets and stores. Today, everyone knows the hippest trends of the time, because they all refer to online shopping sites for the latest fashionable clothing. The best and newest clothes and fashion accessories are now available to one and all, irrespective of their reach to the nearest physical retail stores. It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that everyone knows what is in and what is out in the world of fashion, with almost all people buying their desired clothing online.

Online stores are always teeming with fresh arrivals

The shopping websites on the internet is always teeming with fresh arrivals in clothing and accessories, keeping their stock frequently updated, and providing customers with the newest merchandise from the best brands. In addition to this, online shopping has also successfully put an end to the age-old myth that branded clothes cannot be grabbed at cheap prices. With the incredible offers of discount on apparels from top brands, availed by online retailers, purchase of branded clothes has become far simpler.

The technical aspects of online stores are user-friendly

Even the design of online shopping sites is oriented to absolutely suit the users’ convenience. Many features are available on the websites, transforming shopping into an incredible experience, with fresh arrivals, discounted clothes, and upcoming products, all displayed in separate windows. The customized search and filter options allow customers to look specifically for exactly the stuff that they are looking for, based on different brands, sizes, categories, colors and many other options. The displayed results may also be sorted in the desired order in terms of price or popularity.

A wide variety of price ranges to choose from

Men’s and women’s fashion in both, clothes and accessories is featured by online stores, with a wide variety of price ranges, according to the choice of the customers. Women find an impressive array of dresses, tops, bottoms, and what not. Moreover, the interest of men in fashionable clothing has undergone a boost due to the ease and simplicity associated with online shopping. There is no longer a need to spend hours in malls and marketplaces, in search of the right apparels to wear on special occasions or for daily wear, hovering from one store to another, carrying heavy shopping bags. The clothing that consumers pick from a website is delivered to them swiftly and safely, through the tie-ups of shopping websites with trusted cargo companies, sometimes shipping the apparels on the very same day as the placement of order.

The more you purchase, the more you save

Moreover, since most web stores offer free shipping in case of relatively large orders, a lot of the customer’s money is saved, which could have been spent on fuel and travelling in case of shopping from physical stores. It is only fair to say, therefore, that the purchase of fashionable clothing, not only for men and women, but also for kids and even infants, has been impressively simplified due to the revolution that is online shopping.

Overall, the phenomenon of online shopping has not only brought a change in people’s mindsets, but also enabled them to save a lot every time they buy online. Nobody now cares for the alluring advertisements of various offline stores that boast of selling cheaper things only in their advertisements. Now people around the globe have understood the importance and utility of online shopping and taken a totally different route.

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Jewellery and Watches at Craft Shows and Agricultural Fairs – What to Look For

If you’ve never been to an Agricultural Fair, or even a craft show, then you’re in for a treat! I speak from experience, having spent many years exhibiting crafts and jewellery at both craft shows and agricultural fairs all over Britain. They provide a unique opportunity to see and buy individual items not usually seen in the high street, often from the person who made them. And the quality of these items is usually very high as the vendors take a pride in the goods they offer.

Agricultural fairs and shows have a long history. Originally they were markets for farmers to bring and sell their animals, and they developed over the centuries into fairs with their own rights and charters. Entertainment and shopping opportunities are a feature of modern shows, and their appeal has broadened to provide a great day out for families. So what should you look out for when planning a day at an agricultural fair or craft show?

The first thing to note is where it’s being held. Usually, craft shows are held indoors, so there is no problem with the weather, but agricultural fairs are a different matter, since they are always held outside in a field or showground. This can lead to problems with the great British weather, so always check the weather forecast before you go! I have been to quite a few fairs where the ground became boggy and they had to use tractors to get cars and vans off the water-logged field! Either way, I would suggest taking suitable footwear such as wellies, and a raincoat and umbrella with you. On the other hand, of course, it could be sunny and hot, so take sun tan lotion and a picnic!

The jewellery vendors are normally either outside with their own tents or inside a craft tent or shopping mall. Either way, they are protected from the elements and more importantly, so is their stock!

So what would you expect to find? There is everything from children’s jewellery and funky fashion items, to individual designer items made in silver and gold and often set with gemstones and even diamonds. All silver and gold jewellery has to be hallmarked, and there should be an official notice to that effect placed somewhere on the stall. It is unlikely that you will come across designer watches, since most watches sold tend to be fashion watches, but it is likely that they will be sold at reasonable prices. As far as jewellery is concerned, you will find rings, silver necklaces, bracelets, charms for bracelets…look out for amber jewellery, birthstone jewellery, ethnic designs, and loose gemstones and crystals. Often the stallholder is very knowledgeable about their wares, and can tell you about the healing properties of the individual stones on sale. For example, agate is good for boosting self-confidence.

Whatever you choose, whether for yourself as a souvenir of a great day out, or a jewellery gift for someone else, it will be something to remember and enjoy. And of course, there is my website to look at as well!

Written by Michelle Michaelis, who has over 20 years experience in the giftware and jewellery trade, and now trades online.

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New Eco Fashion

Eco-fashion is about more than your look; it’s about how your look came to be. Designers who choose to integrate planetary consciousness into their clothing collections ask important questions: What kind of fiber was used to make that T-shirt? What type of dye was used to color that skirt? How did those pants get to this store? But though more and more designers- both established and new-are designing clothing with an environmental eye, greening your closet on a budget is not as simple as taking a trip to the mall. Try tossing around green lingo like “ingeo,” “soy,” “bamboo,” “cocona,” or “organic cotton” in your local clothing store and check out the looks you get.

But it is possible to fill your closet with affordable, stylish clothing that was made responsibly. You simply have to know where to look. As with conventional fashion, environmentally minded clothing created by the world’s top designers carries some of the world’s top prices. So to keep his or her wardrobe up to date, the fashion forward, budget-conscious Lazy Environmentalist must rely upon a knack for uncovering deals and a willingness to embrace new designers, business practices, and retailers. Here’s some advice for choosing the right looks for you and the planet.

KNOW THE MATERIALS

Green fashion begins with eco-conscious fabrics, so it’s important to know your materials. Currently there is a (growing) list of materials that are considered healthful and more sustainable for humans and the planet. Organic cotton is the most prevalent- and accessible-of the bunch, accounting for about 70 percent of all eco-fashion sales. Unlike its conventional counterpart, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides and insecticides -many of which are considered carcinogenic. Globally, 25 percent of all insecticides and 10 percent of all pesticides are sprayed on conventional cotton, so going organic not only removes the toxins from your T-shirts, underwear, and socks (and anything else made of cotton) but also eliminates a lot of poison from the environment.

Fabrics made from other naturally grown crops like soy, corn (called “ingeo”), and bamboo are also considered earthfriendly because they grow and replenish rapidly. And many athletic garments include fabrics derived from coconut shells, which help moisture evaporate, absorb odor, enhance cooling, and provide UV protection. This wonder coconut fiber is called cocona, and it’s currently being used by brands like Cannondale, Marmot, New Balance, and Champion.

On the other hand, synthetic fibers like nylon, spandex, and polyester are usually derived from oil, a finite resource that is presently at risk of being depleted and is also one of the main culprits of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. But materials don’t have to be grown to be earth friendly. Used plastic soda bottles made of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) can be recycled and transformed into polyester products such as strappy dresses, comfy T-shirts, or cozy fleece pullovers. Recycling materials for clothing (or anything else for that matter) is an environmental win because it reduces our dependence on virgin natural resources, reduces the amount of energy necessary to convert those natural resources into new products, and helps keep waste out of landfills. Less waste in landfills equals less methane released into the atmosphere (methane is a greenhouse gas that’s 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and is produced as garbage decomposes). Designers and fashion labels that utilize greener fibers are quite literally a breath of fresh air.

EMBRACE NEW FASHION LABELS

Those of us determined to green our jeans will find that most ecoaware denim is priced at or above $150 a pair. But there are exceptions. Good Society delivers high-style, fair-trade certified organic cotton jeans for about $100. Not only is the styling clean and sharp, but every pair purchased also helps provide fair wages for the workers who produce them in India. When we think about “going green,” we typically focus on reducing our environmental impact. But fair-trade certification also ensures that the people making the products we use are not exploited in the process. This helps to create a web of positive change-a good society, if you will. And for Aiden Dingh, Good Society’s co-founder, it’s not enough to sell clothing that respects both the people who make it and the environment we live in, it’s also essential to make those items affordable. While Sling and Stones, Dingh’s original organic cotton denim line, carries designer prices, Good Society makes eco-chic clothing accessible to a broader audience. You can find the collection at big national retailers like Urban Outfitters and at smaller boutiques across the country. Good Society keeps the good going by giving 10 percent of its profits to environmental causes.

As eco-aware designers are busy experimenting with new materials and inventive manufacturing techniques, some are also altering the traditional business model. Nvohk, a surf-inspired, eco-clothing company believes that business as usual is business as boring. Based on a model called “crowd- unding,” nvohk customers- or “members,” as the company calls them-contribute $50 and are able to vote on every major business decision like company logo design, clothing design, and even advertising. Once 60 percent of the members agree on a course of action, the management team implements the decision.

Members receive a 25 percent discount on all products and collectively share in 35 percent of all net profits via reward points that can be redeemed for nvohk clothing (the company’s corporate structure prohibits the distribution of cash to its members). The model is designed to accommodate 40,000 members, but the business plan went into effect in June 2008 when 3,000 members had registered via the company’s website, Projectnvohk.com. Nvohk is market-based supply-and-demand economics set at mach speed: cutting out the middlemen and channeling customer preferences (demand) directly into manufacturing decisions (supply). Like any new concept, nvohk will undoubtedly attract a fair share of detractors, but several thousand people are already jumping at the chance to be part of a company that feeds the green economy by utilizing sustainable materials like organic cotton while donating 10 percent of net profits to environmental organizations.

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