Don’t Judge a Stain by Its Cover

Don’t Judge a Stain by Its Cover

That moment when you grab one too many things in your hands, the first being your coffee, but also the closest to your nicely laundered white shirt! Or, you decide to just do the dishes quickly before running out to that meeting and that fateful splash on your silk blouse…

Those dreaded surprise stains are NOT created equally and therefore should not be treated equally. For anyone that still enjoys wearing white, here are some stain busting solutions for all the different kinds of stains imaginable.

Two important and general rules for ALL stains…

The earlier you catch the stain, the better! If you are out and don’t happen to carry around one of those Tide pens or Shout wipes, the best thing to do is wet the stain with water or an ice cube is better, just to keep it from completely setting into the fibers of your clothing. Be sure to dab as rubbing can also speed up the damage.

Secondly, when it does come time to wash the stained clothing item, check the wet laundry to be sure the stain is gone, putting the washed item with a stain in it will often ‘seal the deal’. Pretreat the stubborn stain and try it in the washing machine before drying.

It’s important to classify your stain into one of these categories so you can have the best chance at treating the stain. For the purpose of this article, the categories that stains fall into are dye stains, protein stains, combination stains, dairy product stains, fruit and fruit juice stains, grass stains, mud stains and of course…coffee stains.

Dye and coffee stains are best treated by running them under very cold water and then wash the item in the machine using the hottest setting that is still safe for the fabric. If that doesn’t work then try the dry cleaner and remember to do this all before drying the article of clothing.

Protein stains like vomit, sweat, and blood are best treated with an alkaline stain removal solution. Most detergents have alkaline components like sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, and these are ideal for attacking these organic types’ stains.

Combination stains are things like makeup or sauces that may have components of both dye and protein stains. The best results come from spot treating with detergent directly on the stain, washing it out spot treating with a stain spray or stick and laundering in the wash as usual.

Dairy or rocky road ice cream 😉 stains are protein stains in nature because they are natural. Soak fresh stains in cold water and even agitate them if you can. If you are dealing with a dried stain, brush off any crusted matter and soak for several hours in a detergent or an enzyme presoak (which is least suggestable due to potential allergies). Launder in warm water and if the stain remains, soak for another 30 minutes and rewash.

Fruit stains are a dye stain but they also have the added component of sugar and if that is not removed completely you could end up with a dash of crème Brulee when added to the heat of the dryer. To ensure you’ve cleaned it thoroughly, wash it in the hottest water possible with detergent but AVOID soap based products as they can make the stain permanent. Old or set fruit stains may require a fabric safe form of bleach.

Grass stains are a dye stain and should, therefore, be treated with laundry product and cool water. Hot water can cause the stain to set and make it very difficult to remove! A laundry product with enzymes will also attack the stain but again, unless your laundry detergent has it included its best to avoid pure enzymes.

Mud stains are considered a protein stain and the most positive results come from letting the stain dry, removing the soil and soaking for 15 minutes in a solution of:

  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid dish detergent
  • 1 quart of warm water

If the stain does not seem to budge, dab with rubbing alcohol and rinse multiple times with clear water. Wash in warm water and repeat if the stain does not come out.

Lastly, fighting the fateful coffee stains. Because coffee stains often come with dairy in it, you need to treat it as a dye stain with a protein stain combination. If the stain is fresh immediately rinse with cold water if you are able to remove and add laundry detergent, rub it with cold water. Afterwards, its best to soak for 30 minutes, with agitation every 5-10 minutes. Lastly, wash the clothing on the hottest setting possible and like every other item, be sure to check before throwing it in the dryer. If the stain has not left, repeat the steps above.

Happy cleaning and if you really want to be safe, borrow a bib from your nearest baby or toddler because the reality is life happens and all those stains and spills are proof we’re living.

To Layer or not?

To Layer or not?

While we were all minding our own business, reminding ourselves the beauty of dressing modestly and searching for strictly air conditioned summer activities, a mini online war broke out. Best of all it’s all based on the crucial, but apparently controversial topic of modest clothing. An article appeared on forward.com by Michelle Honig, citing the critical and necessary stand modest women must take against the layering top or ‘shell’ as it is often referred to.

Michelle Honig strongly stated that “It makes everyone’s arms (including fit women) look like ten-pounds of sausage meat stuffed into a five-pound casing”. After looking down at my arm to make sure I was not offending anyone with my meat sausages…I continued reading and felt, oh gosh, that is some serious hostility. Michelle goes on to provide a history lesson about the ever-popular brand of layering tops, KikiRiki, and how the essence of the company and their goals have no trace of modesty. While I understand the importance of the origin of the things we wear, especially when our fashion choices make a big statement about our modest values, I still felt it was over bearing. Needless to say, the layering top provides a real solution to women who choose to show less skin but still want to wear more than a high collared, buttoned striped shirt!

Apparently, I was not the only who felt attacked by this article because suddenly there were multiple writers and bloggers who were beginning to respond to this layering top boycott. After reading a few of these, on both sides of the argument, it felt like regular, yet silly, internet fodder. Then an article came across the screen and one paragraph caught my attention, Daniella Levy writes:

“But there’s a reason why I often find myself layering my clothes, and it’s very simple: I don’t have a choice. The women’s fashion industry seems to be built on the rule that a certain percentage of skin needs to be showing no matter what. When 3/4-length sleeves are in fashion — necklines plunge. When long skirts are in fashion — so are sleeveless tops. And if God forbid, by some accident, fashion designers find themselves offering a piece that has both 3/4-length sleeves and a decent neckline — you can bet your (modest) britches that they’ll cut out the entire back. In a final act of desperation, they might even snip those hideous slits into the side, just to fill the skin-showing quota.”

That’s exactly it.

Women who choose to dress modestly today are left with very little choice and so they make the best out of it. It may be an easy backup, but it’s definitely not a response to a male ordained set of guidelines. Any women that dresses modestly can assure you that adding an extra layer under most of your shirts is their choice and it is not one they take lightly.

How do you use your layering top? Is it a ‘must have’ for you or a ‘have no choice’ wardrobe piece?

5 Modest Celebs and Why We Love Them

5 Modest Celebs and Why We Love Them

Being well known in Hollywood or in the entertainment business comes with a harsh price, having expectations placed on you to be and look a very specific way. That is why women (specifically women for this post) that do choose to cover up and stay ‘modest’ deserve a great deal of encouragement and recognition.

Identifying these women as leaders and example of courage and leadership is only fair because they are simply working harder than any of us to go against the grain and keep their clothing modest. The women chosen in this post were chosen for more than just their actual clothing, they are all beautiful and carry themselves modestly and without the typical flashy Hollywood persona, we have come to know.

  • Adele – a class act that is famous for her silly personality and classy disposition. Her modesty comes through in her behavior more than her physical clothing, even though her wardrobe is quite modesty. The added element of her love for her body type, despite many critiques, makes her a great candidate for a top modest and wholesome celebrity.
  • Mayim Bialik – famous for her role in Blossom and the more recent Big, Bang Theory, Mayim has always portrayed herself with the utmost respect and this came from the roles she plays on the screen and the way she dresses off the screen. Her commitment to her values is obviously a priority all the while maintaining her brains and her value as an actor in Hollywood.
  • Kate Middleton – the epitome of class and style. Kate holds an honorable position that has years of heritage and tradition, although that alone is not a reason to go against the modern fashion styles of her companions and dress more provocatively. And yet, her style is always modest and always beautiful.
  • Audrey Hepburn – the ever iconic and ultimately remembered for her tasteful modesty and humility, was the ultimate example of modesty. Audrey Hepburn, quoted once as saying that the most distasteful thing she ever did on camera was let her Tabby, named Cat, out of a cab into the rainy streets of New York!
  • Zooey Deschanel – known for her nerdy and bubbly persona, she rocks the alt-indie scene and carries the hit show New Girl with a great deal of modesty and charm. Usually seen in flowy skirts and high-collared shirts, which add to her seemingly down to earth approach to stardom. Another character that known more for her modest presence rather than her wardrobe alone. She is a perfect pick for this list.

In a world where celebrities and reality TV stars are stripping off their clothes at any possible opportunity, it’s really refreshing to see people choosing to behave differently. Although dressing modestly in a layman’s world may seem nerdy, in the world of celebrities it can often be seen as rebellious. Despite that, choosing modest clothing and choosing to keep covered, can often be more revealing, forcing people to look past externalities and understand each other based on internal characteristics.

Who are your favorite famous personalities that keep modest and manage to stay in the groove?

Summer Is Here and so Is the Beach!

Summer Is Here and so Is the Beach!

Does being modest mean you have to feel like the black sheep at the beach? The beach is notoriously known as a THE place to get down to your skivvies. In fact, when it is hot and you are dying to jump into the ocean or a lake, the last thing you want to worry about is how to stay modest!

And yet, many women do have the desire to remain modest at the beach. Beyond the need to stay covered, wearing cotton into the water, at the beach or pool just does not work. Once your shirt is wet and you sit down in the sand, that is it, you are doomed to feel like you are carrying around a sandbox. At the pool getting in and out with soaked clothing is like pulling a whale out with you! Having the ability to wear something comfortable, light, modest and fast drying is crucial for the modest and fashion forward woman that still wants to cool off.

Finding a modest bathing suit in nylon, spandex or lycra is ideal. This way you can enjoy swimming without clingy material, laying in the sand and brushing it off and most important, fast drying! Investing in a modest swimsuit can make the difference between a boxed in, air-conditioned summer and a sunny, adventurous one!

What have you been wearing to the beach to stay modest, yet fashionable?

Dressing Modestly – The Golden Rule

Dressing Modestly – The Golden Rule

Women who choose to dress modestly come from all kinds of backgrounds, and their reasons for dressing modestly vary. Moreover, a commitment to modesty can harmonize with a huge range of styles and personal tastes in fashion. So the question remains: what does it actually mean to dress modestly?

If there’s one “golden rule” that sums up dressing modestly, it’s this: your clothing choice should enhance your attractiveness as a total person, rather than attracting the eye to one particular part of your body.
Think about it – a hemline that’s just a little too short draws eyes downward toward your legs. Heels that are just a little too showy and high can do the same thing for your ankles, even if your knees and lower legs are modestly covered. And of course, an overly-revealing neckline will make your chest the star of the show.

While all of these fashion faux-pas are problematic in terms of the rules of modesty – however we define them – the greater problem is how this type of immodest dressing causes us to be seen as a collection of body parts, rather than a dignified, and attractive human soul.

There’s no question that our clothing choices affect the way the world sees us. That’s why modest dressing is so important – it creates a beautiful “frame” for showcasing the beauty we all hold inside.

“Attractive, Not Attracting” – A Strategy for Teens and Parents

rssTeaching the benefits of this fashion philosophy to our daughters can be difficult, especially when we don’t want to get into power struggles about modesty. So here’s another shorthand method for determining an outfit’s overall modesty quotient.

Ask your daughter to look into the mirror and answer the following question for herself: Is what I’m wearing “attractive” or “attracting”?
Even without getting into a discussion of specifics (or taking a disciplinary ruler to her shirtsleeve!), most girls recognize that subjective moment when clothing crosses over into impropriety. This little exercise will also help her form a firm foundation of self-respect, knowing that she understands and controls that fine line between wearing an outfit that enhances her beauty and expresses her spirit, and wearing one that advertises her “availability”.

Good luck!

Mind the Gap – Layering Solutions for Fun and Fashion

Mind the Gap – Layering Solutions for Fun and Fashion

We all have them. Those casual tops and bottoms that screamed “buy me” in the store, but – once purchased – never seem to make their way out of the closet.  Dressing in layers is a great way to re-think your personal clothing inventory and make the most of what you have.
In addition to its value for rescuing under-used articles of clothing, layering is a great fashion strategy, allowing you to add interest, a dash of color, and create an entirely new look that is totally “you”.

Sleevies® 3/4 Sleeve Extensions

Why Not?
From the overly-generous scoop of a low-necked tee, to the skirt that rides up, to the clingy materials that highlight those love handles, there are lots of reasons that some clothes just can’t make it on their own.  Rather than throwing out or donating, experiment with layered dressing strategies that accentuate each garment’s best, most attractive characteristic.

Let’s say you bought a shirt because the color goes perfectly with a hard-to-match skirt.  If the shirt rides up, don’t give up!  Save the situation by layering on a contrasting vest, or adding an underlayer.  Many women swear by the “hippies” – a flexible layering solution that bridges the gap like a wide belt, providing coverage without adding bulk.

Layers can also come to the rescue when trying to accommodate our changing bodies.  As the years go by, women who were once happy to step out in short sleeves may find that a little more coverage makes them feel more confident.  Again, there’s no need for a new wardrobe.  Layer your favorite tops over a sleek shell underlayer – or add “sleevie” extensions – to give your old garments a new lease on life. Along with underlayer shells (short-sleeved, long-sleeved and cropped), sleevies and hippies, other garments that can widen your layering options include:

  • The cropped top  or half tee– a midriff-exposing layer, meant to be worn under a longer shirt. Half tees can be found in a variety of decorative necklines that add interest to any outfit.
  • Tee-necks – sometimes referred to as a “dickie”, these garments provide coverage under shirts that expose too much of the chest.
  • The pencil skirt – adds length to a tunic dress or a too-short skirt. Available in almost every color, pencil skirts complement an outfit, without making too obvious a statement.

The Fashion Advantage
Layering is a great way to re-work what’s in your closet, but remember – layering is also a creative and fashionable way to dress!  Choose a color scheme, and experiment with garments that you never wore together before.  Shuffle up the shapes, so that each individual article of clothing can be seen. When layering, choose just one particularly interesting item to highlight – a cropped jacket, or a fabulous scarf – rather than having lots of loud layers competing for attention.
But most of all, have fun!  Dressing in layers is an individual statement. So forget the rules, and enjoy building a do-it-yourself look of your very own.

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