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3 Simple Ways To Maintain Your Fashion Credentials At The Gym

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You may be the ultimate fashionista, keeping your eyes very much glued to the latest trends on the catwalk and styles on the high street. You adore the world of fashion and make it your mission to stay ahead of the crowd. However, when you head to the gym or partake in an exercise class, it can be hard to maintain your fashion credentials. Sweatpants and a t-shirt don’t exude high-end sophistication. How can you keep your finger on the fashion pulse when your busy sweating it out during a mammoth cardio workout or you’re busy pounding the pads during a boxercise class?

Muted Tones

At the gym, your physique is being looked at more times than when you’re simply walking along the street. While someone may be admiring your cute little chiffon dress in town, they’ll be focusing on your hip to waist ratio at the gym. You need to choose clothing that accentuates the positive aspects of your build.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to be a bit kooky and opt for the neon yellow, orange, pink or green sports clothes ranges that are on the market. You’re not going to the gym in the dark, you don’t need to glow or bring attention to yourself. Opt for muted tones. Black and white with a hint of colour tends to be the standard yet most flattering colour scheme for gym wear.

Go Specialist

While you could whip on a well-fitted t-shirt and a pair of regular sweatpants, it might be worthwhile to check out companies like Beyond Yoga, that supply specialist apparel for particular sports. If you are a wannabe yogi, pick up a pair of specialist yoga pants. If you enjoy nothing more than a cycle on a Saturday morning, opt for some specialist lycra attire. There’s plenty of specialist options that can help you remain more comfortable at the gym while still looking fashionable.

Footwear

You need to strike the right balance between form and function when it comes to your footwear. You could find the cutest pair of sneakers, yet if they have no cushioning or support, you could find yourself slipping over, gaining a bunion or even spraining an ankle. At the very least, if you’re addicted to the treadmill, go for a running shoe and if you love a bit of everything, grab a cross trainer. There are a wealth of cool designs now appearing on sports trainers. Athletes are creating their own ranges for companies such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok. All you need to do is choose the pair that goes with the rest of your gym outfit.

When you head to the gym, you need to maintain your focus on the exercise regime, weights plan or cardio session that you’re about to undertake. Being distracted by your fashion credentials will mean you won’t get a decent workout and you may as well have stayed at home. The most important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin, so choose the clothing you love, that makes you look good and allows you to get the best workout you can.

8 Tricks To Improve Your OOTD In A Heartbeat

Maybe you’re looking in your mirror and feeling like something is missing from your outfit. Why doesn’t it look like all of the amazing OOTD’s you see on fashion blogs, Pinterest, or Instagram? There can be a number of reasons for this, and we can’t really say for sure without seeing the outfit. You could be wearing a flowery dress or a black studded jumpsuit, so you’re going to have to take the 8 tricks here and tailor them to your outfit yourself!

You should find something valuable to help you here, so take a look and see how you can improve your OOTD in a heartbeat:

  1. Add Some Jewelry

The thing that might be missing from your OOTD is some kickass jewelry. Some people consider jewelry a burden. The cheap stuff doesn’t last, and the expensive stuff is usually ‘saved for best’ and then never worn at all. However, jewelry can do a lot for an outfit; it can literally bring it to life. If you have a low neckline, short sleeves, or another gap that can be filled in with jewelry pieces, you should be filling them in!

Everybody has their own style when it comes to jewelry. Some prefer dainty pieces and like to say that ‘less is more’. Then you get people like Iris Apfel who love piling on all different types of pieces and consider each outfit they wear to be ‘art’. However you see it, remember there are no rules. Don’t try too hard, simply wear pieces you enjoy. Start off small if you don’t wear jewelry currently, by remembering to put something on each day before you leave the house. You should soon fall in love with how jewelry changes your outfits. A big pair of hoop earrings can give an outfit a sassy vibe, while a stack of bracelets can enhance a boho look.

Start wearing jewelry now!

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  1. Include A Pattern

Maybe your outfit is just plain boring. Have you considered including a pattern? Wearing patterns is a lot of fun, and you can be as brave or as subtle as you like. You can include patterns on a bag, a scarf, or your shoes if you want to be subtle. Discover more at AlgeriaShoeShop.com if you need ideas on how patterned shoes can work. If you want to go all out, then add a patterned top or shirt. You could even wear some patterned trousers if you want to be the centre of attention!

If you love wearing patterns already and you want to be really brave, you can try mixing up to 3 of them for an even more eclectic look that will look amazing in pictures! Usually, the best way to do this is by mixing different amounts, wearing the most of one pattern and only a small amount of another one or two to make sure you don’t overwhelm your look.

  1. Make It More Textured

Some outfits look boring simply because there’s no texture there at all. Aiming to incorporate different materials into your outfit will help with this. This is why fluffy bags look great with almost anything, but you can use whatever you like! Tassels, pom poms, and other bits and pieces can all help an outfit to look more textured.

  1. Change Your Hairstyle

Maybe the problem isn’t your outfit; it’s your hairstyle. Perhaps your outfit needs to be shown off more, so your hair needs to be put in a high ponytail. If you need more hair ideas, you can find a ton of them on YouTube. You could do space buns, half up half down, low messy buns, high messy buns, straight, wavy – the list goes on.

 

  1. Wear A Dark Jacket

In general, wearing dark clothes on the outside of an outfit is better than wearing darker clothes from the inside with lighter outer layers. To bring your outfit together, you may simply need a darker jacket. Perhaps a dark denim, or a black faux-leather jacket. If it’s too warm for a jacket, consider weather wearing a cool cardigan or an open shirt would look good and give the outfit that little something extra.

  1. Add A Focal Point

Sometimes what your outfit really needs is a focal point. This could be an embellished bag, a hat or another cool hair accessory, or even a funky shirt. It can be anything you like as long as it draws attention! If everything in your outfit so far is fairly plain, then try to add something that stands out.

  1. Mix Styles

Don’t be afraid to mix styles. In fact, outfits often look better when you choose to do this. For example, wearing a vintage blouse with modern items. Or even wearing a pretty, flowery, girly dress with a pair of black studded boots and a leather jacket! Toughen up girly outfits and give them an edge. At something pretty to a badass outfit.

Create your very own style by mixing things up. If you’re looking at your outfit and something feels off, it could be that you’re wearing too much of something. For example, wearing a pretty dress, with a pretty pair of shoes, a pretty bag, etc. Add something bad-ass and it’ll instantly improve your look!

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  1. Ensure A Balanced Silhouette

Finally, make sure the silhouette of your outfit is balanced. This means if you’re wearing baggy jeans, wear a tighter top or shirt to compensate. If you’re wearing a mini skirt, then an oversized sweater, slightly tucked in can add texture and stop it from looking ‘too much’. Again, there are no rules and you can wear as many baggy items and as many tight items as you like. Go wild if that’s what you feel confident doing! However, balancing your outfits out like this often makes getting dressed much easier.

Which of these tricks are you going to use to improve your OOTD? Will you swap your boring shoes for a patterned pair, or throw on an oversized sweater rather than a tight shirt? Leave your thoughts and any tips that have worked for you below!

Fake It Till You Make It

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When it comes to jewelry, vintage or costume pieces are not worthless, some are incredibly beautiful and can complete any outfit by blinging on a budget. You may have inherited a box of bling from an aunt or grandmother who has passed and wish to know which pieces are real and need particular attention when it comes to taking care of them or wearing them with pride on a night out. It may be that you are looking to spend your holiday money on a statement piece that you can, someday, hand down to your children. If you are looking to buy precious stones and metals though, the last thing you want is to be fooled into thinking you have the real thing or pay genuine jewelry prices for imitation pieces either. These tips will help you spot costume or fake jewelry from the real thing.

Master the Markings

The very first thing to check for are any markings on the jewelry. This is important as many metals from silver-plated to sterling silver, or palladium looks the same to an untrained eye. Most of the time, jewelry will have markings on them that indicate the type of metal and purity. For example, a 10k gold ring will have the marking for 10k directly on the ring. On earrings, it’ll be visible on the back. In necklaces and bracelets, it’ll be near the clasp on a tag or directly on the fastener or link.

Sterling Stamps

The word “Sterling” will be stamped on the metal. It could have “.925” as a stamp. Some sterling silver has “925”, which means that the silver is 92.5 percent silver.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

A number followed by the letter “k” or the word “karat” will be stamped on the metal. Gold that is 10k might have “.417” stamped on it as well. 14 karat gold could have “.585” on it. 18 karat gold might have “.750” stamped on the gold itself.

Plain As Platinum

Platinum will be marked with the word “plat” or “platinum” as a stamp. Sterling silver with gold plating will be marked, Vermeil. Manufacturers like Tiffany will have their stamp on each item, too. This isn’t always proof, though, since manufacturers are only required to provide information about the metal content, but they may do that with a tag or an invoice after purchase.

Worn Out Wares

In locations where the jewelry might have rubbed against the skin, check for discoloration, if a piece is gold-plated, the gold can wear and show the real metal underneath. If you are wearing a ring that causes and skin discoloration such as going green, it is more than likely that the metal isn’t real gold or silver. If, when you place the item of jewelry under a bright light, a visible tint appears in those worn areas, it may indicate a plated piece. Fake metals will have a plating of rhodium over them, and this is what makes them shiny and white. When these are viewed under such a light, the worn areas will look very naturally yellow.

Genuine Gems

It’s obvious to point out gems in costume or fake piece of jewelry won’t be real. Such articles can still add very real glamor to your ensemble but may only be crystals, plastic, rhinestones or simulated gems. What do you do if you are looking for the real thing?  Once you’ve tested the metal itself, it may well indicate whether the stone is possibly real or not as it is unlikely real precious metal will be adorned with fake rocks. If it is genuine diamonds you are looking for you may also be unsure where to go and what you are looking for with so many outlets competing for our custom. Do your homework. Look for independent opinions such as Whiteflash Review – Are their diamonds the best cut around? These will help you decide where best to flash your cash for the best stones for your budget. Professional jewelers will also be able to test your jewelery should you still be unsure over its quality, using techniques that will determine whether your jewelry is real as well as the purity of the metal itself.

Improve Your Style Without Breaking the Bank by Using These Ideas

Have you ever looked at the kinds of clothing items you’d like to buy and then fallen into despair on glimpsing the price tag? It can be pretty dispiriting, that’s for sure. Instead of getting down about it though, you should take action so that you can improve your style without having to pay ridiculous sums of money to do so.

All of the ideas discussed below will help you to gradually improve your sense of style without the need to break the bank, so make the most of what you learn when you read on.

 

Find the Affordable Brands and Collections You Like

Not all brands and fashion collections are equal; you will like some more than others but you’ll also find that some are significantly more expensive than others. You should try to swap some of your more expensive preferences for smarter and more affordable options out there. If you’re not yet sure of everything that’s out there, you don’t even know what you’re missing out on.

 

Search for the Latest Online Discounts and Coupons

One of the very best ways to get the latest clothing items you want without having to splash a lot of cash is to make use of online discounts and coupons. They’re so common and there are plenty of websites that are dedicated to offering things like a new Nike promo code to customers on a daily basis. It would be ridiculous not to make the most of chances to get money off your purchases.

 

Repurpose Old Items to Create Something New

If you have old clothing items that are no longer doing what you want them to or offering you a style that you like, don’t just get rid of them because that’s a waste. Instead, you should try to repurpose them and turn them into something completely new and different to what you had before. This takes a little creativity but if you can pull it off, the results can be great.

 

Scour Through Used Clothing Stores and Vintage Fairs to Find Unusual Items

There are so many vintage hidden gems to be found in used clothing stores and vintage clothing fairs. By scouring through these places, you will undoubtedly happen across cheap items that will allow you to improve your style. Vintage items aren’t brand new, obviously, but they can still improve your style and add a timeless quality to your look.

 

Start Buying Out of Season

Who’s to say you need to buy the latest clothing items in this season’s latest range? Wouldn’t be wiser to wait a little longer for the season to pass? That’s when the prices will begin to drop and you will be able to get your hands on a real bargain rather than having to pay top dollar. You should definitely try to get into the habit of buying clothes out of season.

Improve Your Style Without Breaking the Bank

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Style and fashion are important things to most people these days; everyone wants to look as sharp and up to date as they possibly can but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

*Please note that this post may have affiliate or collaborative links. Any products listed or reviews and opinions are as always of my own and true to how I feel. For PR and media enquiries please email claireoctoberrain@hotmail.com

5 Affordable Work-Out Gear Brands

Despite working in the gym and actively staying fit, I’m not in the Lululemon Club. In fact, I probably would never join that club.

Working out can be expensive. Luckily, working at the gym gives me free gym access but I understand the high cost of a gym membership. So, why should our workout gear be expensive as well?

I’m all about saving money on things I can save and clothes is definitely a big thing I can save on. I’m not big on brand names – as long as it does its thing at an affordable price, you’ve got me!

Sometimes, I feel clothes can influence your workout. For example, I would feel intimidated wearing all Nike gear. I feel as though Nike is the number one brand people think of when they think about workout clothes. Because I’m not training intensely or training professionally, I like my workout stuff to be more casual and “fun”.

Here are a few of my favourite active wear brands at a price where it wouldn’t break your bank 😉

1. MOVE by Ardene

Ardene is a popular teen store in Canada. Known for mostly having accessories, Ardene also carries clothing as well, including active wear. Both of my sports bra are from Ardene and they’re extremely affordable. They’re extremely comfortable and already padded (which is a must for me when I shop for sports bra). On top of a few sports bra from Ardene, I also enjoy their relaxed tees and hoodies. Ardene has a perfect mix of casual cute active wear and also something a bit more “professional” looking to say.

2. Active by Old Navy

Old Navy is so underrated when it comes to active wear. I absolutely LOVE their active wear section. If you’re asking me, Old Navy would be my first go-to place when I’m in search of new workout gears. When it comes to workout bottoms, I like my pants to be just a bit thicker to hide any underwear lines – I sometimes wear normal cotton underwear to the gym which is not seamless in any other active wear pants BUT Old Navy’s (and sometimes I wear seamless). I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect pants to match my criteria and finally found it in Old Navy. A lot of my work out tops are from Old Navy as well. Old Navy carries both fun and vibrant styles to plain black.

3. H&M Sports

I feel like the sportswear in H&M is new… is it? Anyways, I got one pair of pants from H&M Sports and while it looks AMAZING on me (LOL), I feel it’s more of a pair of leggings than actual active wear. I’ve only worn it once to the gym and I felt extremely awkward in it. Now, I recommend H&M Sports for those looking for more of a “serious” look while working out. This sportswear line is much more basic and toned down from the previous brands mentioned above. On top of it, most of their materials are made with spandex and they offer little to few cotton/similar items.

4. Forever 21

If you can make it through the mess of Forever 21, then you’ll be greeted with cute, bright and vibrant workout gear. Forever 21 has the most options available when it comes to affordable workout gear. I normally enjoy their jackets, shorts, and workout tops. Forever 21 is a great place for fashionistas looking to stand out in the gym.

5. Winners

I know this isn’t a brand but I love shopping at Winners when my favourite stores fail me. Winners offers brand new items at discounted (up to 60% off) prices. For those seeking to avoid these casual brands and want Adidas or Nike should check our Winners. They have Nike gear from $20! While it’s affordable, like I mentioned above, Nike as a brand intimidates me!

So, for all those feeling unmotivated to hit the gym, check our these stores at your local mall! Purchasing new workout gear tends to motivate a lot of people! And, don’t be afraid to strut in there with style! Many of my co workers are decked out in brand name workout gear but these “no name” brands does just as well!

Bellis Fair (Bellingham, Washington) Haul

As every Vancouvrite knows, heading down the States means a day of shopping for cheap and exclusive goods!

On Wednesday, my friend, Dee, and I went down to Bellingham via Greyhound for a day of shopping!

I haven’t ridden on the Greyhound since the 8th grade and it was to Seattle with my mum. This time around, we chose to do the Greyhound because none of us drive. It’s also my first time traveling with Dee out of the city.

I woke up at 6:15AM and left the house at around 7:15AM. The greyhound bus departs at 8:35AM. Dee woke up at 7AM… surprisingly she got to the station on time but left all her American money at home so I had to cover for until the local currency exchanges opened up.

I completely forgot that Dee was an inexperienced traveler. That being said, she asked a lot of questions (paranoid questions) about border crossing. She even brought along her purse that was filled with combs, make-up, cable and chargers… and while it’s nice to have those, I felt like it was a waste of space in her bag. We’re leaving the city for a day – pack lighter so you’ll be more comfortable!! Her bag looked as though it was about to explode!

The bus ride to Bellingham was relatively short. We arrived at the Greyhound station to realize that we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally, there was no one around, no one walking, not even cars moving. I’ve never been to this part of Bellingham! I mean, all the times I’ve been to Bellingham was by car.

We eventually took a random bus to Downtown where the bus driver was kind enough to tell us which buses to take to where. Our first stop was Goodwills (because we’ve heard so many good things about it!) at Sunset Square. First of all, I didn’t know Bellingham buses did not dispense any tickets aka proof of payment. I also didn’t know buses were THAT small. Also, they don’t even have an automated announcer for all the stops! The bus driver has to shout them out and most of them didn’t bother with EVERY stop.

Oh my lord, thank goodness we encountered our bus driver! He was extremely helpful in getting us to Sunset Square. We also told him that we wanted to go to Bellis Fair later and he said it’s the exact bus, and just come back to this stop. I love helpful drivers!

When we got into Sunset Square and into Goodwills… we were a bit disappointed. I did NOT find anything that was worth purchasing. I’ve seen millions of Goodwills hauls online and thought I’d have better luck here than back at home… but nonetheless, I think Value Village was better for me. The prices were only a SLIGHT cheaper than VV.

We later went to K-Mart which I found out was just another Target-like store. I only purchased two more bags of Spicy Cheetos and a bustier top from Nicki Minaj’s line (ewww). The cashier we had was extremely hilarious though!

 
We then trekked our back to the bus stop to see the same bus driver again. He kindly allowed us to “finish our ride” to Bellis Fair… aka we didn’t have to pay for that bus ride!
When we got to the last stop, the driver asks, “Are you guys from Canada? Because I’ve never seen you around before and you guys look completely lost!” 
And then I realized… holy crap, Bellingham must be a pretty small place if this bus driver says he has never seen us before. I also looked at the map and realized there only one public high school, and one private Catholic school. I also noticed that a lot of people on the bus seem to just know each other, and same with the kids. I love a small town but perhaps… maybe not that small? 
In Bellis Fair, we hit almost every store! I love WetSeal and Charlotte Rousse, and Rue 21! The Forever 21 and H&M were lacking… like surprisingly, we had bigger stores than them which also meant more items, and the prices weren’t that cheaper than Canada. We also hit Target and Kohl’s!
Target’s Up&Up facial scrub; ELF’s eyelid primer, eyeliner and total face brush; Claire’s earring set; Make up remover cloths from Goodwills; Rimmel London Stay Matte Foundation’ Goody’s bobby pins.

Decided to start working out!
During our time at the mall, we also went to get massages: both from a massage parlor and the massage chairs in the mall… ugh, how I would love to go back for another massage!

On the way back, it was even worst! A few people had to get interrogated at the border so our bus got delayed… and this French couple beside us kept on making out on the bus… nasty.

Nonetheless, I loved everything I got and managed to keep my shopping trip under $100 USD! My cousin thought that was waaaaay too less to spend in the states but I personally felt happy, haha.

I think I might go back there sometime in August for the back to school and summer ending sales!