The Paradox of Tattoos

 

imgresRemember when bikers, tough guys, and sailors were the only ones who wore tattoos? When they began being a part of the mainstream a few years ago, disapproval of the trend brought about changes in dress codes requiring employees to cover up all tattoos. I remember one friend changing hair salons because she did not like to see the array of tattoos on salon employees. Today, with 21% of the population wearing some sort of tattoo, acceptance is growing and restrictions in dress codes are being relaxed.images-1

Along with wider acceptance, some people decide they no longer like a particular tattoo or have occasions where they prefer not to be confronted with questions about the tattoo.   Voila! Creative artists to the rescue!   Tattoo removal has been used for a while but now make-up artists are honing their skills to cover up those pesky body embellishments for special occasions. A recent article interviewed two brides who took two different approaches. One bride chose her wedding dress to complement her tattoos, giving them full visibility. Another called in a makeup artist to cover them up so that, as she stated, all of the attention of her 300 guests could be focused on the wedding and she did not have to field dozens of questions about her tattoos. She also considered how it might be looking back on her wedding pictures in thirty years.

Cosmetically camouflaging tattoos does not come without a cost. It is actually more expensive than having done the original tattoo. The makeup does last for a few days but then it is gone and the tattoos are again visible. images-2Tattoo removal is another growing business and is more costly and takes longer.   Number of treatments depend on the size of the tattoo, color of ink and one’s skin tone. One New York doctor stated that patients can expect to pay $350 or more per session for tattoo removal with possibly ten sessions over a period of years.

images-3The urge to follow some current trends can have long lasting consequences—not to mention costs. Maybe adding a temporary tattoo to give that artistic punch for a specific event would be a solution. Don’t forget a hip new runway look can make a real statement. When you are tired of it, off to consignment or the Good Will and you are ready for the next statement outfit. So much more fun without the cost and pain!  

Are Outlet Malls on the Outs?

 

Looking bright at Polo.
Looking bright at Polo.

I remember back when outlet malls entered the mix for shopping. It was always a destination to include when you visited a city that had one. In the beginning, these malls were established some ninety minutes from their store in regular mall stores and carried items that had not sold during the regular season for deeply discounted prices. As a bargain hunter, it was great fun to visit the outlet mall and sift through hoping to find hidden treasures.     Early on however, some stores like Ralph Lauren, began manufacturing a lower quality merchandise to stock their outlet mall. I’m sure they included unsold items from their main stores as well but it has been a brilliant strategy that has been copied by other stores.

Last Call at Neiman's.
Last Call at Neiman’s.

Change is in the air. Large retailers are now running sales throughout the year in order to keep customers coming back into the stores. Where we used to expect twice yearly sales, we now see ongoing promotions. Prices are frequently lower than one would pay in an outlet store.

Polo outlet.
Polo outlet.

This is good news for most of us! You save a 2-hour round trip drive to visit the outlet mall and avoid the possibility of having made the trip in vain. Local retail stores are trending more and more to having their markdown merchandise on line. I monitor those postings once or twice a week for ideas for clients and for myself.

Last call at Neiman's.
Last call at Neiman’s.

Often, the store has more extensive inventory than is posted on line so a periodic visit to the store is always a good idea. I have found that isolated perfect dress only available in my size. There were not enough available to warrant putting them on line but I found a winner for ¼ the original price!

Bargains are bargains any way you look at it. My suggestion is to monitor several options before making that   purchase.   If you have a mental or written list of items you can use, you can spot it immediately when you see it in the store.

Know your colors and have a good feel for what this new purchase can be worn with. Use that new item to add a completely different look to what you already have! That’s smart shopping!

Nude Pantyhose Make a Fashion Comeback!

 

Kate Middleton with her traditional sheer, nude hose.
Kate Middleton with her traditional sheer, nude hose.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has had a huge impact on the trend back toward wearing sheer, nude hose.   It has not been that long ago when women in business rebelled against being required to wear hose at the office. I remember my daughter’s delight when her boss officially kicked off the beginning of summer:  the date women in the organization could go without wearing hose. Of course, this was just for the three official months of summer with no bearing on actual temperatures!

This summer, wearing sheer, nude pantyhose has come full circle. Gone is the image of looking like granny wearing support hose only slightly resemble skin tones!   Fashion designers have promoted hose on their runway looks, some even adding ankle socks.

Sheer all the way!
Sheer all the way!

There are definite benefits to wearing pantyhose. Hose give a finished look to your outfit. It also adds a professional note.  Just as one avoids a skirt that is too short or low cut blouse that exposes too much cleavage, hose add a touch of modesty. You want your male clients and coworkers to focus on your expertise, not your other attributes!

Hosiery also covers flaws that you would prefer not be advertised. They give a uniformity of color. At the beginning of the summer, most of us have pasty white legs. Add a few spider veins or other flaws and: not a very pretty picture.

Thigh-high comfort.
Thigh-high comfort.

Go sheer to rock this look. If you really want to be a little fashion forward, look for some of the patterned styles.  Some offer a line up the back as in the old fashioned seamed hose of yesteryear. Just be sure to keep the line straight up the back of your leg! Other styles offer a mesh pattern or other designs. If you are wearing something dark or have dark skin, sheer, darker shades are a great choice. Of course, you need dark shoes to complete the look.

Donna Karen and Wolford are two brands offering some nice choices. They are a bit more expensive but in my experience, they will last much longer. Jenny Altman, marketing consultant for Australian brand Wolford, recommends choosing from their “Skintone” line.

Patterned.
Patterned.

These nudes are designed to resemble skin without the orange tones that often comes from self-tanning products. Wolford even offers a thigh- high to keep cool on hot summer days. The gummy band at the top effectively keeps them in place while being comfortable.

Enjoy your elegant new take on summer dressing!

 

All hosiery images from Saks.