The Supreme Court rules for free speech — and fashion choice

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the political clothing case. (Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press)

It doesn’t always happen, but the Supreme Court on Thursday followed the advice of the Los Angeles Times editorial board. By a 7-2 vote, the court struck down a Minnesota law that prohibited the wearing of political clothing at polling places.

The case was brought by Andrew Cilek, a Minnesota man who showed up to vote in 2010 and was asked to remove or cover up a tea party shirt, as well as a button that was deemed too political under state law.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that the state’s ban on political messages at polling sites was too broad. The free-floating nature of the term, combined with “haphazard interpretations the state has provided in official guidance and representations to this court,” caused the law to fail the test of “distinguishing what may come in from what must stay out.”

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Travel Clothing for Father’s Day

kora Shola 230 Zip

Merino wool may be all the rage but this handsome base layer is made with yak wool. Yes, it comes from those hairy beasts that I’ve encountered in the back of beyond in Tibet. In fact, the wool that’s used is actually an undercoat of yak wool, not the shaggy top layer. The premise is clearly a good one. If yak wool can withstand the worst of the Himalayas, think what it might do for your warmth on a trek or when you’re skiing. The 100% Pure Himalayan yak wool fabric garment has an ergonomic fit, an extra-long body and a zip collar (with a welcome YKK zipper) that allows you to regulate your temperature with ease. kora claims that yak wool is 40% warmer, 66% more breathable, and 17% better at transporting water vapor than Merino wool. If I was heading south to Portillo for skiing this summer, I’d take it along. As it is, Chile is not in my plans, so a test wearing on a chilly Northeastern spring day had to suffice. Warm it is, itchy it is not, and it passed the odor test with flying colors because it turns out that yak wool is anti-microbial. Yak might suggest heavy and bulky but this piece is incredibly lightweight, a keeper. It retails for $160. kora

Clothing Arts Pick-Pocket-Proof Business Travel Shirt

Clothing Arts Pick-Pocket Proof Business Travel Shirt

When a business trip takes you to places where you might be out of your comfort zone, consider the brand new Pick-Pocket Proof Business Travel Shirt from Clothing Arts. I’m a long-time fan of the brand and these new shirts, with internal collar stays, are just dressy enough to wear to a meeting in Hong Kong, Athens or Calgary. If it’s a business casual meeting in steamy Rio or Rangoon, leave it untucked, it’s cut to look good when worn that way. The anti-pick-pocket feature is a zipper secured pocket discretely tucked behind traditional business breast pocket, large enough for a passport, a couple of credit cards and a few bills. Security aside, I love the soft feel of this shirt, which is made of a cotton/poly twill fabric that was also designed to be hand-washable and will quickly dry on a line when you’re on the road. There are five different patterns and it retails for $75.95. Clothing Arts

Mammut Hiking Shorts

Ditch the baggy cargo shorts you’ve been wearing on the trail for a pair of Mammut Hiking Shorts. These are the real deal from a Swiss company founded in 1862 and known for producing technical hiking, ski and mountaineering wear. The Mammut Hiking Shorts for men are classic Alpine hiking shorts, longer in the leg than American shorts. They’re pretty much instantly comfortable and thanks to the nylon-stretch fabric they’re made with, they offer freedom of movement. They also seem plenty durable and are treated with DWR to be water repellent, the hiking shorts that you see all over the Swiss Alps. I found that they worked out well on a short hike and I’ll take them on the trail in their homeland later this month. I like the minimal slit pockets and the seat pocket – the sole zippered pocket is for maps, says Mammut. Maps? Now there’s tradition for you. They retail for $79. Mammut

SAXX

SAXX makes what is probably the best men’s underwear in the world, thanks in large part to their patented BallPark Pouch design. So when the Dad in your life is strolling down the beach this summer, he probably wouldn’t object to wearing a pair of SAXX’s CannonBall 9” Shorts. The promise is that they will keep you chafe-free against sand, saltwater, and sunscreen. I bravely put them to the test in Antigua this spring and they delivered. They have quick-drain pockets and a breathable mesh liner, as well as welcome lightweight feel. The shell is 100% nylon and the liner is 77% nylon, 14% spandex and 9% polyester. Better yet, they have SAXX’s patented BallPark Pouch, the first one they’ve incorporated into a swimsuit, so that everything stays where it should. It retails for $69.95. SAXX

Four Laps Short Sleeve Level Tee and Extend Short

I recently discovered two great pieces of technical workout gear from Four Laps that look good, feel good and are perfect lightweight pieces for travel. The Short Sleeve Lightweight Tee is ultra lightweight yet still substantial, made with 37.5® technology, which uses active particles to regulate your core temperature. It apparently works with your body’s infrared energy to cool you down or keep you warm. It also removes sweat in the vapor stage and traps odors during rigorous workouts. The reflective hem vents provide cooling while you’re sweating and visibility at dusk or dawn. It retails for $78.

The Extend Short 5” is a classic running short, ultra lightweight, with smart side ventilation to keep you cool whether you’re running in the Rockies, suburban Atlanta or the Italian Lakes. I like the single zipper pocket, which is perfect for my hotel room key. Made of 84% polyester and 16% spandex, it’s a quick dry, four-way stretch fabric, that offers wicking and an anti-microbial brief liner. The reflective tape at the hem for extra visibility is a nice touch. It retails for $68. Four Laps

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What to Do When Your Favorite Clothing Item Gets Discontinued

W. JOHN GLANCY knew something was wrong. One morning this March, he slipped on a Brooks Brothers shirt, just as he’d done for the previous 12 years. But when the 76-year-old retired lawyer slid his reading glasses into the shirt pocket, they didn’t sit right. “It felt like there was something in the pocket, like maybe I had a crumpled-up piece of paper or something,” he said. “But I looked and there was nothing in there.” Mr. Glancy went to his closet, took out one of the over 30 similar Brooks Brothers button-ups he’s amassed over the years and compared the pocket. On his older shirts, the chest pocket was 5 inches, but on the new iterations he’d purchased that month, the pockets were 4.5 inches. His favorite shirt had been corrupted by the very company he’d come to love.

What Mr. Glancy experienced is a common conundrum for any exacting consumer. You find a clothing item you rely on–the perfect pair of pants that never rides up, a button-down shirt in the ideal weight of cotton, shoes that feel comfortable fresh out of the box–then one day, inexplicably and without warning, the brand you trusted changes the design. The pants are now too tapered, the shirt’s fabric too light, the shoes don’t accommodate your toes. And sometimes, your go-to item is not just altered but discontinued.

Charlie Lex, 27, a consultant in Washington, D.C., dealt with that admittedly first-world problem recently when he tried to replace his favorite jeans by Danish outfit Norse Projects. “They were basically everything I wore casually for two and a half years,” said Mr. Lex. But eventually, the crotch sprung holes. He went to buy a fresh pair, but discovered that Norse Projects had discontinued the jeans. When contacted for this article, a spokesperson for the design team explained that the jeans were a “seasonal style from fall winter 2014 and we have since changed our denim program.” Currently, the label has no plans to bring it back.

Mr. Lex scoured Google and eBay for a stray pair, to no avail. I asked if he’d ever considered contacting the company himself, but he said he hadn’t thought it worth it. He was just a solitary, lowly customer who wouldn’t merit a custom pair. So instead, he put a Herculean level of effort into finding a replacement. Mr. Lex measured his Norse Project jeans, noting the thigh width, inseam and hem width, then he ordered five or six pairs from different brands. Once those arrived, he grabbed the measuring tape again to find the pair closest to his beloved, expired jeans. The most suitable substitute? A cut from Japanese label Studio D’Artisan. Though that pair’s “actual denim is probably nicer,” he admitted that “if I had the option I would’ve just bought the old ones.”

Perhaps, though, Mr. Lex should have reached out to Norse Projects when he first realized his jeans were obsolete. The brand is often the best place to start. Yes, it’s unlikely it will make you a custom one-off of a discontinued item, but if enough customers complain, the protests could sway the company, just as fans of TV shows like “Brooklyn 99” and “The Mindy Project” have successfully waged campaigns to save their shows from cancellation. In 2013, after customers griped that J.Crew’s recent clothing designs were too trend-driven, the brand’s then-CEO Mickey Drexler conceded to a writer at Forbes magazine, that the brand “had perhaps strayed too far from the classics.” A year later, when a writer for fashion website the Cut bemoaned online that her favorite J. Crew swimsuit had become extinct, Mr. Drexler agreed to bring back the design.

For his part, Mr. Glancy of the Small Pocket Situation found a suitably capacious alternative in dress shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt, a Brooks Brothers rival. Despite the shirts’ 5-inch pockets, he was not as excited about them. So perturbed was he by Brooks Brothers’ apparent pocket stinginess that he emailed me, hoping I could help. As someone who experienced genuine bewilderment when my favorite ⅞-length track pants (perfect for not-so-tall sorts like me) vanished from Adidas’s website, I could sympathize with Mr. Glancy’s specificity. So much so that I decided to contact Brooks Brothers myself. In an email, Guy Voglino, vice president of global brand merchandising, explained that “the pockets to our woven dress shirts and sport shirts were modified slightly in Fall 2016 to avoid a disproportionate pocket size.” He added that he doesn’t see the brand reverting to the old dimensions: “We haven’t received negative feedback [on] our side.” Until now that is. Perhaps if more men who share Mr. Glancy’s disappointment make it known, those shirts will make a comeback on Brooks Brothers’ racks.

The one guaranteed safeguard against ending up deprived of your prized style possession is hoarding multiples of it, wallet-gutting as this strategy may be. For years, Ryan O’Connell, 31, a TV writer in Los Angeles, has worn the same narrow-cut, cotton-jersey white Acne Studios “Measure” T-shirt. “You put it on,” he said, “and it gives you 10 pounds of muscle. It takes away 10 pounds of fat. It’s a walking false advertisement for your body.” About two years ago though, he went into Acne’s Los Angeles store and learned that the brand was discontinuing this shirt. “I was genuinely shook. I was traumatized,” said Mr. O’Connell, who was so worried about coping without his favorite shirt that he spent $800 on white tees alone that day. The twist is that Acne didn’t actually discontinue the shirts–Mr. O’Connell’s experience does appear to have been a misinformed misadventure, as Acne Studios confirmed that the T-shirt is indeed a carryover style. Even still, with 30 of the white tees in his closet, he will never have to endure that “roller coaster” again.

More in Style & Fashion

Write to Jacob Gallagher at Jacob.Gallagher@wsj.com

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Serena Williams launches fashion collection of her own

Venus, right, and Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrate after scoring a point against Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato during their women’s doubles first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

NEW YORK – Serena Williams has launched a fashion collection soon after participating in her first major tennis tournament in 16 months, dressed in a black “warrior princess” catsuit, no less.

But don’t look for her French Open outfit among the athleisure, office and evening clothes on her new namesake website, the only place her duds are available.

Following collaborations with HSN and Nike, Williams’ “Serena” line includes an “S” motif and comfortable price points.

The letter adorns bralettes and high briefs, along with a T-shirt with the name of her childhood home, Compton.

She says she hopes to inspire women to own their own “s” words, like strong, sexy, sophisticated, sassy, smart, silly and spontaneous.

Prices range from $40 for the logo T-shirt to $215 for a gold and black anorak jacket.

U.S. Cardiologist Warns: "I Urge Americans To Quit 3 Foods"

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Fashion designer, boyfriend convicted of murdering 21-year-old nanny

A judge has convicted a London fashion designer and her boyfriend of killing their nanny and burning her body. Time

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What’s the oldest piece of clothing that you own — and that you still wear?

A plain black raincoat hangs in columnist John Kelly’s house. Purchased around 1983, it’s still in his rotation. (John Kelly /The Washington Post)

On one of last week’s moister days, I pulled my raincoat from the hall closet and was struck by a realization: It’s probably the oldest piece of clothing I own that I still use.

I bought it around 1983 at a Burlington Coat Factory in College Park, Md., when I was a college student. Back then, I got most of my clothes at thrift shops, but I remember feeling that I needed something that wasn’t weird or stained or threadbare.

It is the most nondescript thing you’ve ever seen. It is not a fashionable trench coat — no belt — but a black, shapeless shift with a shirt-style collar, five buttons and a zip-out lining in fuzzy gray acrylic. It was made — in the USA — by Botany 500.

The coat looks like something Willy Loman would wear and, to be honest, whenever I put it on, I feel my salaryman shoulders slump a little.

Still, it keeps me dry. And I’ve had it for so long!

It’s not the oldest garment I own. I have a circa 1977 school blazer from when I lived in England: lurid-green polyester, with a crest on the breast pocket. It’s way too small for me now, a memento.

And I have a baseball cap from my 1970 T-ball team, the Dustriders. It’s in a box in the attic, squashed and moth-eaten.

I don’t wear either of those. But when it rains and I’m dressed for work, I reach for the Botany 500.

It made me wonder: How old are the world’s oldest clothes?

I consulted Lee Talbot, curator at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum.

“As you know, textiles are made from organic fiber,” he said. “They start to deteriorate from the moment they’re made.”

They survive only in places where the climate is accommodating. Those are places like Peru, where the dry mountain air helps preserve fabric. The Textile Museum has fabrics from 900 B.C., but recognizable clothing — tunics, loin cloths and headbands — dates from 350 B.C.

Among the oldest fabrics found are from western China — dating to 3000 B.C. — and in Egyptian tombs, where mummies were wrapped in fabric 3,000 years ago.

Of course, if a piece of fabric is in a tomb, it’s not something that anyone is wearing — not anyone who’s alive, anyway.

“Textiles that survive aboveground tend to be ones that are really special in some way,” Lee said. “Until the Industrial Revolution, textiles were expensive, so everyone would wear them until they would wear out. Then they would repurpose them into other objects.”

That could be repurposed into another article of clothing (until that wore out), or it might be as a rag or for use in paper.

Then there are what you might call ceremonial garments — “ones you find in church reliquaries and things like that,” Lee said.

I bet Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Francis have access to pretty old clothes, passed down through generations of people who held their titles and thus wore that very same ermine cape or embroidered vestment.

And, come to think of it, I do wear one of my late father-in-law’s hats, a brown Dobbs fedora from Embassy Men’s Wear in what was then known as Wheaton Plaza. It’s probably 50 years old.

Having ascertained that the Textile Museum has 2,300-year-old Peruvian duds in its collection, I asked Lee what’s the oldest piece of clothing in his own closet.

“I have an overcoat that I got in high school,” he said without hesitation.

He was an exchange student in Australia in the early 1980s. “My host family had a sheepskin coat tailored for me,” he said. “That was my Christmas gift. And because it has sentimental value and because it’s a nice garment — a sheepskin coat, tailor-made — I’ve kept it.”

As you would expect of something owned by a curator, the shearling coat is still in pristine shape, kept clean so bugs don’t feast on it, protected from extremes of temperature. And it still fits Lee.

What’s the oldest piece of clothing that you own — and wear? I don’t want to hear about your christening gown, unless you slip into it from time to time. Tell me what it is, why you’ve kept it all these years and why you still wear it.

Send your thoughts to me at john.kelly@washpost.com with “Old Clothes” in the subject line.

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Kickback Jack’s restaurant in Durham draws social media ire over clothing restrictions

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Kickback Jack restaurant in Durham draws social media ire over clothing restrictions

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By Sarah Krueger, WRAL reporter

Durham, N.C. — A sign at a newly opened Durham restaurant that spells out what customers can wear if they want to patronize the sports bar has gone viral on social media because of suggestions that the wardrobe restrictions may be racist.

The sign at Kickback Jack’s greets customers after they walk through the restaurant’s double doors. The sign says customers can not wear low-hanging pants, plain white T-shirts or high heel stiletto shoes.

Some customers are taking issue with the restrictions.

"I think it’s bogus and ridiculous," said Zena Graham, who added that she saw the posts on social media criticizing the signage, which she said was discriminatory. "A lot of minorities wear that type of fashion, so I just feel like it’s kind of discriminating."

But other customers said the dress code seems appropriate for a restaurant that often attracts families with young kids.

"Some people seem like they’ve gotten out of hand as far as the way they wear their pants and expose certain parts of skin," said John Baucom.

In addition to clothing restrictions, the sign prohibits balloons and large parties.

"I’d think they would welcome the large parties there (from) a business perspective," Baucom said.

For a place that boasts "great food" and "great fun," some patrons said the restaurant lives up to the first part but not the second.

"How are you supposed to have fun if you’re put in a little box like this," one customer asked.

The manager at the Durham location, who asked to not be publicly identified, said the sign has been posted since the restaurant opened, which was a couple months ago. He said the sign is posted at all locations of Kickback Jack’s, and not just the one in Durham.

According to the establishment’s website, there are 11 Kickback Jack’s operating in North Carolina and three in Virginia.

WRAL News reached out to the corporate office for comment, but haven’t heard back.

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Rebecca Taylor makes Fashion Island boutique her flagship store in California

Women’s clothing designer Rebecca Taylor attends an event April 18 at her boutique at Fashion Island. The store is Taylor’s flagship location in California. (Photo by Brian Feinzimer)

With $600 in her wallet, New Zealand native Rebecca Taylor moved to New York with dreams of starting a fashion line. She cut and sewed at a Brooklyn kitchen table that she built herself.

Two decades later, the designer operates seven boutiques in five states and also sells her collection of floral prints, Victorian-inspired silk tops and flutter-sleeve blouses in retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman.

Taylor, 48, recently made her Newport Beach address in Fashion Island, which opened in 2011, the flagship store in California.

Rebecca Taylor has made her Fashion Island location in Newport Beach her flagship store in California. (Photo by Brian Feinzimer)

Taylor stopped by the boutique last month for a meet-and-greet shopping event, where proceeds from sales raised funds for National Charity League, a nonprofit comprised of mother and daughter members committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

Her latest is a new label, La Vie, a collection of reimagined casual wear with nods to New York and Parisian chic fashions. The clothing includes off-the-shoulder print dresses, jeans inspired by a swatch of hand-painted, vintage French wallpaper, and embroidered tank tops.

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Clothing ministry: The Father’s Closet a blessing to both congregation, community

Central Community Church of God in Jackson, Mississippi, has an addiction ministry to help those in recovery, says The Rev. Calvin D. Waddy, Jr. Billy Watkins/Clarion Ledger

COLUMBUS — It started with an idea Beth Jeffers shared with her Sunday School class — an idea to start a community clothing closet. Children’s clothes, women’s dresses, slacks, blouses, men’s suits, all free to those who need them.

The Father’s Closet is up and running at First United Methodist Church in Columbus less than two years after the concept first took root.

"It was prayer-driven, something we could do to help people," said Jeffers. "We all have so many clothes, and we knew there had to be people out there that need clothes."

Her Sunday School class seemed the right place to begin. Its name is Hands and Feet.

"That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Be the hands and feet (of Christ)," said fellow class member Amy Ellis. "We want to be a ‘doing’ class, not a ‘talking’ class."

Last month, the heavy rumble of a wide metal door rolling up signaled the arrival of volunteers at the Closet site. It was once garage space, behind the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic at College Street and Sixth Street South.

When the Sunday School group first approached the church about space for the project, the empty garage was suggested. It needed some work, but thanks to donations, air handling equipment and necessary racks and shelving were installed. A call went out to the congregation for gently used clothing. It was abundantly answered.

On designated workdays, clothing is sorted and hung, ready for referrals the Closet receives from area agencies. Some are for individuals, some for parents and children. Others are for families devastated by events such as house fires.

In this April 18, 2018 photograph, Beth Jeffers, foreground, and Amy Ellis make sure clothing is tidily displayed at The Father’s Closet, a clothing ministry underway at First United Methodist Church in downtown Columbus, Miss. Jeffers and Ellis are members of the Hands and Feet Sunday School Class, which brought the idea to the larger congregation. All clothing is free.

(Photo: Luisa Porter/The Commercial Dispatch via AP)

"We’re working with United Way agencies and other organizations like St. Vincent de Paul," Jeffers said. The goal is to spread the message about The Father’s Closet throughout the community network. It ties into a vision called "Be the Church."

"’Be the Church’ was an initiative from the congregation," said First United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Jimmy Criddle. "It originally began as ‘Don’t just go to church, but be the church.’" The thrust is outreach. Members go into the community for service projects, sometimes partnered with other organizations.

"We feel mandated by Christ to serve those in need, and there are a number of ways we do that," Criddle said. Local First United Methodist Church mission partners include agencies like Helping Hands, Loaves and Fishes and Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. Now The Father’s Closet joins the outreach.

Organizers of The Father’s Closet paid attention to detail as its mission was developed.

"We wanted to go about it the right way," Jeffers said. To help ensure that, they consulted with Columbus Community Outreach and its director, Glenda Buckhalter, who in 2015 began an initiative called On Common Ground. It brings nonprofit agency directors in Columbus together to stay apprised on what each brings to the table when it comes to meeting community needs.

"We can talk about what’s working and not working and help avoid duplicating services," Buckhalter said. Nonprofits are better informed about what each of them does, better able to make useful referrals as they serve clients.

United Way Executive Director Danny Avery said "it provides us a forum for comparison and keeps communications open between the agencies.

"If we’re all doing what we do best, not duplicating but referring, it maximizes donated dollars. We don’t want to be competing services, we want to be complementing."

Buckhalter is pleased to have The Father’s Closet in the On Common Ground circle.

"Clothing is definitely a factor (in helping people)," she said. She shared an account of a single mother who was "put out and all of her belongings, including the children’s, just kind of thrown away." The Closet was able to fulfill their immediate clothing needs at zero cost.

"For the clients we serve, sometimes even $5 is a lot," Buckhalter remarked. "They don’t have anything in many cases."

Sensitive to client dignity, Buckhalter praised what volunteers have done to date with the Closet.

"It’s so neatly done, and they inspect all the clothes; some of them are even new," she noted. "Clients can go there and feel like they’ve gone shopping."

For now, clothing needs for The Father’s Closet are being met by the First United Methodist Church congregation. Anyone in need of clothing, including clothes suitable for interviews, is encouraged to contact a United Way agency, such as Helping Hands or Salvation Army, for a referral to The Father’s Closet.

Volunteers look forward to becoming an increasingly beneficial resource in meeting community needs.

"It is in the DNA of who we are as people of faith, and particularly this congregation and where it is, in the heart of our community, to try to show we have a heart for this community." Criddle said. "One way we express that love and compassion is through our outreach ministries."

Also of interest: Prison ministry remains a passion for 80-year-old Mississippi woman

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Style Notes: Fashion Industry Blacklist Pulled Down; Lisa Bonet Sensed ‘Sinister Energy” From Bill Cosby

JB Lacroix/ WireImage
In case you missed it.

Lisa Bonet Sensed ‘Sinister Energy’ From Bill Cosby [Net-a-Porter]

Actress Lisa Bonet has broken her silence about her former TV dad Bill Cosby who she starred with on The Cosby Show and spin-off A Different World. In an interview with Net-a-Porter’s Porter magazine, Bonet says that she wasn’t aware of any inappropriate behavior by Cosby but that she sensed a bad vibe that she describes as “sinister shadow energy.” She says: “I don’t need to say ‘I told you so.’ I just leave all that to karma and justice and what will be.” The 50-year-old also discusses her relationship with Lenny Kravtiz and her husband Jason Momoa, the difficulties of growing up as a mixed-race kid, and the fact that there “aren’t endless opportunities for women of color” in Hollywood. Cosby, meanwhile, is facing an April 2 retrial on sexual assault charges in a Pennsylvania court. More than 50 women have accused him of rape, sexual assault, battery and misconduct dating from 1965 onward.

Planned Parenthood Pins On ‘Top Chef’ Finale [Pret-a-Reporter Inbox]

All four judges on last night’s Bravo’s Top Chef finale –Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Graham Elliot and Gail Simmons–wore the same accessory: Planned Parenthood pins. While some on Twitter went after the show for getting political, Lakshmi (who has previously spoken out about her concern about the defunding of the organization under the Trump administration) shot back at one critic, saying "No @petewitte we can’t relax. We need food for survival, we also need privacy to deal with our bodies as we see fit."

— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) March 9, 2018

Fashion Industry Blacklist Taken Down By Creator After Threats [The Cut]

Fashion’s version of the “Shitty Media Men” blacklist has been pulled down just a week after it was posted. The anonymously-run @ShitModelMgmt Instagram account published the list that names photographers, stylists and agents alleged to have “acted sexually inappropriately” toward models and other fashion industry peeps. The decision to take down the list was made after the list’s publisher received threats of legal action and against her safety, some saying that they were working to reveal her identity.

Mark Hamill Wore Rag & Bone At Walk Of Fame Ceremony [Pret-a-Reporter In Box]

Legendary Star Wars actor Mark Hamill stepped out to receive his Hollywood Walk Of Fame star yesterday donning head-to-toe Rag & Bone—all the pieces are in store now so you can get the look, too. Hamill wore Rag & Bone’s $595 navy herringbone wool Patrick blazer paired with an $80 Classic T-shirt, $250 jeans and $495 suede Spencer chuka boots. Hamill starred alongside seven other men, including Harvey Keitel and Mikhail Baryshnikov, in the brand’s 2016 Men’s Project campaign.

L.A.-Based Tux Rental Service Raises $30 million In Funding [Business Insider]

The Black Tux, a Los Angeles-based formalwear rental service that launched in 2012, has raised $30 million in a new round of funding –doubling the total raised in this series to $60 million. The company (that offers suits and tuxedos rentals starting from $95) distinguishes its garments by using high-quality fabrics sourced from Italian mills and currently has showrooms in 10 states, some within Nordstrom stores. The Black Tux plans to use funding to open an east coast warehouse double the size of the current one in L.A. and to roll out additional locations.

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Michelle Wie nabs first title since 2014 and relives winning putt in dramatic fashion

Michelle Wie won her first title since 2014 on Sunday with a victory at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

Entering the final round 5 strokes off the lead, the 28-year old drained a 35-foot putt on the final hole to clinch the win, and, needless to say, it was a pretty dramatic moment. Thankfully, she documented the moment on Instagram with second-by-second photos. Please make sure to click through to get the maximum effect.

Understandably, Wie was very happy about the win and even happier to be reunited with a championship trophy, as you’ll see with her perfect caption below.

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter @darcymaine_espn.

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At Dior, More Fashion For The Modern Female Protestor

Artwork by Anna Jay.

At Dior’s fall 2018 show, artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri thew it back 50 years, to France in May 1968, when civil unrest filled the streets and paved way for a nouveau feminist movement. As strikes and protests took place across Paris and beyond, fashion — and the silhouettes that defined the revolutionary period for women — found new traction, too. For her latest collection, Grazia Chiuri commemorated the movement and set forth a new palette of which to draw inspiration from for those who use clothing as protest.

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

The Italian designer strove to recreate an era when fashion’s rules were under construction, which makes her latest showing for Dior all the more relevant. Ruth Bell opened the show in a black balaclava (the third accessory of its kind to hit Fashion Month this season) with a top emblazoned with the words "C’est non, non, non et non." There was patchwork, ponchos, tinted sunglasses, and check tailoring. But there was just as much flower power, too, in the form of delicate, psychedelic florals.

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Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

Noticeably absent from the collection was the country’s national motto that, too, defined the era: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. But the overt references didn’t stop there. The show notes began with a quote from legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland: “The sixties were about personalities. It was the first time when mannequins became personalities. It was a time of great goals, an inventive time… and these girls invented themselves.” Vreeland is credited with inventing the term ‘youthquake’ in 1965, and it’d go on to be crowned the word of the year in 2017. It’s a term that feels especially pertinent to the today, as it defined the uprising of young people in London in the ’60s.

Steadfastly pushing her feminist message, which she has promoted since her Dior debut, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s referential collection provided a modern wardrobe for today’s fashion-conscious female protestor. Considering the "We Should All Be Feminists" T-shirt from spring 2017 cost a hefty $700, this luxury brand of feminism may no longer be minimal, but it’s still going to cost you. We’ll stick to the pins for now.

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These are the biggest sibling rivalries in the clothing business

H&M’s sister brand, Cos, is known for its high-quality, functional clothing.
Some of the world’s largest and most popular clothing brands are being superseded by their sister labels.Many of these smaller sister stores are able to respond to changing trends more quickly.Gap, Abercrombie, H&M, and American Eagle all have popular sister stores.

Sibling rivalries are the clothing business’ latest trend.

Increasingly, some of the most popular apparel stores are finding themselves outpaced by the very brands they created.

This week, Racked reported that J.Crew would be bringing its successful sister brand Madewell to some of its stores. Madewell is known for its denim but prides itself on its effortless and timeless clothing that doesn’t chase after fast-fashion trends. While J.Crew has struggled in recent years, Madewell has become one of the company’s sweet spots.

J.Crew isn’t alone. H&M, American Eagle, Abercrombie, and Gap have all increasingly found themselves being outshined by their sister labels, which are helping to boost sales at the parent company overall.

Take a look at some of these stores and their wildly popular sister brands:

Facebook/J.Crew and Madewell
Facebook/Gap and Old Navy
Facebook/American Eagle and Aerie
Facebook/H&M and COS
Facebook/Abercrombie and Hollister

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Chanel, Farfetch pair up for digital push at fashion label’s stores

By Sarah White and Pascale Denis

PARIS (Reuters) – French couture house Chanel has taken a minority stake in London-based online retailer Farfetch, the companies said on Monday, as part of a tie-up to develop digital services such as chats to connect the label’s clients with store assistants.

Luxury goods companies worldwide are trying to expand their digital services to court younger or more tech-savvy clients.

Privately-owned Chanel, famed for its tweed suits and quilted leather handbags, has been an outlier in the industry push to move more shopping online by deciding not to roll out web sales of its clothing and leather goods.

Under the new deal, the label will not sell its wares through Farfetch but would work with the platform in coming years on digital innovations linked to customer services, said Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s fashion president.

These could include smartphone applications allowing people to flag their preferences and sizes online before entering a store, meaning assistants can cater to their needs, or help them locate an item spotted in a magazine for instance, he said.

"This is about how to enrich our relationship with our customers," Pavlovsky told Reuters, adding that Chanel was not trying to take a "Big Brother" approach of tracking clients but giving those who wished it more tailor-made assistance.

He did not give any financial details about the tie-up.

Farfetch has long been tipped for a stock market listing, and investment banks were recently pitching to work on a U.S. flotation later this year, sources said in January.

Farfetch’s other investors include Chinese online retailer JD.com , French investment company Eurazeo and Singapore state investor Temasek.

The online retailer’s shopping platform connects buyers to luxury fashion items from more 700 boutiques worldwide. The firm has also invested in developing digital functions for stores, which can be adapted to suit its partners.

Britain’s Burberry said on Thursday it would team up with Farfetch.

"The challenge for our luxury industry is that our clients are used to ultra-personalized experiences," Farfetch’s Portuguese founder and Chief Executive Jose Neves said. "When you walk into a store, people don’t know you."

Chanel already offers select clients some digital support but wants to make this more widely available, Pavlovsky said, adding the firm would start testing new services this year.

The brand has close to 200 stores. It sells cosmetics, eyeglasses and perfumes online, but says releasing other items on the web would make them less exclusive.

Rivals such as LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, Kering ‘s Gucci or Hermes have taken a different tack, chasing sales growth by selling more online.

(Editing by Edmund Blair)

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Yes, It Was a Quieter Fashion Week. But the Party Must Go On.

Philipp Plein’s rave on Saturday night, in a gargantuan Brooklyn Navy Yard hangar, was a Winter Olympics-meets-“Barbarella” extravaganza. There were rappers, drifts of artificial snow and a smoke-belching U.F.O. that descended from the ceiling.

“I’ve partied here before,” said Joakim Noah, the New York Knicks center, who stripped to an undershirt in a V.I.P. area. “But I’ve never seen it like this.”

Spectacle, arriviste or not, was a rarity this New York Fashion Week. Party heavyweights like Alexander Wang, Rihanna, Public School and Purple magazine were absent from the social calendar. Others found smaller confines: Opening Ceremony hosted a Barragán party at the Standard High Line, Garage magazine parked in the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, and Last magazine hermit-crabbed into a Brooklyn beer hall with Burberry.

New York Fashion Week is both a corporate-fueled vehicle and a fractured vessel in a shifting industry. Brands are moving off-calendar, debuting lines on Instagram and decamping to European cities. Is the late-night scene slipping through the cracks?

“You can’t have these giant parties and go back to something small,” said Paul Sevigny, the D.J. and impresario behind Paul’s Cocktail Lounge in TriBeCa, which will host an intimate event for Calvin Klein. “Fashion week used to be for people who were involved in fashion, not your Googles.”

Mr. Wang’s show was also on Saturday. Instead of unfurling a #Wangfest with Kardashians, Cardi B and Dunkin’ Donut towers, as he did in September, he and his retinue ended up at the Brooklyn Bazaar in Greenpoint for a dance party hosted by the Lot Radio, an internet station that operates from a shipping container.

There, Brian Procell, who runs a vintage boutique specializing in 1990s paraphernalia, suggested designers were rebelling against the fashion week grind. “It makes more sense not to follow these schedules,” he said. “Azzedine Alaïa was the first outlier for how people act now. Kanye is just going to do his thing when he’s ready.”

Some parties were bolstered by ties to pop culture. On Monday, film and fashion gathered for a charity collection inspired by “Black Panther” at Industria in the West Village. Lupita Nyong’o, who stars in the movie, walked the red carpet; Heron Preston D.J.ed; and fashion designers unveiled their looks.

Ruth Gruca, the global fashion director of Made, said it felt like a slow week, party-wise. “February fashion week is a little irrelevant,” she said, as she was leaving to check out the Barragán event nearby. “New York is kind of in fluctuation. A lot of brands are showing in Paris because that’s where the commerce happens.”

Later, at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen, VFiles and Adidas Originals went experimental, marrying a live photo shoot with a party. As tunes from Lil Uzi Vert and Crime Mob blared, models sat for makeup on the stage and posed in front of white backdrops and lighting umbrellas.

Nats Getty, a designer, activist and artist, praised the spontaneity of VFiles’ multidimensional format. “I love it,” she said. “It’s in the moment. That’s how everything should be. It’s genius.”

The week’s most distinctly homegrown event took place on Friday, when the designer Telfar Clemens threw an after-party at Century 21, the discount department store in the financial district. Fashionable guests including Kelela, Maluca and Raul Zepol filled up several floors of the cleared-out store as drum-and-bass clattered.

“l have a lot of roots here,” Mr. Clemens said. “I went to Pace University. I would come here in between classes to find everything designer that I couldn’t afford.”

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23 Top Tips for Radical Savings on Clothing

Americans spend more than $1,800 a year — that’s about $150 a month — on clothing and accessories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If clothing costs are gouging your budget, you can probably do a lot better. Check out these 23 ways to pare down this expense.

1. Sell what you don’t wear

If you don’t wear it, drop it off at a consignment shop. When the shop sells your clothing, it will cut you a check for a portion of the profits. You won’t get the full amount, but you won’t have to do much work either. Consider going through your closet once a year. If you haven’t worn that sweater in 365 days, you don’t need it. Consignment is especially good for higher-end items like leather jackets and very lightly used party dresses. Make sure you bring the items to the shop clean and pressed to give them maximum appeal. If you don’t have local consignment shops, consider online stores that do the same thing, such as ThredUP, Poshmark, and The RealReal.

2. Shop thrift stores

Thrift stores sell gently used clothing at a deep discount. Many stores also have regular sales or a weekly special. A thrift store in my area has a “50 percent off anything with a yellow tag” sale every Wednesday. Just make sure you’re shopping at a true thrift store and not a vintage clothing store. The difference: Vintage clothing stores sell trendier older pieces at a markup. Thrift stores sell older and newer clothes at a discount.

3. Find coupons online

Avoid paying full retail for anything. (Check out our deals page before you shop online or in-store.) If you are on the go, use your smartphone to find clothing coupons before you check out. There are several great coupon and cash-back apps for both Android phones and iPhones. They include:

4. Check the tag before you buy

Read the label before you buy. If you buy a dry-clean-only silk skirt, you’ll keep paying for it every time you pull up to the cleaners. Stick to machine-washables and save.

5. Take care of your clothes

Remember that “machine washable” doesn’t equal “indestructible.” Wash your clothes on the gentle cycle in cool water and line-dry them — they’ll last the longest this way. For delicate items or clothes that might shrink, hand wash. Take care of your clothes, and you’ll get years of wear out of them.

6. Buy out of season

Retailers put out-of-season clothing on clearance to get rid of the stock from their stores. You can save a ton buying clothing when you don’t need it — like a winter coat in May or a swimsuit in December.

7. Shop online clearance sales

Don’t forget online retailers — and retailers’ websites — when you’re shopping for clothes. They also offer deep discounts — and a larger selection than most stores — on clearance items.

8. Repurpose old clothes

If you’re handy with a needle and thread — or even a pair of scissors — turn something you’re no longer wearing into something else. I cut the legs off my old jeans and turn them into shorts. My friends repurpose old shirts into tank tops and skirts.

9. Don’t buy just because it’s on sale

Don’t buy clothes you won’t wear — even if they’re on sale. Thirty-percent off isn’t a good deal if you don’t wear it.

10. Buy basics from generic brands

Your basics don’t need a designer label. Buy T-shirts, tank tops and lounge wear from cheaper stores. I buy all my layering tank tops at Old Navy. The sweatpants I wear for errands came from Target. Simple cuts and solid colors don’t require a high-end designer.

11. Skip expensive workout clothing

The same goes for workout clothes. You’ll get the same workout whether you’re wearing a fancy yoga outfit or an old T-shirt and sweatpants. Check cheaper retailers for more affordable workout gear.

12. Proceed with caution at outlet malls

Outlet malls have deals, but they also have scams. Read the fine print, and you’ll see that is the discount on the suggested price, not the actual retail price. It’s more marketing gimmick than deal.

Check the labels on outlet store clothes. Avoid anything that says “factory line” and do the math on alleged deals before you buy.

Also read: “10 Tips to Get the Best Deals from Outlet Shopping.”

13. Swap with friends

At the start of every season, my friends and I go through our closets and trade whatever we won’t be wearing. Last winter, I ended up with enough sweaters to last the entire season. Set up a trading day with your friends or family members. Then, take anything you have left to a consignment shop. You’ll end up with new clothes and some extra cash.

14. Stick to simple garments

Trendy clothes cost more and have a shorter shelf life. You could spend hundreds trying to keep up with the fashion magazines, only to realize you no longer adore that peasant skirt six months later. Stick to classic styles and basic pieces that always work.

15. Shop discount stores

I save a lot of money by shopping at T.J.Maxx, Ross and Marshalls. Discount stores sell overstock and slightly imperfect pieces from other retailers for a fraction of their cost. Just check the clothes carefully before you buy them. I’ve lost money on spaghetti straps that ripped or buttons that popped off, but it’s rare.

16. Hem your own clothes

Tailor-shop pricing varies by area. Where I live, it costs $10 to $12 to have one pair of jeans professionally hemmed. If I had all 14 pairs of my jeans professionally hemmed, I’d pay $168 on top of the cost of the clothes. Hem the clothes yourself, and stop paying the professionals.

If you can’t sew, offer to swap jobs with a friend who can. I’m horrible with a needle and thread, but I can baby-sit. So, I watch my friend’s kids for a night, and she hems my new clothes the next day.

17. Borrow what you only need to wear once

If you only need to wear something once, borrow it from a friend or family member. You’ll save 100 percent and won’t have a useless dress or suit filling up space in your closet.

18. Don’t rent what you’ll wear more than once

If you can’t borrow it, buy it. Buy a tuxedo if you plan on wearing it more than twice in your lifetime. Buy from a discount store or resale site like Craigslist, and you could spend much less and own the tux outright.

19. Buy uniforms at discount stores

Work and school uniforms get expensive, but you can buy them at discount stores for a fraction of their cost. In my area, we have stores that sell school uniforms, scrubs and overalls at deep discounts compared with the cost of buying them through your employer or school.

20. Don’t skimp on swimsuits

When it comes to swimsuit shopping, it doesn’t pay to buy cheap knock-offs. A well-designed swimsuit will cost more upfront, but it can last years. Three years ago I dropped $85 on a higher-end swimsuit. I wash it by hand and line-dry it after each use, and it still looks brand new.

21. Shop the men’s and kids’ sections

Women’s clothing is often priced higher than men’s and kids’ clothing. If you’re a woman looking for something universal — like a T-shirt or hoodie — check the racks in the men’s and kids’ sections first.

22. Treat clothes shopping like grocery shopping

I won’t go to the grocery store without making a list first, but I’ll blindly charge into the mall, credit card in hand. That is the wrong way to go about it. The next time you shop for clothes, make a list of what you need and stick to it.

23. Buy clothes that fit now

Only buy something if you can wear it today. Buying something a few sizes too small because you think you’ll lose weight later is a gamble. Even if you do, you may realize you don’t like the way that shirt looks on you. Either way, you’ve wasted money.

Our goal was to create a complete list of ways to save on clothing, but we may have missed one. Do you have any more tips? Share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Christina Majeski contributed to this post.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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21 Chic Party Dresses That Every Fashion Girl Needs in 2018

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The next time an event or party pops up, don’t dig through your closet for an old dress that you’ve over-worn: treat yourself to something new this year. It’s time to invest in a versatile piece that you’ll actually enjoy wearing, and that you can style for a variety of functions. To make shopping easier, we rounded up a list of our top choices out there right now. From sexy silk picks to florals and layers, we’ve got you covered. Shop our favorites.

Urban Outfitters Eden Bodycon Sweater Dress
Topshop Fern Print Dress
Keepsake Catch Me Lace Mini Dress

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The Surprisingly Sexy Top Every Fashion Girl Is Wearing Right Now

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Remember when cold-shoulder tops were HUGE? Well, they’re currently resurfacing in an even more chic and unexpected way. Behold: the asymmetrical cold-shoulder top. Featuring skewed hemlines and a single shoulder opening, these avant-garde pieces are the epitome of lust-worthy street style. In fact, many versions are already selling out fast. Ahead, check out our favorite picks to nab while they’re still in stock!

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Tom Ford to show men’s at New York Fashion Week

The mystery designer has been identified. Tom Ford will take the final spot on the men’s portion of the New York Fashion Week calendar next month with a runway show on Feb. 6. The show will be held at 8 p.m. at the Park Avenue Armory, immediately following Joseph Abboud at 7 p.m.

Although Ford has shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His most recent New York show was in September of 2017 when he kicked off New York Fashion Week with a women’s show at the Armory. His spring 2018 men’s line was shown in Milan.

Last month, the Council of Fashion Designers of America said that it had pushed back the dates of New York Fashion Week: Men’s slightly to Feb. 5 through Feb. 7, immediately preceding the women’s shows that start on Feb. 8 — and creating one big 10-day dual-gender event. At the time, Mark Beckham, vice president of marketing for CFDA, hinted that another "big-name designer" was about to jump onto the men’s calendar, but it took until Monday for Ford to be identified as that designer.

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Women Say They’re Stuck With $20,000 Of Worthless Clothing In A Lularoe “Pyramid Scheme”

Two new class-action lawsuits against leggings retailer Lularoe say the company is running a pyramid scheme, convincing women to max out multiple credit cards, buy tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise, and even sell their breast milk to keep buying clothes the company knows they will never be able to sell.

One suit was filed Oct. 13, the other on Oct. 23, both in US District Court for the Central District of California.

The lawsuit filed Monday claims Lularoe’s main source of income is not sales to customers, but the thousands of purchases by their sellers to build their "inventory."

"Consultants are instructed to keep around $20,000 worth of inventory on hand, and are inundated with the phrase ‘buy more, sell more,’" the Oct. 23 lawsuit said. "These incentives mean new consultants are aggressively pressured to continue purchasing wholesale inventory even when the inventory they have is not selling, is unlikely to sell, or is piling up in their garage."

When the consultants did actually make money from sales, they were encouraged by those managing them — called their "upline" — to use that money to keep buying more Lularoe merchandise.

Lularoe also offered bonuses, like designer purses and free cruises, to consultants who bought the most inventory, no matter how much they actually sold to customers, the Oct. 23 lawsuit states.

"Consultants were told that they should have at least 10 items in every size in all styles. This was purportedly the ‘magic number’ of inventory," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs in each lawsuit describe a company that lures in women, especially mothers, with promises of being able to make money while staying home with their children. When their new "business" eventually fails, the plaintiffs claim the company then refuses to refund them for the thousands of dollars of merchandise they have been unable to unload.

The plaintiffs claim it is very hard for sellers to unload their inventory because the market of Lularoe sellers is so large and oversaturated.

"The vast majority of consultants sitting at the bottom of defendants’ pyramid were and remain destined for failure and unable to turn any profit," the lawsuit filed Oct. 23 states. "Some resulted in financial ruin due to the pressure to max out credit cards and to take loans to purchase inventory."

When some women expressed concern about the large amounts of money they needed to invest, the plaintiffs said they were encouraged to take out multiple lines of credit or loans. In one video obtained by blog MommyGyver, Lularoe "mentor" Kim Roylance even encouraged women to sell their breast milk.
mommygyver.com
When women try to get out of the business, the plaintiffs alleged in the lawsuit filed Oct. 13, they said they faced challenges.

Lularoe’s initial policy allowed its sellers to return merchandise for 90% of its value, not including shipping fees. However, in April 2017, a new policy said they would take back any unsold inventory from sellers who wished to get out, and would refund them 100%, plus shipping costs.

But in September they changed the policy back to only refund 90% — with no warning, according to the plaintiffs.

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Oct. 13 state that when they tried to send back their merchandise for that partial refund, they never got anything back at all.

They allege Lularoe decided the items they are returning are not-returnable, and since the people have quit the company, they are told they are not legally allowed to sell it anymore either.

One of the plaintiffs, Stella Lemberg, claims she was lured into buying more and more Lularoe with the promise she could get all her money back if it didn’t sell.

"On September 18, 2017, LuLaRoe e-mailed Ms. Lemberg and advised her that she would not be receiving a 100% refund, at best she would get 90%, and LuLaRoe would not pay for shipping," the lawsuit states. "In addition, LuLaRoe now would only accept returns of certain clothing, purchased at certain times, and from LuLaRoe in a certain manner."

When Lemberg tried to contact Lularoe to get the information she needed to return her items for a partial refund, she says she was left on hold for hours and ignored.

"Ms. Lemberg currently has approximately $20,000 worth of inventory, over 1,000 items of LuLaRoe clothing, in her possession, which have now been subject to LuLaRoe’s ‘policy change,’ depriving Ms. Lemberg of the ability to return any of her inventory and her right to a 100% refund for that inventory along with shipping costs," the lawsuit said.

Lularoe didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the lawsuits, but in a statement about the change in return policy, the company said the 100% refunds were temporary.

"We decided to end the [100% refund] when it became evident that a good number of retailers were abusing the program by returning product in extremely poor condition and providing inaccurate claims, as well as a retailers using it as temporary solution to struggles in their business," they said. "So our longstanding Returns on Cancellation of the Agreement policy, which we believe is generous, remains unchanged."

The lawsuits said many of the women were attracted to the opportunity to create their own business, and the fact that the company claims to pride itself on helping women succeed.

One former Lularoe seller who is not involved in either of the lawsuits, Jade GIll, told BuzzFeed News that her experience took a toll on her psyche, as her high hopes for making her own success were crushed.

"The Lularoe culture also caused me to have to go on anxiety and depression medication because it was constantly pounded into our heads: ‘If you can’t make this business work, it’s your fault. You’re not putting enough work into it,’" she said.

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Shop Clothing Online For A Larger Selection And A Much Easier Time

Are you getting ready to buy some new clothes? If so, I am envious of you. In all seriousness, I need to go clothes shopping so bad. One day soon, I will be free to do that, but right now, it is your turn. It’s not always easy to pick out the best clothes, is it? While that is the case, it sure is going to be fun.

Clothes shopping can certainly be as tiring as it is fun. However, I want to mention something that might just help you. If you are comfortable with your style and know what you want, why not shop for clothes online? Shopping online takes a lot of work out of the equation, but you do have to make certain sacrifices. There are no online dressing rooms, which means you have to be confident that the clothes you buy are going to be a good fit and look nice on you.

You could always buy some of your clothes online, and that would alleviate some of the burden of store hopping at the outlet mall. If you are used to more high end merchandise, you can shop those stores online, too. Naturally, you are going to want to make doubly sure that you get what you want. Stores will have a return policy, but who wants to mess with that? You want to pick out something you like right from the beginning.

It is time for some clothes shopping, and I have made my recommendation. It is up to you how you want to shop. I do like shopping for clothes in person, so I would probably start there. But one thing shopping online does for you, too, is it opens you up to a much larger selection of items to choose from. That is hard to pass up!

19 Chic Leather Skirts That Will Get Fashion Girls Everywhere Excited For Fall

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We’re starting to prep for Fall with the best way we know how: by shopping. And one of the easiest ways to get your wardrobe ready is by investing in trendy and transitional picks that are a breeze to wear. Skirts are versatile pieces that work year round, but this season, try something new and spice up the basic skirt by trying a leather version. You can take them from the office or out for dinner because they match with boots, heels, and even sneakers. Check out top picks that belong in your closet this year.

Reformation Chee Chee Skirt

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Save New York City’s Fashion Factories

Librado Romero/The New York Times

Manufacturing in New York City’s garment district is in jeopardy of unraveling at its seams. The city’s Economic Development Corporation may soon begin the certification process to lift the zoning laws that have protected fashion and apparel businesses in these few blocks in Midtown Manhattan for decades.

The intention is for manufacturers to relocate to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. With lower rents and longer leases, the development corporation hopes to lure factory owners to a 200,000-square-foot industrial space, now being renovated. The garment district’s Business Improvement District has voted to provide financial assistance to cover some expenses for relocating factories; in exchange, the zoning laws will be lifted. If the local community boards approve the plan, it will be brought before the City Council for a vote, and the changes could occur in as little as a couple of months.

By moving forward with this proposal, the city is asking hundreds of small businesses to jump without a safety net. Sunset Park is untested territory. Its distant location from Midtown, with poor access to transportation, would present a tremendous obstacle for the thousands of garment district workers who live throughout the city. There is also far too little space. Manufacturing alone occupies about a million square feet in the garment district; the proposed industrial space would accommodate only a fraction of this, let alone the related businesses. Our company works with 13 factories to produce garments, and they all have informed us that they won’t move to Sunset Park. Many would rather shut down than risk an uncertain future.

These factories are critical to the district’s ecosystem of designers, showrooms, fabric suppliers, cutting rooms and the host of specialized services that make the area an innovation hub. Developing a similar ecosystem in Sunset Park could take decades. As a result, New York may lose young designers to other fashion capitals like Los Angeles, London, Paris and Milan. Fashion schools will risk slumps in enrollment, and the city may see a significant drop in the number of New York-based fashion companies.

First look at the Nanette Lepore show during New York Fashion Week in 2013.

We are a global fashion capital because this vibrant, innovative neighborhood has existed for nearly a hundred years. Within these blocks — between 35th and 40th Streets and Sixth and Ninth Avenues — all the components of the fashion process are within walking distance. This synergy brings hundreds of aspiring designers to New York each year to learn their craft and start their lines, and it sustains some 200,000 jobs and generates billions of dollars of revenue every year. Broadway and Off Broadway theaters as well as Lincoln Center costume houses all use the garment district daily. The fashion schools, including F.I.T., Parsons, Pratt, LIM, Kent State and others that have branches here, use the district as a springboard for young talent. The development corporation’s plan puts all of this at risk.

Over 20 years ago we started a business in a small design room in the garment district. We had a $10,000 loan and fierce determination. The local factory owners and suppliers worked with us to help us succeed, and we grew from a tiny brand to the international company we are today. And yet we still produce 80 percent of our goods within this five-block radius, which lets us oversee production every day.

The dream of bringing more manufacturing back to America would be eroded by the loss of this historic area, where American craftsmanship thrives and where young designers can build businesses on a shoestring while working alongside craftspeople from around the world. We must make every effort to preserve the garment district.

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10 Clothing Franchise Opportunities to Try on For Size

Starting a retail clothing business comes with a lot of risk and overhead. But there’s slightly less risk if you can find a good brand to franchise with. There’s a wide array of clothing franchise opportunities out there. Here are 10 options to consider.

Clothing Franchise Opportunities
Gap Inc.

Gap Inc. runs some of the most recognizable names in fashion retail, including the Gap, Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic. The company is expanding into select international markets through franchising, though it doesn’t offer franchise opportunities in the U.S. or other countries where it has company run stores. You also need extensive business experience to be considered.

Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet is a chain of clothing stores that focus on gently used clothing that is still fashionable. The initial investment is between $150,000 and $500,000. And there are also opportunities for franchisees to invest in multiple locations.

Mainstream Boutique

Mainstream Boutique is a women’s fashion brand that offers opportunities for franchisees who want to really connect with their customers and offer quality products. The initial franchise fee ranges from $18,000 to $35,000.

Once Upon a Child

Once Upon a Child is a chain of stores that sells gently used kids’ clothing, toys and other children’s items. Franchisees need a minimum of $75,000 in cash or liquid assets in order to get started.

Hometown Threads

Hometown Threads is a clothing business that lets customers order custom embroidery, monograms and other custom items. The company has a handful of franchise locations around the country and is currently accepting new franchisees.

Instant Imprints

Instant Imprints is another franchise business that offers custom apparel and similar products that can be used for promotional purposes, group outings and more. Franchisees must have at least $100,000 in liquid capital to get started.

Apricot Lane Boutique

Apricot Lane Boutique is a business that features fashion forward retail stores in shopping centers and high traffic areas. The initial franchise fee is $34,500 and it includes training, technology and a recognizable brand name.

Kid to Kid

Kid to Kid offers a resale franchise opportunity for those interested in owning a family friendly business. The company has plenty of prime territories available. And the initial investment ranges from $247,980 to $373,480.

Big Frog

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‘Essentially I am very immature’: Sonia Kruger, 51, reveals she rejects ‘age-appropriate’ clothing as she poses pant-less on the cover of Stellar

Sonia Kruger has no interest in social norms when it comes to clothing.

The 51-year-old told Stellar magazine this week that she ‘doesn’t subscribe’ to teh notion that age should limit a woman’s wardrobe.

Referring to the infamous gold jumpsuit she wore to last years The Voice finale, she told the publication: ‘Essentially I am very immature.

Work it! Sonia Kruger ‘doesn’t subscribe’ to the notion that age should limit a woman’s wardrobe, referring to the infamous gold jumpsuit she wore to last years The Voice finale

‘Some people would say perhaps [the gold jumpsuit] was age-inappropriate. I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t like that term. What does it even mean?’

Proving her point, the TV host posed on the cover of Stellar pant-less, showing off her fantastic pins, in nothing but a white, over-sized shirt.

But Sonia did admit to having some regrets about her career, revealing that she wishes she had tried to break Hollywood following the success of her debut Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film Strictly Ballroom.

The blonde, who played Tina Sparkle in the movie, told Stellar: ‘I just didn’t have the confidence.’

Relaxed: Proving her point, the TV host posed on the cover of Stellar pant-less, showing off her fantastic pins, in nothing but a white, over-sized shirt
She told the publication: ‘Some people would say perhaps [the gold jumpsuit] was age-inappropriate. I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t like that term. What does it even mean?’

While she may have some regrets about her career, Sonia recently revealed to TV WEEK magazine how grateful she is to be a parent.

‘I feel really lucky to have her (Maggie),’ the 51-year-old told the publication, but admitted she won’t ‘push her luck’ for baby number two.

‘I feel really lucky to have her. I’m going to be grateful forever and a day that I got to have her,’ The Voice host gushed.

Happy: While she may have some regrets about her career, Sonia recently revealed to TV WEEK magazine how grateful she is to be a parent
Chance: ‘I feel really lucky to have her (Maggie),’ the 51-year-old told the publication, but admitted she won’t ‘push her luck’ for baby number two

But having struggled previously for years to conceive, Sonia admitted that it may be a hard road ahead.

‘I don’t think I’ll push my luck,’ the Channel Nine personality said, adding that her priority is to maintain her health and fitness.

Sonia has been dating Craig McPherson, a Channel Seven employee, since September 2008.

The couple welcomed their first child, Maggie, via IVF treatment in January 2015.

Happy brood: Sonia has been dating Craig McPherson (pictured), a Channel Seven employee, since September 2008. The couple welcomed their first child, Maggie, via IVF treatment in January 2015

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