Getty ImagesThough the prices of certain designer items may seem higher and more ridiculous than ever, we have some surprising news for you: clothing is cheaper than ever before. In addition to that, Americans are spending far less of their disposable income on clothing and shoes than they have in the past.
Dr. Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, found that Americans spent almost $326 billion on their wardrobes in 2009. Sounds like a ton of money, but that only made up 2.98% of their disposable incomes. That's the lowest amount in U.S. history! In comparison, the average American spent 9% of their income on clothing and shoes back in 1950.
So does this mean we are shopping less? By the looks of our overstuffed closets we'd have to say no. With a far greater selection of garments and footwear to choose from than in the past, constantly fluctuating trends, increased materialism, and the advent of online shopping, we're definitely greater consumers than
Blog Posts by Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | SATC – Thu, Mar 25, 2010 8:38 PM EDT
Getty ImagesThough the prices of certain designer items may seem higher and more ridiculous than ever, we have some surprising news for you: clothing is cheaper than ever before. In addition to that, Americans are spending far less of their disposable income on clothing and shoes than they have in the past.Read More »from Clothing prices are dropping, Americans spending less of their incomes on wardrobes
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Love + Sex – Wed, Mar 24, 2010 10:46 PM EDT
Getty ImagesIt's time again for Esquire's annual Sexiest Woman Alive, only this year the magazine is allowing readers to weigh in by voting through March Madness-style brackets. The voting began last week, pitting 22-year-old Megan Fox against 63-year-old Helen Mirren. With Fox getting covered in motor oil in "Transformers" and playing a lesbian vampire in "Jennifer's Body" you'd think she'd be a shoo-in for the Esquire title, but such is not the case. And we're so glad.Read More »from Helen Mirren edging out Megan Fox for Sexiest Woman Alive title
Don't get us wrong, we actually kind of like Megan Fox for her interview candor, and there's no denying her sex appeal, but how completely awesome is it that the still gorgeous Mirren, 41 years her senior, has taken 59% of the vote?! Esquire's ballot refers to Fox as "a bombshell who doesn't play coy," while they commend Mirren for her "great rack, and eyes that can cut a bombshell in half." Ha!
The magazine asked Mirren what she thought about the results thus far. "I was surprised and flattered to be included at all," she said.
Getty ImagesThough many of us are excited about the new health care bill, some adjustments are being made to help fund the expensive reforms. One such moneymaker is a newly imposed tax on ultraviolet tanning at salons. Customers who receive treatments after July 1 will be charged a 10% tax on tanning beds (spray tans and tanning lotions are excluded), which is supposed to raise $2.7 billion over the next decade.Read More »from New health care bill imposes tax on tanning beds
Naturally, salon owners and tanning customers are annoyed about the tax. Jan Meshon, owner of City Sun Tanning in New York City, is worried about his business declining. "We'll do everything to keep our customers, but they are very upset by this," says Meshon. He says the average tanning session lasts 10 minutes and costs around $15 to $20. "An extra 10% on top of that is definitely not helpful...all of our customers would like to spend less already." Regular tanner Adrienne Zarisky says she will still be a loyal customer at her local salon because it's "cheaper than having to take sunny
American ApparelAmerican Apparel has always been pretty trendy, but we used to appreciate it as a convenient, reliable place for basics like solid color tees and leggings. But somewhere along the line they went overboard on stocking '80s inspired aerobics gear and gimmicky fashions. Take for example their new hooded one-piece bathing suit.Read More »from A swimsuit only Lady Gaga could love
We love that one-piece swimsuits are back in style this season--they're chic and can hide your tummy after you devoured a few too many cookies. But on what planet would someone want to wear a bathing suit with a hood? The planet inhabited by Lady Gaga, obviously. We suppose the hood could shade your face on the beach (though in black nylon fabric it would get terribly hot), but what happens when the hood gets wet? Ugh, this thing is a mess. And it's too bad, because the cut of this swimsuit is pretty darn cute minus the hood.
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Fashion – Tue, Mar 23, 2010 6:08 PM EDT
Getty ImagesIt's not just our shoe sizes that continue to grow. Ten years ago, the average U.S. bra size was 36C. Want to guess what it is now? If you guessed 36DD you'd be correct. Really, the average cup size is a DD?! We are totally surprised and intrigued by this fact, except, of course, it comes with a down side. As many of you ladies probably know, boobs get bigger when you gain weight (and shrink when pounds are shed), so this increase in bra size is mostly because obesity continues to grow in this country.Read More »from As average bra size increases, so does sale of full-figured bras
As a result of our nation's collective growing bosoms, business is booming in the full-figured bra market, which increased 7.4 percent in just one year. For those of you who have trouble finding aesthetically pleasing and supportive bras in larger sizes, your time is coming. A recent WWD article insists that retailers are catching on, and desperately working to fill this demand. Susan Nethero runs a chain called Intimacy that carries bras up to a K cup. She says the full-figure bras are
There's something really serious we need to talk about. Yesterday I stopped dead in my tracks when I came across CHEETOS LIP BALM in a novelty beauty store. I get that it's a gimmick, but why would anyone make such an item?! I'll be honest, I have eaten and enjoyed many a Cheeto in my lifetime, but it has been a long while since I've had one. Thinking about them now, I keep picturing that pungent cheesey scent, the styrofoam-like texture, and the way the orange "cheese" rubbed off on your fingers and mouth and stained them for what felt like forever, even after you licked them off. Is this the type of product you'd like to hydrate your lips with? Hardly. Did I desperately need to buy this Cheetos lip balm? Absolutely. For research and blogging purposes of course.Read More »from Things we don't get: Cheetos flavored lip balm
What did I find: Cheetos lip balm is pretty much as nasty as you'd imagine. It's florescent orange, it smells like that artificial, sugary cheese, and while the application is smooth, as any lip balm should be, I kept licking
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Fashion – Fri, Mar 19, 2010 6:33 PM EDT
Getty ImagesWhen it comes to perfume, women are still not tired of spritzing on celebrity fragrances. Beyonce launched her new scent, Heat, exclusively at Macy's, and 72,000 bottles flew off the shelves in one hour when the singer made an in-store appearance. Macy's has already sold $3 million of the perfume in only one month! To give you a point of reference, the New York Daily News reported that the average celebrity fragrance earned around $2.5 million in 2008. Beyonce sold more than that in 30 days!
Clearly many of you ladies were holding out for Beyonce to enter the fragrance arena. With notes of magnolia and blush peach, is Heat your favorite celebrity fragrance? [US]
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Fashion – Thu, Mar 18, 2010 6:50 PM EDT
DoveWe at Shine love the stronger presence of curvier models in ads and on the runways, but apparently some women do not. A new Arizona State University study has found that plus-size models cannot sell products as well as fit models, and researches say this is in part because these fuller-figured ladies lower our self esteem.Read More »from Do plus-size models make women feel bad about themselves?
"We believe it is unlikely that many brands will gain market share by using heavy models in their ads," says Naomi Mandel, marketing associate professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. "We found that overweight consumers demonstrated lower self-esteem - and therefore probably less enthusiasm about buying products - after exposure to any size models in ads (versus ads with no models). Also, normal-weight consumers experienced lower self-esteem after exposure to moderately heavy models, such as those in Dove soap's 'Real Women' campaign, than after exposure to moderately thin models."
Mandel and her researchers studied hundreds of female students and
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Fashion – Wed, Mar 17, 2010 8:44 PM EDT
Ugg AustraliaDespite the fact that Uggs and their many knockoff incarnations have long been considered a "fashion don't," lots of women love and continue to wear these suede and sheepskin boots all winter long. They're warm, they're cozy, they're easy to throw on with any outfit, they feel like slippers, and they're a celebrity favorite. Of course this makes the boots very appealing and popular, especially during chillier months. But are they actually good for your feet? Experts say no.
In a recent Daily Mail article, professionals spoke out about the health risks of wearing cheap, imitation Ugg boots. Dr. Ian Drysdale, the head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, said, "Because these boots are warm and soft, young girls think they are giving their feet a break. In fact, they are literally breaking their feet." Drysdale continued, "Their feet are slipping around inside. With each step, the force falls towards the inside of the foot and the feet splay. This flattens the arch and makesRead More »from Experts debate dangers of wearing popular sheepskin boots
- Joanna Douglas, Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor | Fashion – Tue, Mar 16, 2010 8:43 PM EDT
Getty ImagesAs Botox and plastic surgery becomes increasingly rampant in Hollywood (um, there were some men and women we could barely recognize at the Oscars!), we love when we come across actresses who embrace aging gracefully. Especially Drew Barrymore, who has experienced more than her fair share of hardships in her early life, but has bounced back with humility, warmth, style, and resilience. In a recent interview she spoke candidly on what many actresses have done to adhere to Hollywood's standards of beauty.Read More »from Drew Barrymoreâ€™s strong stance against plastic surgery
" f--- surgery!" says Barrymore. "I'm so curious as to what's going to happen naturally that I can't imagine wanting to alter things just yet. And to all those women putting botulism in their faces - we don't know what the long-term effects are, so stop! I'd rather look like a basset hound than do that to my face!"
Barrymore acknowledges that the roles for aging actresses are scarce, and that Hollywood can be unfair to women when it comes to aging, but does not feel nipping and tucking