Posts tagged ‘Trends’

February 8, 2012

Clothing and Fashion Accessories Made in USA

With economy slowly picking up after recession and upcoming presidential elections I think big topic of this year will be “Made in USA“. Apparel industry has retreated to China over the past 20 years and up until recently we could hardly find any clothing, shoes or accessories made locally. We kept talking about lost jobs, but kept buying what’s no longer made here, in most cases not because we didn’t want, but because we didn’t know what and where.

According to NY Times in 1960 98% of all shoes sold in America were made in America. Today, less than 10% is made here. But apparel industry does exist in America. Clothing follows similar fate. Not all industries are in such a tough position, for example car manufacturing, heavy manufacturing and food industries are mostly localized still.

So if you are one of those who’d say “Common, I want to buy Made in USA, but I can’t find it!”, we would like to offer a list of companies that largely sell what is produced here. I must admit that my research showed that clothing made in USA is more of a higher end with top or shirt prices averaging $100. But in many cases quality and design wouldn’t disappoint you.

Here is a list of companies that we discovered make their clothing in the USA. Note, unfortunately none of these companies make everything in USA, but according to our research, they do make either some or large percentage. Please e-mail them when considering buying specific item.

Ella Moss

http://www.ellamoss.com

Average price for a top: $120

Style: semi-casual

Target market: mid-age women

California inspired style, simplistic and classic. Ella Moss clothing caters to mid age women who prefer semi-casual style. There are many items to mix and match that will help you look professional and non-conventional at the same time. Many fabrics are natural such as cotton, semi-natural rayon etc.

Eileen Fisher

http://www.eileenfisher.com

Average price for a top: $200

Style: casual, comfortable

Target market: mid-age women

Self-made, successful entrepreneur Eileen Fisher shares her passion through her environmentally inspired designs. Huge advocate for woman rights, Fisher styles are to deliver comfort at all costs. Most of items are very zen. Their website has four words to describe what they create: Simple. Sensual. Beautiful. Timeless. Functional.

Nicole Miller

http://www.nicolemiller.com/

Average price for a top: $200

Style: dressy & evening

Target market: young & rich

Hippie inspired Nicole Miller designs are for free spirited girls. Long skirts, colorful striped cardigans are mixed with classic little black dresses and evening gowns. Nicole Miller also has a wedding dress collection that is quite a treat. Clothing collection is on the pricey side though – a simple cardigan sells for over $500, but hey, if you can afford it, perhaps it will be your way to support Made in USA niche market.

Kate Spade

http://www.katespade.com/

Average price for a top: $250

Style: dressy & casual

Target market: young and mid-age posh women

Kate Spade is one of the most known New York designers who grew her company to multi-billion dollar empire. Perhaps, recently company is most known for its signature colorful leather bags and shoes. Note, most of shoes are made in Italy, while many clothing items are made in the USA. Company is positioned towards high end with average dress price $500. Also, you will find a very large choice of accessories such as jewelry, hats and eyeglasses. If you are into shopping or searching for ideas, Kate Spade is one to visit for sure.

Theory

http://www.theory.com/

Average price for a top: $250

Style: semi-casual, business

Target market: mid-age working women

Relatively young, only 15 years old company, Theory took the stage by their urban modern designs. There is a big men collection and quite frankly ladies designs are also more gender neutral driven. But, this is what urban and modern all about nowadays, especially in our highly emancipated society.

7 for All Mankind

http://www.7forallmankind.com

Average price for a top: $70

Style: casual

Target market: teen to young professionals

This company has reinvented jeans as we knew them. One of the first jeans companies that took a stage as high end offering their premium quality, Made only in USA, awesome jeans for $200 a pair. 15 years ago spending that much money on jeans was unspeakable, but today, this is about average what an urban chick will spend. Jeans made our culture, framed our spirits and continue to remain the prime bottom element of our daily attire. Note, company also has a small collection of other clothing such as tops, shirts and jackets, but they are not made in USA. All jeans are!

Joes Jeans

http://www.joesjeans.com/

Average price for a top: $1oo

Style: casual

Target market: young men and women

Another high end jeans manufacturer, a direct competitor to 7 jeans. This brand offers more variety of styles that are both artsy and even a bit Japanese inspired. As compared to other jeans companies, Joes has much more other clothing apart from jeans. All jeans are Made in USA.

Helmut Lang

http://www.helmutlang.com/

Average price for a top: $200

Style: casual

Target market: free spirited mid-age people

A company with rich international history Helmut Lang will surprise you with some striking designs. It is a treat for an eye to see some fresh ideas such as disproportional lines and avant-garde twists in much casual collection this year. Helmut Lang – a company founder is Austrian. Company was briefly owned by Prada and now is in hands of Japanese corporation. What started with slick conservative suits, now turned into crazy casual stretched tops and tees. Enjoy while it lasts.

Another notable companies, that manufacture in the USA are:

Citizens of Humanity

http://www.citizensofhumanity.com

Hudson Jeans

http://www.hudsonjeans.com/

J Brand Jeans

http://www.jbrandjeans.com/

If know of any more companies who manufacture clothing in USA, post a comment and we will gladly add it to this list. I really hope it can grow to couple of hundreds!

August 24, 2011

Gucci Fall/Winter 2011 Sunglasses and Glasses Collection

Gucci Fall/Winter 2011 Glasses are made to please people of all styles and career levels. You can call fall Gucci glasses classics or you can call them trendy. They are actually both …

This fall geeky style continues to develop, evolving in more shape variations and colors. After fashion movers of our time – celebrities and models have been wearing oversized glasses shapes for a few seasons, we see more people of more conservative taste putting similar glasses on.

Gucci 1643 GUCCI 1654 Gucci 3202
Gucci 1643 Gucci 1654 Gucci 3202
Gucci 2906 Gucci 2902
Gucci 2906 Gucci 2902

Gucci fall sunglasses also introduce a new, so called butterfly shape. A bit cat eye inspired, but more so a hybrid of oversized and cat eye. These are new and if you consider yourself among fashion movers – get them and you won’t be disappointed. Butterfly sunglasses that agreeably look a bit over the top on the pictures, actually look very beautiful on many face shapes. If you have a round face, these Winter/Fall 2011 Gucci sunglasses will make it look visually longer. If your face is long, they will balance it out adding more angles to the overall silhouette. Enjoy!

Gucci 2908 Gucci 2909 Gucci 1000
Gucci 2908 Gucci 2909 Gucci 1000
July 7, 2011

Sunglasses for Big Heads. Tips, Ideas, Styles.

Many men find it challenging to chose a nice pair of sunglasses because they have a big head. Are you one of them? Don’t worry, everyone has their own problem and while it’s true many optical stores don’t offer wide selection of glasses for big heads necessarily it does not mean that people with average sized or small heads have large choices. Finding glasses is not like finding shoes. Nose bridge, cheek bones, ear positioning, face shape – all adds their own layer of complexity to finding right glasses. In this post we would like to offer tips to finding glasses for big heads. And offer some nice styles to chose from.

How big is big?

Ok, first let’s see what would be considered “big head”. If to look through majority of designer sunglasses offered for sale today, size over 142 mm in width would be big. In addition, lens over 64 mm and bridge 18 mm or more would qualify as big.

Frame width 146mm + Lens width 64mm + Bridge width 18mm +

How to know your size?

Take a ruler, ideally plastic that can bend a bit and measure your head from one temple to another. Keep in mind that glasses normally extend a few cm on the side. If you have a pair of sunglasses that fit, it is easier to take measurements from it following the pictures above. If you are lucky you will find some measurements printed on the side of the temple of your glasses. Today, most of the glasses specify lens width, bridge width and temple length. Writing will be something like this: 63 x 17 136. First two numbers are lens and bridge width. The last number is temple length. Temple size is of less concern as it is usually made in proportion and if too large can stick out a bit – it’s normal. Just make sure you don’t assume that 136 is frame width, it’s not. Frame width needs to be calculated: 2 x Lens width + Bridge width. So, in our example: 63 x 2 + 17 = 143 mm.

Glasses styles for big head

Many styles will fit. You are lucky this year because trend is actually toward bigger sunglasses, so choices are huge. Some men like rectangular sunglasses, especially if they have a very round head. Square glasses will balance it out. All time classics aviators will also fit many face shapes and very big heads. They are already made very large by design and will cover the eye from all directions. Just keep in mind that aviator glasses were initially made for sport, so even now when there are many variations of the shape, aviators tend to look more casual than rectangular glasses. I personally really like shield shape on big head men. Shields wrap around the face in front adding some trendiness to the look. There are also shields with combination of aviator drop shape – good option for stylish men. This year you will find nice Dior Homme and Gucci sunglasses inspired by Carrera style – two lenses that blend on the bridge. This is a true military look. Check our suggestions.

Rectangular – Business Style

E_ARMANI 9698 Dior Homme BLACK TIE 102 glasses Dior Homme BLACK TIE 112 glasses
Armani E_ARMANI 9698 Dior Homme BLACK TIE 102 Dior Homme BLACK TIE 112
Armani E_ARMANI 9618 glasses Prada PR 54IS sunglasses GUCCI 1856 glasses
Armani E_ARMANI 9618 Prada PR 54IS GUCCI 1856

Aviator – Casual Style

GUCCI 1889 glasses BOSS 0284 Prada PS 52GS glasses
GUCCI 1889 Hugo BOSS 0284 Prada PS 52GS
Dior Homme DIOR 0144 glasses Gucci 1956 sunglasses Ray-Ban RB3026 sunglasses
Dior Homme DIOR 0144 Gucci 1956 Ray-Ban RB3026

Shields – Universal Style for All Occassions

D&G DD8039 sunglasses Armani E_ARMANI 9423 sunglasses Prada PS 07HS sunglasses
D&G DD8039 Armani E_ARMANI 9423 Prada PS 07HS
Prada PS 54HS Prada PS 07FS Ray-Ban RB3268
Prada PS 54HS Prada PS 07FS Ray-Ban RB3268

Racing Inspired Style – Military and Tough

Carrera BACK 80 Carrera Easyrider Armani E_ARMANI 9695 glasses
Carrera BACK 80’s Carrera Easyrider Armani E_ARMANI 9695
Prada PR 61LS Dior Homme BLACK TIE 109 GUCCI 1934 sunglasses
Prada PR 61LS Dior Homme BLACK TIE 109 GUCCI 1934
June 14, 2011

Google Sites – Our Review

Google Sites is an online open source platform for building static websites. It is fully configurable platform that is targeted to users with no programming knowledge or experience. Platform was launched in 2008. Today close to half a million sites are built on this platform. While most such sites are limited to community websites or just random small websites, the platform offers capabilities to create a very fancy, content rich and professional looking website. Here is our review of the technology:

 

Appearance and configurations capabilities

 
Google Sites platform offers over thousands of configuration options to bring any wildest design or layout idea to reality. You can either tweak the template or a theme or simply built a new page using Google Sites menu of Insert/Edit/Format. Amount of configurations are overwhelming. But among many here are few that I liked the most:

–       Ability to chose template/theme and then modify it

–       Ability to create your own page templates. Page template will be act as a page sample that you create once and then reuse. This is useful if you want to have different page types, say one for text, one for photo/media preview and one for displaying dynamic content. Instead of recreating each page every time from scratch you can use your own template

–       Ability to attach files. Say you have a word document, like your resume. You can attach it for your site visitors’ download. All with one click of one button.

–       Easy way to insert tables. I am a big fan of tables and as you noticed from this blog. Sometimes wish WordPress.com would have that. Today I hand type each table in HTML. I love to use tables to organize content. Google Sites has easy way to add tables and then fill them with your content hassle free.
 

Ease of use

 

I give it 5 stars. There is absolutely no need for HTML or CSS knowledge. Of course if you are happen to be geeky designer guy/girl – there is an HTML button to modify the source. But if you are not – you will be very excited to modify every pixel of the page via Google Sites configuration menu. Your web experience can probably be limited to using e-mail and visiting enough of other websites – that little.

Via very intuitive menu you will be building a site just like writing a Word document. Register a site, chose theme, configure navigation menu, add pages and modify them… step by step. You can change colors, fonts, add various media elements, documents, links on your website without even feeling that you are actually building a real website.
 

Integration with other technologies

 
Google Sites offer thousands of built in integrations with third party platforms and technologies. There is easy one click integration with Google Ad Sense, Google Ads, Picassa Albums, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Documents, Google Checkout now, Google Calendar and others. With one click of a button you can add a block go your webpage displaying content that derives from one of these technologies. Similar to Blogger, Google Sites calls these blocks Gadgets.

There is also integration with PayPal, Amazon Products and hundreds of third party widgets like news sites, financial applications and various thematical services.
 

Access control

 
It is quite fascinating but you can control who has access to your site. Either make it public or share with selected people only.
 

Custom URL

 
Custom URL is free provided that you already registered one with a third party registrar. Google sites offer free site mapping to your custom URL. There is video tutorial explaining how to map. However unlike with Blogger, Google Sites does not offer registrar service, so you will need to use Yahoo, GoDaddy or anyone else to get the domain name and use their service to change name servers.
 

Revision history

 
This feature puts the Google Sites to the professional level of web site development. Most of the websites written today don’t have recorded history of changes. But what if you want to revert to how it was before? Instead of redoing it back, use Revision History that contains all information of prior versions of your site.
 

Storage

 
According to Google Sites “There is no limit to how many pages you can create in Sites. You can store up to 100 MB in your Site” You can see how much you have left by going to More Actions > Manage Site > General under Site Settings. With static content you probably would be good with 50-60 pages or even more.
 

Odd limitations

 

A site name can’t conflict with other Gmail usernames

 
Google assumes that one day everyone who has Gmail will have their own Google site. So, say you want a site google.sites/site/japansesword.com but as long as some one registered an e-mail creativegardener@gmail.com you won’t be able to use this name for Google sites. Even if there is no google.sites/site/creativegardener.com Google Site yet. This limits site name choices terribly. Not everyone would want to purchase custom URL. I would be surprised that even 1 out of 10000 Gmail users will ever have Google site.

No integration with Blogger

 
It has been evident with recent Blogger issues that Google put the development of this technology on hold. Fact that Blogger is second to WordPress on blogger platform usage was not enough to put it on Gadget list.

Low integration with Social Media Sharing technologies

 
While there is integration with Twitter and YouTube, I didn’t see Facebook and other social icons on gadgets list. One would think this is what everyone is after today, but Google Sites took a defensive approach and purposefully excluded competing technologies from the gadgets list. I mean a simple Share button would be enough. Of course, with some extra digging you can always use native widgets offered by these companies, but today companies like WordPress and other commercial web development platform adopted support for social media as a must have.

No help or support

 
No one is arguing that technology is open source, but Google has failed in the area of help and support once again. I didn’t see any Help or Tutorial button on the main menu and had to search the web to find it: http://www.google.com/support/sites/ Some dashboard areas have links leading to tutorial articles and technology is very intuitive to use. But once you have a serious issue or simply have a question, you are in trouble.
 

Conclusion:

 
Google Sites is excellent technology to get a site of various complexity up and running with no programming or design knowledge. In a matter of few hours you can have a simple few page static site on the web. In a few hours more you can have eCommerce site configured or some very cool promotional website with video and document sharing capabilities.

I think Google Sites is a huge step forward and rival to WordPress due to extended hosting offering, configuration capabilities and ease of use. Compared to WordPress.com there are much more capabilities to build a simple static site.

Please read our article on WordPress and Blogger comparison to learn more about these technologies.

March 21, 2011

Ophthalmic Frames Trends 2011

Spring of 2011 is a true season of interesting innovations in prescription glasses trends. We made observations from a number of premium brand collections and have spotted similarities that hope you will follow.

 

Clear Frames

Clear frames have definitely kicked in. If you prefer plastic glasses over metal but always looked for something lighter on your face, clear is the way to go. Put these on and you will get a “disappearing” effect, similar to rimless. In the same time these glasses look dressy and unusual. These are a definite compliment sucker.

Prada PS 01BV Tiffany TF2016 Bvlgari BV4034B

 

Colorful Oversized Shapes

Oversized round and square shapes were on the market since last two years. As people just started to get used to them and only real fashionistas put them on, this year added even more fun to these retro rounders – color. Of course, black is still a hit, but if you are looking for something more suitable for your light hair or tanned skin, 2011 gives you more options:

Dior 3198 Gucci 1635 Dior 3198

 

Cat Eye

This intricate eyeglasses shape was slowly getting introduced back to the market through few sunglasses models in 2010. But not many expected that 2011 will became a real boom of cat eye shapes. Almost every premium designer has their version of cat eye glasses. While glasses may look a bit wild on the shelf, you should definitely try them on to see the result. The uplifted side corners open up eyes quite nicely on many face types and look especially good on round and square face shapes. Due to popularity of this shape this year, we added it to the menu for you to quickly find cat eye prescription glasses and cat eye sunglasses frames on our website.

Dior 3197 Dior 3203 Prada PR 23MV

 

Decorated Geeky Frames

By now people got used to black heavy geeky frames that no longer see a barrier in any of age or status categories. Some companies experimented with adding elements of decor to the temple and front of the frame to make those more appealing and girly.

Tiffany TF2035 Bvlgari BV4024 Gucci 3133

 

Navette Shapes

Navette is a real novelty of this year with few companies introducing their first versions. We expect much more next year, so if you are a first mover getting navette shaped eyewear will guarantee you first place on “Most Trendy” list. Disregarding whether you are into fashion or not, this shape will look great if you have a small face. Also looks great on Asians.

Gucci 3134 Prada 17MV Tiffany TF2033

 

Two Tone

Plastic frames remain all time favourites for many people. Fashion brands agreed to experiment with the color also offering two tone lamination options. Result is actually quite nice especially when light color is on the inner side illuminating the face from the inside.

Boss 0186 Prada PS 11AV Tiffany 2016

Another interesting looking option with two tones gradually flowing vertically or horizontally.

Gucci 3094 Gucci 3152 Dior 3204

 

We welcome you to visit our site to find more options for each trend. Search glasses by shape, by color, material type in the menu. Also, if you are after 2011 year collections simply type “2011” in search field and then sort by brand or category.