Feb 28, 2011

Michael Kors Pressley Pumps

Michael Kors Pressley Pumps

Michael Kors Shoes, Pressley Pumps
The Michael Kors Pressley Pumps are definitely not the ruby reds Dorthy wore. Although, if you're wearing them and click them together... magic just might happen, especially if you're rocking the red pumps! When we're talking about fashion and Michael Kors, we're talking about shoe envy. Honestly, they could spark an hour long discussion between Carrie Bradshaw and girls.

Michael Kors Pressley Pumps
According to Zappos, these are some of the hottest selling shoes on the market, with 80% giving them a 5 star rating! They even received a really good rating for arch support. And while they are not the cheapest shoes, they're really not bad at around $98 (best deal found on Amazon at around $94.05).

About the Pumps

  • Rounded toe
  • 3-1/2" covered heel
  • Circular logo-detailed hardware
  • Weight : 7 oz
  • Michael Kors script padded footbed (at the heel)
  • Color Range:
    • Red Patent
    • Dark Sand Glazed Python
    • Black Patent
    • Khaki Lizard
    • Nude Patent
To price and shop for Pressley Pumps on Amazon. Not sure what size to get? Check out Jess Spate's size guide to buying shoes online.

Feb 27, 2011

Ed Hardy Hummingbird & Roses Circle Top Tee

Hummingbird & Roses

Stamp the Hummingbird & Roses Circle Top Tee with a seal of authentic bad assery once again by ever talented tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy and designer Christian Audigier. Each piece is numbered & authentic, which is found on the inside left of the garment. Think light, airy, fun, and comfortable with this cute top. The hummingbird and rose styling is reminiscent of Hardy's infamous ink inspired art, but with a good feminine feel. The lowest price this piece has been found so far (at the time of this post) is $67.99, so keep that in mind when shopping!    

The Women’s Latok Jacket

The Women’s Latok Jacket is the female equivalent of Rab’s Latok II. New in 2010, it’s one of the few women’s waterproof jackets designed for really high end mountaineering use. That means Alpine winter and mountain expeditions so it should be very tough, very breathable, and very functional.

So, is it? The Latok passes breathablity tests with flying colors. It’s made from eVent, which is about as breathable a material as you can get while maintaining full waterproofing, in a 3 layer construction. There are midweight panels under the arms and along the sides and heavyweight panels where greater durability and abrasion resistance is called for.

The lighter women’s Latok Alpine jacket is all midweight- the full Latok is tougher and will stand up to scrambling and axe/ice screw related mishaps better. It’s heavier by 150g or so and the fabric feels much more rigid to wear but not uncomfortably so. The hood is wired and helmet compatible. We found that the stiffness of the material makes it fairly easy to fold the hood away neatly, too.

Much to my relief, the fit is generous enough for climbing women. Rab, like many outdoor brands, sometimes assume all their female customers have skinny arms and no shoulder muscles, but this jacket allows plenty of room under the arms and I have no problem moving comfortably and hefting axes in my usual size. The dropped tail is long enough to keep cold wind off you bum but the whole jacket sits in the right place with a harness.

The one aspect of the Women’s Latok Jacket I’m still sceptical about is the zips. These are water-resistant, not waterproof, and there is no covering storm flap (although there is one behind on the main zip). On a jacket designed to stand up to the worst weather the mountains can throw this seems like a let-down. Competitors like the Marmot Women’s Spire Jacket and Mountain Equipment Ama Dablam Jacket both have external storm flaps over the front zip.

So far I’ve worn this jacket half a dozen times for activities ranging from pure waterfall ice climbing to foul weather hill walking and it has performed well. The zips haven’t let water in yet, although time will tell on that score. The Latok II for men has been out and about for a few years now and if the uncovered zips were a problem they probably would have fixed it by now, so maybe I should put my trust in Rab.

This year it comes in two colours, both fairly girly. I opted for the violet (in reality, so purple it very nearly hurts) over the turquoise for mountain visibility reasons and, in all honesty, because it’s just that purple. Compared to the popular Drillium, Latok Alpine, and Vidda women’s waterproofs it’s relatively hard to find in stores, but that’s not surprising in a jacket designed for fairly extreme use. If you can’t find one to try on in an outdoor shop near you, try on the women’s Drillium or the women’s Latok Alpine to find the right size and then order online. The Vidda seems to be a different cut, so your size in that one may not be the best guide.

If you’re a woman looking for the very best waterproof mountain jacket available, the women’s Latok is certainly something to consider but I would try the Marmot Spire as well. It’s a slightly different cut, so pick whichever fits best and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Jess Spate is a South Wales climber and also editor of Outdoor Equipment Online, a UK price comparison site with a large range of waterproof jackets and outdoor clothing. She also acts as a green business consultant for selling indoor fountains and other home improvement products.

Feb 25, 2011

Types of Alpaca Winter Apparel

Alpaca apparel is the perfect winter clothing because it is made from one of the warmest fibers available. Alpaca wool is also extremely soft, lightweight, and strong, so you can wear fewer layers and stay warmer at the same time.

Alpaca wool is warmer, softer, lighter, and stronger than traditional sheep’s wool. It can sustain multiple washings without piling like sheep’s wool, and it requires fewer washings because it is dirt, bacteria, and odor resistant. Alpaca products make a great investment because of their durability, sustainability, and timeless style.

Alpaca clothing is great for winter travel because of its light weight and ability to pack up much smaller than sheep’s wool, since it doesn’t need to be as thick and bulky to provide the same amount of warmth. It’s also wrinkle free, and since it can be washed less often, it’s great for traveling.

Alpaca socks are the best available for winter warmth, especially since they come in a variety of thickness for everything from everyday wear to winter sports. Alpaca ski socks are soft, comfortable, and extremely thin for a proper fit inside your boots, yet they still keep your feet incredibly warm at the same time, a combination that can be difficult to find with traditional ski socks. As an added bonus, they are water resistant so they keep your feet warm and dry in all weather conditions.

Alpaca clothing works very well for layering clothes, which is often essential in the winter months. Because it is so lightweight, multiple layers can be worn without the burden of heavy cotton and sheep’s wool layers. Since it is so soft and feels wonderful against bare skin, your base layers can be made from alpaca wool instead of synthetics or cotton. Try combining alpaca shirts or turtlenecks with alpaca vests and cardigans on top, and alpaca tights or knee socks with alpaca skirts and dresses.

Alpaca jackets and coats provide the greatest warmth with the lightest weight, making a great addition to your other alpaca layers. The extreme water resistance of alpaca wool makes it suitable to wear as a top layer in wet and snowy conditions, providing a stylish alternative to synthetic waterproof jackets. Alpaca jogging jackets and ponchos are a warmer substitute for hooded sweatshirts or lightweight coats on warmer days or during the transitional fall and spring seasons.

Alpaca blankets are the best option for both babies and adults who like to stay warm while sleeping without the bulk and weight of a heavy comforter or multiple blankets. For hot sleepers, a sheet combined with a light alpaca blanket is often enough to create the perfect nighttime sleeping temperature during the months in which you heat your house at night.

Feb 19, 2011

Buying shoes online? Make sure they're right for your feet!

When you buy shoes in a shop they’re fitted for you, usually by people with some experience in figuring out whether or not a particular pair of shoes matches a particular pair of feet. That’s as it should be but what about buying online? Any good online retailer will let you return boots and shoes that don’t fit as long as they haven’t been worn outside, but it can be quite hard to tell if a pair of footwear will suit you when you first put them on.

The best thing to do is try them around the house before making the decision one way or another. Problems like hot spots and uncomfortable pressure points often take a couple of hours to show up so allow plenty of time. If possible, try new shoes and boots in the evening when your feet as tired and swollen as they’re going to get- all feet swell over the course of a normal day and the difference is often a half size or more. The evening rule goes for high street shoe shopping too. If you can leave the shoe shops til later in the afternoon you’ll get a better idea of what really fits and what doesn’t.

Always fit footwear with the kind of socks you’ll be using with them. Walking boots should be tried out with walking socks, running shoes with running socks, high heels with tights or bare feet. Most boots and shoes will ‘break in’ to some degree, especially if the uppers are unlined natural leather. However, if they’re uncomfortable straight out of the box they’re probably not going to change shape that much. Forget it and return them for a refund or an exchange.

When you put on a pair of running or walking shoes you should be able to slip one finger between your heel and the back of the shoe without too much trouble. If that’s not possible or a tight squeeze, go for a bigger size. There should also be about one finger’s width between the tips of your toes and the front of the shoe. Otherwise the toes will be squashed when you walk downhill or down stairs. This is especially important for walking boots- a mile of steady descent in the wrong footwear can cause nasty bruises.

There will always be some movement at the heel. Well fitting boots and shoes should keep the foot steady to reduce rubbing and potential blisters, but lacing them so tight there’s no movement at all is usually a mistake. Try your new footwear for a couple of hours and it should be clear whether or not movement between the foot and shoe will be a problem.

Width is a consideration as well as length. If a shoe or boot is too wide your foot will flop around inside and you’ll feel less stable and secure. If it’s too narrow the usual result is pain at the ball of the foot. Tightness across the ball is a particular concern with formal shoes and women’s high heels, which are typically much narrower than casual footwear.

If there is a distinct line where the shoe buckles just above the ball of your foot they’re probably too narrow. This will become a problem when you walk up hill and try to flex your toes. It’s not only uncomfortable- shoes that are tight across the toe usually don’t last long. The crinkle in the upper will become a hole very quickly.

Even if you do evaluate new footwear carefully you may sometimes be caught out the first time you go for a walk or a run or a night out on the town. Don’t despair and don’t resign yourself to discomfort either. Feet are surprisingly easily damaged and poorly fitting shoes can do lasting harm. Few retailers will take back used footwear unless there is a serious defect but there is always eBay. Get rid of boots and shoes that don’t fit and find some that do.

Jess Spate spent several years fitting footwear professionally and now edits Outdoor Equipment Online, a UK price comparison site that includes a large selection of and trail running shoes. She also works for Appalachian Outdoors, one of the USA’s top online retailers when it comes to outdoor shoes and boots.

Feb 13, 2011

MAC Cosmetics - An Essential Part of Fashion

Makeup is a competitive market and the fashion world is ever changing. The stores need to keep up with the trends or risk their inventory sitting motionless and their books rapidly moving into the red. Part of the evolution of style is brand names competing with each other to create a better product, or even a better advertised product that is more appealing to the product's target market. This is true for any product fashion related, and especially for cosmetic products.

Brands such as Revlon, Maybelline, and Cover Girl create products for all consumer which can be bought anywhere from drug stores to discount chains like Wal-Mart and Target. Higher-end makeup that is sold by designers can be found in boutique cosmetic stores like Sephora. One competitor that is holding their own is MAC. MAC is unique in the makeup business because their stores sell only their brand. They don't need to reinvent their product or even bastardize their brand to outsell their competition. By creating a quality timeless product, MAC is consistently a huge part of the fashion industry.

MAC Cosmetics has a steadfast set of colors and products, including those outside of makeup. To stay competitive, "holiday" themed products are available like a set of warm colors wrapped in a red box for the Christmas season. What makes the MAC experience a true experience is the records they keep of their consumers. Any fashionista wants easy access to their favorite colors and purchases without having to keep a list of the products they have bought and shades that work for their skin type. What is great about the MAC stores is that each time you make a purchase, your name and the specifics of each product you buy are inputted into the system. Eye shadows, for example, can be purchased individually or in a group set. Both the sets and each individual color are tracked. This is awesome when you go back into the store months later and want to purchase the same colors for yourself as a replacement or for someone else, they simply type in your name and find your previous purchases.

Besides knowing all about you and keeping track of your purchases, what keeps MAC a thriving part of the fashion industry is their constant commitment to customer service. I don't mean returns and general helpfulness (which their stores excel at), I am referring more to the exceptional makeup style of their employees. If you walk into a Sephora or a Bloomingdales, it is often rare to find an employee that understands fashion and what looks good. To many employees at these stores, fashion is a job, not a career. My impression of the employees at MAC are they take fashion seriously and see makeup as a huge part of the fashion world. At MAC the artists all have very unique looks. They have beautiful makeup on, whether it is a natural look or an extravagant and elaborate design. Each artists wears black clothing. Their looks range from classic and simple to extremely artistic with tattoos and piercings.

As a shopper, you have to appreciate the artistic side of their appearance. On the converse, if you are very conservative and only want a basic look, you don’t have to be afraid of the tattooed and brightly colored face of an artist. The artists at MAC don’t let their style influence how they guide their clients. No matter his or her look, the artist will help you with your own personal style. They are very compatible and extremely talented.

The fashion world is not "cheap", and MAC is not for the faint of wallet. Though it is pricey, you truly pay for the quality and the experience. After all, fashion is not just about a beautifully tailored skirt or an attention getting hat, it is about how the entire outfit comes together, and cosmetics are a part of that final product.

This post has been provided by Nicolas D'Alleva. Nicolas is the owner of Specialty Answering Service, an answering service serving all aspects of the entertainment industry. Specialty industry specific services including their artists answering service and their actors answering service.

Feb 6, 2011

Skechers Shape Up Shoes

What About Skechers Shape Up Shoes?

Ah, the Skechers Shape Up Shoes. Is this shoe an abomination on fashion or is it a blessing for the booty? For a shoe that seems to have a hunchback-like sole (also known as a rocker bottom style or a dynamic rolling bottom), Skechers does a pretty decent job of keeping the Shape Ups from looking too much like Quasimodo. In fact, Quasimodo may be the entirely wrong person to reference. Kim Kardashian may be the more appropriate person you want to envision when thinking about the Skechers Shape Up Shoes, or at least that's what a recent Superbowl commercial might want you to think!   
Skechers Shape Up Walking Sneaker

Skechers Shape Up Reviews

Surprisingly, the Shape Ups get really good reviews. Eartha Haines (of www.tryingfitness.com) concludes her review of the Skechers Shape Ups by saying:
Overall, the shoes are comfortable and actually quite fun to walk in. They also don't look bad at all. If you enjoy walking outdoors for exercise or even on a treadmill, these shoes may provide added benefit for improving posture and activating muscles.
Pink & Grey Shape-Up
An anonymous commenter on www.mightyreview.blogspot.com said...

I am obese. I have foot, knee and back problems. Walking, prior to my purchase of my sketchers, was an incredibly painful and exerting process. I don't know about the physics of the shoes, but I can say that my feet do not hurt after wearing them all day long at work (previous to buying them, I could barely walk when I came home, my feet hurt so badly), and when I go out to walk the dog, I can essentially walk twice as far as without them. I have been wearing my 'sport' shape ups and my 'extended wear' black leather 'work' shape ups for about 8 months... from my perspective, they are helping me be more active, not less. [On 2/5/11. Paraphrased]

Where to buy skechers shape up shoes

Shape Up shoes are easily found almost anywhere and generally run about $50 - $130. Her Best Deal typically partners with Amazon.com and recommends them for Skechers Shape Up Shoes. Amazon has excellent deals, product promotions, and special offers. As this post is being composed as a matter of fact, Amazon is currently offering 10% off (Enter code ASTEALSP at checkout) through February 28th, 2011. Among other things Amazon offers a list of reviews, great customer service, and low shipping rates.

Shape Up Shoe Technology

Shape-ups are designed for enhanced resistance training and accelerated muscle activation. They boast advanced Stabilization Insoles that include a rigid heel for added support and stability. The Roll Bridge in the midfoot area increases side to side stability. Two part soft and firm density midsole gives maximum fitness benefits, support and stability. Kinetic Wedge super soft foam midsoles absorb shock and provide exercise (that mimics the way a foot would move in the sand).

  • Lace up front
  • Smooth leather, synthetic and mesh fabric upper
  • Side stripe overlays
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Cooling mesh panels at front and sides
  • Contrast colored edging detail
  • Contrast stitching detail
  • Fabric shoe lining
  • Textured synthetic toe and heel bumpers
  • SKECHERS S and Shape-ups logo