Just because a woman’s garment is expensive, doesn’t mean that it is high quality. It’s important to identify high-quality garments that are seasonless, versatile and well made before you make a purchase. It’s also crucial to read the fabric care label for hints on how expensive it is to clean and maintain.
Consider the Fabric
- If you want an item to last, invest in natural fibers such as 100-percent cotton, silk, cashmere and linen. You can buy high-quality rayons, polyesters and nylons, but make sure that these fabrics are not too stiff or shiny. If the material is too sheer when you hold it up to the light, or it feels rough to the touch, it will look cheap on your body and may not last beyond a few washings.
Mind the Details
- Check the lining, buttons, zipper, hems and stitching for high-quality clues. An expensive lining feels good on your skin and helps the garment hang correctly. Look for straight seams that are beautifully finished, feature topstitching and are turned under neatly. After a few gentle tugs, the buttons should stay put and the zipper should open and close easily. If you turn the item inside out and can see that the item is coming apart at the seams, this is an indication the garment is not high-quality.
Invest in Versatile Closet Basics
- Fashion expert Jill Martin recommends that shoppers put their money toward well-fitting, high-quality basics instead of buying trendy and often disposable fast-fashions. To get more mileage out of your clothing, invest first in fashion staples, such as cashmere sweaters, a trench coat, a little black dress, an all-season wool suit and a winter coat.
Designer Clothing Clues
- The types of women’s clothing lines range from high-end haute couture and pret-a-porter to lower-end contemporary, bridge and mass market. In comparison to the other clothing categories, pret-a-porter and haute couture offer higher quality garments because of the designers’ use of high-quality fabrics and a greater attention to the fashion details.
Cost Per Wear
- Cost-per-wear is a shopping term, which considers the total cost of the garment divided by the number of days of you’ll wear it annually. For example, if you buy a $500 black suit — and plan to wear it once a week to the office for the next six months — the cost-per-wear is $20.83. By factoring in the low cost-per-wear of the suit, you’ve identified a well-made piece of clothing that deserves a permanent place in your wardrobe.
Want to make nail art designs? Making nail art can be fun, and nail art designs are wonderful for festive or special occasions. Though it may be difficult at first, have patience and you’ll see some progress. This article is focused on the basics of nail art for beginners.
- Make sure your nails are in good shape before you start making nail art designs. Cut or file your nails if they need it. Also, remove any old nail polish currently on your nails. Nail Care Plus (found in the Resources section) is a great Nail Care Kit that will help you shape your nails, getting that perfect manicure and pedicure. Seacret (also in the Resources section) is another great nail care kit that will give your nails the right nutrients they need to keep healthy. Read more on how to keep your nails healthy in the Related Articles section.
- Decide what nail art products and nail art supplies you are going to use. You can opt to go with nail art pens or brushes. Debra Lynn’s Nail Art Brush set (found in the Resources section) has a nice collection of nail art brushes you could use. It’s also a good idea to look through your nail polish and choose your colors before you begin drawing the designs.
- Decide what you want your nail art designs to look like. You can make up your own nail art designs or go with professional nail art. You can even follow my flower nail art guide located in the Related Articles section. Whatever you do is up to you.
- Brush on a base coat with a nail art brush. This base coat can be clear, a neutral color, or a solid color. You can also add another coat to your base coat to strengthen the color. After you’re done, let your nails dry.
- Roll your nail art brush in the nail polish and make sure that the nail polish is evenly distributed on the brush. You don’t want gobs of nail polish messing up your work. If you’re a beginner at making nail art designs, keep them simple. Don’t make your designs look too busy. Once you’re done, let your nails dry before proceeding.
- Protect your new nail art designs with a top clear nail polish coat. Reapply the clear coat every two or three days and be careful when opening cans of soda, exercising, and doing other tasks that might damage your hard work. You should also wear gloves when playing with soil or doing outside work.
Nail polish has come a long way since you were a little kid practicing painting your nails at home. In addition to bold new colors, nail art encompasses a variety of techniques, looks, tools and accessories, including glitter, rhinestones and animal prints. Whether you opt for a professional manicure or are simply looking for do-it-yourself ideas, the best nail art designs are attractive and unique without being tacky.
Reverse French Manicure
- The French manicure is a classic nail art look that has been around for years: pale pink nails (your own or acrylic) are painted with a thin-to-thick strip of white at the top of the nail, just above the nail bed. The reverse French manicure is essentially the photo negative of the French. The half-moon cuticle bed at the base of the nail is painted with a curved strip in a contrasting color to the main nail, in addition to the top strip in the style of the classic French manicure. Use contrasting colors for an even more modern twist. At home, one trick to make the reverse French easier to apply is sticking circular hole-punch reinforcer stickers to the base of the nail before applying the main nail color for a more even application.
- Leopard and zebra print nail art can be successfully applied at home or at the salon. For professional manicures, simply ask your nail technician for samples and ideas, and change up the usual leopard and zebra colors for a unique take on the design. At home, apply a base coat in brown (for leopard) or white (for zebra), and paint the spots or stripes on top using a striper brush or nail polish pen for increased precision.
- The gel impressions technique is best left to the professionals. With this method of nail art application, a base coat is applied in a glitter or sheer color. Gel polish is thickly applied over the basecoat, and then a design is “cut” out in the gel polish before it sets to reveal the glitzy basecoat underneath.
Pearls, Sequins, Studs and Rhinestones
- With the use of a nail adhesive readily available at the nail salon or your local drugstore, you can apply sequins, pearls, studs and rhinestones to give a new look to your nail art. These appliqués should be the finishing touches on your painted nails. Make sure you leave ample drying time so that they don’t get dislodged or otherwise disrupt your new, neat nails.
Once you begin applying nail art, you may want to wear it for every occasion. Luckily, there are enough designs available to last you all year round.
Apply Water Set Decals
- Use scissors to cut your nail art decal out around the design.
- Place a single drop of water onto the table.
- Set your nail decal in the drop of water with the blue paper side down.
- Wait for 10-15 seconds. The paper will begin to curl.
- Pick up the nail decal using your tweezers and lay the nail decal on top of your nail.
- Use one finger to anchor the nail decal lightly against your nail and slide out the backing paper from underneath.
- Move the decal into place. Using a piece of tissue, press the nail decal to remove the water and air below.
- Wait one to two seconds while the decal adheres to the nail.
- Apply a thin layer or topcoat to the decal area. Allow it to dry.
- Brush on another layer of topcoat to cover the entire nail and allow it to dry.
Apply Rubber Decals
- Choose a quick-dry base coat and brush one coat onto all your nails.
- Choose your nail polish color and stroke on one coat.
- Wait until your nail polish dries and then apply another thin coat.
- Allow your second coat of polish to dry before proceeding with your nail decals.
- Remove your decal from the backing plastic with tweezers.
- Lay your decal on the chosen nail.
- Tap your decal lightly to ensure that there are no air pockets. Use an orangewood stick.
- Apply a thick layer of top coat polish to your nails to seal your work. Allow it to dry.
Apply Full Sheet Nail Decals
- Brush on a single layer of base coat and allow it to dry.
- Stroke one layer of your preferred polish over the base coat. Once dry, apply the second coat.
- Trim your nail decal to fit your nail and remove it from the design sheet.
- Rub over the design using an orangewood stick, and keep the backing on until finished. You’ll see the transfer is complete when the paper peels up without any decal on it.
- Peel off the sheet and examine your nails.
- Use your finger to press down any edges that haven’t adhered completely.
- File the edges of any nail decals that extend past the edge of your nails.
- Brush on a topcoat to protect your nail decal and allow it to dry.
Assessing miscalculations in a struggling business environment often feels like swallowing bad-tasting medicine. However, this experience can be a teaching moment to help you learn how to reduce expenses and expand marketing efforts as you relaunch your clothing line. Most small business owners, such as apparel manufacturers, compete with established companies with branded products. Budding clothing lines compete with designer labels, private retail brands and celebrity-designer lines. Relaunch your existing clothing line by developing a marketing campaign that will create the industry buzz needed to fuel growth.
Changing Internal Structure
- Review the existing pieces in your line, comparing them to selling trends. For example, if leggings have a high weekly turnover at retailers — meaning they are fast-selling — and your collection revolves around bloomer shorts, you need to be flexible enough to change or add styles within your line according to market demands.
- Review your pricing structure. For instance, if your collection features non-branded T-shirts with graffiti-inspired screen prints retailing for $80 and most of the competitor’s prices range from $20 to $60 with embellishments, you need to reassess your manufacturing costs to lower your pricing structure according to market pricing trends.
- Assess your budget and reduce costs in specific areas, such as sample development. This will free capital for marketing expenses for the relaunch. For example, if you are purchasing excess fabric and trims, reduce the monthly budget by 20 percent and move the savings to marketing.
- Hire a professional photographer to photograph models in specific pieces. Although this is an added expense, you can create a professional look-book featuring your collections. Buyers work with look-books to review the collection’s fabrics, colors and silhouettes.
- Create buyer line sheets and include pricing structures with significant discounts for quantity purchases. Line sheets, used by sales representatives, refer to individual garment photographs with pertinent information such as wholesale prices, color, fabric, sizes and quantity minimums. Set up separate sheets for each category in the collection. For example, if you sell tops and accessories, have one line sheet for tops and a separate one for accessory pieces.
Relaunch Marketing Strategy
- Submit line sheets to multi-line fashion showrooms in your area. This is especially important if you do not have a full-time sales representative or team. These showrooms generally represent both established and up-and-coming designers. Showroom sales representatives have established retail and editorial contacts who can introduce your relaunch collection to fashion magazine and trade editors, creating buzz and publicity.
- Create a brand strategy for the relaunching event. FUBU founder Daymond John suggests creating a three-word mantra that defines your brand. For example, if the clothing line revolves around recycled fabrics and your label is called “Recyclable Fashions,” include your three-word brand mantra in the promotional materials, such as “Recyclable Fashions: Recycled, Restored, Re-Styled.”
- Use social media to generate a no-cost marketing buzz. Have a contest with a prize for the winner. Give away coupon codes for upcoming sales events with free shipping as another incentive.
- Plan a relaunch event or party according to your budget. If you have a large budget, rent space at a popular nightclub or lounge. Hire models to wear the outfits during the event, cater food and prepare gift bags containing a product gift and look-book copy. If you own a retail shop and have a limited budget, create a festive atmosphere for customers. Decorate the entrance with displays featuring the clothing, hire a DJ to play music and have a raffle. Give guests discount coupons for merchandise.
- Prepare a press release for local news outlets and online fashion sites. Include pertinent information for the relaunch event, such as the date and location, along with the company name and contact person, phone number and email address.
- Send invitations to fashion magazine and trade press editors and local media. Local publicity often sparks interest, turning potential customers into steady clients.