Oh to Own a Designer Dress!

How many women can honestly say, without crossing fingers behind backs, that they have not gone weak-kneed at the sight of that oh so alluring designer dress, which sparkles so suggestively in the shop window? It can be safely assumed, judging by the popularity of such dresses, that those who answer 'no' are in the minority.

Seemingly innocent at first glance, the power a beautifully designed garment can hold over a person, is astonishing. Just go to any designer shop and you will hear the agonised mutterings of 'Oh, I really should not … No, I'm not going to buy it … Well, there's no harm in just trying it on .. Oh God, I love it … No, I can not buy it … Ok, just this once … '

The heart usually prevails and the person in question returns home with the contented feeling they have just bought something special; something that not everyone else has. This is the lure of the designer.

Although clothing's fundamental purpose is to protect the body from nature's elements, its role has radically altered over time. Historians believe the first clothes consist of materials like fur, leather and leaves, which were wrapped around a person's body, thus sheltering them from the weather. In today's society however, clothes are viewed more as a statement about an individual, rather than being necessary for their survival.

Advances in technology, such as central heating, helped to bring about this change, but it is understood that Charles Frederick Worth, born in England in 1825, shaped the world of clothing, and in particular, women's dressmaking; thus giving birth to the term 'fashion' in the way we understand it today.

After moving to France to work for Parisian drappers, Gagelin and Opigez, Mr Worth married one of their models, where he began making dresses for her. Soon after, customers began asking for replicas of the dresses, which prompted him to seek financial backing for his own dressmaking business.

In time, he became named for his designs, which were much simpler and said to be more flattering for the lady's figure than others of the time; he has become popular with an array of rich, distinguished women, including royalty and the famous. He also moved away from letting women design garments themselves, and instead chose to display his own designs at fashion shows, which were held four times a year.

So the rise of the designer dress began, and other fashion designers followed suit to create whole collections of designer clothes.

Fashion designers are now commonplace, designing clothing for individual clients, specialty stores and / or high-fashion department stores. What distinguishes their clothing from the norm is the originality of design, coupled with the limited availability of garment numbers.

This, essentially, is what makes designer clothing so bought after and is why those skilfully crafted designer dresses can make one go weak-kneed in praise – not only at the thought of possessing one, but also in the knowledge that they own something unique.

Buying Shoes Online – Help and Advice For When Purchasing Shoes Online

A few years ago, if you were looking to purchase a new pair of shoes, you went off to a department or shoe store; Looked around, tried a few pairs on and took your purchase home that day. These days, more and more people are deciding not to go into town, and buying their shoes online. Now, I believe this is partly because we've become more busy, but mostly because we now have access to brands, designers, styles and sizes that are not available to purchase in our local shoe stores. If you feel the need for a women's size 14, extra-narrow (or wide), red pump with a 3 inch high heel, chances are, you'll find it at one of many online shoe stores.

However, not all online shoe stores are the same. So i have put together some advice, and things to look out for when buying shoes online.

1) Post and packaging Charges: The Added Cost when Buying Shoes Online.

Always find out what the P & P charges are before spending lots of time adding items to cart or shopping bag. You may think you're getting a bargain on all those shoes, but if P & P cost is too high, you may end up paying more than anticipated. Especially when ordering from a country other than the one you live in. Lots of online shoe shops offer free P & P, which is great! But do some price comparisons before you purchase. Sometimes, you'll get a better deal at an online shoe shop that charges a reasonable price for P & P, and still save EKK.

2) Returns / Exchanges – Know the Policies in Advance.

Another major factor in buying shoes online, is being able to return or exchange them if there's something wrong with them, they do not fit, or just are not the way you thought they would be. Most online shoe stores will have a returns policy, but DO NOT take it for granted. Make sure before putting in those card details, that you'll be able to return the unused shoes for any reason.

Ok, if you're taking a chance on a heavily discounted pair of shoes, then you may decide to buy without a return policy. But you still need to know what your rights for that sale are before buying.

Also, find out in advance if you'll have to pay the return postal fees, if you do decide to send the shoes back.

3) Want your Shoes quick? Check delivery Times. If its an absolute must that you have a certain pair of shoes by "xx" date, I strictly advise buying them in person at an actual shoe shop. Or ordering them well in advance, and that there are other options available if your shoes do not arrive in time.

I AM NOT saying that online shoes do not post out in a timely fashion! In fact, I have purchased many pairs of shoes online, and they have all arrived in record time, but why take any chances?

Again, find out the delivery policy of the online shoe shop you're buying from, and make sure the shoes are buying are actually in stock! If they are backordered, this could add weeks till you get them.

~ Summery ~ As long as you buy from reputable online shoe stores and pay extra attention to the info above, buying online is an excellent way to save time and money; and to give yourself the biggest choice when buying shoes online.

Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similar to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Investing in an Apartment Building

One of the most important decisions we will all make is to choose where to live. While some people would rather own their own property, others prefer to rent. However, there are also people who both rent and own their properties at the same time. They live in the apartment building they manage and rent out the rest of the apartments. Finding the best place to live in is a serious task which requires proper research and background information.

What is the latest in hip are renovated farmhouses which have been separated into many apartments. This way the residence might look like a big old house from the outside as it has one main entrance but from the inside you can see that the house is split into separate apartments. From my point of view investing in buying a renovated house is a great business decision. Usually the mortgage is cheap so consider taking one in order to realize this great business plan. Not only will you be able to pay back the mortgage but you will also make a profit from the income you will receive monthly from the renters.

A more traditional apartment building is a large square one with long hallways on each floor and many identical apartments. Some people consider living in such a building an adventure but a risky one. The traditional apartment building has three stories and from fifteen to thirty apartments. Of course, living on any level has its own pros and cons. In case you live in a lower level apartment you will hear your upstairs neighbor's footsteps. If your neighbors have above kids then it could get quite noisy. Thus, it might be better to live in the upper level of a building, though you will have to climb stairs or take an elevator to get to your home. The worst case scenario is to live in a middle apartment in a large apartment building as not only will you have noise from above and below but you will also have to climb the stairs or use lift, as well.

You should not get confused or worried when it comes to choosing the right place to live. You can find the right apartment building which will be comfortable and inexpensive if you do a meticulous research and get some background information.