FASHION:

 

Schoolwear Contest Wedding Rings Dress Codes Spirit Wear Short Skirts Fashion Footwear Watch Design Sew It Yourself Traveling Light

Chance To Win A $20,000 Scholarship

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(NAPSI)-An increasing number of parents are pleased to put their young scholars in school uniforms for a variety of reasons.

Wearing approved school clothes:

• Builds confidence and self-esteem

• Creates feelings of awareness and belonging

• Raises student and teacher expectations

• Boosts school attendance

• Increases school safety

• Saves time in the morning

• Reduces peer pressure

• Saves money.

School uniforms from Dockers, which can be found at Sears stores and DOCKERSKids.com, may even help a family win money. The grand-prize winner of The Approved Schoolwear $20,000 Scholarship Contest gets a U.S. Savings Bond valued at $20,000 at maturity.

You can visit Sears stores for more information, enter online at www.DOCKERSKids.com until August 31, 2010, or mail an entry with a parent name, home address, e-mail address and phone number, as well as the child's name, age, grade and school, to Scholarship, 7111 W. Indian School Road, Dept. 125, Phoenix, AZ 85033.

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A Wedding Ring Is Forever: Top Tips For Finding Your Perfect Wedding Band

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(NAPSI)-When it comes to wedding rings, engagement rings tend to steal the spotlight. They embody the excitement of your engagement and come with the timeless story of how he proposed. Yet, given what marriage stands for--a lifetime commitment to one another--it's the wedding bands that have the greatest symbolism.

"An engagement ring merely signifies the promise of impending nuptials," says jewelry and style expert Michael O'Conner. He advises couples to begin looking for their wedding bands immediately after the engagement. "Couples who wait to buy their bands often relinquish smart considerations like platinum because they've gone over budget by then. But why wouldn't you invest in the most enduring symbols of your love?"

While finding the perfect ring can be daunting, there are a few tricks to selecting a ring that can help make the purchase as smart as it is sentimental.

Budget. Standard practice is to apply two months' salary to both bands. Look for the best value ring for the price. Many retailers are introducing lines of entry-level platinum wedding bands starting at just $500, making the high quality of platinum accessible for most budgets.

Quality. Selecting the highest quality ring can require a greater investment up front, but it pays off in the long run. Choose a metal for its natural color to save on maintenance costs. Eighteen-kt. gold is preferred for yellow bands; for white metal, however, platinum is ideal. As celebrity wedding planner David Tutera™ explains, "Buy a white setting that will actually stay white. Unlike white gold, platinum is naturally white and doesn't change color or need replating."

Durability. You'll be wearing your ring every day for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure it's durable. Platinum is what Tutera™ refers to as the "ultimate safety clasp." Of all the precious metals, it's the most dense and it holds diamonds most securely. Everyday wear also means scratches, so take note of a metal's "scratch factor." Platinum merely displaces metal when scratched, whereas gold actually loses metal.

Metal Harmony. There is no rule that says his and her wedding bands have to match. In fact, 60 percent of women want diamonds, while 85 percent of men don't. It is wise, however, to match metals since it shows you two are in sync--O'Connor refers to this as "metal harmony."

So, as you plan your dream wedding, just remember--your rings are one of the few items that last beyond the cake and flowers; make sure they'll be there to reflect "I do" forever.

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Preparing Kids For A Successful School Year

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(NAPSI)-Appropriate school wear helps children dress for academic success. Uniforms, spirit wear and clothes following dress codes can encourage a feeling of community spirit and promote school safety. Educators and parents find that following a dress code at school and at after-school events can make it easier to monitor who is a student--and who isn't--and may aid in reducing peer pressure.

As a retailer for IZOD Approved School Wear and a popular shopping destination for back-to-school, JCPenney is committed to positive youth development by supporting after-school programs across the country.

From August 4 through 17, you can help increase after-school opportunities by rounding up your purchases to the nearest whole dollar. The entire difference will stay in the community to benefit a life-enriching after-school program that inspires kids to be smart, strong and socially responsible.

For year-round school wear and information on how JCP cares for after school, visit www.JCP.com and www.jcpenney.com/uniforms.

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Warm-Weather Trends Focus On Nude Shades And Bare Legs

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(NAPSI)-As temperatures rise, there are new opportunities to find styles that suit you-and this season's warm-weather looks are no exception.

To help shape up your summer style while staying within your budget, here are some tips from fashion and style expert Lilliana Vazquez of Cheap Chica's Guide to Style-- http://cheapchicas.com.

• Nude Shades--This season, anything in nude shades will be hot. These tones are very sexy, show off your tan beautifully and have been all over the red carpet on Hollywood's hottest celebs.

• Rompers--Rompers are a flirty and fun alternative to a dress that's much more current. Always remember when you're showing off your legs that smooth skin is a must. Nair Shower Power Max is an easy and convenient way to get smooth skin that lasts days longer than shaving. It actually removes hair while you shower and comes in a convenient pump you can keep in your shower caddy. With designers showing shorter skirts and shorts, your legs will be more in focus than in seasons past. This summer, you could win concert tickets from the makers of Nair. Find out more about the Nair Step Out Challenge at NairLikeNeverBefore.com.

• Menswear-inspired Pieces--Who doesn't love a classic white button-down? Pair it with something super sexy such as a bikini or a banded skirt for a feminine flair.

• Perfect Prints--From abstract watercolor prints to classics like polka dots and stripes, there's a print out there for every personality.

• Wedges and Ghillie Ties--For summer sandals, wedges are easy to wear on the boardwalk or on the beach. If you need something a little dressier, a lace-up or Ghillie Tie sandal is the "it" shoe for the summer. A tan pair is a great go-with-everything style that will make your legs look a million miles long.

This season's rompers, shorter skirts and shorts focus on legs. Smooth skin is a must when showing off your legs.

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Footwear For The Cure

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(NAPSI)-The fashion industry is taking a step toward finding a cure for breast cancer--offering a great deal on shoes to raise money for breast cancer research.

The Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) and QVC are joining forces for the 17th Annual QVC Presents "FFANY Shoes on Sale." To date, over a million pairs of shoes have been sold and more than $32 million has been donated to fund cutting-edge research and education at leading hospitals and research organizations. Shop the charitable shoe sale by tuning in to QVC from 7−10 p.m. (ET) on October 15.

For the month of October, shoppers can also contribute to the cause by purchasing the "Shoe of the Day" offered each weekday from 7−9 a.m. (ET) or beginning October 1 online at QVC.com (while supplies last). This year, more than 100,000 shoes from over 100 brands will be sold for half the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

For details, call 800-345-1515 or visit www.QVC.com beginning October 1.

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Pilots Are Inspiration For Watch Design

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(NAPSI)-A new watch collection that combines a masculine sense of style and a strong aeronautical heritage is taking off.

Designed in collaboration with aerobatic pilot Nicolas Ivanoff--known as the "Quick Corsican"--the latest line from Hamilton Watches demonstrates a "relevant functionality" that is often appreciated by aviators.

Ivanoff, the official ambassador for the brand, is competing in this year's Red Bull Air Race series, with a Hamilton-branded Extra 300 SP plane as his ride.

Called the Khaki Pilot, the new watch combines style, reliability and a heritage of proven performance both on the ground or in the air and sea. Designed for the eyes in the sky, the watch features a unique dial with an easily readable minute track surrounding a subdial of hour markers.

The style is also steeped in a bit of nostalgia, taking its cue from the action-packed lifestyles of early aviators. The wristband is offered in genuine brown leather or in a stainless steel bracelet with a sapphire crystal integrating Super-LumiNova technology.

Learn more at www.hamiltonwatch.com.

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Sew It Yourself For One-Of-A-Kind Looks

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(NAPSI)-The popularity of sewing and do-it-yourself home décor is on the rise, prompted by the economy and the buzz surrounding design shows such as "Project Runway."

Many are discovering that from slipcovers and sundresses to quilts and quirky new looks, it's easier--and less costly--to get a unique, customized creation if you sew it yourself.

Do-it-yourself fashion trends have come a long way since 1953, when Laura Ashley, one of the world's best-loved fashion and home furnishing companies, started its humble beginnings by incorporating DIY projects into its business plan.

Laura Ashley, like many women, was driven by the desire to make unique furnishings and accessories. She was inspired to make her own patchwork quilts but couldn't find any suitable fabrics in the shops, so she decided to try producing her own. Today, her fabrics and creations are known throughout the world. In November of 2009, Laura Ashley was ranked 29th among all consumer brands, third among fellow lifestyle brands Ralph Lauren and Liz Claiborne, from a survey conducted by Home Furnishings News (HFN).

Thanks to the latest sewing machine technology, the idea of creating personalized, professional-grade home décor, apparel and accessories is much more attainable. With the introduction of the new Laura Ashley Limited Edition Innov-is NX-2000 Sewing Machine, a multifunction sewing and quilting machine from Brother International Corporation, designers can create their own DIY home décor projects.

DIY devotees enjoy using the powerful features to freshen their home décor by upcycling existing furnishings with new embellishments, or cozying up a room with a new quilt, pillow or other custom-made decorative projects.

The machine includes 460 sewing stitches (430 built-in, 30 on CD) and has the exclusive Brother® My Custom Stitch™ Feature that can be used to create a virtually unlimited number of personalized stitches and save them to the machine's expansive memory.

Developed for those who want to achieve professional-grade home décor, the sewing and quilting machine has embellishment capabilities that include circular sewing and bobbin work. In addition, users can express their creativity with free-motion stitching, which is like painting with thread.

The machine can also accommodate varying fabric types, appliqués and embellishments when its height adjustor feature is turned on. The feature continuously detects fabric thickness and automatically adjusts presser foot pressure to ensure beautiful, precise, even stitching.

For more information, visit the home sewing pages of www.brother.com.

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Packing Light: Beating The Airlines' Baggage Fees

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(NAPSI)-It's come down to The Battle of The Baggage Fees. And if you're a consumer--make that a savvy consumer--know that you really can beat the airlines at their own game.

To make up for low revenue, airlines have been raising the fees they charge for baggage--in the case of one "ultra-low-cost" carrier, at least, even recently taking heat in Washington for announcing a new charge of as much as $45 for carry-ons. "The decision could spur other airlines to impose a similar fee," warned one New York senator who immediately introduced a tongue-twister piece of legislation called the Block Airlines' Gratuitous Fees Act last April to try to keep the practice from spreading.

Needless to say, travelers are miffed. According to a new Consumer Reports survey, "luggage charges" was Americans' No. 1 "gripe" about flying. (They also weren't thrilled with "puny snacks," but that's another story.)

To avoid paying more than necessary, try these tips:

• Retire your wheeled bags. All that extra hardware means you might as well be carrying a sign that says "Will Pay More to Fly." Most airlines now charge a fee of $15 for your first checked bag, according to AOL, but that could rise to $39 to $175 if it's overweight.

• Dress like you're homeless. Not to be glib, but since airlines don't restrict the weight of your clothes or items on your person--at least not yet--layer on your heaviest garments instead of packing them. And use your pockets.

• Obtain serene simplicity. Recessionistas were definitely on to something when they made it chic to buy beauty products that do double duty, though admittedly they were more concerned with saving money at the beauty counter than the weigh-in scale. No matter. There's now a razor that does triple duty--lathers, shaves and moisturizes in one easy step. With the Schick Intuition Plus, you'll save space in your travel bag since there's no need for separate shave gel (www.schick.com). It boasts four blades, surrounded by a skin-moisturizing solid, so you're also getting a smooth shave backed with ingredients such as aloe, vitamin E, shea butter, and now antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract.

• Ship it. Weird as it sounds, it can turn out to cost less to have an overweight bag sent ahead via a delivery service. Do the math.

• Pay baggage fees online. If you're smart, you already know how to search for the lowest fares on the Web. So with some airlines hitting you up for more in baggage fees at the airport than online, why pay even a few dollars more?

Still doubt it's war?

Yet another poll--this one done by TripAdvisor--found that 36 percent of flyers used only carry-ons in order to avoid checked baggage fees.

Can you say the Block Airlines' Gratuitous Fees Act three times fast?

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