Friday Fashion: Primark Is Open Again!

The opening of Primark on the 12th April once again saw large queues, as people made a trip to make up for the four months that the store was closed with no online presence. I avoided the queues of the first week, but paid a visit to the Walsall store last week to take a look at the Spring/Summer range of clothing and accessories.

Black and White

There are a lot of black, white and black and white pieces this year, which is great, as monochrome is never a bad idea. The white top with the lace sleeves is my absolute fave (I got this and it is on my Instagram today) and I’m also tempted by the black dress that I think would be perfect with large, Jackie O style sunnies and tan sandals.

Statement Jewellery And Accessories

I must confess to being addicted to Primark earrings, mainly because I lose so many and don’t therefore want to pay the Earth for them. Pearls and gold tone are two of my faves, and this season has plenty of pieces in their jewellery range that tick both boxes.

In terms of accessories, it is all about the pastels. Mini bags in a range of gorgeous shades, large tote bags now reduced to just £5 in a lovely mint green, and a great belt collection that comes in a range of both primary and pastel colours show that you can change your outfit by changing your accessories – all for less than £10.

Summer Stripes And Prints

I love the range of prints for the Summer, particularly the blue striped full skirt with the elasticated waistband that just needs a simple white vest top to be summer ready. Checks, dots, love hearts and animal print all make an appearance for those looking for a pattern rather than opting for a block colour.

Shoes And Sandals

Brogues, espadrilles, sling backs and sliders, when it comes to shoes and sandals, it seems like anything goes. I love the silver slingbacks with the block heel, and the peach espadrilles are on my Summer shopping list.

A Few More Key Buys

This dress is a bit Ghost isn’t it. Perfect if you have a wedding to attend this summer.

7 Tips And Tricks For Keeping Your Clothes In Tip-Top Shape

Whether you realize it or not, the people around you tend to create either a positive or negative first impression of you based solely on how you look. This extends to the clothes that you wear. Even though you may not realize it, you are most likely guilty of assuming certain things about others based on their appearances. For instance, it’s understandable why some people would think that a man in a crisp business suit is more successful in terms of their career compared to a man wearing a shirt and jeans.

Put simply: your clothes matter. That is why you wouldn’t dare attend a business meeting wearing a faded dress over a pair of tights with runs and tears, right? If you can’t seem to put together a good outfit based on whatever’s in your wardrobe, you should probably shop for the best corporate attire and buy more tights. With these, you can put together ensembles that make you look more respectable and competent in front of your peers.

Given the impact that your choice of clothing can have on people’s perceptions of you, it makes good sense to keep your clothes in good condition for as long as possible. This is especially true for the high-end items you wear for work and socials. If you’re looking for ways to better care for your beloved clothes, here are several tips that you may want to consider:

Take the Time to Sort and Prep Your Laundry

Are you used to sorting the laundry by color alone? What you may not know is that further sorting is needed to extend the life of your clothes. What do you think will happen to your lacy blouses and dresses if you carelessly throw them into the washer together with your heavy jeans? Simply put: they won’t look as good once they come out of the wash.

That is why in addition to sorting by color, make it a habit to organize your laundry according to fabric type, weight, and washing requirements as indicated on each item’s care label. After all, the clothes manufacturers added these tags so that you have the information you need to keep your garments in great condition. By following these instructions and sorting accordingly, you can ensure that your clothing articles will stay clean and undamaged.

Opt for the Gentlest Cycle and Lowest Water Temperature

Unbeknownst to some, the tumbling and spinning action of your washing machine can ruin your garments’ fabric and shape. To minimize the damage, you should use the gentlest cycle option so that your clothes won’t end up being stretched out, ripped, or torn.

You may also want to put your work attire, delicate items, and other essential outfits into a mesh bag before placing everything into the washer. This can keep your garments from getting thrown around as much. You can also try washing your clothes using the coolest temperature possible. Both warm and hot water can break down the fibers of your clothes’ fabric, causing shrinking, stretching, and fading.

Skip the Dryer

While it is more convenient to machine-dry your clothes, doing so can cause them to wear out more quickly. This is because the heat from the dryer can damage the quality and integrity of the fabric over time. With this in mind, it’s best to skip using your machine’s spin cycle or dryer function. Instead, take the time to air-dry your damp clothes to prolong their life.

If possible, hang your white garments out under the sun, as natural sunlight can help stains fade more quickly. For this reason, however, ensure that your colored pieces are hung up indoors and away from sunlight so as to prevent unwanted fading.

Allow Your Wardrobe to Breathe

Trying to fit all of your clothes inside of a small closet will create wrinkles in them, cause them to emit an unpleasant odor, and make them lose their shape. To prevent all of these from occurring, give your garments a bit of space to breathe. Declutter your wardrobe and see what pieces you can donate to charity or which ones you can store differently to create more room in your closet.

For instance, if your bulky sweaters take up most of the closet space, you can move them to their own drawers or shelves. Just make sure to fold them neatly so that they maintain their form. If closet space is still a problem, you may want to consider other storage options like a standalone armoire or a bigger wardrobe.

Invest in Good Hangers

Clothes hangers are not just for storing your nicer garments neatly and orderly. They are also helpful in preserving the shape of your outfits so that they continue looking good as new—if you use the right type, that is.

Perhaps you are still using wire hangers because they are readily available and cheap. If so, you may want to throw them out right away. You may not realize it, but wire hangers can ruin the form of your garments and cause kinks in the fabric. If they begin to rust, they can also stain and spoil your clothes.

With that said, protect your clothes by investing in high-quality wooden or velvet padded hangers. These are sturdier than wire hangers and are designed to keep each outfit’s shape intact. It’s no wonder why fashion designers and high-end clothing stores use them to hang their pieces up for display.

Repel Clothes Moths with Lavender

Clothes moths can wreak havoc on your wardrobe. They love natural fibers like cashmere, silk, and fur, which means they will most likely ruin your high-end and most expensive items when given a chance to thrive.

Fortunately, you can keep these moths at bay by placing sachets filled with dried lavender in your closets and drawers. This is because the scent of lavender is highly effective at repelling these pests. Instead of dried lavender, you can also use cotton balls dipped in lavender oil. Just make sure to keep the sachets from touching your clothes so that the oil won’t seep into the fabric. Remember to change the sachets immediately once the sachets have lost their scent.

Finish Your Hair and Makeup Before Dressing Up

Cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfumes are packed with chemicals that can fade, stain, or discolor your garments. That said, dressing up before applying your makeup and doing your hair may not be the best idea. No matter how careful you are, mishaps can happen while getting glammed up. Your lipstick may fall onto your outfit, or your mascara wand may accidentally hit your pristine white top. Even your hairspray contains alcohol that can cause serious damage to your beloved clothes.

To keep your clothes pristine, you can put on a robe before starting on your makeup. Once you complete your beauty regimen, you can then put on your outfit for the day.

What you wear is a reflection of who you are. As such, you should take extra effort to care for your clothes so that they can remain in good condition even with repeated use. By paying attention to the little things and being extra careful with how you wash, handle, and store your clothes, you will always have a decent outfit available to boost your confidence and create an excellent first impression.

How To Support The Arts During A Pandemic

As people self-quarantine, limiting contact with others, the arts are being severely impacted. Everyone across all sectors, from actors and artists to musicians, are having freelance gigs, workshops, tours, festivals, and other work they rely on as their main source of income, put on hold or canceled altogether. 

Those who work in the arts have given so much to their communities, so how can we give back by supporting artists?

Buy Music

The best way to support an artist or band is to buy their music. Buying as directly as possible will ensure they get the biggest chunk of it possible. For example, when you pay $10 via their own website, that’s all profit (after the cost of production). While streaming songs can help, direct support will put significantly more money into a musician’s pocket. The next best option is Bandcamp, as they tend to take the lowest share for music sales and merchandise.

Watch Livestreams – and donate if you can

Many musicians and other entertainers are turning to live-streams while they can’t perform in person, and they’re paid every time you listen. While each one doesn’t count much individually, overall, it can be a big help, and engaging with them also allows them to be heard, making a big difference when it comes to staying motivated. Oftentimes they’ll include an option to donate with links to the artist’s e-commerce accounts. If you can afford it and enjoy the show, even if it’s only a small amount, do so as it could put food on the table. While it’s no substitute for the energy of a live event for both the audience and the artist, it’s a great way to help sustain the community. If you’re throwing a virtual event, you might also look for artists for hire to attend.

Join Online Workshops

While in-person workshops may be canceled, there are plenty of ways to join them online. Is there a new art skill you want to learn or perhaps a new technique? This is a great time to do it while supporting artists at the same time. You’ll find just about anything under the sun being taught virtually, from candle making and photography to ceramics, drawing, and watercolor painting. 

Buy Art

While you may not be able to go out to the galleries and buy works of art in person, or attend art openings, you can browse and buy it online. If you have a favorite artist, they probably have a website where you can view their work. Otherwise, start doing some Google research to determine what you like best and start shopping. 

Give the Gift of Art or Music

In many communities, people have been encouraged to purchase gift cards to local shops, restaurants, brewpubs and the like to help them through this difficult time. The next time you’re looking for a gift, consider buying a gift card from an independent artist, a band, or musician. Of course, they may not have a gift card option set up, but you can always contact them and see if they’d be interested in helping you out, which will help them at the same time. It’s a great way to spread joy and ease the financial burden to the artist and the recipient at the same time.