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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Quality Leather

First, what is leather. Leather simply stated is the skin of an animal. So as long as the material is made from the skin of an animal, they can claim “Genuine Leather”. Quality leather is a different story. When you finish reading this, you will be able to look at a leather garment and tell immediately if it is quality or not.

You may or may not have noticed that the flea markets, grocery stores, drug stores, and warehouse department stores have been selling the “Genuine Leather” Coats, Jackets, backpacks and luggage. They are of a patchwork design, and usually lined. These are typically made of lambskin leather and being sold for unreal cheap prices. There is nothing wrong with lambskin leather. In fact it is the leather of choice for any leather that is worn close to the skin. The lining too is a benefit if it is used for comfort or insulation. The patchwork design is the first indication that this is poor quality leather. The patchwork design is because they swept the scraps off the floor from the manufacture of other garments, fed them through a machine to sew the scraps together, created another sheet of leather and made more garments. The leather itself could made of various grades.

Let’s talk about grades of leather. There are 3 primary grades of leather:

Grade 1 or “full-Grain” clear, supple, and clean, is consistent in color, has the highest yield of over 90% and the surface is smoothest.

Grade 2 is less consistent in color, has a yield of 78% and the surface is slightly imperfect.

Grade 3 is a blotchy and very inconsistent in color, has a yield of 40% and the surface is very imperfect and will feel stiff, partly from the excessive coating needed to hide imperfections.

These grades are standard no mater what type of animal the leather came from. There are a lot of different types of animals that are used for leather. Everything from lamb to cow, and alligator to Ostrich. The two most popular for use in garments are lamb and cow. For the sake of this article we will discuss these two.

LAMBSKIN

The softest, thinnest, most supple skin. A Buttery texture and finely grained. Stretches well and tends to reshape after wearing – has a type of memory. Drapes well, flows, and has good movement – very form fitting.
Higher-end leather-wear. Classy and more fashionable look.

LAMB TOUCH COW or COW NAPPA

Thin, Soft and supple – close in look and feel to lamb but is not lamb. A Smoother finish and finer texture to cow hide. Lightweight – has good movement and draping ability.
Sportswear and outerwear. Dressed-up, fashionable look. Coats skirts, pants, and vests.

COW HIDE

Very tough wearing and durable. Heaviest of the cowhides. Very noticeable texture skin and grainy.
Mostly outerwear – especially jackets. Weekend casual, ready-to-wear.

Ok, now we know the different grades, and types of leather, how do we know we got the good stuff? First, use your eyes. A very good way to tell if you’re purchasing a garment of HIGH-quality leather is to look at the seams and needle marks. If they seem to be a different color than the garment itself this could mean that the garment is dyed on the surface only – surface-dyed as opposed to aniline-dyed leather (dyed on both sides).

Surface-dyed leather is much different to aniline-dyed leather because surface-dying is like adding a coat of paint to wood. It merely covers up the wood’s natural surface and defects. Aniline-dyed leather is like adding varnish to wood, varnish allows the woods natural beauty to shine through by penetrating the surface instead of covering it up. The natural beauty of high-quality leather is visible through a sheer, rich aniline dye.

Check the items for overall color and craftsmanship. While all skins contain some natural marks, there should not be any large unsightly blemishes on the piece you are inspecting. A good manufacturer of leather apparel will not use leather of 2nd or 3rd grade.

Next, use your nose. The garment should smell like leather, not chemicals. And while we are on the subject of chemicals, you want leather that has not been treated with Azo Dye. Azo Dye is toxic and has been linked to many skin reactions.

And lastly, feel it. Is it soft to the touch, is it smooth. It should be free of any bumps and it should flex easily. It should not be stiff and hard to bend.

Be sure to read my next article on how to care for your leather garments.

All about Leather Motorcycle Jackets

There are two major types of leather motorcycle protective outfits, the colorful single-piece ones predominantly seen on the race track, and the traditional jacket and trouser type. The leather trousers and jackets are generally metal-studded and are preferred by biker gangs.

A common motorcycle leather jacket is zippered, multi-pocketed and has a belted waist. Some leather jackets are made of cowhide. Motorcycle jackets are most useful when they have been fitted with proper armor. For example, most motorcycle jackets have padding just on the shoulders and elbows. A good motorcycle jacket will have padding even on the chest and back. It should be semi-rigid padding, so that it doesn’t move with the movement of the driver.

Also, motorcycle leather jackets are available in waterproof leather, which are helpful against the rain. Although they don’t act as well as a raincoat.

A proper motorcycle leather jacket will have more usable pocket space, better weather protection and adjustability. The leather used in motorcycle jackets should be at least a millimeter thick. The thickness of a jacket decides what kind of protection it allows to the rider. Some of the other features of a motorcycle leather jacket are the slightly dropped back to keep the wind out when the driver leans ahead, and articulated or pre-curved sleeves.

Formal Dress For Women

Your aim is to project a professional, competent and dynamic appearance – You mean business is the impression you are trying to create and can handle the job at hand

The style colors and fit of your clothes choices will reflect in the way other people view your ability to do your job.
Below we have outlined some basic tips on how you can maximize your appearance.

1. Fit

Trousers need to be fitted and free of visible panty lines. Skirts, especially straight styles i.e. pencil skirts, should be loose enough to sit down in comfortably and not excessively tight. Clothes need to fit so be aware of size and dress within it

Jackets should to be buttoned and blouses shouldn’t have gaps between buttonholes.

2. Traditional career colors include navy (trustworthy), grey (conservative) and black (chic & conservative) be careful of red especially in sales, it can be seen as aggressive and confrontational especially by other women.

Most of these colors work well in trousers, skirts and shoes and you can mix black with softer colorslike light blue, lilac, pink and stone.

Loud colors like bright pink and wild prints are more risky so be careful if you want to mix these in

3. Jewelry that jangles (hoop earrings and stacks of bangles that will indicate you are coming) are no, no. GO for minimal jewellery stud earrings or single bracelets and a nice watch.

4. Slouchy handbags look unprofessional and sloppy. Instead choose structured styles that project an organized and efficient image with sharp lines.

With other accessories don’t neglect them! Everything about you needs to project cleanliness and efficiency.

Manicured nails, run-free hose, clean polished shoes, styled hair. Make sure that everything creates the right look down to the smallest detail.

Looks never to worn to the office include:

6. Sexy clothes – Avoid – See-through garments, miniskirts, really high stilettos, designer labels and to much leather.

7. Clothes should fit correctly and avoid: wrinkled clothing, too many layers and baggy-fit clothing.

Gowns-Style

This seasons prom offering are so colourful that it will be easy for young girls to find the right style, shades and silhouettes. With the onset of spring and a rise in the mercury level may see a rise in the hem lines of the dresses. Trendy hanky-hems will be the right look to sport those long shapely legs.

Plunging necklines, low backs and form fitting ruching will be just right to have the heads spinning. The halter necklines with back detail are the best statement you could make this season. The tried and trusted Cindrella-like fantasy ball gown should work fine for those who need that princess like look and charm.

The basic fabrics too will play a decisive role in this seasons look. Unique and mesmerizing fabrics like charmeuse, shiny knits and tie-dyed textiles in perfect harmony with the already popular materials such as heavy shimmer, glitter organza and ombre chiffon surly look promising. Any dress is incomplete with the right embellishments to punctuate its beauty. New variations of sequin trim and medallion details, as well as paillettes along with new patterns of embroidery and beading are sure to take center stage.The other highlight of this seasons fashion will be bright coloured jewel tones in eye-arresting blues, oranges, greens, yellows and pinks.

Color Cabaret: It’s all about making a splash this season, and bright jewel tones in blues, oranges, greens, yellows and pinks are at the top of the class. Once you feel you have gained considerable knowledge of the latest trends, you visit any of the local stores or simply buy online. Don’t get disappointed if budget is your prime concern you still have a envying amount of options to find the best dress within your budget.