Definitive Shopping Guide for Big Feet

If you have larger than normal feet, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be to find shoes that fit. Manufacturers are more interested in creating shoes in common sizes so that they can get the biggest return possible. In the past, this meant that people with larger feet were reduced to shopping at specialty stores for styles made from companies that only made big shoes and not other sizes. The selection was often limited, and the styles not as fashionable as the shoes on the high street. Luckily there are more options available today for people with big feet. Here is the definitive shopping guide for finding stylish shoes that fit your feet.

Styles
Today most major manufacturers create shoes in a range of sizes, from very tiny sizes up to the large sizes that fit big feet. One style that always comes in all sizes are trainers. There are a great range of different types of trainers you will be able to find in your size, from high-tech athletic trainers to the colourful, street trainers that look good with jeans. Dress shoes are a bit harder to find in big sizes, especially larger sized heels for women. When shopping around, remember to look for you size but also keep in mind the width of the shoe. Some companies create large sizes but don’t take into account the extra width of your foot, so you could end up with a shoe that pinches the sides of your feet.

Where to Shop
It used to be that people with large feet could only find good fitting shoes at “big and tall” stores. These shops are still around and are a good option for people who have feet that are both wide and long and therefore really hard to fit. However, you won’t find contemporary, fashionable shoes at these stores. To get shoes that are more on trend with the season, you could consider looking at department stores and asking about larger sizes. Most big stores will stock at least a few big sizes in each style to have on hand. The final and best option is to shop around online. You can go to online shops, auction sites and websites that offer overstocked shoes from various stores to find great deals on stylish shoes.

Buying Shoes
When you decide to shop online, make sure you have the right size. Different countries have different sizing charts, so it’s important to check that you are purchasing your shoes in the right country and corresponding size. Sizes also tend to vary slightly among different manufacturers. In order to get the exact right fit, it is a good idea to visit the manufacturer’s website to take a look at their specific sizing chart. Once you start looking around online, you’ll be amazed at just how large the selection of shoes is that will fit your feet.

Upgrade Your Wardrobe For Autumn 2010, Style Guide For Men

In most fashion campaigns this autumn it is going to be all about twill blazers, chinos, washed out jeans, brogues all nicely put together in a 1950’s type of look that plays around with loads of layers. This represents a chance to experiment with your wardrobe and combine different items of clothing in order to create a really good look. There is a a classic outfit that you could all try putting together or even keep in mind for this Autumn.

Chinos
Firstly, start with a nice pair of chinos. Chinos have always been an essential item of clothing in men’s wardrobes however they’re not always in fashion, chinos are a bit like the denim shirt fashion trend that keeps popping in and out of fashion campaigns every five years or so. Well if you’ve got a nice pair of chinos,this autumn is the time to get them out of the wardrobe and match them up with all the following clothing items.

Denim shirt
You can match a pair of chinos with denim shirt, although denim strictly goes with denim of the same colour it doesn’t really matter hear since we are going to go for a layered look, plus the whole denim on denim thing is still in. So don’t worry about matching colours of denim to be exactly the same.

Tartan Scarves
One of the fashion accessories that really adds to the entire outfit and look is a nice scarf and as we are working with chinos, tweed blazers, they can be well rounded off with a nice tartan scarf. You can pick them up from mainstream fashion shops, tartan seems to be really in just now. Made easier by shopping online and it is always worthwhile looking at the sales sections of the previous season. Often overlooked, it is surprising the amount of nice items you will find online for half price, and there are always local charity shops too. If you spend time in these shops looking around you tend to find quality designer items for ridiculously low prices.

Brogues
These are the fashion style that has generations of fans. It isn’t just the domain of the elite, brogues are matching a lot more outfit these days. If you go for a good designer brand, the shoes might be a bit pricey but they tend to last for ages so it’s really good value. Going for quality shoes, it is recommended to pay something extra for brogues and buy a decent pair, often really cheap brogues will look nice and don’t last long.

Blazer
A nice blazer makes a big difference to the entire look. You can match a blazer with some jeans and pair of shoes and you will look smart. For this look it is important to go with the traditional tweed blazer. These blazers seem to be the latest thing in men’s fashion, it’s the “folk” look that everybody’s is going for. You can pick one up online in most mainstream fashion online stores. Again with blazers, consider going for a good designer and pay something extra. With these blazers it’s all about the quality of the tweed and the pattern plus it’s a clothing item that will last you decades.

Beautiful Savings – Guide to Surviving Sample Sales

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this feeling: you’ve been eyeing the most gorgeous pair of Tory Burch heels, with its gorgeous silhouette and sleek style. But alas, your heart skips a beat when you look at the price, as you replace them on the shelf and silently affirm “One day… I’ll save enough to have it.” Well, thanks to the numerous sample sales in New York City’s fashion district, “One day” may be much sooner than you think! The one thing that shopaholics (such as myself!) like better than shopping are bargains! And bargains are always beautiful! Here are some tips on scoring heart-stopping deals with prices that won’t give you a heart attack.

Research, Research, Research!

The wealth of information available on the internet is amazing! Websites such as Topbutton and DailyCandy post information on sample sales in various cities.

Got some extra time during the day? Prominent shopping areas, such as New York City’s garment district may have people advertising sample sales for specific showrooms. Take a stroll in these areas and be on the lookout for someone handing out fliers to such sales. Once you’re at the sale, place yourself on their contact list so you can be notified of future sales. Some showrooms may not be so public about their sales. Well-known designers, such as Prada, have sales twice a year, so if you know someone who’s in the loop and has info to a certain showroom, try calling calling in favors and ask when the next sample sale will occur.

Go with a Plan!

Plan on arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour before the sale, particularly for sought-after brands. Anticipate long lines for entry, try-ons, and purchases. Be patient! Usually the first day of a sample sale has the best selection due to the highest number of inventory. If day one is a no-go on your schedule, call ahead of time and ask if additional items will be put out or prices cut later in the week.

Always have cash on hand- some sales may not accept credit cards or personal checks. On the plus side, some sales will may fore-go tax if you pay in cash.

Wear leggings and a tank top or sports bra under your clothes. This allows you to easily try clothes on, especially if private dressing rooms are unavailable.

Never wear a brand to its own sale. It could get lost amongst the other merchandise.

Shopping buddies are great to have- they give their honest opinions on what does and doesn’t look flattering.

Survey the land.

If the atmosphere is relaxed, you can take your time and peruse the aisles and racks so you can decide what to buy. But in the event that chaos is present, it’s always effective to grab and go! Select items in your size range that look appealing to try on, avoiding anything that’s stained, torn, or needs a lot of tailoring. Having a friend sample sale shop also helps, especially when it comes to the long try-on and check-out lines.

Mind your manners.

Sample sales can get overcrowded, and the more bodies under one roof, the more colorful the personalities. While there are those that can get aggressive, and sometime downright rude, I personally feel no item is worth fighting over. If someone is blocking a rack or dominating a mirror, politely ask her to move for just a second. Remember, when it comes down to it, it’s just stuff; there’s more to life than having everything.

Shop Smart

Look for unique pieces that you can’t normally get from the local department stores. The best deals at sample sales are bags, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Prices on these items are usually below wholesale price. Always try to ask for a better price, especially if you are buying a lot of items. If you are buying $400 worth of merchandise, see if you can get it for $350. The people at the register know that people are here for a deal, and they want to get out as much inventory as they can.

There are more than just sample sales.

Shopping, samples, and cocktails- need I say more? Companies such as Shecky’s Media and Style Fixx hold events at popular venues that are more like happy hour with girlfriends than shopping. These events have local designers and beauty companies that showcase their newest products, all at 30-75% off retail. They also offer “goodie bags” filled with product samples for you to try. Sign up for the next Shecky’s event here.

The internet’s popularity has also allowed for online sample sales that offer discount for designer items. Sites such as RueLala and Ideeli require membership to shop online.

So shop often, shop smart because looking sharp is an art!

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Choosing Riding Gear and Clothes – A Beginners Guide

So you have taken the first steps to becoming a rider! You have found your local stables, booked in for your first lesson and learnt the difference between a gelding and a mare! Now the next step is choosing what to wear, and whilst this sounds like an easy step it’s not! This can be a hugely daunting process if you don’t know where to start, and a hugely costly one unless you’re careful. There are so many clothes and so much equipment involved in riding it can be hard to know where to start. If you are a beginner then before you rush out and buy a whole wardrobe wait until you’ve had a couple of lessons to make sure it is something you will continue with before you make any financial commitments.

A riding school will not expect you to turn up to your first lesson with complete riding kit. Most riding schools will have plenty of essentials that you can borrow. The most important piece if a riding hat and again this is something that most riding schools will have plenty of – you can check this with the school before hand, but all good riding schools will have some spare. If they don’t then it should really raise alarm bells and you may want to consider your choice of stables.

Whilst you don’t need to have the complete riding kit for your first lesson wearing unsuitable clothes can make riding an uncomfortable experience and much harder than it needs to be. So choose your clothes carefully and think about how comfortable they will be in the saddle. Once you have decided that you are going to be a regular down at the stables and a frequent rider choosing good quality riding gear is a great investment. Here are some hints and tips for choosing a good, compact riding wardrobe.

Although we all like to look good, and we want to make our horse look good, we ned to combine that style with functionality. A rider needs clothes that will not restrict or hinder movements, allowing for a freedom and flexibility whilst looking elegant at the same time. Also as every rider knows riding is a full work out and so fabrics need to be durable and light so that riding cloths remain cool and will also absorb moisture.

The appropriate riding clothes depend on what discipline you are doing but here is a guide to your basic essentials; 1. Riding Hat 2. Riding Boots / Jodhpur Boots 3. Breeches / Jodhpurs 4. Jacket 5. Riding Gloves

Riding clothes have come along and there are now a variety of styles and cuts to suit any shape and any budget so do your research and find out what brands are best for your needs. Find a tack shop or online equestrian shop with a good selection of brands and keep your eyes out for any bargains they may have – a good tip is to think ahead and buy out of season and then you can often get real bargains!

RIDING HATS & SAFETY WEAR

Without doubt riding hats are the most important piece of equestrian clothing. Riding hats consist of a hard shell lined with shock absorbing material and provide vital protection for the rider’s head should they fall from a horse or be kicked by a horse. As well as wearing a riding hat at all times when riding, it is also wise to wear a riding hat whilst lunging, or handling any horse from the ground.

It’s very important that a riding hat fits well. If you are unsure of your hat size, or this is your first riding hat, then it’s best to visit a BETA registered saddler or tack shop who will be able to help you choose the best fitting hat for you that also appropriate for the equestrian disciplines you enjoy.

Riding hats should always be replaced immediately if they suffer a severe impact as a result from a fall from a horse, being dropped onto a hard surface or kicked by a horse as although no visible damage may be seen, there may be cracks in the shell or other unseen damage that could make the riding hat unsafe for further wear. In addition the protection offered by any riding hat diminishes over time as the padding inside becomes compressed and so any riding hats should routinely be replaced every 3-4 years even if there are no visible signs of damage, wear and tear, etc.

There are two safety standards acceptable in the UK for riding hats: EN1384/BSEN1384 or PAS 015. Check that any riding hat or helmet you are looking at conforms to these standards.

When trying on any riding hat, it is important that the riding hat fits both comfortably and securely. Without the chin strap fastened the riding hat should fit securely enough that you should be able to nod or shake your head briskly without the hat moving.

Another important safety feature is a Body Protector. Whilst these are not mandatory they are advised and can offer extra protection in case of a fall. Body or Back Protectors are similar to vests and are filled with foam, they are worn over the top of clothes either under of over a jacket. When you first wear a body protector they can seem stiff and uncomfortable at first the foam will mould itself to the rider’s body shape and become more comfortable over time.

JODHPURS / BREECHES

There is often huge confusion over the difference between jodhpurs and breeches and which you should be wearing. As a general rule jodhpurs are for younger riders and breeches for adult riders. However, these are not hard and fast rules and it is more important to wear something you are comfortable in. Breeches are usually just worn by adults for showing and jodhpurs for everyday riding – but again it really is personal preference.

The main difference between jodhpurs and breeches is the leg length. Breeches are worn under long riding boots (or jodhpur boots and chaps) as they are shorter on the leg and jodhpurs have a slightly longer leg with a small cuff that fits over the top of a jodhpur boot or a low riding boot – jodhpurs also often have a stirrup to prevent them from riding up the leg but that isn’t always the case. Unlike regular trousers the leg seams of both jodhpurs and breeches are placed on the outside to prevent chaffing the rider, or the horse!

Jodhpurs and breeches are often designed to increase performance and can have reinforced knee pads to help maintain correct position and the seats can be covered in ‘sticky’ material to increase grip giving the rider help in the saddle.

Jodhpurs comes in a huge variety of colours and styles now so there really is something for everyone. From the low rise hipster style to the high waisted cut and all in a variety of colours – you can get even get union jack ones for the more patriotic among you!

RIDING BOOTS / JODHPUR BOOTS

In the case of riding boots, the tall ones are perfect to wear for competitions and shows, while short ones are comfortable and hard wearing for casual riding. For beginners long / tall riding boots are not necessary, I would suggest starting with paddock boots or jodhpur boots. These come in a variety of styles and fit can vary from brand to brand so take the time to find out what is most comfortable for you. If you do get jodhpur boots of paddock boots then you will also need to get a pair of half chaps. Chaps come in different styles and types including; leather and suede, back or side zips, elasticated gussets so again there is a type for everyone. With chaps, it is worth thinking about your calf size and making sure that you buy a pair that fit comfortably!

When it does come to the time to buy long or tall riding boots it is important to choose well. Correctly fitting riding boots are one of the best investments you can make, riding with ill fitting boots is a nightmare and can ruin the experience and your performance. Boots that are too big in the foot will make it hard to keep your foot on the stirrup correctly and boots that are too small will prove nearly impossible to get on and off and be hugely uncomfortable. Boots come in a variety of measurements for regular, wide, extra wide calf fits, and long or short fitting depending on your leg length – so it is important to look at the measurements for each brand and choose the right fit for your leg.

JACKETS

You should not need a show jacket yet. When you do, the color, style, fit, the season and the comfort will be your choice to make, and will also depend on what discipline you are competing in. But an everyday riding jacket is a must! Come the cold winter rides and purchasing a high quality and high insulation jacket will be the best decision you ever made! Also as the days get shorter and the afternoons darker jackets are useful as in addition to keeping you warm they also often have reflective strips on them which is useful for drawing attention to yourself and your horse in dark or gloomy conditions.

GLOVES

Gloves are a necessity. Eventually you will need a pair of show gloves but for everyday riding just an inexpensive pair of standard riding gloves will do. Riding gloves have added grips on the palms and are usually quite durable. Use them all the time to protect your hands when grooming, riding and lungeing. At most stables riding gloves are a magic mystery as they seem to go missing all the time so make sure you always have a back up pair.

UNDERGARMENTS

I don’t really want to get involved in your underwear nor would you want me to. But one word, for the ladies, make sure you purchase a good supportive sports bra as this really is a must have.

The rest of your clothes are important too. Always wear layers so you can peel them off if you get too warm, as being hot and bothered is not a comfortable way to learn to ride.

When it comes to following the trends, there is a lot of opportunity with horse riding clothes and gear. Horse riding fashion is quite quick changing and so whilst it’s fun to follow – remember to always follow your own instinct and preference more!

Apparel for the horse is a whole different story. Tack, saddles, blankets, horse rugs, turnout rugs. So much more to talk about!

Jewelry Guide – Always Wear Fabulous Jewelry

Jewelry includes all beautiful or attractive ornamental objects that are made with gems and other precious metals. Jewelry made with less valuable materials comes under the category of costume jewelry. Mostly every kind of material can be added to make an attractive jewelry. Jewelry is available in various pretty designs. Both men and women like to wear jewelry on different occasions like wedding party, birthday parties or some other functions.

Some common types of jewelry include anklets, armlets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings (engagement rings, wedding rings, class rings), toe rings and nose-jewels. Brooches, belly chains, head ornaments come under the category of less common types of jewelry. People can express their love by presenting jewelry to their dear one. Common metals that are used in jewelry include gold, platinum, or silver. Generally sterling silver is used in wonderful jewelry.

Some gems like diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds are used in designer jewelry. Other commonly used materials include glass, wood, seashells, natural clay, or plasticine clays. People usually like to add some beads in the jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and belts are included in beaded jewelry.

Jewelry is a wonderful outfit that really suits everybody. Always try to wear a simple jewelry because simplicity is the best policy of life. Don’t try an ankle bracelet or a toe ring with office outfit. Replace your jewelry after some time because old-fashioned jewelry makes you obsolete.

Nowadays Internet shopping is in trend that enables you to buy jewelry online. Internet shopping is the best time saving as well as cost saving factor. You can also get some discounts by purchasing superb jewelry online. Internet offers some decent jewelry gifts, which makes your dear one happy.