I WEAR IT ON MY SLEEVE

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Do you ever wonder what the next generation of clothing will look like? Did some of you join the Apple watch, Google glasses, or Fitbit trends? How many of you have a Fitness tracker or App you use? You may find it interesting to know that the future of wearables will do much more than track your vitals. The fashion retailers and startups are developing fabric processors, shape shifting yarns and other technologies to make clothing “smart.” In fact, next generation clothing promises to do virtually everything our smart phones do. And, taking it one step farther, smart clothing will be so discreet, we may not even know it is there. Someday soon, we will literally be wearing our hearts on our sleeve!

Ask the average person what a wearable technology is and they’ll say a fitness tracker. They’ll describe it as a hard plastic bracelet, watch or clip-on gadget that logs things like heart rate and level of activity. While these early wearables have been hugely popular and a big leap forward, they have also had an extraordinarily high abandonment rate. Some 50 percent of users stop wearing them within six months.

A world where clothing tracks your movements and collects an enormous amount of other sensor-driven data raises obvious privacy concerns, the full implications of which are yet to be addressed. But wearables represent an opportunity for more personal security as well. By using every person’s unique heartbeat as identification, for example, wearables could eliminate the danger of lost or stolen keys and credit cards and maybe even people! Startups such as ROAR and Cuff are designing wearable jewelry that will be able to send out alerts to friends and family in case of emergency.

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Rather than adding a separate component to clothing, digital capability would be sewn in. Next-generation clothing promises to do virtually everything smart phones can do—navigation, communication, entertainment—and some things they can’t, such as close medical monitoring. And they’re already a booming business. Global market analysts Markets and Research projects the sector to grow from $22.7 billion today to $173 billion by 2020.

Fashion and buying tastes is a language of emotion, personal expression and aesthetic. The fabric gurus are keeping that in mind when designing smart clothing. They imagine using LED technology to make clothes that are visually interactive—and fibers that change colors and patterns so that you can refresh your wardrobe without ever buying a new one.

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Whatever direction the technology takes, the ambition for wearable fashion now is to make it…well, fashionable. That’s the reason Christina Mercando, of Ringly—her wearable-jewelry company, decided to put ring design before technology. “It was obvious to me that I would have to make it something that I’d want to wear even if there was no technology inside,” she says.

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Believe it or not, the goal of wearable technology is to give the wearer less to do and fewer things to worry about. “My whole mission is to let people use their phones less,” Mercando says. “Eventually, we want to eliminate keys and credit cards and all these little things you have to worry about in your life.” Along with her colleagues in the smart-clothing business, Mercando is trying to build a world we can only imagine now, one in which connected clothing can actually help us disconnect; a place where we can feel confident leaving home with nothing but the clothes on our backs.

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Hmmm…I will have to ponder on this some more. What are your thoughts?

Living the Dream,

Lynne

 

Fringe Benefits

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How to Wear Fringe at 40-50-60 and Beyond

It’s back, folks and today I want to talk about it. I am speaking of fringe. The grainy picture above ought to tell you this fad and fashion piece was once—years ago—very popular and it might come as a surprise to you that it’s back in style for Fall 2015. Fashion trends have a way of repeating themselves every decade or so. How many times have you watched maxi and miniskirts come back in style? I bet some of you have a few items of clothing lurking in your closet or attic that have come back in fashion once or twice over the years.

But we are all a bit older now and the question becomes: Should we jump on the “fringe wagon” and join in the trends? We, of course want to be stylish and there are ways to do this as we advance in age. Unusual pieces, like fringe, can be a temptation for mature women like us, because:

  • We want to be open to trying new trends
  • We feel the need to add some creative items to our wardrobe to keep us looking young and hip
  • We get seduced by the cute” factor and buy without thinking about what we have in our closets to go with it.

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Open any celebrity magazine or watch entertainment TV and you will see celebrities looking great with their killer bodies, wearing the latest fashion trends. I get it. Think Tina Turner or Goldie Hawn or even Jennifer Lopez.

But the question becomes, “Should we?”

It’s fine to wear the latest trends, but a little goes a long way. I try not to combine too many fashion trends into one look. The key is to think quality and quantity. Maybe it’s a good idea to add one funky accessory per outfit, as long as it’s well made. Think fringe sandals or boots with nice jeans and a simple top and jacket. A little goes a long, long way.

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We will never go wrong with classic styles and subtle accessories, but good fashion students also know that everything in style is subjective.

“Every woman must make her own decisions about when the break the rules,” one fashion designer states. “When you come to a certain age, the good news is you’re beyond trends. But what you’re striving for isn’t to look youthful – it’s to look ageless. This way, you’re going to look more fabulous because the look is appropriate for you.”

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While you’ve probably seen a lot of fringe in fashion magazines, we need to be careful about how we add it into our wardrobes.

On a mature gal, fringe pants would only work if you had a really strong fashion personality and you were going somewhere where like a nightclub or rock concert. You could make it look “rock and roll” with an oversized leather coat, simple silk shell, and thick strappy, platform shoes. Fringe tends to look very junior, so if you love the bohemian look of fringe, like I do, I suggest you try just a touch of it, in a purse or scarf, boot or tunic. You would never want more than one piece of fringe at a time.

Here are three ways to work this trend into your wardrobe in a more subtle way in your 40s, 50s and 60s.

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There is nothing more glamorous and timeless than this fringed look, circa 1931:

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Be yourself. You can never go wrong being true to you.

LTD 7 will be featuring fringe in the fall months to come and we will be more than happy to help you accessorize with the latest trends in fashion and purchase gifts for the mature women in your life.

Stop in to one of our locations and see us soon. Enjoy thinking this week of the fashionista in you.

Living the Dream,

Lynne

LET’S TIE ONE ON!

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I love scarves. I wear them all the time! I know many of you like them too. Ltd 7 places HUGE orders for scarves…frequently. The trending scarf right now is the infinity scarf. It comes in animal prints, chevron and, of course, solids. But did you know that scarves have been around since antiquity? The internet is chock full of tips for the scarf collector. Come to think of it, that could be our next “perfect reason” to buy a new scarf. We are collectors!

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There are libraries full books on tips and ideas of what scarves to collect; there are books on scarves in history and of course there are scads of articles and publications about how to tie a scarf on the Internet. Just type in the word “scarf” and you will see what I mean.

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A scarf, according Wikipedia, also known as a Kremer, muffler or neck-wrap, is a piece of fabric worn around the neck, or near the head or around the waist for warmth, cleanliness, fashion or religious reasons. They can come in a variety of different colors.

Ancient Rome is one of the many origins of the scarf, where the garment was used to keep clean rather than warm. It was called the sudarium, which translates from Latin as “sweat cloth“, and was used to wipe the sweat from the neck and face in hot weather. They were originally worn by men around their neck or tied to their belt. Soon women started using the scarves, which were made of cloth and not made of wool, pashmina, or silk, and ever since the scarf has been fashionable among women.

Historians believe that during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Cheng, scarves made of cloth were used to identify officers or the rank of Chinese warriors. In later times scarves were also worn by soldiers of all ranks in Croatia around the 17th century. The only difference in the soldiers’ scarves that designated a difference in rank was that the officers had silk scarves whilst the other ranks were issued with cotton scarves. The men’s scarves were sometimes referred to as “cravats” (from the French cravate, meaning “Croat”), and were the precursor of the necktie.

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But even with this veritable library of materials in today’s blog, (I hope you like history) I am constantly looking for photos and new ways to tie them and clever ways to wear scarves. Are you searching for that new way to “tie one on?” Fashion repeats itself every decade or so; don’t forget to look at older styles, like these:

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Whether you are looking for style, warmth, or maybe a little of both, you can find scarves of all kinds, from designer labels to handmade varieties. They can be worn as outerwear or as accessories to complement a particular outfit. Luxurious silk scarves are especially popular as fashion accessories. Aside from silk, scarves are available in many other fabrics and textures, including cotton, wool, rayon, polyester and poly-blends, and even sheer fabrics, which are usually used for headscarves. If you are choosing scarves for outerwear, look for styles that provide thickness and warmth. These are usually closely knit and somewhat more bulky than the dressy varieties. You can select from lush materials such as angora to complement your coat and make a statement, or you can choose a more casual scarf, such as one made from flannel or fleece. There are extra long scarves that can be wrapped around the neck two or three times, while shorter styles are often tucked into the opening of the coat or jacket to keep the neck and upper chest warm.

Selections also include a large variety of fun, whimsical options. You might choose a striped design, trademark characters, or scarves made from shimmering, sparkly yarn. Some have fringe along the ends while others have clean lines, and some are reversible or two-sided so you can create two different looks with one scarf. Hooded varieties are very cute and also provide maximum warmth.

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Both fashion and outerwear scarves make great winter accessories and they also make terrific gifts. “IT” is coming folks…faster than you think: gift-giving season is just around the corner. LTD 7 will have plenty of scarves this holiday season and we will even gift wrap your purchases for free. Who on your list might just love a new scarf?

That’s all for this week, folks. Hope to see you soon at one, or both of our LTD 7 locations.

Be sure to wear your favorite “sudarium.”

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it within us, or we find it not.

                             Ralph Waldo Emerson

World Fashion on a Single Site

Shoptiques-missionHave you ever been browsing the magazines at the beauty shop or doctor’s office and seen page after page of darling boutiques—places that if only for an airline ticket and a vacation, you would visit in a heartbeat—small, quaint boutiques that “have your name written all over them?”

Well, folks, hold onto your trousers, because LTD 7 is about to bring all things global to you! We are soon going to be in full launch mode in a venture with Shoptiques, and I am over the moon excited about this new global undertaking! Fashion is just one small portion of LTD 7 but it’s one we have fun with and we are excited to offer even more items online for you.

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Shoptiques.com CEO and founder, Olga Vidisheva, is looking to bring the world’s fashion boutiques under one virtual roof. That online retail platform Shoptiques managed to grab a spot on FORBES Magazine’s 2015 list of America’s Most Promising Companies with only $3 million in revenue shows the company’s got some things going for it: namely growth, investors and a really cool idea.

Shoptiques has been featured in just about every venue: from Elle magazine to The New York Times. Founded in 2011 by former Goldman Sachs analyst Olga Vidisheva, New York-based Shoptiques.com recruits small fashion boutiques from around the world, (that’s us) offering them an online sales platform to sell their wares. Shoptiques now has a roster of over 1,500 boutiques—and LTD 7 has been selected as one of them! Can you even believe this stroke of luck?

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Geographically, Shoptiques has focused primarily on fashion boutiques in the United States, with a presence in fashion capitols Paris and London. In 2015 the company will look to boost its reach in those locations as well as break into new markets. Vidisheva says she’s working to identify two new city markets to tackle but won’t disclose exactly which fashion-hotbeds she’s leaning towards (hint: they are in Europe and Asia).

Shoptiques pulls boutiques, a traditionally offline industry, into the e-commerce world

Boutiques are the last type of store you’d expect to get technical, but Shoptiques co-founder Olga Vidisheva is confident she can bring the tiny shops to your digital doorstep.

“The type of inventory boutiques sell is produced in small batches,” said Vidisheva at today’s Y Combinator Demo Days. Boutiques sell clothes and accessories in small quantities and usually only service the area they are in, as opposed to bigger, global brands. That makes setting up an e-commerce business more difficult than taking some pictures and putting them on Craigslist. You need to have an attractive website, a point of sale function, and the ability to keep up with the inventory on the physical end.

Vidisheva believes her product gives boutiques a way to show off their clothing and reach loyal customers who may not live in the area. “We go find the most exclusive, unique boutiques, we put them online, and then consumers … can come on Shoptiques and find their favorite little shops from all over the world,” she said.

Vidisheva is banking on her knowledge of what women want. She came from Russia in a classic $100-dollars-in-my-pocket story and studied at Harvard. She later worked for Chanel and became familiar with the fashion industry. She explained that, in her mind, women are most concerned about not showing up in the same room with the same outfit as another. For her, boutiques offer a way for women to find unique clothing, without having to trek to a boutique far away.

I am ALL ABOUT growing and sharing LTD 7 with other vendors and the idea that Shoptiques has created is right up my alley. Right now we only have two items for sale on the site, but in the coming month we will be up and running in full adding clothing, accessories, home décor and gifts. Many have asked if we will continue the Facebook Sale and the answer is YES! This just adds another avenue for you to share LTD 7 with your family and friends that live out of town and all over the world, plus the convenience of shopping 24/7. As that time draws near, I will update Facebook and this Blog with exactly how you can join in on this incredible opportunity to shop all over the world, and at LTD 7, from the comfort of your home.

Remember this: the more outreach we have, the more we can bring to you! We are not sacrificing our down home, local boutique feel, we are actually just sharing it with the world.

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Why don’t you check out the site today and look at all the fine boutiques across this vast country of ours? Shoptiques has provided a $10 off coupon for you to use on any items on Shoptiques, including LTD 7.  Visit Paris, Milan, London, New York and everywhere in between, including LTD 7! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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 http://LTD-7.shoptiques.com

http://www.shoptiques.com/

Living the Dream,

Lynne

Article Credits:

http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/shoptiques-/

http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/27/shoptiques-boutiques/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2015/01/30/world-fashion-on-a-single-site-shoptiques-in-2015/