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Figuring out what to pack for any vacation can be a stressful chore, primarily because there are so many different elements to consider: weather, culture, versatility, what your plans are, and the size of your luggage.  Packing clothing pieces in complimentary color and style schemes will make your to-go wardrobe stretch farther and last longer. And keep in mind you’ll likely be layering for those long days that can include all sorts of varied activities from travelling to touring, swimming to shopping, or dancing to dining.  

Comfy jeans are the best staple to bring on any trip. They travel well for car, bus or taxi jaunts, and work for both impromptu adventures and hikes, or long days of sightseeing.   I suggest “boyfriend” jeans as better option over skinny jeans they are comfortable yet stylish and not baggy. However, if you have a flight longer than five hours, I definitely would suggest leggings – as they are the ultimate in comfort, not constricting AND can also be used for more athletics activities or even emergency warmth if needed under dresses and skirts.

A stylish going-out look would be a simple, statement jumpsuit or romper – perfect to dress up or down, and look great with sneakers or heels. They are suitable for any climate and culture. And the clever traveller can even make a jumpsuit go from a casual day look to a dressier night look with the right accessories and shoes.

And speaking of shoes, this is often the most space consuming and hardest piece of the travel wardrobe to figure out.  If space dictates that you are limited to only two pairs of shoes, opt for a pair of nice, comfortable sneakers and a pair of cute, low heel booties. Either should get you through any fashion look you need.  Both are easy to pack and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Of course, if you have space for more, go with a third pair of shoes that fits your wardrobe and itinerary. And finally, accessories to bring should be sturdy and simple so nothing breaks. Two prime accessories are sunglasses and a wrist watch to always keep you on schedule.  And a final tip, packing four scarves that mix and match with your color scheme can change the mood and look of all of your outfits in a variety of ways, and take up very little space.

By Shea English and Cate Lax

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If you’re like me, you pack way too much for your vacations and business trips, and as you know, the luggage fees are bound to be expensive. On the other hand, you have no idea what to pack because no trip is the same. There are many different factors to think about, such as climate, culture and accessibility.

One key thing to remember is that a Passport can be hard to keep track of, and you’ll want to keep it as secure as your cash and cards. The best way to do this is to get your hands on a passport pouch. These are widely available on the internet, in luggage stores, and many clothing outlets.

A useful high-tech accessory for travel is a small portable charger. These helpful devices will keep your phone and other electronics fully charged throughout your daily adventures. If you find yourself in a foreign country, you should purchase a Universal Power Adapter (available on Amazon, google, etc) so that your power plugs can fit into any type of electrical outlet.

Clean water is essential and, in some places, not easily accessible. If you are traveling to a region where this could be an issue, I suggest getting a water bottle with a FDA-tested/approved water filter attachment. These are widely available throughout the internet and at outdoor-gear stores such as REI, but to ensure safety I suggest buying it from a certified retailer or trustworthy website of your choice.

A little research into the traditions and customs of the regions you are visiting can give you further insight on culturally appropriate items to include in your packing list. For example, more conservative countries will require a higher degree of modesty than you might observe while at home, so incorporating the right pieces and accessories into your travel wardrobe will show respect for locals and their traditions. Additionally, learning how to properly interact with those around you can greatly enhance your experiences abroad. As they say, “When in Rome!” This is one of the most important parts of preparing for any trip outside of your home country.

As you can see, there are quite a few essentials to pack that will make your life easier while traveling. With a bit of research and careful planning you’ll have everything you need for a successful trip. On a final note, be careful not to pack too much! A heavy bag makes everything that much more difficult.
By Shea English and Cate Lax

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In today’s competitive job market and with the popularity of social/professional websites like Linkedin, it’s smart to present yourself with a professionally styled headshot or a lifestyle shoot. Headshots are usually the first things people notice on a resume or Linkedin-type site, so it’s important that this first impression show exactly how you want potential employers to see you. For instance, the headshot of a person looking for a law, accounting or upper level business management position should look different from those of a person seeking a job in the creative industries or a more laid-back tech position.

Oddly enough in this visual digital age, the headshot is often the last thing potential employees think of when applying for a job.  Most headshots are either selfies that look unprofessional and too casual, cropped pictures from old photos, or shots taken in front of a blank wall, like a passport or drivers photo.  Having a stylist assist you with your headshot will not only help you craft your “look” for the position, but will boost confidence you need in pursuing employment and give you a leg up on the competition.

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Hats are quickly becoming a staple in a modern gentleman’s wardrobe. The biggest trendsetters of the fashion industry were spotted at this year’s Fashion Week in New York City and Milan, sporting the season’s must-have accessory. Whether paired with an immaculate suit or dressed down with vacation-wear, a hat is a perfect accessory to add a unique element to any outfit.

 

In the 1800s, accessories like hats signified a larger and more varied wardrobe, suggesting higher social status. Hats made from more accessible materials like wool and linen were most common. Silk, cotton and woven hats were preferred by an upper-class clientele which could afford hats made from rarer fabrics. High-crowned, wide-brimmed hats also known as “toppers” are perhaps the most recognizable style of hat from that time.

 

Flat caps like the “Newsboy Hat” became popular in the early twentieth century. A quick google search of the 1910s–1920s will reveal how universal these hats were to the men of the period. It became the “working man’s cap,” and hats were no longer an accessory just for the bourgeoisie. During the prohibition era, fedoras became not only mainstream but an iconic accessory and a testament to the cultural zeitgeist of the time. While hats took a hiatus from the fashion scene during the JFK era, the fedora inspired the rebirth of the hat trend in the seventies; and again in the nineties, with modernized styling. The Pork Pie Hat and the Trilby are close cousins of the fedora and seen worn by the likes of Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.

Today, the amalgamation of historical influences results in a broad selection of styles, assuring every man will find his own signature hat to suit his taste. For the most fashionable clients, custom suits and hats are quickly becoming preferable to off-the-rack items due to their uniqueness, fit and superior quality. In San Francisco, California, Paul’s Hat Works has kept pace with the ever-changing hat trends of the century. Since opening in 1918, this shop has been passed down to three generations of apprentices. With impeccable attention to detail and 100 years of technique under their belt, hats by Paul are guaranteed to withstand the tests of time and wear. Keeping up with the dynamic and constantly developing trends, they manage to feature both classic and modern styles to cater to gentlemen of all ages and lifestyles. Whether you need a repair or a custom hat, Paul’s Hat Works is a one-stop shop.

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Britex Fabrics in San Francisco, owned by Sharman Spector, is easily one of the most unique, community-oriented family-owned and operated fabric stores out there.  For sixty plus years they have helped and inspired San Francisco-based designers and artists with the most distinctive fabrics sourced from all over the world. Britex is a staple for San Francisco area artists, designers and innovators. But Britex web-based online store means it has fans and customers worldwide. Also, the loyalty Britex has for San Francisco and its customers can be seen by their recent decision to relocate locally and expand, moving just around from corner of Post Street near Union Square.

Last week I took one of my clients who has everything custom made. We purchased some Japanese fabric for both custom denim and a shirt that will be designed by a local artist. My clients really enjoy choosing fabrics so I customize and update their wardrobe to make it one of a kind.

The store expansion to three full floors in my opinion is like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but for designers.  Customer service is fabulous and friendly. They are always there to help you find just what you need, although you may have to step around store’s family pug snoozing in her bed on the first floor.  The online store isn’t much different and is easy to navigate. Britex also features its own Customized Swatch Shopper Service. If you’re searching for a hard-to-find fabric to match a vintage piece, a lining or almost anything else, they will seek it out and find it.

Britex is located at 117 Post Street near Union Square. Store hours are from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. everyday, and is closed on Sundays. The store also features numerous special events for artists and designers, so be sure to check out their website at https://www.britexfabrics.com. And when you visit, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time because this is an experience one that you want to enjoy at your leisure.

Written by Shae English and Catie Lax

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Last year, Korea became the fastest growing and overall third largest exporter of beauty and skincare products in the world. In addition to the innovative incorporation of natural ingredients such as green tea and botanical extracts, K-Beauty products are evolving from the utilization of harsh ingredients that you may struggle to pronounce.

South Korea’s consumers are more meticulous than ever, shifting their consumer ethics and the effect is cascading across the global skincare market. Subsequently, K-Beauty has aimed for shorter lists of ingredients that are recognizable and safe.

However, there is a catch. The Korean skin care routine is perhaps most notorious for having an extensive ten steps. Yes, you read that correctly — ten steps. While that might sound overwhelming, there is a reason that the Korean skin care regimen has become an international phenomenon. With emphasis on anti-aging, cell-turnover, balancing pH and attaining that ever sought after natural “glow,” you will be hooked when your skin transforms before your eyes. K-Pop star Jessica Jung among other Korean idols are exemplary success stories of how this regimen can help anyone attain the best skin they have ever had. Below is a breakdown of each step and our favorites.

Step 1: Oil Cleanser

The double cleanse step is imperative to the Korean skin care routine. The purpose of this step is to assure all the make up including your stubborn waterproof mascara comes off before you call it a night. Massage your oil cleanser into your face while dry, add a little water and then watch the make up melt off without a fuss.

Oily or Sensitive: Banila Co – Clean It Zero Purifying Oil Cleanser

Dry or Combination: Banila Co – Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm

Step 2: Water-based Cleanser

Part two of the cleansing step uses a water-based cleanser to get rid of any remaining residue. By the end of this step, your skin should feel deeply cleansed and prepped for the remaining steps.

Oily or Dry: Son & Park – Beauty Water

Sensitive: Skinfood – Egg White Pore Foam

Combination: Neogen – Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser

Acne Prone: Jan Marini – Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser

Step 3: Exfoliator

Roughly every three days or twice a week, your skin will need an exfoliator to help to strip dead skin cells and make way for a new layer of brighter skin! The key to this step is to massage gently, too much pressure can irritate the skin and can cause redness. A gentle touch and rinsing with lukewarm water will leave your skin feeling fresh and supple.

Oily or Dry: Paula’s Choice -Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

Sensitive: Neogen – Bio Peel Gauze Peeling (Green Tea)

Combination: Skinfood – Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask

Step 4: Toner

Korean toners are specifically designed to plump up your skin, provide moisture and will prep your skin for absorption of the products to follow.

Oily or Combination: Missha – Time Revolution Clear Toner 

Dry: Klairs – Supple Preparation Facial Toner 

Sensitive: Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water – Calendula  (Doubles as a water cleanser!)

Step 5: Essence

An essence is… essentially, a marriage of toner and serum, which is why this step is plugged in right in between the both. This step is to facilitate cell turnover and improve complexion. Essences are unique to the Korean skin care routine and are fundamental to unlocking the secret of glowing skin. Using your finger tips, apply the essence across your face with soft tapping motions.

Oily or Dry: Missha – Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist

Sensitive: SK-II – Facial Treatment Essence

Combination: Missha – First Treatment Essence Mist 

Step 6: Treatments

Serums and ampoules fall into this step and are tailored to your unique skin needs. Are your pores your biggest concern? There’s a serum for that. Fine lines? There’s a serum for that. Acne? There’s a serum for that too. Apply serums and ampoules the same way an essence, tapping gently into the skin.

Acne or Pores: Missha – MISA Geum Sul First Essence Booster

Anti-Aging: Klairs – Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum

Hyper-pigmentation: Neogen – White Truffle Serum In Oil Drop 

Step 7: Sheet Masks

This step should not be surprising considering how famous Korean sheet masks are. If you are a busy gal or guy, elect to do it once a week. If you love masks, you can do it every day! Put your mask on, watch 15-20 minutes of your favorite show and take it off. Easy enough, right?

Oily, Sensitive or Combination: Manefit – Natural Gift Green Tea Pore Care Sheet Mask

Dry: Manefit – Bling Bling Hydrogel Mask Soothing Aqua Collagen

Step 8: Eye Cream

The eye area is unique because it is extra delicate, therefore  extra prone to signs of aging. Naturally, the Korean skin care routine has a step for addressing this issue and helps add extra hydration and protection to this area. Using your ring finger, careful not to tug or pull on the skin, add a small amount of an eye cream and blend it out.

Anti-Aging: Etude House – Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream

Dryness: Misa Cho Bo Yang Eye Cream

Dark Circles: Missha – Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream

Step 9: Moisturizer

Now, by this step is going to have you going to bed or starting your day with a glow. A moisturizer is essential to youthful, soft looking skin.

Oily: Missha – Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream

Dry or Sensitive: Laneige – Water Bank Moisture Cream

Combination: Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

Step 10: Sunscreen

Perhaps one of the most steps for the morning time is sun-care. Sun-care is synonymous to skin care. No matter the weather, UV rays are going to penetrate the skin every time you step outside. It’s the most obvious anti-aging step in this routine. No excuses! Sunscreen is an everyday must. If you live in a big city, some sunscreens will double as pollution protection!

Oily: Neogen – Day-Light Protection Sun Screen 

Dry or Combination: Tony Moly – My Sunny Watery Essence SPF 50

Sensitive: Missha – Near Skin Dustless Defense Sun Block 

That’s it! You’re done. Even though a ten-step routine may seem like a commitment, it will be far worth it when you have glowing, healthy skin! After trying the routine for yourself, your relationship with your skin will be anew and you can further customize this routine to your skin’s needs.

Written by Kate Sabatine and Shea English

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Just because fall is around the corner, does not mean that your summer vacation is over. Whether it is a quick trip to Cabo or an Italian getaway, maybe the warm holiday of your dreams are just about to begin. Tickets are booked, you have must-try restaurants bookmarked and it is finally time to think about what to pack. Packing can be daunting and staring at your suitcase isn’t going to make it pack itself. If you don’t know where to start, we have you covered. We have composed a list of five essentials to help make this process a breeze.

1. The Basics: Begin the hunt for the perfect summer dress. Nostalgic and vintage styles with a modern twist took this summer by storm. Brands such as Reformation and Réalisation Parr have simple dress silhouettes that are guaranteed to flatter. Check, striped and plaid are timeless prints that are flattering on almost any figure. But if you are feeling adventurous, why not opt for a bold color such as red or teal to make a statement no matter where you are.
  2. Bag: What better way to carry your favorite pocket book, fresh season fruits, and beach essentials than a Bamboo handbag. This season, this bohemian-style bag will be your go-to for your beach get-away. The best part? It is low maintenance and you won’t have to worry about bringing the sand home with you.
3. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are your most practical and protective accessory and can easily add flare to any look. Cat eye shades are all of the buzz, everyone from Rihanna to Kate Moss have been seen rocking this style this season.
4. Shoes: Slide sandals allow for ease while adding a flirty element to you a simple outfit. They  are perfectly comfortable for walking long distances and will become your most beloved beach shoe. Raffia sandals and woven leather mules are a few examples of our travel must-haves.
5.  Summer hats: You can never go wrong with a wide-brimmed straw hat for a vacation getaway. Keep the sun out of your eyes, let your hair flow, and you can not deny how glamorous you will look poolside!
Find more travel outfits here and at my Pinterest page here.
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1) Fit is critical – the money you invest on a new wardrobe is as vital as spending on alterations.
2) Undergarments are necessary to enhance your best assets.
3) First impressions matter, and it’s important to dress for your body type to reflect the right image for your business.
4) Tailoring -Most people do not realize that by simply tailoring a few key pieces you can revitalize a stale wardrobe, save money and look like a million bucks.
5) Keep your clothes spanking new with routine cleaning and care, such as washing with cold water instead of hot to preserve the fabric, and avoid chlorine-based bleach to prevent fibers from wearing out. Follow these tips at:  http://www.thelaundrystation.com/cleaning-tips/keeping-clothes-like-new
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