Monday, 25 July 2011

Fitflop: Fashionable Fitness

I have two confessions to make today.  Firstly, when it comes to fashion, I’ll confess that comfort isn’t my first requirement.  Being physically comfortable is definitely an important part of wearing an outfit properly but personally, I find myself happy to go through a little bit of pain for some fashionable-gain.  I never seem to get that same philosophy right with exercise however.  A few hours a week of discomfort (panting, sweating and a tomato-red face) in the gym should equal a lifetime of never having to worry about clothes not fitting.  The theory is fool proof and is hardly a dent on my daily schedule, yet I never seem to make the time for it.

Fitflop™, an English brand, promises to provide consumers with a stylish shoe that is both comfortable and gives your legs (and bum) a good work out.  Here’s where my second confession comes in, I was very sceptical of the promises fit flop made.  Strangely enough, my scepticism had very little to do with their promise of comfort and a reasonably good work out, that all seemed logical and their findings and evidence are quite compelling. The part I was sceptical about was the idea that a ‘work-out while you walk shoe’ could have any hope of being fashionable.

I can honestly say that the brand has blown me and my scepticism away. Their sneakers and boots are to beg for.  The platinum sneakers, my favourite colour in the Suptertone™ Sneaker range, are outrageously self-assured with their bold colour and their thicker-than-usual soles bring about a comforting nostalgia of the 90’s Doc Martin.

Their boots are also a great find with their comfortably-chic look.  The style of the boot doesn’t try to hide the fact that they were made to be comfy and instead uses the overindulgently-cosy look to balance the fashion appeal.

If being pretty wasn’t already enough to sell me on any shoe brand, they are truthfully the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn.  I happen to own a pair of both the platinum Supertone™ Sneakers as well as a chocolate brown pair of the Mukluk™ Boots.   My boots have replaced my slippers as the most comfortable footwear in my closet, my feet feel like they’re walking on marshmallows.  The best part is that if I’d like to get out of the house, all I'd need to do is slip my boots over a pair of tights and throw on a cute dress.

My platinum Supertone™ Sneakers were recently put to the test with a pub crawl on Long Street and I’m proud to say they were there for me throughout all the walking, all the alcohol and even all the stupid dancing.  They’re my new wingman.

If you’d like to try a pair of fitflops™ out, the best time to do it would be now. Their 20% off all boots and sneaker sale has started today and lasts until the 28th of August!  If their sale still isn’t enough to convince you to give the brand a try, enter their competition and you could be the proud owner of a pair of Supertone™ Sneakers!  Five pairs of red, white, black or platinum Supertone™ Sneakers are up for grabs and are worth R1 195 each!

Below, feel free to have a look a short fitflop video describing the brand and its benefits.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Vintage Gift: Thrift

One of the many appeals of moving to Cape Town was the fact that I’d be able to find vintage and second-hand stores filled with inexpensive, unique fashion finds that no one else had.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Since moving here though, I’ve found many, many vintage and second hand clothing stores, the only thing missing? “Inexpensive.” 

Don’t get me wrong, the stores are genuine and so are their products, but I don’t have the bank balance that would allow me to pay that kind of money for pre-owned clothes.  Before you get too disheartened and assume you have to be as old as the vintage clothing before you can afford any of them, take a moment to have a look at Thrift. Warning: you’re going to love them.

Corduroy high waist pants (size 28) R120

 Thrift is a Cape Town based vintage clothing label who source, style and sell vintage garments and leather goods.  According to Gabrielle Kannemeyer, Thrift’s owner, the label is all about “Instilling energy and life back into lost and unwanted beautiful things. It’s a nostalgic and sentimental brand loved and worn by the treasure hunters, the dreamers.  We’re about clothing a new generation of old souls who are conscious about constant influx, about excess and overindulgence. “

Alice wearing grey Levi shorts (size 28) R120
Peach wearing rope-tied high waist shorts (size 28 - 30) R120
Polka dot button up shirt R80
Morgan wearing blue Levi shorts (size 30) R120& itsy bitsy crop top R40

Thrift believes that its consumers want beautiful things, not necessarily new things.  Their goal is to help people understand that “Beauty lies wrapped in history, providing inanimate things with a life of their own with the help of some love and imagination.”

Morgan wearing fox fur jacket Price yet to be negotiated (bid)
Alice wearing brown leather fringe waist coat (size large)R250
Peach Wearing faux fur jacket yet to be negotiated (bid)

Not only are their pieces absolutely gorgeous with crop tops, vintage jackets, sunglasses and high-waisted trousers but their prices are student-friendly! 

Mischka wearing crop turquoise knit R120
Morgan wearing weird blue jersey R120
Peach wearing triangle arrowy knit R100

If you’d like to get your hands on some of Thrift’s items, you can find them at the You & Me & Everyone We Know Market during the summer months.  They also sell via appointment and various pop up markets around Cape Town.  They don’t have premises from which to sell their garments from just yet, but keep an eye on their blog or add them on facebook for regular updates and prices.

Happy vintage shopping!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Leggings as pants, run with it.

(just to name a few)

The topic has been under debate for quite some time and I’ve had enough.  Leggings have been back for 6 years now, it’s about time we had some clarification. Women are wearing this trend left, right and centre so there must be something to it.  I’ll admit that I’m not at all anti the trend, but there are rules as with anything in fashion.

I can’t stand any trend, even the strange ones, being slated by people, especially when the majority of slaters have yet to try it and are usually dressed by their mothers.  I’m just saying that unless your mum’s Anna Wintour, I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong.

Trends become trends for a reason, and this one has a leg to stand on.  If you’d like to wear leggings as pants I say go for it! I’d usually much rather be friends with the girl smiling from ear to ear in her leggings and crop tee than the one with the evil grin behind her taking pictures of her ass for her Perez-Hilton-inspired bitching blog anyway.

Because I can’t take the shameless bashing of an important fashion basic in any girls wardrobe, here are some guidelines as to how to wear the trend and its various versions.  The choice to do anything should be an educated one and it’s no different in fashion.

1.   Know Your Terms.

Tights, leggings, stockings, pantyhose, they all mean different things.  The words have become interchangeable through the mixing of terms in different countries, but they’re all very different and donning the wrong item could end up with you showing off a bit more than your toned legs.

Tights are often confused with leggings, I need you to understand that they are NOT leggings. Tights are most commonly related to pantyhose.  They’re a bit thicker and much warmer for winter months, but these are not pants.  Why? Because they’re see-through, they’re made to be see-through.  They were, like pantyhose, designed to be sexy, to reveal the leg without revealing the leg. You’re supposed to see some skin and when you’re wearing any item as pants, the general rule is not to let skin show through.

Leggings! Leggings are the one you go for. In my opinion, these can be worn as pants if you have the right personality (note: personality, not body). Leggings are usually made of cotton and are not designed to show skin.  Lycra or spandex is often added to improve fit and comfort.  The easiest way to discern leggings from tights when shopping is to note that leggings are most commonly footless.

2.  The Opacity Test

Many garments, not just leggings, can be see-through without you knowing it.  How many times have you put on that gorgeous new black top or dress, realised you forgot to do laundry and had numerous photos of yourself and your pretty blue bra up on facebook.  It happens, and as any celebrity will know, you do the flash test first!  Have a friend or a mirror help you out with this one.  Bend over, stand under different lights or take a few test pictures.  Fabric quality is never a guarantee with shops, no matter how shiny its brand name is, so make sure your “Thursday” underwear is not showing through your pants (Yes! I said pants! Take it!).

3.  Body Type

I find that when 6ft tall, stick thin women run around wearing leggings as pants, fewer girls seem to bitch about it.  But give a girl some thighs and phwoar! Watch the mean girls swarm.  You don’t have to be stick thin to wear this trend!  The key to wearing leggings as pants is, just like any other item in your wardrobe, to feel comfortable.  I don’t mean Croc comfortable, don’t wear leggings as an excuse, I mean comfortable enough in your own skin to pull off the look.  If you feel good, you look good, the simplest formula to making you happy.  A woman’s body was made to be gorgeous, so don’t feel bad showing it off if you’d like to.

Like anything though, not everyone can wear every fashion item.  If you have a rather dimply bum or are not comfortable showing off your thighs, the most flattering option would be to wear a dress, skirt or long tee over your leggings.  If you are bottom heavy, darker leggings with a brighter top would balance out your shape.  If you have really skinny legs and a larger upper body, opt for patterned or colourful leggings that level the eyes.

If you’d like to wear leggings as pants, wear leggings as pants!  Not everyone’s a fan but who cares.  I’m not a huge fan of velvet tracksuits, but some girls dig it and some totally rock the look. Fashion can be so expensive, at least be free in what you choose to wear.

If all else fails and you're still a sceptic, just follow this guide:

Friday, 1 July 2011

Think MinkPink

I've found another one! Yep, another Australian brand to make my life happy in winter.  They're called MinkPink and until I visit New York, I think I'll heart them most.  Their free-spirited designs are comfortably chic, totally my mood at the moment.  Gone are the days of squeezing into, pushing up or flattening anything when getting dressed.  Layers, patterns, materials and colours are all you need this season to get your look going.
The fall/winter 2011 collection is a collaboration of cowboys and hippies, a meeting I know I've dreamed of since I was five.  The looks keep festival fashion in mind, bringing about thoughts of Woodstock, Coachella and of course OppiKoppi (If you haven't noticed by now, I'm quite excited for that last one).
I love the use of hats, shearling, patterns, knits and scarves as headbands to add personality to the looks.  Both collections are very laid back in essence but pack a definite punch.  Who could say no to an outfit with "oomph".
Mink Pink can be found at Stuttafords nationwide, making this Australian brand accessible! Yes! Their newer collections have already been released, so if you'd like to get excited for the warmer months coming, check out the upcoming spring/summer collections or improve your current mood with the fall/winter collections. I heart MinkPink.