Fashion:

School - Time Cool Shopping That Makes the Grade What's Cool For School Intimate Apparel Expert Style Suggestions Protecting Your Jewelry Pirate Symbols New Collection

Dazzling Designs

School-Time Cool

(NAPSI)—Come fall, students everywhere want to start the new school year off on the right foot… and that means looking their best. While kids seek out the hottest trends in clothing, shoes and accessories, parents hunt for the best deals. The good news is that there is a way for both parents and kids to get what they want out of back-to-school shopping.

At off-price retailers like Marshalls and T.J.Maxx, kids will find the most sought-after trends and designers, and parents will love that they’re all up to 60 percent off department and mall store prices. Check out the style guide below for back-to-school cool:

Girls: Lightweight sweaters top this year’s must-have list. Whether it’s a cable-knit sweater dress or thick vests with toggle closures, sweaters are a staple for the year. Varied sleeves—long, short and dolman—keep things interesting, and details like stripes, bright colors, hoods and belts add uniqueness to each look. Pair sweaters with the season’s hottest denim: bootlegs and skinny styles in dark washes and with pocket detailing. Girls are putting their best foot forward in ballet flats, boots and Mary Janes. Sequined handbags, bright floral print backpacks and animal print shoulder bags top the list of must-have accessories for any school day.

Boys: This fall, boys are showing their sportier side. It’s all about activewear, and boys will be rocking performance tops, shorts and pants by the coolest brands that will take them from the classroom to the playground. He’ll also find tees and sweatshirts from his favorite local sports team to show off his pride. Vintage screen print tops and dark denim with whiskering and pocket details give him a more stylish look. For footwear, boys will wear athletic styles and skate shoes in bright, solid colors.

Teens: For teenage fashionistas, stylish knits rule in tops and dresses this year, and from wide dolman sleeves to voluminous ponchos, bigger is better. Chambray fabrics and floral and plaid prints make their way back to class in dresses and rompers that add a touch of sophistication for the high school set. Graphic tees, lightweight hoodies and shorts are must-haves for teen boys. Whether hanging at home or in homeroom, these versatile basics are comfortable, durable and on-trend.

 

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Shopping That Makes The Grade

(NAPSI)—Buying fun and functional clothes for back to school can be as simple as A-B-C. That is if the A is for Add Layers, B for Buy Online and C for Color Coordinate. Here’s how it works:

1. Add layers: Buy clothes you can layer for versatility. A short-sleeve T-shirt can be layered over a solid long-sleeve tee and skirts can be worn over leggings. Add leg warmers for a fun, functional cold-weather outfit.

2. Buy online: Shopping online saves the hassle of visiting stores and making kids try things on in dressing rooms. Be sure to shop with a company that makes returns and exchanges easy.

3. Color coordinate: Buy clothes with similar color themes that can be mixed and matched to create several outfits. For example, Tea Collection’s attractive color-themed sets are a great deal—buy five pieces, get six complete outfits. Tea Collection is a globally inspired children’s clothing company. Each season, the designers draw inspiration from a different destination. This year’s look is influenced by modern Mexico. For more information, visit www.teacollection.com or call (866) 374-8747.

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What’s Cool For School

(NAPSI)—From the hottest clothing trends to cool accessories, this school year, kids can debut a fresh, new look that’s sure to impress. According to Steve Kemble, America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru, a stylish outfit also can boost confidence and help alleviate schooltime jitters.

“Spicing up your look will bring compliments from classmates and put an extra pep in your step when walking down those crowded hallways,” Kemble says.

Here’s his advice on the latest fashion trends:

• Jump into Jeggings: Jeggings are a favorite across all ages and look adorable on kids. They come in an array of washes, mimicking a great new pair of jeans. The fabric is thicker and more durable and the extra stretch make jeggings a playtime favorite.

• Play with Patterns: Floral rompers, polka-dot dresses, colorful maxi skirts and bold graphics are huge this season. Why not also sport some classroom savvy by decking out notebooks, water bottles and planners in funky patterns.

• Embrace Team Spirit: Whether it’s a dream college or the family’s alma mater, university-inspired clothing is taking over casual wear. From hoodies to zip-ups, tees to sweatpants, the competition is fierce.

• Sport Eco-Friendly Materials: Eco-friendly picks are in. Shop for clothing that offers sustainable or recyclable fabrics, including organic cotton and bamboo. They are produced without pesticides and contain breathable fibers that are soft and comfortable.

Style-savvy students also can check out Shop Til You Rock, a music-inspired mall tour that empowers teens to look and feel like rock stars with live bands, exclusive teen activities and special offers and giveaways. Plus, you also can enter for a chance to win valuable shopping sprees and a gaming system.

A complete list of event dates, bands and activities can be found at www.ShopTilYouRock.com.

Another exciting mall program geared toward families, Family Recess, offers parents and kids great shopping, giveaways and family-friendly activities, including games, prizes and a chance to win a family vacation to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Visit www.ggp.com for participating malls and event dates.

Both programs are hosted by General Growth Management, Inc. and they each reward shoppers with a $20 mall gift card, while supplies last, when they spend $150 or more.

 

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Fashion-Forward Intimate Apparel

(NAPSI)—There’s a new look in plus-size lingerie: attractive intimate apparel that’s designed not just to be worn—but to be seen.

Defying the notion that there is shame in size, an increasing number of curvy women are gravitating to fashion-forward intimate apparel—featuring more lace and bold colors, sexy French boudoir ensembles and retro-inspired pin-up looks and other cleavage-enhancing styles.

According to Cacique—the intimates division of plus-size leader Lane Bryant, which, over the past decade, has shattered the image of dowdy, hide-in-the-back-of-the-store, “grandma” bras—more and more women are embracing their curves and proudly showing off their assets.

That fact was made clear during last year’s media firestorm that followed a refusal by FOX and ABC to air a Cacique lingerie commercial. The now award-winning ad became the most-watched YouTube video and set the stage for an expanded campaign.

“The more we push the fashion envelope with shapes, styles, fabrics and details, the more our consumers want,” said Gill Heer, a U.K.-trained designer who is fashioning a new look for plus-size lingerie as Cacique’s senior director of design/development. “When the company became the first brand to introduce a plus-size plunge bra, many people thought we were crazy,” she added. “Why would a plus-size woman want to show more cleavage or have less coverage?”

Crazy like a fox, it turns out.

Sales of the debut plunge bra skyrocketed—as plus-size women chose a style that enhanced their bust shape and, at the same time, made their waists look smaller. For a sequel, the company launched the first plus-size balconette bra-a shape-enhancing style that is now the company’s best seller.

“It’s all about emotional appeal—our most popular styles feature bold colors, prints, lace, embellishments and embroidery,” said Heer.

She created a romantic French boudoir look featuring a pale pink and black palette inspired by classic Paris apartments, as well as a retro pinup concept, featuring a high-waist look, bright colors and ruffles—inspired by voluptuous Hollywood icons.

Having started her career as an apparel fashion designer in London, Heer developed her passion for lingerie working for Courtaulds, where she designed intimates for Marks & Spencer and, later, Victoria’s Secret, before being recruited to Cacique to rejuvenate the brand’s design perspective.

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Expert Style Suggestions

(NAPSI)—Style expert Lilliana Vazquez of CheapChicas.com offers helpful hints for how to look sensational:

• Add pops of color: A bright clutch, belt or bracelet can be an easy way to make an outfit fresh.

• Keep warm and stay chic: On cool summer nights, instead of a cardigan, try a long-sleeved polo shirt for a casual evening or a blazer for a nice dinner.

• Complement your complexion: Coral and peach lipstick shades are flattering and on trend this season.

• Achieve smooth skin that lasts: Removing hair at home can be an inexpensive and convenient way to stay smooth. Lilliana’s pick is Nair Cool Gel, a new depilatory that not only removes hair but also provides a unique cooling hydration that is perfect for summer. Plus, the result is smooth radiant skin.

Visit www.NairLikeNeverBefore.com for more information on Nair products.

 

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Caring For And Protecting Your Jewelry

(NAPSI)—Next to your car and your house, jewelry can be one of your most valuable assets. According to a recent study by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, the average engagement ring is valued at over $2,500.

Since the delicate nature of jewelry makes it susceptible to damage, proper cleaning and caring for your jewelry is one of the best ways to prolong its life and ensure its worth.

“Not only does cleaning your jewelry on a regular basis keep it looking great, but it is also a smart way to see if your rings or gemstones have been damaged,” says Amy Helein, graduate gemologist (GIA), certified gemologist appraiser (AGS) from Jewelers Mutual.

Helein offers a few tips to keep jewelry looking great all year:

• Clean your jewelry frequently to avoid dirt buildup, which may hasten wear.

• Never clean your jewelry over the sink. Tiny pieces of jewelry can fall down the drain before you blink.

• Don’t use toothpaste to clean your jewelry. It is a common misconception, but toothpaste has abrasives that can scratch metal and stone.

• For diamonds, do use ammonia-based cleaner or rubbing alcohol and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush; dry with a soft, clean cloth.

• If you buy jewelry cleaner, mind the product label. Some are just for diamonds, others for silver, opals and emeralds.

• When in doubt, use warm water and a soft-bristle toothbrush.

• With necklaces that contain a string, like a strand of pearls, use a damp cloth to wipe dirt off. Getting the string wet can cause it to stretch out and weaken.

• When not wearing your jewelry, place each item in a separate soft compartment or container. If cluttered together, jewelry can become scratched.

• Have a jeweler clean and inspect your most-often-worn jewelry at least annually, looking for loose settings, faulty links and worn prongs.

• During yearly inspections, have your jeweler check the current value of your jewelry to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the event of loss or damage.

• If you don’t have insurance, compare coverage of homeowners insurance with stand-alone, jewelry-specific policies and make sure your ring is protected.

Visit www.insureyourjewelry.com for a free, no-obligation quote today.

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Pirate Symbols Sparkle In New Collection

(NAPSI)—With a Gothic influence and a vintage touch, black pearls, skulls and swords are the stars of a new Swarovski jewelry collection that includes exact replicas of pieces worn by the lead characters in a popular film series.

The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides collection is based on the swashbuckling adventure movie, a Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films production released on May 20. Swarovski has the exclusive jewelry collection inspired by the film and its designs are closely linked to the film’s key characters and icons.

• The “Angelica” jewels were inspired and named after the character played by Penélope Cruz. Echoing her swordswoman skills and taste for adventure, sword and gun symbols adorn both a pendant and a necklace. The theme also features exact replicas of pieces worn by the daring Angelica: the cross pendant, complete with crystal pavé vintage look, and a vintage dragon ring embellished by green Swarovski mini crystals.

• The “High Sea” line takes everyone on board with shark teeth, compass and message-in-a-bottle elements. The octagonal pendant, made of black enamel and pavé finishing, reveals a compass with a mobile dial. The original can be seen on screen worn by Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.

• Inspired by Captain Sparrow’s ship, the “Black Pearl” line is all about mystery and refinement. Playing with the nautical symbols of the anchor and the twisted cord, the necklace, pendant, rings and earrings create a feminine and stylish set. The subtle pavé work emphasizes the beauty of the black crystal pearl on each jewel.

• The “Skulls and Swords” theme has a masculine influence but women can also enjoy wearing it. Skulls adorn a ring, a bangle and a pendant with striking effect.

Any of these Swarovski jewels can make for a great gift for Father’s Day, graduation, an anniversary, a birthday or any occasion—including when you just want to get some glamour for yourself.

The company even re-created a surface metal effect that gives an antique look to the jewels, like those worn by pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries.

To order or for more information, visit www.swarovski.com.

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Dazzling Designs Among Season’s Most Desirable

(NAPSI)—The latest looks offer many sparkling opportunities for jewelry lovers to shine. Here are a few trends to watch out for:

Necklaces

High-Low Necklaces: The latest necklaces combine precious and affordable elements, such as gorgeous high-karat gold nuggets combined with natural-hued gemstones. Look for hematite, rutilated quartz, tiger’s eye, smoky topaz, as well as wood, shell and natural mineral crystals.

Enhancer Necklaces: The newest necklace silhouette is “The Enhancer,” a significant-sized pendant hung from a structured choker necklace. Geometric in design, the styles are inspired by a combination of Pop Art, Art Deco and the 1980s.

Urban Warrior Necklaces: Intertwined fringe and chains create the statement necklaces of the season. The new silhouette is longer and features layers of chain masterfully entangled to lay perfectly on the décolletage.

Bracelets

Friendship Bracelets: Silk, satin, suede or chain-link bracelets with tiny center charms are favored by Hollywood’s stylish celebrities. “Styles include good-luck talisman bracelets featuring charms of evil eyes, religious and spiritual symbols,” says Helena Krodel, director of media and special events, Jewelers of America. “This trend is meant to be worn in multiples.”

Earrings

Madmen Earrings: AMC’s hit drama television series “Mad Men,” set in 1960s New York, has helped bring back large circular and crescent-shaped earrings that sit on the earlobe. Clusters of colored gemstones, precious metals crafted into knots, and pearls are all popular styles.

Hoops: The classic hoop earring remains a jewelry wardrobe staple. Look for charms that slide onto the hoops. Blackened sterling silver and rose gold with rose-cut diamond hoops are favored by fashionistas.

Bohemian Chandeliers: Paisley shapes, high-karat yellow gold and tiny seed pearls are elements that are incorporated into spring’s more casual chandelier earring styles. Feathers, tassels and chains are also incorporated into earrings, creating depth and movement.

Rings

Cocktail Rings: Cocktail rings, also called dinner rings and right-hand rings, were originally worn as status symbols during Prohibition in the 1920s. One of the most “today” ring styles features colored gemstone clusters instead of one large gemstone.

Remember to shop with a reputable jeweler who is a member of a professional trade association like Jewelers of America.

For more information, visit www.JIC.org and www.facebook.com/JewelryInformationCenter.

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