Our First Warehouse Sale is a Success! You won’t believe what happened!

Dane Wilkerson Shop72.com Warehouse Sale
That’s Dane from eCommerce

Our warehouse sale has been a long discussed affair that we originally thought wouldn’t even happen. But, with a little luck, a little ingenuity, and a bunch of extraordinary people, we  got it done! From memorial day onwards, shop72.com has catered to the area, offering discounts, free gifts and more, all to better serve our loyal customers and make connections with the people in our community. And it’s not over yet, our sale is still going on, so come on down to our warehouse if you’re in the Belleville area for blowout sales and killer smiles.

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Our warehouse is looking spiffy!

The much anticipated sale kicked off officially on the first of June after months of painstaking planning and setting up our humble warehouse to look its best. It’s a handsome gentleman that we had to transform in order to appeal to the masses and, after worrying about it til we were all stressed out and above the legal blood/coffee limit, we whipped it into shape. Dane, our resident eCommerce manager and Linda, our Customer Service rep, took care to arrange everything, stocking racks and shelves with products and making sure everything was price tagged and ready to go. It was a hassle for them, working all day in the hot warehouse, but never once did they complain.

The first of June rolled around a lot sooner than we anticipated though, but we were

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Things are still selling quickly.

finally able to open our doors to the masses. We posted on Facebook and Twitter, handed out flyers and discount codes in expectation for our customers arrival but, to our complete and utter surprise, people started showing up early! We couldn’t stand to turn them away, so our sale actually started a few days ahead of schedule. Customer after customer came pouring in until we really didn’t know how to accommodate them. We were so surprised—and still are! People love our housewares, chocolate fountains and shammy’s, but more than anything they’ve been all over our clothing items like our dresses, camisoles, leggings, shoes, cardigans and more. Except, instead of ordering online and waiting for it to be delivered, they took it home straight away. One woman even decided to wear a pair of our heels home, straight out of the box. This has been more than a success, we’re so excited to have our loyal customers–and friends!–showing up to hangout with us.This sale has been an extraordinary success and we can’t wait to promote bigger and better events for our customers in the future.

You’ll Never Guess Where Camisoles Came From!

Just like the great legging debate I brought up earlier in the week, tank tops vs camisoles will ultimately come down to personal standards, taste and etiquette, but for those of you caught in the middle of said debate, like I am, allow me to break it down and lay out the details as best I can. So, without further ado, let’s get this thing started.

Camis Are Not Tank Tops!

For those who don’t know and would probably never even bother to ask, camisoles didn’t  start out as a kind of shirt, top or any kind of garment meant ab-basiccami-8460-nvyto see the light of day. In reality, the camisole evolved from another former powerhouse of women’s fashion: the corset and, more specifically, the corset cover. Back in the Sixteenth  Century when the steel boned torture devices were at the hight of fashion, proper ladies used the bulky corset covers, which were made of varying fabrics, not only to cover their corsets but to add an extra layer of protection beneath their oversized dresses. Unlike the typical daily drudgery common in the 16th Century, the corset cover and all its evolutions thereafter has actually withstood the test of time and, as of today, hails as one of women’s favorite undergarments aside from actual underwear.

Tank Tops Were Once Men’s Underwear?!

Yes, you read it correctly. The first tank tops, ironically just like the first high heels, were originally worn by men. Popularized in the early 1930’s by American cinema, the iconic tank tp we know today as a “wife beater” or racerback tank, was once a cinematic device for screenwriters and directors to portray the young man, often Italian-American, in an intimate way. In the post War years especially, working class men owned maybe one or two good shirts, which  they saved for work or special occasions, therefore a man appearing in a scene wearing a tank top was a man with his guard down, at ease in his private life. It was often a za-tntop-t-1159-brightbluetime for the negative aspects of their character to come to the fore, think Robert De Niro in Raging Bull or Marlon Brando in A Street Car Named Desire. Men, especially Italian men existed in a dichotomy of the persona they presented to the public and that which they kept behind closed doors (via. swide.com). To put this in perspective, a man walking about in his tank top was equal to a woman strutting around in a terry cloth robe, ripped sweats and slippers, not at all how any respectable person would want to be portrayed in public at that time. Across the water in Italy and it was seen in a different way, free of the emasculating problems that affect an immigrant community, the tank top was seen simply as a symbol of masculine sex appeal. Dino Risi’s ‘Poveri ma belli’ (1957) saw Renato Salvatori sport the look as a Roman lifeguard, out in the public, bearing shoulders to the sun. The tank top’s evolution from hidden undergarment, through symbol of male brutishness, cinematic device, to iconic look and eventually to the catwalk mirrors the evolution of fashion itself: what we view as a trend often eventually evolves into the mainstream. Whether that’s good or bad is solely up to you, the consumer.

Ah, But Where Do The Differences Come Into Play?

Right…about…now. Ideal by themselves in hot weather or layered under warmer tops in cooler temps, camisoles and tank tops serve many of the same purposes — but they’re not quite the same thing. Tank tops come in a variety of styles and with different size straps, while camisoles have a more uniform look with skinny, usually adjustable, bra-style straps and even bra-like inserts that most women like to pretend don’t exist. Seriously, those things provide zero support and just as little coverage, why do camisole makers like to pretend they help anything at all…ever?

1: Camisole Characteristics

Because the camisole evolved from corset covers, the camisole tends to look a bit like lingerie; and, in many cases, it’s meant only to be worn as an undergarment. You can layer a cami under a cardigan, dress, top, sweater or just about anything you require extra coverage orza-tanktop-st-3000-bblu control in. Camis are usually fitted and made from a cotton blend or from stretchy material, such as rayon or spandex. Some camis have  lace trim, making them perfect to add modesty to low-cut dresses and tops.

2: Tank Top Types

With styles ranging from satin-crushed to casual, ribbed, A-line cuts, tank tops are more loosely defined. All tank tops are sleeveless and expose the shoulders. The straps vary as well — racerbacks crisscross in the back, halter tops tie behind the neck and spaghetti straps are thin and may or may not adjust like bra straps. You find tank tops with collars, deep V-necks or simple scoop necklines. Tanks tops may be fitted or flow loosely (via. synonym.com).

The bottom Line.

As I say with pretty much any fashion post, at the end of the day, the choice is yours. Whether you like going balls to the wall with leggings and camisoles and not much else, that’s perfectly fine. The point is comfort and how you feel about yourself at the end of it all. Never let anyone talk you into–or out of!–wearing what makes you happy with yourself. Who do you have to please other than yourself?

Are You Wearing Leggings the Right or Wrong Way?

In other words, when fashion and comfort collide!

Leggings. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the ocean for the past two or three years you’re well aware of leggings as a trend, and the timeless debate of “are they pants or not?”. Needless to say, it’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you how to wear your clothes. If you like them beneath dresses, that’s cool, if you prefer them on their own with a T-shirt or baggy sweater, that’s cool too! The point is, your comfortable and you’re stylish, and with those key points down, nothing else matters! I’m coming to you today from the midst of the debate, hoping to sway both sides to a differing point of view by talking about–yep, you guessed it–the versatility of leggings!

The Long History of Leggings and How They Came to Be

Leggings are typically ankle-length, and some are stirrupped or encase the feet. Some are shorter. Leggings are worn to keep a person’s legs warm, as protection from chafing during an activity such as exercise, or as a decorative or fashion garment. Leggings are worn by both men and women during exercise but usually only by women at other times. In contemporary usage, leggings refers to tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles. In the United States, they are sometimes referred to as tights. However, the two words are not synonymous as the word tights refers to opaque pantyhose.

Leggings were originally called hose, and were first found in the Renaissance era.  They were worn by bothfcf119a723180e79866e78a0c8b1f93d men and women, and were actually one-legged, using different colors and prints for each leg.  They were used to show status: most were made from wool, while others were made from silk for the noblemen/noblewomen. Men also wore trunkhose, which were the puffy garments that were worn from their waist to their knees. From the blog Encouraged Life, I found even more insightful information on the history of leggings: Leggings hit their height in the 1980s during the time of cheesy pop, exercise videos, and crazy fashion.  I not only did some research on how leggings were worn, but talked to my mom about this trend in the 80s.  She said leggings in 80s were nothing like they are today. She said they were really thick, and were always paired with a skirt, dress, or oversized top that covered the rear end. She said they wore leggings “as pants” when they were doing exercise videos. Throughout my research, I found the same information. I thought I would share this photo of the 80s queen, Madonna, performing at a concert. The 90s started the era of wearing leggings as pants, which were generally  patterned or part of an outfit. I thought I would share a picture from the fashionable diva group, The Spice Girls (great blast from the past, right?).  Leggings were still worn a lot for exercise as well. Leggings have made a huge comeback recently, and are a trend of today.  Many pair up sweatshirts and tops with leggings and wear them as pants.  They range anywhere from black to patterned and colorful. 

In a nutshell, leggings have come a long way from their humble beginnings as just undergarments of the wealthy and the fashionable in the Victoria era. Women of all shapes, sizes and social-economic backgrounds wear the versatile garment, whether they consider them pants or not.

Types of Leggings – Yes, There Are Different Types You Legging Nazis

Leggings come in may different styles, patterns, colors, fabrics and lengths. From ankle length leggings (depicted above), to leggings with stirrups, capri or “calf length” and even footed leggings, they truly take the cake for how you can wear them. I believe the biggest factor in the pants debate is the common misconception that regular, nylon, semi see through tights and leggings are one in the same. Tights commonly have feet, but have variations that don’t them. They’re meant to be worn beneath dresses as hosiery, not on their own as leggings typically are. True leggings that are meant for on their own wear are  typically made from cotton, wool, and thicker blends. The best leggings, in my opinion, are made from cotton and are fleece lined, making them extra heavy, durable, and perfect for wearing during trendy-100-nylon-sheer-rib-tights-blk-216057the winter months. Rule of thumb: if you can see through them or make out skin tone through the fabric, then they’re obviously meant to be worn beneath something. It’s common sense. If they’re 90% Nylon…pass on them unless you specifically want to wear them underneath your favorite dress.

Pro tip: Black, footless tights make a bold statement underneath sweater dresses and oversized tops, especially when worn with chunky belts, chunky heels and sexy stilettos of the same color.

Leggings, Cute Trend or Fashion Faux Pas? 

As with every post, the choice is ultimately up to you, but in my opinion, I genuinely believe leggings are the way to go if you want to dabble in high fashion and still be comfortable. Denim and other fabrics are nice, wearing skirts are easy and breezy, but nothing beats the simplicity of leggings or how stylish one feels when you step out the door in them. Shop72.com has a wide range of leggings in both regular and plus sizes. From crazy, wacky patterns to solid colors, and even the infamous footless tights, we have it all. And, the best part about our leggings is that they’re inexpensive! I recently saw a pair of black, cotton leggings on Polyvore.com from some obscure French fashion label that were on SALE for four hundred dollars. This was a SALE item! That’s completely and utterly ridiculous! But, I guess if you have money to blow, four hundred dollars is most definitely the way to go. What else would you spend it on? Charity? Hooplah.

Are You Shopping For Your Plus Size Clothing The Right Way?

We’ve all been there and we all know the struggle; shopping around in our neighborhoods and beyond for clothing that will not only fit us, but won’t look like they belong to our grandmothers. And with Plus Size clothing stores like Simply Fashion and Dots going out of business left and right, our struggle is becoming even more difficult. Although popular brands such as Forever21 and ASOS have recently jumped aboard the plus size fashion train, not everyone can afford the mall price tag and, not to mention, not everything you buy at the mall is as well made as one would believe. You would think that shopping online was the plus size lady’s holy grail, but with no standard guideline for clothing sizes and sizes differing so greatly between brands, shopping online for quality clothing can be a daunting task. With this guide, I hope to give my readers at least some insight into the terrifying adventure of clothes shopping online. Lets get started.

1: The importance of knowing your measurements. Your REAL measurements, not your Walmart pants size. 

stock-photo-yellow-tape-measure-on-rolled-up-on-white-background-77201539Knowing your measurements aren’t just for ordering corsets offline in your Goth days anymore. Having your measurements on hand makes it super simple to identify brand size inconsistencies and make sure the clothing you buy is going to fit you the way it should. Some websites don’t offer size charts or measurement information at all, but those who do are usually extremely helpful when you present them with your plight: you want to buy clothes but you’re shaped like a person and not a photoshop monstrosity! Taking your measurements yourself might be a bit of a headache the first time around, but once  you have the formula down, you’ll never need help again. When taking measurements, remember the four measurement formula: Bust, Waist, Hips, Length. Measure around the fullest part of your bust, the slimmest part of your waist above your navel but below your ribcage, then measure around the widest part of your hips. For length, pull out your favorite dress, long t-shirt, shorts or whatever clothing item that’s the appropriate length for what you’re trying to buy and measure it from top to bottom. For a dress, measure from the highest point of the back of the dress to the hem. For pants, measurement_guideshorts or skirts, measure from the waistband to the hem. If you can’t take your measurements yourself, head to a tailors shop or even a bridal boutique. If you can, make a ay out of it. Take your girlfriends to a bridal shop, tell them you’re getting married and let the fun ensue. I won’t tell them you’re not actually getting married, and you’ll actually have the time of your life trying on overpriced dresses and high heels. It’s a win-win situation!

2: Shop around! Don’t settle for less, EVER. 

A big problem with plus size clothing is the lack of variety. Shopping in your local store and knowing that, other than Walmart, there isn’t a single retailer within fifty miles that sells clothing in your size is heart breaking enough to make you drop your hard earned cash on items that may not fit well, just so you’ll walk away with something. Well, no more, I say! I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on clothes (even from plus sized specialty stores such as Torrid who are known to run small on items, even though they have up to 6X in sizes) that I talked myself into buying just so I could have something new, only to go home Becca-ETC-Plus-Size-Aztec-Print-Flounce-Bikini-Top-Hipster-Bottom_Fotor_Collagedisappointed with my selection. I’ve recently committed to shopping around for clothing in my size. MY actual size. Not what fits when I buy it but turns into a hassle the moment I leave the store. Why waste money on crap you’re going to either throw away, bestow on someone else or heaven forbid, wear even though it doesn’t fit, when you can compare not only sizes and styles, but prices as well! The problem here, in reality,  is that there are absolutely no sizing standards for plus size clothing in the US. Brands and clothing makers have a general idea, but plus sized people come in so many different shapes and sizes that it would be all but impossible to have a set measurement for everyone. Not to mention, brands and retailers only seem to see plus size people as the so called plus sized ‘models’ that have made recent headlines. Run a google search for “Plus Sized” and I can guarantee you you’re not going to see people who look like you. And if you do, you’re extremely lucky! Most plus sized women aren’t 5’’11 to six feet tall. Most plus sized women have bumps and rolls and dimples, not thighs and a stomach so smooth and taut you can bounce quarters off of them. And that’s what makes our shopping so difficult.

3: Don’t be afraid to shop from smaller online stores. Seriously, you’ll find some really great stuff at super low prices. 

You know that site that sold fatkini’s in your size that you over looked last week because they looked like they were crappy and probably didn’t take US currency? Well…maybe don’t spend a thousand dollars with them, but, once you know your measurements, buying one or two Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.42.54 PMitems from them at first can’t hurt. Just be sure they accept Paypal, never pay with western union or any of those other quick cash payment options and always ALWAYS review and adju-yd-786-blk-1xhere to their return policy. Once you’ve paid and it’s shipped to your address, try it on, if it doesn’t fit, never be afraid to send it back and ask for an exchange, if it’s within their policy. And if they don’t have some sort of returns policy, they’re not worth spending your money with. Small commerce companies are the perfect place get great clothes at super low prices. I’ve found so many cute tops and shorts that fit surprisingly well by shopping online and I know, if you adhere to at least a portion of this guide, you will too.