I’m Not a Plastic Bag.

Exhilim: don’t know how but I typed that all wrong. I intended on doing a comparison for a busy ‘Western’ working week (40 hrs max), except I seem to have never made it. We have a minimum wage in place, as well as extra money for working overtime. We can ask for a raise without consequences, we can question the health and safety of our workplace (even sue!) without consequence and we can question our authority to a degree that sweatshop workers can only dream of. They work on average 15-20 hours per day, 5 days a week. If we use 15 hrs, that makes 75 hrs (5 days)… That’s often from 5am until late in the evening and it applies to children as young as 9. Average wages seem to be $0.06- 0.08 cents an hour.

I don’t deny that it’s not just as a preserve of developing countries, but I’m betting that your situation isn’t nearly as bad. To you, struggling for a next paypacket means you’ve got to pay for electricity, gas, a tv license, a computer/laptop, rent for a place of your choice, the luxury clothing you have made by them… you can still affort it somewhat, even on credit. Many garment workers live in accomodation owned (often in slums or in slum-like conditions) by the factory owners, normally with many other people in a small room, or in a tiny house of their own without all the mod-cons that we enjoy. It’s not difficult to see who’s living a harder life & for what? Material possessions that we so willingly chuck away when we realise what a huge fashion mistake they are or when they’re no longer in trend.

This can relate back to the environment — chucking things away without giving a thought to what happens. What’s happening is that our landfills are being filled up at too high a rate. Not only that, but textile workers often work with toxic, synthetic and non-biodegradable materials (dyes, etc). Green credentials? Not for that product, that’s for certain. Not only that, but retailers and supermarkets aren’t only shafting the workers, but consumers as well. Guess who’s laughing all the way to the bank?

I want my man bag!

My other half has long had her hunger for style in accessories satiated by none other than Orla Kiely. The seasonal launch of Kiely’s latest collection is invariably preceded by months of almost hormonal anticipation and trawling of the web for hints or tidbits or blurry photos of the latest bag being road tested. And that’s just me!

The problem is, I find myself strangely drawn to the Kiely range, the design, the materials, the finish, oh my god the finish. The true virtue of a designer is what they do with the hidden and unseen parts of their creations. Check out the inside of an Orla Kiely bag and tell me that you wouldn’t want to move in and set up home in there.

The images don’t do her justice, go find a stockist and touch one of these things. (Careful! I got weird looks in BT in Dublin and was asked politely to extract my head from the bag and leave the store as I was scaring the other shoppers)

So here’s the dilemma, I carry keys, mobile, wallet, pens, newspaper why cant I have a bag that’s this well designed? Why do I have to carry a padded, black nylon or propylene laptop case that looks like a brief case on steroids? Where’s the style, color, imagination, creativity, and sheer elegance of Orla Kiely for Men?

I want my man bag!

Wide is the new skinny?

For the past two years I’ve been wearing skinny jeans – even though they don’t fit every body types. And let’s face it, I’m no Kate Moss, so the skinny jeans weren’t the most flattering pants I could’ve worn.

Every year we see wide-legged pants on fall/winter fashion shows but it’s hard to see someone wearing them on the streets, but this year I bet things will be slightly different. With the menswear-inspired styles taking over the runways, those pants are a must have.

They’re more elegant, of course, but they demand the wearer to slip into heels – which is not so comfortable for those who have to walk around the streets a lot, like me. But they can make you look much more sophisticated and fabulous, so it’s worth the sacrifice.

What do you think? Would you buy it and wear it?

Bikini shopping fever

Summer. Downtown storefronts. 40°. Other than buying “just” a few pairs of sandals I’ve to go shopping for the perfect bikini.

Window shopping is the word and the ritual that belongs to the past. When debit, charge, credit or all the other types of card were not in use. Plastic will get me a bikini today.

bikiniSent from heaven, in all its splendor, on a perfectly shaped plastic doll. That ’s the one I want! Frantic like sensation that tingles inside of me. Like in case of shoes, I’ m willing to spend a small fortune. I enter the store, quickly grab my size, as if some lady is going take that exact pair. The last one, of course.

I must try out these two little patches ’cause it’s THE piece of clothing for this summer! How ridiculous can that be? On that perfect sunny day, on your favorite beach, will your male be interested in what you have on or will he just look at the best bottom he can spot on that beach?

Completely irrelevant in this moment.

So, I find myself sweating, in a hot, stuffy changing room without air conditioning. Suffocating in a parfum stench of at least 200 women that were in there before me. Trying out bikinis. I don’t fit in size 3 or 4! My upper patch should be size 4 and the bottom size 3 (how lucky am I or what?)

“I wish could combine those sizes…”

How many times I wished I could switch sizes of bikinis, pay and run out of the store without anyone noticing? I’m sure some of you girls did that, right? This year’s hit is a tailored bikini – a combination that best suits your needs. Define your style, colors, shapes and sizes.

Here’ s a tip: Calzedonia Mix and Match.

There are other producers on the market too but for that you’d have to explore the downtown area.. ’cause there is no better way to relax then shopping on +40°.

Shoe-aholic

pura-lopez-pumpLast time I counted my shoes they were over 120 pairs…. I’ve bought a few pairs since then so I don’t know how many they are now, I’m afraid to check. Still if I had money I’d probably have at least three times that.

I don’t know what it is, I never feel like I have enough shoes. My hubby rolls his eyes everytime we go out and I say “I don’t have any shoes…”

When I see a pair I like I get butterflies in my stomach, similar to the ones you get when you have a crush on someone. I get that feeling and I just HAVE to buy them. If I don’t, I’ll feel restless for the next days. I have that feeling in my stomach that just doesn’t go away untill I buy that pair…if not that pair, then just any pair…!!!

Have you ever had that feeling? Well then I hate to be the one to break the news but you have a problem. You are a shoe-aholic!

But what a wonderful problem to have…