Vol. 1,  No. 25, December 12th 2010



Continuing with the Christmas theme, I am now addressing gift buying. More precisely, the purchase of wearing apparel for adult females. This includes family, friends and yours truly. The perfect book on topic is “Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else [Hardcover] by Clinton Kelly. Hence, it is my book of the week.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  clothing, dress, fashion, fashion accessory, shoes, etc.

Clothing – (Gender differentiation)

It can be said that there are five primary factors in clothing comfort, “identifiable as the ‘4 Fs of Comfort’ (1) fashion; (2) feel; (3) fit; and (4) function.[3] One of the primary purposes of clothing is to keep the wearer comfortable. In hot climates, clothing provides protection from sunburn or wind damage, while in cold climates its thermal insulation properties are generally more important. Shelter usually reduces the functional need for clothing. For example, coats, hats, gloves, shoes, socks, and other superficial layers are normally removed when entering a warm home, particularly if one is residing or sleeping there. Similarly, clothing has seasonal and regional aspects, so that thinner materials and fewer layers of clothing are generally worn in warmer seasons and regions than in colder ones.

In most cultures, gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate for men and women. The differences are in styles, colors and fabrics.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothing#Gender_differentiation


“A dress is a piece of clothing that women sometimes wear. A dress is like a shirt attached to a long, matching skirt, which may trail behind the wearer. They are also called gowns or frocks. There are many types of dresses. A dress is usually worn at formal occasions, such as a wedding or a dance. It is also worn in the summer to keep cool. In some places, men may wear dresses as part of their culture.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dress


“Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person. The more technical term, costume, has become so linked in the public eye with the term “fashion” that the more general term “costume” has in popular use mostly been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while the term “fashion” means clothing generally, and the study of it. For a broad cross-cultural look at clothing and its place in society, refer to the entries for clothing, costume and fabrics. The remainder of this article deals with clothing fashions in the Western world.[1]

Fashion mostly refers to the style of clothing worn at a particular time. Clothing at its most basic is to keep us warm, but it serves many other functions. Fashion can also mean a style of language or behaviour. Fashions are a kind of nonverbal communication. They communicate something, but exactly what is something of a mystery. Often what they express is membership of a particular group.Fashions are like trends. They change more quickly than the entire culture. The term ‘fashion’ is often used a synonym for glamour and style. Sometimes the term is used in a negative sense, to mean a ‘fad’.There are fashions in many types of human activity and ways of thinking. There are fashions in architecture (the way people build houses) and interior design (the way people decorate inside their houses). There are fashions for clothing. There are fashions for dance and music, and for the way people speak. There are fashions for ideas.[change] Clothing fashions. Fashion is more than just a designer’s whim. Fashion is a reflection of a given time, socially, politically, economically, and artistically. The changing styles show just as much about history and the time period as any history book. It reflects on what people think, what they valued and how they lived. Fashion is a statement, a way of living. Fashion is used in different ways such as clothing, culture, religions etc. Clothes are not just for keeping warm!Fashion is a way to express one’s self. Many teenagers show their ideas and opinions by the way they look. They may want to look unique and individual, often to be a member of a group which looks unique. Fashion is superficial (on the surface) but as the outside of a person is the only bit that other people see, what they wear is meaningful. It helps people to make their first opinion of you and can influence the opinions and ideas of other people. Fashion has changed over the years, long dresses, miniskirts, and bell bottoms are examples of clothing items that were once in style. Clothing fashions that keep coming back in style are known as classics. Khaki pants, polo shirts, and simple dresses are all examples of classics. Eye makeup, Jewellery, hair styles, hats and shoes can all work together to create a fashion image, a total effect.”D&G” redirects here. For the region in south-west Scotland, see Dumfries and Galloway.Type Pr, D.Gelfond Industry Fashion Founded 1985 Headquarters Milan, Italy Products Clothing, footwear, handbags, sunglasses Employees 3,150 Website www.dolcegabbana.itDolce & Gabbana (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdoltʃe e  ɡabˈbaːna]), is an Italian luxury fashion house.[1]The company was started by the Italian designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana in Milan, Italy. By 2005 their turnover was €750 million.[2] Their clothing designs are usually black in color and geometric in shape.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashion

Fashion accessory

“Fashion accessories are decorative items that supplement and complement clothes, such as jewelry, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses, pins, stockings, bow ties, leg warmers, leggings, neckties, suspenders, and tights.

Accessories can add color, style and class to an outfit, and create a certain look, but they can also have a practical function: handbags can be used to carry small items such as cash, hats protect the face in bad weather, and gloves keep hands warm.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashion_accessory


“A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear varies widely in style, complexity and cost. Basic sandals may consist of only a thin sole and simple strap. High fashion shoes may be made of very expensive materials in complex construction and sell for thousands of dollars a pair. Other shoes are for very specific purposes, such as boots specially designed for mountaineering or skiing. Shoes have traditionally been made from leather, wood or canvas, but are increasingly made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe

Bonus fact #1: “Haute couture”

“Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.[1]

It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth’s work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century.[2] In modern France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, New York, Tokyo and Madrid.

The term can refer to:
• the fashion houses or fashion designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions
• the fashions created.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haute_couture

Bonus fact #2: Little black dress

“A little black dress is an evening or cocktail dress, cut simply and often quite short. Fashion historians ascribe the origins of the little black dress to the 1920s designs of Coco Chanel,[1] intended to be long-lasting, versatile, affordable, accessible to the widest market possible and in a neutral color. Its ubiquity is such that it is often simply referred to as the “LBD”[2][3][4]

The “little black dress” is considered essential to a complete wardrobe by many women and fashion observers, who believe it a “rule of fashion” that every woman should own a simple, elegant black dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion: for example, worn with a jacket and pumps for daytime business wear or with more ornate jewelry and accessories for evening. Because it is meant to be a staple of the wardrobe for a number of years, the style of the little black dress ideally should be as simple as possible: a short black dress that is too clearly part of a trend would not qualify because it would soon appear dated.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_black_dress

STUDY/STATISTICS: High heeled footwear

“High-heeled footwear (often abbreviated as high heels or simply heels) is footwear that raises the heel of the wearer’s foot significantly higher than the toes and often can be worn without socks. When both the heel and the toes are raised equal amounts, as in a platform shoe, it is technically not considered to be a high heel; however, there are also high-heeled platform shoes. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion of longer, more slender and more toned legs. High heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump (court shoe), block, tapered, blade, and wedge.

According to high-fashion shoe websites like Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a “low heel” is considered less than 2.5 inches (6 centimeters), while heels between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (8.5 cm) are considered “mid heels”, andhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-heeled_footwear anything over that is considered a “high heel”[citation needed]. A recent study suggested that wearing high heels may improve the muscle tone of a woman’s pelvic floor.”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – (http://www.latexwiki.com/index.php?title=High_Heelsdapted

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Tips to turn Holiday Frazzle into Holiday Dazzle

“(NC)—With a Holiday calendar jam-packed with social obligations and last minute party invites, men and women can feel frazzled trying to get from one event to the next looking their dazzling best in a hurry. “No one likes to be rushed,” says Peter Papapetrou, Style Expert. “There are quick solutions to help jazz up a look with maximum impact and minimum stress, by keeping a few staple items at the office or in the car so you’re ready to go on the fly. For women, adding a bold accessory or an animal print scarf will add flare to any outfit. Men can loosen up their look by exchanging a tie for a scarf or putting on a pair of stylish sneakers.” (Source: News Canada)


It is important for me to be well-dressed. I have a few good suits and dresses, lots of pants and skirts of different basic colors along with blouses and sweaters to mix and match. In addition, I take the time to complete the outfit. I think about shoes and accessories.

I have a definitive taste when it comes to women’s wearing apparel: (a) formal attire; (b) sportswear; (c) jeans and leisure clothes; (d) sweats; (e) cruise; etc.

Antoinette’s dress code: I reject the notion of looking just nice and pretty. I strive for a look that is feminine, stylish and classy with a hint of sex appeal. For me, stylish means a little different: I have a handbag for which, I received many compliments from women. I have some hats in my wardrobe. My favorite color is red, yet I believe in understatement.  I like clothing that is simple, yet elegant, but always with a sense of fashion. Nevertheless, I also appreciate detailing on clothes. But for me, designer labels are of no consequence. I love to shop; this makes it easier for me to find the item that is just right.  Like many, I am on a budget. I am careful in my purchases.

I believe that every woman needs a little black dress – it is the basic essential. For me, I have several: a variety of styles and detail. Many times, I have pulled one out; and depending on the occasion, I altered the look. Adding a jacket will give an appearance of office wear and professionalism. Adding some nice jewelry, will dress up the outfit sufficient to go out on the town; and  “viola“, you look amazing!

As far as footwear goes, I am definitely hooked on the ‘strappy’ high heel shoes. I have a closet full of them. The problem is that they are not for everyday wear.  For the office, I have several pairs of pumps.


THE AUTHOR: Clinton Kelly

Clinton Kelly is a fashion expert. He is a spokesperson for Macy’s, the huge department store chain. He is a graduate in journalism and had stints at several noted fashion publications, including Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, and DNR.



A TV personality, he is the co-host of the program, “What Not to Wear” broadcast on the TLC channel. He is a critic and counselor all rolled up in one. If you’re a fashion incompetent, watch out, he takes no prisoners.

THE BOOK: “Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else” [Hardcover] by Clinton Kelly.

He has definite opinions as to what works and what does not. He is no lightwieght when it comes to getting dressed. According to him, “The three main components of style are: 1. Fit; 2. Proportion; 3. Appropriateness. ” He also provides HOW-TO directives as regards speaking, behaving, eating, drinking, entertaining, etc. He believes in the whole person doing things his way and thus achieving the exalted rank of fabulous.


It is important for everyone to be well-groomed and dressed appropriately according to the occasion.

My personal comments

I believe that one could decipher a person’s personality by how he or she is groomed and dressed. I like dresses that are feminine. I am not impressed by designer labels. I am of the opinion that people who are insistent on such labels, are shallow, status conscious and insecure. I also think that the type of shoes, which a woman wears, will tell you something of her personality. I really enjoy beautiful clothing & footwear!

Indeed, when it comes to women’s wear, daily, I am a main street focus group!  (un Classifieds 4U)*”

The point

I encourage everyone to do everything possible to look one’s best 24-7. To get there, I have a few pointers.


I suggest that you:

1. Recognize that before someone learns about you from the inside, he or she first sees your outside. (However, I caution you NOT to go overboard, since, in my opinion, what is inside is far more important!)
2. Pay attention to personal cleanliness: (i). Start with good daily hygiene and grooming; (ii). Have your hair cut/dyed regularly; (iii). Have dental care twice a year; (iv). Do your nails: do not bite them, but do cut them not to the quick and apply nail polish – my suggested color is red; while the French manicure is the preferred style;
3.  Plan your outfit beforehand, always keeping in tune, dress-wise, with the season, occasion, venue and time of the day; and lay it out on your bed the night before for a preview. It is like a puzzle – see if it fits together well,  if not, change the mix!

4. Find opportunities to dress-up; and take advantage of the times to dress down; each are fun;
5. Find out what best suits you to accentuate your figure and go with it;
6. Build a great wardrobe;  to do this, (a) Buy a few pieces every season to add to your closet stock – this is to look fashionable; (b) Hold off to the sales, if at all possible;  (c) Buy something that may be worn as part of many outfits; (d) Look for quality:  fabrics,  strong/straight seams, etc.; (e) Try on the garment, before you buy it, to make sure that it fits; (f) Allow for shrinkage from washing; (g)  Look for overstocks and specials; (h) Browse for bargains for next year especially end-of-season items of good quality; (i) Try to maximize your buying dollar by using your gift cards on/during Boxing day or weeks (after Christmas sales).
7. Buy a little black dress and always keep it dry- cleaned ready for anything – it will become a reliable staple in your wardrobe;
8. Complete the outfit with the right shoes and accessories – they will help you achieve the look that you want;
9. Strive for a younger look, but if of a certain age, know that there are certain fashions better left for teenagers even if you have the figure for it.
10. Conserve your wardrobe by proper maintenance:  (a) Wash/dry-clean regularly; (b) Use garment  bags for your better clothes;  (b) Follow the instructions on the label; etc.
11. Be aware that primping is time well spent. When all put together right, one looks distinguished and oozes confidence.

12. Recognize:  (a) That looking your best on a 1st date is key; (b) That your appearance at an interview will make a difference in getting a job; hence on these occasions particularly, dress to the nines!

13. Remember that looking good makes you feel good;

I like to get all dolled-up, don’t you?

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 9:16 pm and is filed under Women's Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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