Evolution Of Clothes: How the Mini Skirt Got So Mini

The miniskirt, which seems a rather ordinary part of fashion today, was shocking when it first emerged on the scene. While hemlines started to go up significantly with the abandonment of corsetry by some in the 1920s with flapper-style dresses often showing off the knees, women’s clothes for most of the first half of the 20th century remained fairly modest and well structured.

Then the miniskirt arrived. Considered part of the Mod fashion trend of mid 1960s in Britain, the skirt, which generally must be at least eight inches above the knee to qualify as a mini, is usually credited to fashion designer Mary Quant who began experimenting with the shorter skirts as early as the 1950s. Other designers picked up on the trend and hemlines continued to rise, resulting not just in the ubiquity of the miniskirt but also the arrival of the micro-mini. In fact, it was thanks to these skirts that pantyhose and tights became more common than stockings with garters. The short skirts would reveal garter belts, stocking tops and possibly more without the new hosiery.

In the 1970s, the miniskirt faced a backlash, not on moral grounds (although there have always been some objectors) but on fashion grounds. With hemlines unable to go higher, and fashion always thriving on change, skirts necessarily became longer and more flowing in response to the mini. The 1980s brought the return of the miniskirt (not that it ever really went away) and more styles and cuts. Popular miniskirt trends included those based on the skirts of cheerleader uniforms and those structured into puffs and spheres with tulle and other even heavier construction.

The miniskirt, however, became truly tame in the 1990s, when it became a common part of women’s business wardrobe, at least on television. The sexy business suits of shows like Ally McBeal and Sex in the City became so ubiquitous that many workplaces found their dress codes and expectations challenging by younger office workers who had used these shows for blueprints.

Today the miniskirt, micro-mini and mini-dress continue to be alive and well and appear both on their own as well as worn over pants, leggings or tights, often in a nod to international styles that pair long tunics (or short dresses) with pants.

Shoe Encyclopedia: There's No Such Thing as Too Much Shoe Knowledge

If you’ve been keeping up, you’ve already learned quite an array of shoe terms to keep you up to date. If not, don’t despair. You can easily take a few moments to catch up by reading the previous installments of the shoe encyclopedia. At this point in the game, you should be really starting to impress your shoe-savvy friends while shoe shopping and gossiping. In fact, you’re becoming quite the shoe connoisseur yourself.

This mule won’t be carrying your baggage, but it could get you around with both style and comfort. In shoe talk, a mule is a slip-on shoe with a closed toe and an open heel. They are available in an array of choices, such as slippers, casuals or dress shoes . Mule shoes can come in a variety of styles for both women and men.

Hammertoe is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a medical condition where a toe is bent in a shape that resembles a claw or the end of a hammer. Most of the time, hammertoes develop due to an imbalance of the muscles. However, they can also be caused by arthritis or even by ill-fitting shoes. So, be sure you pick the right size when you are shoe shopping.

A last is a form used to make a shoe. The form can come in metal, wood, or plastic. The shoe is pulled and shaped around the form. That process is called lasting. Some shoes are hand lasted, while others are made using a shoe lasting machine. Since the use of a hand last is more time-consuming, hand-lasted shoes can sometimes have a higher price tag than machine-lasted shoes.

Lug Sole
A lug sole, when talking shoes, is a sole that is heavily treaded and made of rubber. Ever need some shoes strong enough to get you up a mountainside and also weather a storm? Maybe you’re not quite that brave. How about some cute boots to get you around town during the winter season? Footwear with a lug sole can do either and more.

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Snowboarding: It's Risky, but Snowboarding in Hawaii Could Be Worth The Risk

Travelers visit Hawaii each winter to snowboard and ski – yes, you heard us right – on the Big Island. Even so, the Hawaii Ski Club recommends against it. Perhaps this is a case in which familiarity breeds contempt.

The destination is Mauna Kea, Hawaii for “White Mountain,” because indeed the Big Island’s biggest volcano often draws snow. After all, it is nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, or 2.7 miles.

Authors on trailsource.com are positive. They report that south of Waimea and northwest of Hilo, Mauna Kea Park offers “amazing backcountry snowboarding.” No lifts are in place, but an access road is plowed a few days after each storm, “so you can drive or hitch to the summit” and ride down. Snow is most likely during the traditional winter months, but “can have 6-foot dumps” as well. In fact, prominent pro-snowboarding competitions have taken place at Mauna Kea.

A counterpoint is worded clearly: “Due to safety and environmental impact issues and health concerns, the Hawaii Ski Club no longer sponsors group ski trips to the Mauna Kea volcano, nor will we endorse or recommend travel agencies which may offer such trips.”

The Ski Club formed to plan trips elsewhere, but leaders have found themselves subject to inquiry when outsiders discover that such a tropical place as Hawaii actually has a place where snow falls, and where people get out their snowboards and skis.

Club leaders note that winter sports activities are “iffy.” They assert that snow often comes in the form of a shallow dusting. Even with deeper drifts, boarders and skiers may suddenly find themselves negotiating with lava rock and “being MEDEVACed to a hospital with massive injuries!”

As for driving up the access road or hitching a ride, members of the Hawaii Ski Club are skeptical. If you drive, then you have to walk back up a 14,000-foot mountain. And who would have room to give you a hitch, given that they already are loaded down with their own equipment? In the most common scenario, snowboarders or skiers rent a Jeep or a 4-wheel drive, and then members of the party have to take turns as the designated driver.

Snowboard or ski at Mauna Kea? Decide for yourself.




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Best Vacation Spots for Skaters: Minneapolis

Whether you are in Minneapolis for business or pleasure, this is a great city to go to if you are a skateboarder. The city government has recognizes that skateboarding is a growing sport, and boarders of all ages need a safe place to skate. In response they have create six city-sponsored skate parks throughout the city. This means that no matter where you are in the city, you won’t have far to go to find a great skate park. Pack your rash guard and skateboarding shorts and get ready to have fun in the Twin Cities.

Skate Parks in Minneapolis, Minnesota

There are six city skate parks inside the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each of the following parks is an outdoor park found inside a larger recreation center or city park. They each have several skating features including pyramids, ramps and hand rails.

▪ Armatage, 2500 57th Street West, Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Bottineau, 2000 2nd Street North East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Brackett, 2728 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Creekview, 5001 Humbolt Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Elliot, 1000 14th Street East, Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Morris, 5531 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Skateboard Shops in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you are looking for new boards or new skateboarding clothing , Minneapolis is a great shopping destination to visit. This city is chalked full of skateboard and sporting goods shops. Here are a few of the shops found in and around the city of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota:

▪ Erik’s Bike Shop, 501 Country Road 42, Burnsville, Minnesota

▪ 3rd Lair Skate Park and Skate Shop, 850 Florida Ave. S., Golden Valley, Minnesota

▪ Adrelanine Skateboards and Snowboards, 893 Robert St. S., Saint Paul, Minnesota

▪ Alternative Bike & Board Shop, 3013 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minnesota

▪ Familia Skate Board Shop, 647 Snelling Ave. S., Saint Paul, Minnesota

Outdoor Activities in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Outdoor activities are big in Minneapolis. Throughout the year, you will be able to find special events that celebrate the skateboarding lifestyle. When you are planning your vacation to Minneapolis, talk to your travel agent or read local newspapers to see if a skateboarding demonstration, competition or event is scheduled and how you can attend or participate in it. Minneapolis is waiting for you, so grab your board and hit the road!

Clothing from Around the World: Why so Many Women Love Spanish Fashion

I’m totally in love with the Spanish fashion world. Why? Skinny girls have now been banned from the catwalk. In Spain, skinny girls are out, and larger, more normal looking girls are in. For those of us who aren’t a size 0 (most of the world, I might add), this is a welcome change and one that should be adopted by every other country’s fashion industry.

I was in Spain recently on vacation and immediately noticed that Spanish girls are quite curvy (good for me, as I tend to be the same). But they have fabulous fashion sense and wear gorgeous clothes in beautiful, high-quality fabrics and designs. The latest fashion trends in Spain have been long flowing floral dresses that are really romantic, jeans with a faded look and lots of jersey pieces. Leather three-quarter length jackets are also making a comeback along with plaid skirts and pants and thigh length knitted cardigans. (Spain can get quite cold in winter, which surprises many foreigners who arrive in December toting bikinis for 50 degree weather).

Lately, Spanish fashion has been influenced by designs from acting luminaries like Penelope Cruz and Milla Jovovich, who have been designing collections for a popular Spanish chain boutique. Knitted pieces in vibrant greens and purples are part of Penelope Cruz’s latest designs along with dark brown and black leather pieces. Milla Jovovich, on the other hand, is into flowing, flowery dresses that are slightly off-beat and cool. Clutch bags in bright yellows, greens, purples and pinks are also all the rage, especially if made in Italian silk and complimented by brightly colored accessories.

Overall, there is no strict fashion code in Spain. Everyone pretty much wears what they want. In the summer, you’ll see lots of dresses, skirts, skinny tops and shorts, and in the winter, sweaters, jeans and jackets reign supreme. For this reason, Spain is one of my favorite fashion countries. The Spanish have great style but don’t insist that everyone looks alike. Other country’s fashion cultures could take some hints from that.

National Talk Like a Pirate Day @ Zappos!

Here at Zappos, we love pirates. We can’t help it. Go look at some Twitter names from Zappos employees, you’ll see that we have some really big fans of pirates. So, we decided that this madness needs to be documented on this fine holiday. We even had some bloggers from around the country who are in town for Blogworld do the pirate alphabet for us.

Enjoy. Maties.

Most Popular Distance Runs: Cinco De Mayo 10k

The Cinco de Mayo 10K is run in Tucson, Arizona, every year. A bit early to start talking about a 10K run in May you ask? Not necessarily. After all, even if you’re in peak condition and running a 10K is a breeze, a lot of people aren’t. So having 6 months to train to run the Cinco de Mayo 10K is necessary for them. Plus, it’s a really nice 10K race and well worth putting in the training time.

In May 2009, the Cinco de Mayo 10K will be in its 28th year. It runs through some of the most beautiful country in Tucson as it follows the foothills of the Tucson Mountains and, because it’s in May, it also has some of the prettiest weather of the year. Which also means you can wear really cool running clothes. The main thing for me about the Cinco de Mayo 10K though is not just the race but the food after the race. Because it’s a Mexican holiday, post-race they serve incredible burritos and Mexican food and what could be better than that? Starbucks and a Mariachi band – that’s what, and yes, they have those too!

If you love running 10Ks in great weather with awesome food and, of course, Starbucks then this is the race you wanna run. The views of the mountains are gorgeous, the air is fresh and dry and with a temp of around 55 degrees, it’s truly truly perfect. Plus, it’s really a laidback race so you’ll have a great chance to meet new people without feeling the pressure to compete and win.

They also have a cool kid’s race with pinatas, games, a jumping castle and tons of other stuff. The main race starts at 7am with the Fun Run at 7:05. Cinco is actually the Spanish word for ‘five’ but, this year, the race is actually on May 4th but close enough. Online registration is available, just check out the race’s webpage for more help – http://www.azroadrunners.org/events/cinco.html .

Content provided by Associated Content

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Celebrity Fashion: Fall Dress Code

As we head into the fall season, it appears that shirt dresses will still be popular with celebrities. Shirt dresses are a great way to be casual but still trendy. Basically, a shirt dress looks like a long structured shirt. Most of the time it is a button-up dress and sometimes has a tie or belt around the waist. Blake Lively was seen wearing a blue shirt dress as she headed to the David Letterman show. Other celebrities such as Kelly Ripa and Katie Holmes have also sported shirt dresses. To go for a dressier look, pair a shirt dress with some high heels by Alexander McQueen . And to go for a more casual day look, pair the shirt dress with some cute flats by Marc Jacobs.

Well, it seems that not all celebrities like to wear skin tight dresses and skirts, which is good to know. Full skirt dresses have been seen all over in Hollywood. America Ferrera was just seen wearing a full skirt dress to an awards night. The full skirt dress can help camouflage a tummy or love handles, not that celebrities know what those are! Other celebrities that have been seen all dressed up in full skirts are Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Minka Kelly and Paris Hilton. Full skirt dresses make a great alternative to having a tight dress if you are uncomfortable with your body. This is a definite celebrity fashion trend that should be followed.

Trench coats are timeless and celebrities are seen wearing them all the time. Trench coats are a great option for fall. As the weather gets colder, don’t ruin an outfit with a bad coat, but invest in a good trench coat. Of course, someone like Anne Hathaway, who almost always dresses in classic pieces, has been seen wearing trench coats quite often. Other celebrities such as Mandy Moore get more creative with their trench coats and opt for bolder colors such as yellow. Black, tan and white trench coats are all classic pieces and can be worn with just about anything. Celebrities just love the black trench by Jean Paul Gaultier , because it is a classic piece that will never go out of style.