Size Inclusive Lines Are Becoming Standard, But Finding Them Remains Challenging

Body positivity and size inclusivity are movements that go hand-in-hand. As women come to accept and embrace their bodies, many are no longer willing to be confined to what society (and, specifically, fashion brands) feel to be the “ideal.” Given that 68% of American women wear a size 14 or larger, many companies are finally starting to listen with size inclusive options — and are making a whole lot of money as a result.

Despite all the progress that’s been made, there’s at least one glaring omission in the way that size inclusive clothing is presented to the modern consumer: while a straight-sized woman can potentially walk into just about any store and find something in her size, women who fall into the “extended sizes” category often have no other choice but to shop online. Seeing that businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to bad customer service, like not catering to the needs of the clientele, this oversight is helping to fuel an e-commerce boom.

Given the steadily growing popularity of e-commerce, that might not sound like much of an issue. As of August 2017, women’s apparel was the number one top-selling item on the internet. With so many shoppers preferring to shop online than go to their local mall, it might seem like brands are smart to focus their efforts on their websites rather than in their retail locations.

But that doesn’t mean that plus-sized women don’t want to shop in stores. When finding their size in person isn’t an option, it makes sense that they’ll turn to brands that will actually cater to them. But some women feel it’s an issue that brands want to claim the inclusive label without making all sizes accessible to all women. Despite the fact that well-known companies like Madewell, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor LOFT, J.Crew, and others have made concerted efforts to expand their size range during the last year, none of these brands carry those expanded sizes in their brick-and-mortar locations; customers have to go online and order them, which completely eliminates the store try-on experience.

As reported in GARAGE, “…Neglecting to offer [size] 14+ options in-store seems at odds with logic, as well as with the values of inclusivity and diversity that so many brands like to espouse for woke points. What appears to be happening, then, is that brands … want to have it both ways; they want the good press that comes with body inclusivity, without having to make the financial commitment of offering inclusive sizes in-store at all their locations.”

Although there may be some practical concerns like floor space and the fact that many physical retail locations struggle to stay afloat already, there are other inclusive brands that don’t see those as valid excuses.

As Brooke Cundiff, founder of a popular plus-sized clothing site, told GARAGE: “This is exactly why we started CoEdition — to give these women access to great style, in the sizes they want. Traditional retailers ignore or take these women for granted. If they do carry their sizes, they hide the clothes on a rack in the corner. That’s insulting.”

That said, CoEdition doesn’t have a physical location, either. Neither does Universal Standard, other than pop-ups and limited stock showrooms. Lines like Savage x Fenty and GabiFresh’s lines with Playful Promises and Swimsuits for All are online-only, as well. And although Eloquii has now opened its sixth retail location and Torrid stores can be found across the U.S., these brands cater specifically to plus-sized customers (or those who fall right on the cusp between straight and plus sizes); the brands that carry the entire gamut of sizes typically exclude larger sizes from their retail locations, choosing to stock only smaller sizes instead.

Ultimately, it illustrates that fashion still has a long ways to go before it’s truly size inclusive. Nearly one in four adults will eat at least one piece of candy every day — while many brands have superficially stopped shaming women for what they eat or what their body looks like, there’s a big difference between creating garments available for purchase and ensuring that all women are able to share the same experience when shopping for clothes.

Today Glitter 100% plastic-free glitter

Biodegradable Glitter, the Newest Product to Save the Planet

Festival season is officially here and it’s time to start gearing up with the freshest looks for the affair. But these events aren’t well-known for their eco-friendly initiatives; in fact, the amount of trash associated with these events have made them hard for environmentalists to swallow. Especially now that plastic straws have been banned in many locations.

Today Glitter 100% plastic-free glitter

Unfortunately, this plastic infiltration is nothing new. At the recent Coachella festival, more than a dozen grape farmers picked up shifts each night collecting pounds upon pounds of plastic cups, wrappers, and trash.

Today Glitter 100% plastic-free glitter

But the California coastline is used to garbage crowding its shores. Among the 3,400 miles of California coastline, most of it has been cluttered with straws, plastics, and waste for years. Amidst the new laws seeking to banish plastic bags and other single-use plastic products, the makeup industry has been among the most difficult markets to sway.

Enter: biodegradable glitter.

Today Glitter 100% plastic-free glitter

While many companies have been touting eco-friendly glitter products this year, Today Glitter is the first 100% biodegradable glitter product for festival-goers, DIY crafters, and savvy spenders, alike. This glitter has been integrated into makeup brands, body lotions, and more, with FDA approval to be used on eyes and lips. This makes it one of the best products to use during festival season.

“At Today Glitter, our mission is to enhance the inner beauty of each individual without contaminating our environment,” notes Victor Alvarez, the spokesperson for Today Glitter. “With 100% plastic-free biodegradable glitter, beauty gurus, families, and everyone in between can experience the joys of glitter without risking harm to the planet. It’s our passion to give fans useful and creative alternatives to live a sparkly life without the waste.”

Today Glitter 100% plastic-free glitter

Best of all? This glitter degrades in fewer than 30 days. While it means you can’t stock up on your favorite products, it ensures that traditional glitter made from small pieces of plastic stay out of the environment.

These microplastics are terrible for the environment. Anything from plankton to fish to birds regularly ingests these plastics which contributes to bioaccumulation throughout the ecosystem. They can take up to 200 years to photodegrade in the environment where they break into smaller plastic particles before they’re finally gone. Scientists have been calling on a ban for glitter for years. It was thanks to their efforts that microbead exfoliants were banned back in 2015.

These biodegradable glitters are also much more comfortable to wear with some reports claiming that they’re up to 40% silkier than traditional glitter. Starting at $10, this affordable option will hopefully push plastics out of the beauty realm for good. This festival season, invest in eco-friendly products.

After 8 Years of Marriage, Adele and Simon Konecki Are Getting a Divorce

The tradition of giving someone an engagement ring dates back to 1477 when Maximilian of Austria gave his bride-to-be a masterfully crafted ring as a promise of their marriage. Since then, across the globe, people dream of finding their soulmate, giving or receiving an engagement ring, and living happily ever after.

Unfortunately, life isn’t a fairy tale and living happily ever after isn’t always an option — even for multimillionaire celebrities.

Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. If you’ve attended college, your risk of divorce decreases by 13%. But if you’re a millionaire musician from London, since your relationship is essentially under a microscope, that percentage is likely much higher.

According to AOL, Adele, who is currently recording her fourth album, is divorcing her husband and father of her child, Simon Konecki.

Image courtesy of europapress.es

In late April, the couple released a statement confirming their unexpected divorce, saying that the couple split up around eight months ago but are now making it official.

“Adele and her partner have separated,” wrote Adele’s representatives. “They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment.”

It has been reported that the couple did not sign a prenup when they wed in 2011. If they file for divorce in the state of California, where they own property and Konecki’s business is located, she could end up losing as much as half of her earnings.

“What is made during the marriage is likely to be split on an equal basis,” added Sandra Davis, a divorce attorney who represented Princess Diana of Wales. “It doesn’t matter who did what, or who contributed what.”

As of May 2018, Adele was listed on the U.K. Sunday Times‘ annual “Rich List,” topping the Under 30 ranking with $182 million to her name.

Those close to the couple are confident that the two will be able to handle this highly publicized, high-stakes divorce respectfully because of the importance of raising their 6-year-old son Angelo. If a child is 12 or older, he or she would be able to speak with a judge privately regarding post-divorce issues and living situation preferences.

“Adele’s son is everything to her,” an insider told People. “Her whole life revolves around him. I just can’t see her divorce getting messy because she’s so careful when it comes to her son. She’s always five steps ahead in terms of how a decision will affect him.”

In Addition to Adele’s high-profile breakup, there have been plenty of expensive celebrity divorces over the years:

  • Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor — Divorced in 2017 after 17 years of marriage.
  • Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon — Divorced in 2014 after 11 years of marriage.
  • Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck — Divorced after 10 years of marriage.
  • Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow — Divorced in 2016 after 10 years of marriage.
  • Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum — Divorced in 2018 after nine years of marriage.
  • Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux — Divorced in 2018 after two and a half years of marriage.
  • Johnny Depp and Amber Heard — Divorced in 2017 after two years of marriage.
  • Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries — Divorced in 2013 after 72 days of marriage.

Traveling On A Budget: 4 Ways To Avoid Vacation Debt As A Millennial

The millennial generation can be a bit of a contradiction. Although 69% of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, they are also quite cautious — especially when it comes to finances. Adventure comes in many forms, but the greatest adventure of all is travel; whether you’re planning to walk the Great Wall of China or experience the culture in Johannesburg, getting out of your day-to-day comfort zone and hopping on a plane (or a train, or a car) takes some bravery. Keeping a budget in check during such exciting times can be tricky, so let’s take a look at three ways you can stay in the green and avoid vacation debt during your next (adventurous) vacation.

Sunrise in Miami

Plan Ahead!

If you always want to have money available for a trip, you’re going to need to start a vacation fund. Though it may feel incredibly daunting to have to take away from your already tight budget, remember that every dollar you save now is a dollar you won’t have to scrounge for later. The act of saving itself is fairly simple: as soon as you are paid, immediately move a base amount into a separate account. Your brain will adjust to the loss as if it was never there to spend in the first place, and you’ll have money building up in no time.

It helps to have a trip in mind during this process so that you know how much to be moving in order to reach your savings goal in time. For example, a vacation to the Poconos Mountains with its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests is most likely going to cost less than a trip to Paris. While you can weigh the costs of previous vacations to get a general idea, it’s always better to save more than you need; the more you put away now, the more stress-free your vacation will be.

Use Credit — Wisely.

Credit cards are like double-edged swords — they can help as much as hurt you, though most people are only familiar with the latter. If you’ve done well saving in the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, you shouldn’t actually need your credit card, but it is always wise to bring one in case of emergencies. Unforeseen costs can arise suddenly, and it’s smart to have a backup option.

At the same time, vacations provide an opportunity to build your credit. There are a number of factors that go into determining an individual’s credit score, and utilization is one of the major ones; maxed-out credit cards use 100% of this ratio, but FICO recommends that you should not spend more than 30% of your credit limit. As long as you’re able to consistently make payments, relying on your credit card here and there during vacation can actually improve your credit score in the long run.

The possibility of incurring debt while on vacation is a deterrent for many millennials. Although saving is hard and learning the ins and outs (and pros and cons) of credit can be quite the challenge, the payout — which usually comes in the form of exciting adventures, great food, and new experiences — is always worth the price. Start saving today and discover the world tomorrow!

Layaway.

Did you know you can pay for your trip in installments? Thanks to Airforable, the layaway options for travel. Not only can you pay for your dream vacation in monthly or biweekly payment installments, but you can also lock in your low airfare months in advance. Thanks to Airforable’s price protection, you can fully fund your trip without feeling the financial stress of a one-time payment. Airfordable works much like a department store layaway plan. Search for your flight and hotel dates on any air travel website. Snap and upload a screenshot of your proposed trip upload it to the Airfordable website, and they will show you payment plan options. Once you’ve selected your payment plan, you pay 30% of the cost of your travel as a deposit and pay the balance in the installment schedule you’ve chosen. It’s that easy.

Millennials Aren’t Killing the Real Estate Industry. They’re Investing Differently

Although millennials may get a bad rap for being lazy and are blamed for killing a plethora of industries, there’s a good reason to believe that those in the real estate industry would make a huge mistake in ignoring this generation. In fact, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that millennials will form 23 million new households over the next decade. That said, millennials may be looking for different things from their homes than previous generations wanted — so it’s essential that builders, agents, and other industry professionals pay attention and adjust accordingly.

Suburban houses in a quiet southwestern neighborhood

In a recent survey conducted of 1,000 Americans who said they wanted to purchase a home in the next year, 51% of those participants were found to be millennials. Eight in 10 millennial homebuyers would be purchasing a home for the first time. What’s more, 84% of millennials surveyed felt that homeownership was a core component of the American dream — and this milestone was one they prioritized over getting married or having children. In other words, contrary to what you might have been told, millennials are very interested in owning a home and actually feel that it’s a pivotal rite of passage.

Admittedly, many millennials are currently renting. But data indicates that this isn’t necessarily because these individuals aren’t open to the idea of buying a home; it’s likely because they can’t afford it.

That may be partially why some industry professionals are complaining that millennials don’t “want” the sprawling homes built by baby boomers. In 2016, the U.S. construction market was worth approximately $1,162 billion — but that doesn’t mean that younger generations are willing or able to spend a small fortune on building or buying a home. While there likely is a stylistic shift at play, the simple fact is that many of these homes are listed for prices that millennials can’t afford. Subsequently, reports show that homes built prior to 2012 are often selling at deep discounts (sometimes for less than the owners pay to build these homes) in order for older owners to downsize.

Although 56% of millennials and 46% of baby boomers prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods, they tend to look for different features — and different prices — in homes. Millennials would rather have modern design than a home that’s ornate and traditional. They do tend to like a minimalist approach and updated features, two things that aren’t often found in the homes baby boomers are attempting to sell. And, in fact, in 2014, millennial homeowners were just as likely to renovate their homes as other age groups, primarily driven by the desire to make a newly purchased home their own.

But ultimately, it may not be personal preferences that are keeping millennials from buying. According to the recent Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, millennials go on more house tours and attend more open houses than Gen X and baby boomer buyers, showing that they’re willing to put the work in and are generally more excited about being involved in the home buying process. And although millennials currently make up 36% of homebuyers, the largest share in the market according to the National Association of Realtors, they’re being forced to pay a whole lot more than homebuyers of the past. According to a report published by Business Insider, millennials buying their first home today are likely to pay 39% more than what baby boomers paid when they purchased their first homes during the 1980s. The cost of living and the cost of real estate has gone up, yet wages have not increased in kind. And now that millennials are facing more student loan debt than any other generation before them, it makes it challenging to take on a loan. Once millennials are able to afford a home, which often happens a bit later in life, it makes sense that they’d want to purchase real estate that aligns with their own personal tastes, rather than settling for outdated design.

In the end, the need for affordable housing and a shift towards more contemporary design elements may play a key role in convincing millennials to switch from renting to owning. But it might not be as hard as many industry experts think to entice this generation to buy; if existing data is any indication, many millennials are just as eager to own a home as those individuals belonging to prior generations were. Instead of vilifying this generation, it might be wise for builders, developers, and agents to find ways to appeal to millennials and make homeownership feasible.

Dressed for Success: 3 Tips for Choosing Outfits for Work Events

Dressed for Success: 3 Tips for Choosing Outfits for Work Events

When you get invited to a work event, it’s important you know how to dress appropriately. Whether it’s a holiday party, a networking event, or even a corporate event, which Damon Guidry, Global Event Strategist at Adobe, says “help engage employees… and make the places they work a more interesting place to be”, you should always dress to impress. So if you’re new to navigating the world of work events, here are a few simple tips that should help you choose the perfect outfit. Ready to be dressed for success? Try these tips.

Dressed for Success: 3 Tips for Choosing Outfits for Work Events

Know the Dress Code

If you are told the work event has a dress code, it’s essential you know what it means. For starters, a casual dress code means you can wear whatever you want, within reason. You still want to dress appropriately but you can let a bit of your own fashion sense show. If the dress code is business attire, you want to wear something that you could also wear to a meeting with a client; something that is work appropriate but can be dressed up too. For a cocktail dress code, wear something you think is too fancy to wear to work, like a short, black dress. And black tie dress code means you have to get dressed up. Wearing a nice dress and comfortable heels is a good formal option for work events. Knowing which dress code means what is key to dressing appropriately.

Be Comfortable

Most work events involve you standing or walking around to talk to different people. This is why it’s so important to make sure you dress comfortably. And if you fell victim to making one of the 16% of unplanned purchases encouraged by a display noticed while shopping, you probably have a few items in your wardrobe that aren’t comfortable or that don’t fit right — these are the items you do not want to wear to a work event. This is especially true if you’re working all day and then going to the event immediately afterward. So keeping comfort in mind, make sure you wear shoes that won’t be painful to walk in or give you blisters. Additionally, make sure you dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing if you get hot or cold. And make sure your clothes are comfortable to move in and aren’t restricting. This way, you can sit, stand, and walk at the event without any issues.

Think About Your Audience

One of the best ways to ensure you’ve dressed appropriately for a work event is to think about who your audience is. Are you going to a casual party with just your coworkers? Or will there be people from other businesses and potential clients there? Your outfit should reflect the vibe of your audience. Dressing more conservatively, fun, or fashion-forward may depend entirely on who else is going to be at the event. Thinking about who you’re going to interact with is going to guide you in choosing the right outfit.

With the number of fashion consumers being predicted to increase to more than 1.2 billion before 2020, there are a lot of professionals of varying titles always on the lookout for the perfect work event attire. So for your next work event, keep these tips in mind to ensure you’re dressed for success.

No More Colds, Better In Bed, Yogi Says His Secret Is Snorting His Own Urine

The wellness industry is an odd one. The people in the wellness industry have been swearing on the miraculous effects of whatever they’re peddling at the moment, be it snake oil or otherwise. There’s a reason the global wellness industry is worth $3.7 trillion.

In the course of hearing the proselytizing that wellness gurus, Instagram models, and your cooky Aunt might try to sell you, usually even the strangest fads have us doing little more than shaking our heads. This one from a Yogi got our attention.

Some people like to stay healthy by easy things like drinking green tea. Packed with antioxidants, green tea is great for you and contains a smaller portion of caffeine than coffee at 20 to 45 milligrams per eight-ounce cup. What about 49-year-old yoga instructor Sam Cohen? He’s been drinking through his nostrils for nearly the last 20 years. Not just his tea, but several of his beverages. The most jarring of all is that he’s been drinking his own urine through his nostrils for that amount of time, too.

This Yogi carries his own nostril guzzling pee glass with him, just in case he has to urinate whilst in public. He’s claimed using the stemmed glass to nose down gulps of his own urine in public restrooms, fancy hotels, and airplanes. One in ten people admit regularly forgetting to brush their teeth, most keep it to themselves, along with a myriad of other health and hygiene taboos, but Cohen is a missionary of this lifestyle. He and three others started drinking their own urine through their noses back in the year 2000 when their own yoga instructor learned about it.

They do it with all sorts of beverages, too, but it’s the urine that this Yogi insists makes him impervious to illness and better in bed.

“Before I was often drained and drowsy. I was 22 and once I started to drink urine I started to get younger again. The urine is just like an overall boost. It is not possible to get a cold when you constantly drink through the nose. It immediately calms and relaxes you. It facilitates digestion and improves appetite. It helps you breathe through the nose better. It removes tiredness and lethargy. It enhances the libido,” Cohen claims.

He reports being single.

If you’re questioning the science behind this, so are we. Even he admits it feels overwhelming at first because drinking something through your nose makes it feel like you’re drowning (which, essentially, you are). He says you eventually get used to it and it feels refreshing.

He and his friends have dubbed themselves The Merkaba, vehicle of light in Taoist practice. And they drink through their noses between 10 and 20 times per day. Which times are pee and which times are pinot noir isn’t clear.

Who’s ready to hop on board? Nose goes.

Designing a 'Zen' Space: Important Tips to Know

Designing a ‘Zen’ Space: Important Tips to Know

In today’s society where everyone constantly seems to be in motion, it’s nice to have a relaxing, calm environment to come home to. This is why more and more homeowners are choosing to design their house more zen-like. Having a place where you can relax both your body and mind is important. So if you’re looking to create a calming ‘zen’ space in your home, keep reading for some great tips.

Designing a 'Zen' Space: Important Tips to Know

Utilize Natural Lighting

One of the first things you should focus on when creating a relaxing environment is the lighting. You shouldn’t have harsh fluorescent lighting in your zen space — this lighting can keep you feeling restless and even give you a headache. Instead, opt for natural and soft lighting. If you’re focusing on one room, choose a room that has windows that can let natural lighting in. For other sources of soft light, mix a variety of floor lamps and wall-mounted light fixtures to give yourself the ability to control the lighting in the room. With soft, natural light, you’ll be able to relax easily. Furthermore, you should consider moving any electronics, including your phone, out of your new space. Blue light emitted by electronics can not only be harmful to your eyes, but it can cause difficulty focusing and sleeping as well.

Get Rid of Clutter

With the average U.S. home having 300,000 things in it, you probably have a good amount of belongings in your house. And while it’s certainly fine to have some items in your home, you don’t want to try relaxing in an area that is cluttered. This is because extra objects in the room will cause distractions and could even prevent you from forming a relaxing space in the first place. So when you’re designing your zen area, make sure you get rid of unnecessary clutter to allow yourself to clear your mind. You should stick with some comfy furniture and maybe a few decor elements to make the space truly your own, but otherwise, unnecessary items should be moved out of the room.

Choose Warm, Earthy Tones

There are a lot of different ways to design rooms. While a recent survey found that 60% of respondents agreed they would have a sofa be the center of focus in their living room, it’s important to create a space you feel comfortable in. An easy way to do this is to use neutral and earthy tones throughout your space. Whether it’s the color of the walls, furniture, or accent elements, being in a space that offers warm and neutral tones — these colors will promote relaxation and allow you to not be distracted by bright colors around you.

While it’s true that a bathroom remodel can offer a return on investment of 70%, you should focus on making your home a space that allows you to de-stress and feel at peace. So keep these tips in mind when designing your ‘zen’ space for a result that truly allows you to feel your best.