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Wear a Tie

Put down That Hoodie and Wear a Tie Instead!

T-shirts and hoodies are great, but sometimes college events require a tie. Fortunately, it’s possible to look sharp on a college budget. Here’s how to wear a tie and dress for those dapper college events.

Fraternity or group events

Classic two-color striped ties are perfect for fraternity or other organization events. These ties stand out, especially when an entire group wears the same tie. Standard ties, skinny ties, bow ties, socks, suspenders, pocket squares. Striped ties come in a wide variety of styles and color combos, so it’s easy to match group or college colors.

Class presentations

Giving a class presentation or thesis is about more than quality content. Impressions count. No fidgeting, make eye contact, avoid saying ‘like’ or ‘um’ and don’t wear distracting clothing. Even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea to skip the joggers and instead put on chinos or slacks, a button-down shirt and wear a tie. Plaid or geometric pattern ties are great neutral designs that won’t distract the audience. (A neon-colored tie or bold novelty print, on the other hand, would be a distraction.) Since it’s important to look at ease in front of an audience, choose a tie style that’s comfortable. This may be a slim 2.5-inch tie or a contemporary 3.25-inch tie.

Formals

Hopefully, it goes without saying that college formals and semi-formals require you to wear a tie. Whether this tie is worn with a tux, suit or simply a dress shirt and slacks varies from school to school. Definitely ask around to find out the level of formality expected.

If a tuxedo is suggested, a black bow tie and black or white pocket square is traditional. If wearing a suit, either a necktie or bow tie is acceptable. Though optional, adding a pocket square is a nice touch, too. Paisley, tone-on-tone stripes or textured solid ties are great for formal events. For those with dates, the tie should coordinate with her dress. This isn’t prom, so it’s not necessary to perfectly match a solid tie to the dress color. However, a pattern tie in similar colors is a great choice.

A dress shirt and slacks allows the most flexibility. A necktie or bow tie will do, but it doesn’t have to coordinate with a date’s attire. Unstained, unwrinkled and proportionate for one’s body type is what counts.

Sometimes, the fraternity, club or organization hosting the formal will have custom ties made for its members. These ties are typically worn with a suit or dress shirt and slacks, not a tuxedo. However, if given a tie to wear, check to see if there is an additional dress code. (Suit color, shirt color, etc.)

Job interviews

As senior year winds down, the job search begins. Landing a job interview is a huge accomplishment, so it should go without saying that this is not the time or place to dress casual. In fact, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at a job interview. A dark-colored suit paired with a conservative necktie (i.e. 3-inches to 3.5-inches wide) are the most appropriate choices. Tie colors shouldn’t vary much from navy blue or burgundy in solid or subtle designs.

Wear a tie for graduation

Graduation is a time to celebrate. And that means looking good, even if a cap and gown is covering an outfit for most of the day. Give one last hurrah to the alma mater with a solid or striped necktie or bow tie in college colors. Novelty ties relating to one’s major are perfect for graduation, too. (Yes, math, teacher, engineering, lawyer, doctor ties, etc. are a thing.) Or, shop smart and purchase a pattern tie that can be worn to a new job post-graduation.

Tiemart, Inc. is an online neckwear and accessory retailer located in northern Illinois. The company specializes in budget-friendly ties for any occasion, from fashionable everyday attire to group wear and formal events. Shop www.tiemart.com for affordable neckties, bow ties, socks, suspenders, pocket squares and more.

Streetwear

Voice of Insiders Streetwear

Redefining modern streetwear and conveying a new freshness to the “jungle” of fashion.

Unless you’ve been camping out in the actual jungle for the last several years, you’d have noticed that technology and fashion have started to blend together in new ways. In fact, probably almost everyone you know has a Fitbit (which started with a bracelet and has now branched into apparel) or Apple Watch (which did a collaboration with Hèrmes to create luxurious leather straps for the timepieces) or some other kind of wearable device that can measure heart rate, calories burned, and a wide array of other metrics. And the appeal of such devices is easy to see. Sure, a watch tells time, but why shouldn’t it do more for us? The Fitbit and Apple Watch do indeed, do much, much more.

But, why confine such obvious benefits to simply accessories? While a watch is a great accessory, not all of us prefer or choose to wear one. However, putting on clothes before we head out the door every day is not an option for any of us, it’s an obligation. “No shirt, no shoes, no service” still applies in most or all public spaces, so unless you happen to live in a nudist colony, you may want to keep reading.

Some brands offer clothing made from high performing textiles. These special fabrics have properties far beyond what fibers like cotton, linen, silk and wool can offer. Benefits of these textiles may range from anti-wrinkling, quick drying, antibacterial, light-up/color-changing, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, water repellant, UV protection, temperature regulating, and might offer the wearer energy return and even support the treatment of injuries. While some of these streetwear technologies are more gimmick-y or just for fun, some of them are really incredible. For example, Outlast, a technology originally developed by NASA for use in spacesuits on account of its temperature regulation properties, is now used in products like bedding, apparel, footwear, seating and beyond. Another amazing technology we discovered is called Celliant, which originally had a variety of uses for aiding performance, recovery and sleep on account of its proprietary infrared energy technology, but is now also being used in a multitude of different products, including fashion garments!

Modern streetwear

Although the number of fashion brands that have discovered the benefits of using technologies like Outlast and Celliant are still few, there’s no doubt that performance textiles being used in clothing is going to be a huge trend. One brand that’s ahead of the flow and combining fashion and function in a way we’ve never seen before is the NYC-based performance streetwear brand, Voice of Insiders. Voice of Insiders was founded in 2016 with a mission to seamlessly fuse technology and fashion and a vision to re-define modern streetwear and convey a new freshness to the “jungle” of fashion. Their simple, yet thoughtful designs are comfortable and wearable, yet elevated at the same time. We can see their Energy Zip Dress pairing equally well with sneakers for running errands during the day or with a strappy sandal for a night out, and the Energy Track Pant can take you from the basketball court to dinner, just pop on a jacket (like their Double Zipper Aviator Jacket) and you’re good to go! All pieces feature technologies like Outlast and Celliant and each one comes with a tag detailing the unique benefits of each individual piece. For example, the Transformable Down Filled Parka is a true 2-in-1 piece, with a water and wind repellant shell that zips off, showcasing a down filled jacket underneath. The piece is also breathable and packable! Voice of Insiders’ collection is the ideal capsule wardrobe for someone who wants to do a lot with a little and who believes that clothes should do more than simply look good.

You can find performance streetwear from Voice of Insiders online at www.voiceofinsiders.com and use code “INSIDERS” for 10 percent off your order. You can also check out what they’re up to on Instagram @voiceofinsiders.

Animal Fur

Faux Real: End of Animal Fur

Historically, animal fur has been synonymous with the world of luxury fashion. But, in an until recently unprecedented stand, some major luxury fashion brands have pledged to ban fur from their lines once and for all.

The relationship between high-end luxury fashion brands and animal ethics groups has been fraught for decades. However, recent years have seen a rise in major fashion houses and designers denouncing the use of animal fur, marking a monumental victory for animal rights. Some American cities are also taking an independent stand to diminish the retail of the product. San Francisco voted to ban all sales of fur within its limits in March of this year. An historical moment for the city, this new legislation will go into effect January 2019. 

A worldwide stand against animal fur

There is no doubt that fur as clothing is drenched in the glitz of showbiz history. Adorning Hollywood starlets and wealthy clientele alike, female glamour was once defined by a mink coat. If recent years are anything to go by, however, this antiquated approach to style is getting the overhaul animals deserve, and its effects can be seen around the globe.

Norway, which was once the world’s largest producer of fox fur, has committed to phasing out the country’s fur farms by 2025. The Nordic country follows in the footsteps of the UK, Germany, Austria and Croatia, who have all prohibited fur farms. What’s more, according to the Financial Times, 850 retailers globally are now registered as Fur Free Retailers.

“Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right”—Donatella Versace

High time, high fashion

The Versace family’s eponymous brand joined the ever-growing list of fashion houses to eradicate fur products from its lines. Head of the family Donatella Versace said earlier this year, “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.” We’re with you there, Donatella.

Major Italian fashion house Gucci announced its move to eliminate animal fur from its label back in 2017 from its Spring 2018 line onwards. Any remaining fur stock, they said, would be auctioned with proceeds given to animal welfare charities. “Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals,” said Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri at the London College of Fashion in October 2017. “Gucci is excited to take this next step and hopes it will help inspire innovation and raise awareness, changing the luxury fashion industry for the better,” he added.

According to the Financial Times, fur products in Gucci’s line account for just €10 million of their €6.21 billion worth. A change in consumer behavior also prompted the fashion titan to change course. With the rise of vegetarianism and veganism among millennials (the brand’s main consumer base), sales for animal products were likely to decrease anyway.

Not long ago, accessible luxury fashion brand Michael Kors also hopped onto the faux fur bandwagon. “Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur,” said Kors himself, following a statement that the company would join others in cutting the use of animal fur from its brand.

John D. Idol, chairman and chief executive at Michael Kors, said in a statement, “This decision marks a new chapter as our company continues to evolve its use of innovative materials.”

Is the future faux?

The concept of replacing animal fur with fake fur has been met with mixed reactions. While it undoubtedly eliminates the possibility of animal slaughter, some have argued that the material’s production is harmful to the environment and not as sustainable as we’d like to think. The principal materials used to make faux fur—including acrylic and polyesters—are made from non-renewable products such as coal and petroleum which deplete the Earth’s natural resources. Mark Oaten, CEO of the Fur Trade Association, said, “Fake fur requires the extraction and fractionating of petroleum, as well as the subsequent conversion into fibers and mass manufacturing into products. These are not only incredibly energy-intensive but also produce a lot of extremely unpleasant chemical compounds.” But is this argument against faux alternatives enough to slow the momentum gained to banish animal fur and encourage fur-aesthetic lovers to buy real?

While commitments to a fur-free future have made a powerful political statement, fur farming is still a major cash cow with the global fur industry estimated to be worth a staggering $40 billion. For now, though, the formidable solidarity between fashion houses renowned for their lavish excess, independent boutiques and countries around the world who are stepping into a cruelty-free future together shows that compassionate fashion is—for want of a better word—“in”.

$200m

is the value of mink fur industry each year

Source: truthaboutfur.com

Further reading: Making a Fashion Statement

Studying Abroad

10 Things You Should Know Before Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most eye opening and life changing events in a student’s career. It’s exciting and filled with new experiences, which can also be a bit daunting. Here’s the top things you should know before studying abroad, and how to prepare for your trip.

1. Take responsibility for the safety of your belongings and have a backup plan.

Studying abroad may be the first time you’re really traveling solo for a long period of time. This means that you don’t have the safety net of your parents there to take care of big things like lost or stolen luggage. Have all your bags clearly marked with your name and email address, and store important names, phone numbers and copies of your passport in secure cloud storage.

Research what common crimes there may be in the area, such as pickpocketing techniques and purse theft so that you can be more aware, and invest in practical bags like this Anti-theft Waterproof Travel bag from Arden Cove. With features like slash resistance, locking zippers, RFID-blocking material and waterproof materials, you will be protected from purse slashers, thieves using scanners, pickpockets and unpredictable weather!

 2. Research the country you are traveling to.

Everyone has stereotypical ideas of people in other countries, but they’re often not true. Be more open and sensitive by learning about the culture and customs before you land. What is the common etiquette of people who live there? How do they act in public? How do they dress? By learning these things and practicing their customs, you have the chance to gain another perspective by looking through their eyes. Also check out travel.state.gov to see the “Safety and Security” advice for the country you are going to. Whatever happens, Arden Cove Travel bags can help keep things organized and secure.

3. Learn a few key phrases before you leave.

Knowing some phrases will come in handy if you meet someone who doesn’t speak English, and almost everyone will appreciate the fact that you took the time and effort to learn their language as a guest to their country. If you have the time to, taking a language class before and during your time abroad will really help you become conversational. If you’re serious about improving your language skills you’ll have to put in a lot of time studying and practicing, so don’t be shy!

4. Pack light.

You might be tempted to pack everything you might ever possibly need for the duration of your study abroad, but the truth is you will probably never actually need most things. Prioritize items that will realistically need and a few emergency items like a basic first aid kit. You’ll be thankful when you’re not trying to roll two luggage bags and a duffle bag though a packed train station. The Arden Cove crossbodies are also great to keep all your essentials like credit cards and cash handy and safe.

5. Have a budget in mind.

Learn the local currency and the conversion rate to US dollars so that you don’t spend blindly and blow through your budget. Make sure your credit card doesn’t come with any crazy international fees and call your bank ahead of time so that they won’t flag it as suspicious international transactions. While you don’t want to carry a ton of cash around with you, make sure you have enough to get through the day and lock up the rest somewhere safe.

6. Use your student card to get discounts on things like transportation, accommodations, and entertainment.

Every time you have to pay for tickets for a museum or show, it doesn’t hurt to ask if there’s a student discount. This will help you stretch your budget so you can travel and do more! Arden Cove purses have built-in wallets so save a card slot for your student ID.

7. Prepare to be a bit uncomfortable.

You can pack an eye mask, ear plugs, and an inflatable pillow to save yourself some restless nights. But you’ll never know what will happen when you walk into the dorm, stay at a hostel, or nap at the airport.

8. Challenge yourself to try new things.

You’ll be introduced to a ton of new foods and ways of living, so be open and receptive to trying new things. Even if a dish’s ingredients sound strange or unsavory, you’ll never know until you try, and it might even grow on you. Enjoy these moments of surprise when studying abroad and wonder as they may be some of the highlights of your journey!

9. There are always going to be tons of things you want to explore right outside your door, but you do actually have to study and do your classwork.

Some programs may be easier than others, but remember that the whole reason you decided to study abroad is to take classes at a foreign institution. At the same time, you should take advantage of your surroundings and not just stay cooped in your room cramming for tests. Find a balance between doing your school work and going out to learn about this new place you are in.

10. You’ll probably get lost a lot when studying abroad, and that’s OK.

From bad GPS signals to misunderstood directions, you’ll probably wander in the wrong direction more than once. Don’t panic and take your time to figure it out, even if you need to ask for help from a stranger. Perhaps it’ll be how you’ll stumble upon your favorite place in the whole city. Remember that despite even if you had a bad day, you got lost, or made a mistake, you’ll learn that you can figure it out.

 In the end, your study abroad trip will be whatever you decide to make of it. It’s up to you to decide what you want to experience, and to design the trip in a way that’s most meaningful to you. Have fun and enjoy! It’s your chance to step outside your comfort zone and live your own adventure.

To have more piece of mind, pick up an Anti-theft Waterproof bag, which will protect your belongings from purse snatching and slashing, pickpockets, electronic theft, and sudden downpours. Shop ArdenCove.com to purchase your travel bag today.

Reduce Textile Waste

Ellen MacArthur and Stella McCartney Call to Reduce Textile Waste

Environmental campaigner Ellen MacArthur and revered UK fashion designer Stella McCartney call to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry.

A new ground-breaking report has been released by the Ellen McArthur Foundation raising concerns about the impact that textile waste has on the environment. The report, A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future, states that “total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.”

Global demand for clothing is increasing year-on-year and is forecast to reach 650 million tonnes by 2050—three times the amount produced today. These figures have pushed leading influencers in the industry to raise awareness and do something about it. The report proposes innovative means to reduce textile waste in clothing and propel the fashion industry into today’s forward-thinking, conscientious society. These proposals include reducing and eliminating textiles with harmful substances, increasing the quality of clothing to reduce waste and encourage recycling on a wide scale.

Currently, non-renewable sources are being used in the production of clothing. According to the report, less than one percent of clothing is recycled every year. The current economic model as practiced in the textiles industry is “linear”. This refers to the unsustainable model of taking, making and disposing of materials.

McArthur and McCartney hope to help transform the textile industry into a “circular” economic model. This refers to an economy that reduces energy, resources, emissions and waste, by slowing and closing energy loops.

MacArthur, founder of the foundation, said, “The report presents an ambitious vision of a new system, based on circular economy principles, that offers benefits to the economy, society and the environment.”

MacArthur has partnered with fashion powerhouse McCartney, whose label will utilize ocean plastic in place of woven or recycled polyester in its products. “What really excites me about [the report] is that it provides solutions to an industry that is incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment,” she said.

Huge names in high street fashion including H&M have championed the call to reduce textile waste. They said, “It’s a call for action for systemic collaborations and is aligned with our efforts in making sure that economic and social development can happen in a way that the planet can afford.”

Further reading: 6 Makeup Trends for Christmas