The Importance and Potential of the Catholic Vote

Almost any candidate running for president of the United States, for a state governorship, or for a U.S. Senate or House seat these days is clearly aware that he or she probably won’t win the election unless the better part of Catholics participating in that election choose to vote for him or her. In twenty-first century America, how Catholics vote generally determines the outcome of national and state election campaigns. The first presidential election of the century, the election of 2000, was an exception to this general rule, with Republican candidate George W. Bush barely scraping victory despite narrowly losing the Catholic vote. But in the more typical election of 2004, 52 percent of American Catholics cast their ballots for the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, resulting in his re-election as President of the United States. In 2008, on the other hand, Catholics opted for the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, by a 55 percent margin, putting him in the White House by a comfortable margin. The historic 2010 midterm elections revealed Catholic voters as a major driving force of the Tea Party landslide: 58 percent of them chose Republican candidates for governor, House and Senate seats. Finally, U.S. Catholic voters tipped the close presidential election of 2012 in favor of Barack Obama by a margin of 50 to 48 percent – the same margin as the rest of the electorate.

The significance of the Catholic vote in American politics is unquestionable. But what exactly is this thing called “the Catholic vote,” and how does it work? To find out, let’s take a closer look at the political, social, and religious characteristics of the Catholics of the United States today.

Catholics are a complex and unique group politically. Although they comprise a substantial chunk of the U.S. population (roughly one-fourth or about 70 million), unlike Jews or Evangelicals, they are not overwhelmingly committed to a single political party. Rather, they’re split about 40/40 between the Republican and Democratic parties, while the remaining 20 percent or so are “swing voters,” those who aren’t firmly committed to either party and whose choices in a given election are shaped by a variety of superficial factors. It is these swing voters in each national election, as well as in most state elections, who determine whether the majority of Catholics goes for one party or the other and thus which party wins high office. So savvy politicians spend a great deal of money and effort to try to win this narrow demographic of Catholic swing voters, who comprise no more than 5 percent of the total U.S. electorate.

Part of the reason why Catholics as a whole are not committed to a single party is that they are a motley bunch, hailing from a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds. They include Caucasians, Hispanics, Filipinos, other East Asians, African-Americans, rich and poor, business professionals and farm workers, urban and rural folk. Catholics are found in every milieu of American society; they inhabit every state and geographical region of the country (although they are spread more thinly in the South). These characteristics set Catholics apart from other religious groups, such as the Protestant majority (which is mostly white and Republican) and Jews (who are mainly Democrats and confined to the largest cities). Thus, it can be said that, given their political, ethnic and economic diversity, Catholics are generally representative of the nation as a whole.

The political characteristics of American Catholics are greatly influenced by how they believe and practice their faith. Less than one-fourth of them are faithful, practicing Catholics who allow their faith to shape their voting decisions and who follow the guidance of their bishops regarding both the negotiable and the non-negotiable issues at stake. For these good Catholics, the right to life of innocent unborn children, the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the right of the Church to act in accord with its teachings and the rights of Americans to act in accord with their moral consciences and religious beliefs, and the right to life of the ill and elderly are of fundamental importance in choosing which candidate to vote for. While a candidate’s positions on other issues such as poverty, war, immigration, taxes, health care, or the economy are carefully considered as well, these negotiable issues are ultimately subservient to the non-negotiable issues of life, family, the moral law and human rights that form the very cornerstone of society. Since the Democratic Party has fervently embraced abortion and deliberately ostracized pro-life candidates, these devout Catholics usually end up voting Republican even if that runs against their preference because they have no other choice in good conscience. They are not necessarily loyal Republicans, and many of them are would-be Democrats. They are de facto Republicans whose voting habits are consistent and easily predictable.

However, more than 75 percent of American registered Catholics do not even fulfill their basic religious obligation of attending Mass every Sunday, and of these non-practicing Catholics, a substantial portion refuse to accept certain teachings of the Church. Included within this latter group is the 40 percent of all U.S. Catholics who believe that a woman has a right to an abortion under certain circumstances. Also included within this group is the lion’s share of the more than 50 percent of American Catholics who use artificial contraception within their marriages in violation of Church teaching. These staggering numbers indicate a serious crisis of faith in the American Catholic Church, and they betray grave problems in the Catholic vote. Many of these Catholics always vote Democratic regardless of their candidate’s position on life and marriage; some always vote Republican, even when the Republican candidate supports legalized abortion and same-sex “marriage”; and the remainder are swing voters who pick their party and candidate in each election with little or selective regard for Church teaching on the issues. Some nominal Catholics do agree with the Church that abortion is gravely immoral, but this does not stop them from voting for pro-abortion candidates in clear violation of Church teaching.

Within this overwhelming multitude of Catholics in name only, which includes some 60 million Americans, it is swing voters who determine the role that the Catholic vote plays in each national election as well as in most state elections. Catholic swing voters re-elected President Bush in 2004, elected President Obama in 2008, helped push the Tea Party to gubernatorial and Congressional victories in 2010, and reelected President Obama in 2012. President Obama’s election and re-election were due to Catholic swing voters allying with the substantial minority of Democratic pro-abortion Catholics.

Of course, it’s great when Catholic swing voters do the opposite, and join forces with faithful Catholics and staunch Republican Catholics to assure a victory for human rights and traditional values. In a triumphant press release following the historic 2010 midterm elections, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League announced that “Catholics voted 58-40 for the Republican candidates last night.” He noted that “[t]his was a dramatic 20-point swing from two years ago,” but then added, “What caused Catholics to bolt is not clear.” The reason for this dramatic swing was Catholic swing voters riding the wave of Tea Party enthusiasm that swept the country in reaction to President Obama’s unpopular and immoral healthcare reform law – which is now unfortunately in effect, thanks to those same swing voters having reverted to the Democratic Party two years later.

The fact of the matter is that these Catholic swingers, together with the vast assemblage of non-practicing Catholics in general, are essentially indistinguishable from the secular society and culture around them. They think and vote the way the people around them think and vote; their Catholic faith has little or nothing to do with it. Because they are not well-grounded in their faith, they allow the winds of fashion and popular opinion to blow them to and fro like rudderless sailboats. In 2008 the winds were blowing gently towards the Democrats, so that’s the way they headed. In 2010 the winds sharply shifted course towards Tea Party Republicans, so they caught the gusts and sailed along in that direction.

Catholics in name only control the power of the American Catholic vote by virtue of their sheer numerical monopoly. What’s even worse is that this situation is allowed to persist by another group we have not yet mentioned: millions of otherwise good practicing Catholics who don’t bother to register or go to the polls on Election Day. These Catholic non-voters frequently and adversely affect the outcome of elections by their failure to participate in the political process. If these otherwise good Catholics were mobilized to do their duty to God and country, they would add to the faithful Catholics who already vote and help to neutralize the deleterious effects of the Catholic swing voters, thus critically influencing the outcome of important elections. It’s a shame to see the Catholic vote split among pro-abortion Catholics, faithful Catholics and swing Catholics who ignore or selectively apply Church teaching on the issues, while other Catholics just sit by and watch. These divisions are preventing the Catholic vote from achieving its true potential as a great force for good in our country. Meanwhile, so-called “Catholic” politicians eagerly exploit the Catholic vote for their own political gain while promoting a woman’s “right” to abortion or attacking the Church’s right to practice its teachings in public life.

The good news, however, is that these grave problems with the American Catholic vote can be overcome. In fact, change for the better within the American Catholic Church is not only possible, it is gradually unfolding before our eyes. Most “cafeteria Catholics” are over the age of 60, while most faithful Catholics are 45 and under. Young Catholics in particular are fervently dedicated to the pro-life cause. This was nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. in 2014. Of the more than 800,000 people who took part in this event, a majority were Catholic teenagers and younger adults born since Roe v. Wade. This army of young, pro-life Catholics – some of whom were elected to state governorships and U.S. House and Senate seats in 2010 and 2012 – continues to grow, while pro-abortion Catholics in the mold of Ted Kennedy are gradually declining and dying out. Younger Catholic priests are not afraid to speak from the pulpit the truth about the evils of abortion, artificial contraception, and gay “marriage,” and their numbers are slowly on the rise as well.

Imagine what the Catholic vote would be like if American Catholics were solidly united in the full belief and faithful practice of the religion they profess! Just imagine what would happen if all Catholic voters in the United States voted in accordance with Church teaching in every election. No pro-abortion candidate for president or governor would ever make it into public office; nor would most such candidates for U.S. Senate and House seats. Politicians would have a holy fear of the Catholic vote, knowing that to publicly take a pro-abortion or pro-gay “marriage” stand would cost them the support of their Catholic constituents. Furthermore, the already massive and growing pro-life, pro-marriage and religious liberty movements would be much stronger and even more effective if our elected representatives had four times as many Catholic constituents knocking on their doors and pressuring them to do away with legalized abortion, gay “marriage” and the HHS mandate. If every American Catholic citizen took seriously his or her grave moral obligation to form and vote their consciences in accord with Church teaching, we would have a different and much better country. And all this would happen if only Americans who currently profess to be Catholic took their faith seriously. The Catholic vote would take on even more formidable proportions if half of all American ex-Catholics – another 50 million people – were to return to the Church and begin voting as faithful Catholics. Imagine the beneficial consequences to our country of such a massive reversion to Catholicism!

As Catholics vote, so goes the nation. Good Catholics make good citizens. The sacraments (especially the Holy Eucharist and Confession), prayer (especially the Holy Rosary), and sound catechesis are the keys to revitalizing and renewing the Catholic Church in the United States – and in so doing, to unlock the hidden potential of the Catholic vote and make it truly a force to be reckoned with in future elections.

Popular Evening Dress Design Trends for 2014

An appropriate expression that summarizes the evening fashion trends of 2014 is “elegant luxury.” This time designers have been forgetting the color palettes, textures, shapes, pathos in the cuts and all other innovations that remind us of the past seasons. This time they’re bringing back the traditional old-fashioned styles.

The purpose of evening dresses is to tempt and seduce by highlighting the true seductive curves and lines of female body. So the evening dresses of 2014 have been designed by keeping an emphasis on chest, hips and waist. Deep cuts and open shoulders were chosen as the neck designs for designing the most seductive chest area. Given below are some popular trends that you can expect to see in the designs of evening dresses in 2014:

Vivid and spectacular color choices

Noble and elegant color schemes are the future of fashion in 2014, so they’ve been used in evening dresses too. Flashy or too much elaborative colors (i.e. acidic or neon) have been excluded and natural, lighter colors like blue, green, purple and red have been used as the primary choices. White and black dresses are also the traditional classics which are further strengthening their position in 2014.

Enlightening folds on the dresses

Folds, pleats and drapes are some common designing tactics used in the evening dresses of 2014. Every designer seems to be finding his/her own unique solution with these tactics by doing numerous experiments.

Focus on the upper chest and shoulders

Deep cuts in the form factor of V shape are no longer the only way of driving focus to the chest area. Now designers are doing even franker experiments like fitting the neckline and welcoming open shoulders. However, since that traditional V shape is still the love of many women, some designers decided to do a bit of modification to the existing design. So V shaped designs with some modified form-factor can also be seen in the evening dresses of 2014.

Some even trickier experiments have also been done here – For example, in a design known as “Fake Nude”, at first glance anyone seeing will feel as if the upper chest part is almost entirely open. But when seen closely, you’ll find a transparent or semi-transparent fabric at that place. By this technique designers tried to complete the two main accents: opening the shoulders and the chest area.

Usage of fringes and fills in the designs

Usage of fringes and frills gives even more romantic look to the dress. By seeing the collection of 2014 we can say that couturiers were used in an abundance of frills. Decorative stripes of couturiers have been used in the designs of next year. Some brands are entirely replacing frills in 2014. This is a splendid job, but it decreases the romantic effect of dresses.

The Stock Market Reaches New Highs – Now What?

If you’ve had money invested in the stock market in 2013, you’re most likely pleased with the results. It’s rare that major stock indexes, like the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500, generate returns in excess of 20 percent in a single year, as they did in 2013. In fact, the S&P 500 reached a new all-time high, which is a major milestone.

Like many investors, you may be asking, can the upward ride that stock investors have enjoyed since 2009 continue? It’s a question that nobody can answer with certainty. We know that over time, stock markets are unpredictable and do move up and down, sometimes in dramatic fashion. As an investor, you always need to be prepared for periodic market swings. Even more important than determining what’s next for financial markets is to understand your own perspective as an investor.

Questions to ask today

Here are some of the key questions you should ask and issues you should consider as you think about what to do with your investments in 2014:

1. Now that the stock market has reached a new record, am I happy with how much I have invested in stocks?

During the severe market downturn in 2008, many investors took money out of stocks, and not all of that money came back. Have you been a participant in this market rally to the extent you would like to be? Whether the answer yes or no, you may want to meet with a financial advisor to talk about the steps you can take to make investment decisions based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

2. Should I consider selling my stock positions given the market’s recent strong run?

This question is related to “timing” the market. Trying to choose the right time to buy or sell can be difficult, even for professionals who invest for a living. That said, because stocks have been performing well, you may want to consider rebalancing your investment portfolio as the recent surge could have increased the stock weighting of your overall portfolio. Stocks can be part of almost any asset allocation model, but how much and what type to own varies for everyone. The decision to make changes to your portfolio should be centered on your own needs, goals and risk tolerance. Think about your long-term goals and what you hope to accomplish before making any significant changes.

3. Couldn’t a major economic or world event cause a big decline in the stock market?

This is always a concern for investors. Nobody can predict when the next market downturn will occur. By the same token, few predicted that the stock market would soar in 2013. Surprises can happen in either direction. This is why you need to maintain a well-diversified portfolio designed to help you achieve your long-term goals. Although diversification doesn’t guarantee a gain or prevent a loss, it can help to mitigate the effects of volatility on a portfolio. Markets will move up and down over time, and on occasion, significant events may cause more dramatic shifts in stock prices. A long-term plan is important to help you achieve your ultimate goals.

4. How do I know what’s the right move to make with my equity portfolio now?

There is no single right answer for every investor. You need to assess your personal circumstances – most notably the amount of time you have to keep your money invested before reaching specific goals and the degree of market fluctuation you can live with in your portfolio. Making your decision based on what works for you in the long-term will make it easier to weather short-term concerns. It may be beneficial for you to consult with an investment professional to help you reach your financial goals.

Finding Summer Dresses And Holiday Clothes In The Winter

Plan on taking a holiday trip this winter to somewhere warm but do not have any summer dresses? Finding summer clothes in the middle of winter can be extremely difficult. Almost every shop you visit will have their full line of fall and winter inventory in stock to prepare for the colder weather. As a result visiting any of the major retail outlets simply will not have holiday clothes and summer clothes in stock during the colder parts of the year.

Despite the challenges you can still find great holiday clothes (including summer dresses and even beach dresses) any time of the year if you know where to look. Here are a few ways you can get your hands on cute summer dresses for your holiday trip during the winter months:

Classified Sites

One great way to find summer clothes is through online classified sites. To make room for their winter outfits, a lot of women get rid of their used summer dresses by selling them online through sites like Gumtree, craigslist, or Loot. One great thing about using one of these sites is that you can typically find low priced items since they are used; one downside, though, is that your selection can still be limited depending on when you need to buy your summer clothes. You typically only see a large collection of summer clothes on classified sites at the end of autumn or start of winter.

Online Shops Such As Soleil Summer Dresses

If you prefer not to purchase used clothes, want a larger variety, or simply cannot find what you are looking for on classified sites the best choice may be online shops. Regardless of when you are looking to buy holiday clothes or summer dresses, there are a few online boutique stores that specifically cater to these clothes such as. At Soleil Summer Dresses you can find any type of summer holiday clothes in the middle of winter or any other time of year.

Finding Unusual His and Hers Wedding Rings

These days it is not unusual for couples to want to shy away from the wedding rings of the past and obtain matching his and hers rings. A growing number of couples are finding that they want wedding rings that stand out from everyone else’s. Generally when a couple gets his and hers wedding rings they match as closely as popular.

Obtaining unusual wedding rings for both bride and groom requires a couple to agree on what they want in a ring. Most couples choose a ring style or a type of stone that reflects something about them as individuals and one that reflects the love they share for each other that led them to wanting to get married. There are some outstanding and unique wedding rings available online from OrlaJames.com.

While not every jewelry store sells his and hers wedding rings they are easier to find than they used to be. There are now specialty stores that offer a great selection of matching wedding rings for a bride and groom. Many brides prefer that their wedding ring match their engagement ring so couples usually choose his and hers wedding rings based partly on what the engagement ring looks like. In most cases it is preferable to have the engagement ring and weddings be either both silver or both gold. Some couples choose to make their rings even more unique by making sure they have a combination of gold and silver or even yellow or rose gold.

The options couples have for his and hers wedding rings include 14k, 18k and platinum rings. A specialty jewelry store will likely offer a decent selection in each of these categories. Couples who want truly unique matching rings often choose to have their own rings designed by a jeweler.

Aside from the unique aspect of choosing his and hers wedding rings many couples choose to do this because jewelry stores that carry them sell them as a ring set, which often costs less than purchasing two wedding rings separately. This is also a more efficient way to purchase the wedding rings quickly; freeing up the bride and groom to spend more time making their wedding preparations.

The cliché of couples who have been together a long time beginning to look like each other is somewhat related to the fact that some couples prefer the same styles and designs, which is another compelling reason to purchase his and hers wedding rings. Doing so makes it much easier for a couple to purchase their rings in the same style as rings purchased from separate stores may be drastically different.

There are so many options available to couples who choose his and hers wedding rings. Deciding together what the bride and groom want in their wedding rings can bring them even closer together and give that much more meaning to their wedding day. As a growing number of couples shy away from typical wedding traditions it is likely that the popularity of his and hers wedding rings will continue to grow.

What Colours Your 2014?

The rapidity of reproduction means that what we see on the fashion catwalks takes little time to filter into the home, generally starting with accessories and accent pieces before transitioning to larger-scale, higher investment items. But the use of colour is important to observe. While each colour body and/or manufacturer has at least one dominant neutral colour scheme within their 2014 trend palettes, colour definitely comes into play.

Martin Tustin-Fuchs, brand manager for Dulux paint, explains that with the 2014 palette, “we’ll see novel shades and unexpected combinations of colours in the year ahead in all areas of home decor – reds are more tangy, oranges are more expressive, greens are more jeweled, and blues are more tropical.”

Indeed, there has already been a shift to deeper, richer tones throughout fall 2013. Colours remain bright, bold and playful, which is a continuation – and furtherance – of current trends. Darker shades of gray are again (or still) being universally dubbed “the new black,” and gray undertones persist in influencing many of the most appealing shades, earthy hues and neutrals among them.

But 2014 also draws attention toward blues, purples and pinks. A few could be branded “pastels,” but more often than not, the tones are lively and bold. Consider some of the following descriptions from the Pantone View home and interiors 2014 trend palettes:

  • a melding of both vibrant and deep hues… intertwined in intriguingly inventive colour combinations
  • colours of power and energy counter-balanced by the… hues that express the necessity for introspection and calm
  • both svelte and voluptuous… attention to detail and the drama of high fashion… can be theatrical in nature
  • a sense of adventure, wit, experimentation and discovery… “tongue in cheek” in attitude and highly original in colour juxtapositioning and cleverly conceived in evocative combinations
  • a symphony of elevated and voluptuous color to… evoke an atmosphere full of vivid richness and blissful excess

Reds will deviate from the berry tones of recent years toward more energetic reds with orange undertones. Pair these emboldened hues with rich jewel tones, elegant darks, warm browns, spicy oranges or other bright hues.

Oranges move away from the more citrus-like tones of late to a more spicy, earthy palette. Though these new orange hues lack the pink undertones of prior seasons, they look fantastic with pastel pinks and grays, or can be tempered with more complementary dark blues and turquoise.

Yellows have returned in a big way with a resurgence in gold and brass tones. While just about anything will go, look for a greater dominance among softer, more delicate yellows, such as PPG’s 2014 colour of the year, Turning Oakleaf.

Greens made a strong comeback in 2013 with the strength of emerald and other jewel tones. With the prevalence of blues and grays, it should come as no surprise that greens will lean more toward the blue spectrum, embracing hybrids like teal. Watery palettes, combining multiples shades of greens and blues, will no doubt be a favorite. Based on early trend palettes for 2015, expect to see more green, both directly and as undertones for prominent blues and yellows as 2014 draws to a close.

Blues will favor the ocean, from tropical paradise to deepest sea. With all the agates and high-sheen finishes seen at High Point, expect blue to sparkle.

Violets are moving along two distinct pathways, as is evidenced by Pantone’s Radiant Orchid versus Sherwin-Williams’ Exclusive Plum. The red-purples are more daring and thought provoking, while the blue-purples are much softer, bringing with them a certain tranquility.

For those with a less vivid approach to colour, boldness and vibrancy are counter-balanced by sophistication and simple elegance. In cases such as this, colours are unassuming and are harmonized rather than fighting for centre stage.

There is more subtlety in the transition between tones within a particular scheme, presenting a more classic, timeless feel. Keep in mind that “timeless” does not necessarily equate to an abundance of typical neutral tones. There is plenty of room for experimentation; use it!

How to Find the Best Men’s Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are not only for bride-to-be’s anymore as the world is constantly changing and you don’t need to be permanently stuck to the stereotype ideas that girls are the only ones who have the right to have engagement rings.

Marriage proposal is a man’s work but the world is in modern era where girls and boys have an equal right. It is a very trivial thing for men to do but women, proposing to their partners are another thing. Engagement rings are a sign of committing oneself to another. Even though it is not in the common tradition, modern men also want to have their own engagement rings that symbolize the love of women to their fiancé. Men’s engagement rings can vary from different colors and can be decorated with gold, silver or any design that will suit their taste.

Giving a man his own engagement ring is a new developing trend. It is no longer a ladies’ affair to have a pre-wedding decoration. Men also want to have something that will give people an idea that they are soon to be getting married. It is not the way, people generally do it but men’s engagement rings will make it more appropriate for both parties if they have engagement rings to show that they are committed to each other for the rest of their lives. Some men may think that receiving an engagement ring is very gay and their inner alpha machismo may run amok but having engagement ring is only a sign that a couple expresses their commitment prior to their wedding.

In modern times, announcing an engagement is often done publically but engagement parties vary from culture to culture. Others think of another way on how to propose to make their engagement an unforgettable experience and to make it unique as much as possible.

Here are Some Examples of Engagement Rings Suited for Men’s Taste
” Estate rings – vintage jewelry and antiques gemstones rings that embrace the old-fashion in a new and modern way.
” Nature-inspired rings – Rings that features nature-inspired design and made out of natural wood. This rings is eco-friendly and handmade so, it will definitely suit man’s masculinity.
” Novelty rings – inexpensive rings that can serve as a makeshift engagement rings until you exchange a real wedding rings. You can choose something that are based from their interest and hobbies.

You can also choose industrial rings that are made out of stainless steel, tungsten and titanium. It will make a great men’s engagement rings. Industrial bands are sleek and modern that will suit man’s taste and it is less expensive than gemstone rings.

The idea of giving an engagement ring to a guy has become a phenomenon. Others might think that it is only suitable for gay marriage but it is a sign that the boundaries between sexes are getting blur. Getting a “Yes” for men is never been easy and it will only be fair if women do the same.

The Year’s Latest Sexy Lingerie Styles

There is something wondrously alluring about wearing a brand new set of beautiful lingerie. Whether it is the fact that no one is aware you have got something so sexy on underneath your outfit. Maybe it’s because it gives you an inner confidence to the be the woman you always aspire to be, whatever the reason purchasing beautiful lingerie is a feel good moment. Therefore, brand-new from the intimate apparel catwalks of London, I’ve honed in on the key trends in luxury and designer lingerie that you need to know about, to make sure your lingerie wardrobe remains as sexy as our girlfriends in Europe. So eliminate those ‘old woman’ panties, toss out your dull grays and make space for these fashionable styles.

Underwear as Outerwear

Boasting body and a touch of bra isn’t a new craze for the A-List. Ladies’ designs are in the thick of revisiting all things early 1990s, from grunge, think  Dries Van Noten’s jewelled cotton shirts, Junya Watanabe’s denims plus Vivienne Westwood’s craftily frayed knits to the all-conquering platform trainers, think Giuseppe Zanotti, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin. So it’s not much of a shock that the ‘underwear as-outerwear’ trend is back in vogue. This time around though, it’s not so much what you see, more what you don’t.

The Layered Bra

Bras with lace overlays decorating the straps, as well as cup area, were another key trend we noticed from the collections in Paris. These elegant bras are probably one of my most loved trends.

Polka Dots

Polka dots print is a favourite of the runway shows from the past few seasons, showing absolutely no sign of falling out of favour.

The Triangle Bra

A step up in style from the more supportive, fuller cup forms has seen a celebration of the triangle formed bra in 2014.

Bridal Lingerie

A lot of would-be brides place support towards the top of their menu of needs when looking for the luxury designer bridal lingerie for their big day. For that reason, it is not surprising that your classic wedding corset is still a popular option. A properly chosen and fitted corset can provide excellent support for any breast, and not forgetting the terrific slimming impact to the waist!

We notice a lot of the up-to-date collections of wedding dresses from top designers are open neck. Sweetheart fronts or open low back designs, as gorgeous as they are, can begin to pose issues when it comes to suitable lingerie. Instantly you ought to be looking at a strapless wedding corset or even a low back wedding corset, to make sure your lingerie line remains out of view.

Your wedding lingerie must be the unsung heroine of one’s day, it has to provide you with all of the comfort and give you support need and yet stay hidden.

2014 Fashion Trends: Do The Biggest Trends Of 2004 Still Hold Up?

Here, we’re going to explore those trends. Or more specifically, ten trends that defined 2004, and whether or not we should burn our photos or our clothes or our memories, if at all possible.
In the words of Paris herself, “That’s hot.” (Like, this article.)

1. What: Von Dutch

The story: Thanks to the likes of Paris, Nicole Richie, and Ashton Kutcher, trucker hats – specifically of the Von Dutch variety – were ushered into the mid-2000s for reasons no one can really understand. However, we must try. Was it the overt logos? (Let us remember it was around the same time Louis Vuitton bags became a status symbol.) Was it the bright colours? (Maybe? We were teens, and still associated “fun” with “a bright pink trucker hat.”) Was it because famous people were doing it? (Absolutely.) So we must learn from our mistakes.

Do they still hold up: No. No they don’t. But in 15 years they will when they’re old enough to be hot commodities at thrift sores.

2. What: Ruffled Mini-Skirts

The story: Part of the uneven, cotton, flow-y skirt movement, the mini versions presented themselves in time for spring – when you could pair them with polo shirts, skate shoes, or yes: Ugg boots (or knee-high if you are Paris Hilton, of course); a good look for Easter dinner (we told ourselves in one, en route to Easter dinner 2004).
Do they still hold up: Technically? There are still ruffled mini skirts that exist. In the case of them existing, absolutely they hold up. Can you find one now? Yes, you can. Should you buy and wear it? With an oversize sweater from a thrift store, only.

3. What: Polo Shirts

The story: And as if it were 1991, polo shirts returned with a vengeance. But not just any polo shirts: fitted, “preppy” styles that would pass the “Laguna Beach” dress code. Soon, the likes of Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister, and Aeropostale were stocking up on striped, patterned, and logo versions – only to slowly establish the uniform for frats indefinitely.

Do they still hold up: First, everything will always hold up if you can make it your own. That’s what style is. But are you going to find under-sized styles piled in the above-mentioned stores? Only Abercrombie – but be careful, because you have to be very cool to shop there.

4. What: Uggs

The story: Once upon a time, a unisex boot made from sheepskin and used in Australian surf culture descended on our fair continent and was used in the opposite way: against snow and ice, when they offered no actual protection from those things. And then they were used as an everyday shoe. And then they were used in conjunction with mini skirts, and the rest is our species’ legacy.

Do they still hold up: They are still everywhere, absolutely. And that’s what we get for wearing them, and defending them, so this is our karma. Forever. (Please stop wearing them for your own safety – at least in the winter to prevent falling on ice.)

5. What: Graphic T-Shirts

The story: Graphic t-shirts have always existed, but there was a boom in the mid-2000s thanks to (yes, again!) Ms. Paris Hilton who, now that we’re talking about it, really did set a fashion precedent. And was that really so wrong? (Not really. And before you answer or argue, think about how Kim Kardashian’s setting the precedent in 2014.)

Do they still hold up: Absolutely. Are you kidding? Only now they’re cropped, made of sweatshirt, and have pizza on them. What a wonderful time to be alive.

6. What: Velour/Track Suits

The story: Today, workout and leisure gear look almost futuristic or at least fit kind of reasonably. But then? Enter: the velour zip-ups, pants, and matching suits that returned from the ’70s for no reason other than to confuse our parents. Especially since these leisure suits were absolutely not being worn for workout purposes.
Do they still hold up: Every spring, we usher in a new era of sports or sports-influenced styles, so yes, this trend is immortal. But as for the velour? Your best bet is to head to L.A. – or at least the costume department from “The Bling Ring.” (Though bonus marks if it’s really velour from the ’70s, and in that case, please let us borrow it.)

7. What: Layering

The story: No, no – not layering like “a shirt with a sweater worn over top.” We mean layering for purposes only to not wear a see-through shirt. “Over top” like wearing a long tank top with lace at the bottom you then wear underneath a v-neck Henley that’s also long, but not so long as to cover the lace. And if you ever were to wear these separately, everybody would see your bra. And you know exactly what we’re talking about because we all lived it.

Does it still hold up: No. [Cue: choirs of angels singing.] We mean, layering does, but not like this. Not like this.

8. What: Dressy Capri Pants

The story: Is there any way we can describe this better? Probably not, but we’ll try: think dress pants, but worn at capri length, then worn with tall boots or heels, depending on the season. Basically, pretend they are pants. But short. Short pants. But dressy. Dressy short pants.

Do they still hold up: There’s a difference between cigarette pants (ankle length) and dressy capri pants, and one of the biggest is that we don’t see dressy capri pants around much anymore. And for good reason — we were all better than this.

9. What: Pointed Toe Heels

The story: 99% of the shoes on “Sex and the City” (which ended in 2004) are a perfect example of the shoe movement of the early-to-mid 2000s. However, high heels and overly pointed toes eventually evolved into a rounded style, then more retro – like the dress shoes of the ’50s and ’60s. But this isn’t about those decades – this is about Kirsten Dunst’s shoes from ten years ago.

Do they still hold up: Not so much. Pointed toe pumps will obviously never fade away, but the points so long they could’ve reached from your workplace to your home have somehow disappeared. (Or have they? Points that big don’t really go anywhere.)

10. What: “Boho” Chic

The story: “Boho” is strange because it’s arguably a movement, but in 2004 (and thanks to the likes of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), flowy, loose fitting, drop-waists, oversize belts, and slouchy boots became more than a feeling. Think oversize tank top and short denim skirt. (Or: think your favourite outfit in the mid-2000s.)

Does it still hold up: Like “preppy” or “rockabilly,” “boho” can’t ever be “out” – but the industry’s capitalization on it can be. Ultimately, anyone who wants to be “boho” can be “boho” – you might just not be able to find pieces easily at the mall. (At least 2004 styles: there’s always room for “boho” in the lexicon.)

Fashion Trends in 2013

It is just couple of days left when we will be celebrating the New Year. While we are preparing to welcome the New Year, there are few things of year 2013 that we love to carry in the upcoming year. It was a memorable year for fashion and style. We have seen an array of trends. From bright emerald to monochromes, pastels to neon, we had so much to experiment with. The pop of colors in outfits, accessories and jewelry created a lasting impression. To ice the cake, the designs and patterns added a plethora of style, fashionistas enjoyed the entire year. Not to forget, our favorite celebrities contributed a lot to this.

Let’s look at the most popular trends of 2013, talk about the most inspiring celebrities and what will continue in the year 2014.

Color Magic:

Emerald was announced the color of year 2013. And the color lived up to the expectations with its lively, radiant and lush hues that exude elegance and beauty. From runways to red carpet and royal roads, emerald was prominently used everywhere. While the color captured much of the attention, another prominent color combination that received high five was black and white combo. Very retro and glamorous, monochrome was in great demand throughout the year.

However, pastel shades of pink, purple, yellow and green were also admired in clothing and jewelry, neon orange and pink were seen a lot in accessories.

Patterns and Textures:

Chevron, large plaids, herringbone, stripes, polka dots, mosaic prints and floral designs are the prominent patterns of the year. From home décor to designer dresses, handbags, footwear and jewelry, these patterns were everywhere. And they are likely to stay in year 2014.

Sequin, ruffles, faux fur, embroidery and lace work are most admirable and desired textures for designer dresses. Geometric patterns in jewelry and dresses were also a followed trend that will continue in the upcoming year.

Outfits:

Long gowns with high slits, cutouts and a lot of intricate weaving were popular this year. You must have seen a lot of embroidery and fine lace work on ball gowns! Black and ivory were the colors for dresses on red carpet. Geometric cutouts, lace detailing, peek-a-boo dresses, sequin embellishments were in trend throughout the year.

Jumpsuits, ruffle skirts, pencil skirts with loose blouse, peplum dresses and mermaid gowns with short and long train were seen everywhere in year 2013.

Jewelry:

Diamond with sapphire, emerald and ruby ruled this year. Vintage jewelry was the charm and retro designs mixed with modern looks were another hit style in jewelry. Celebrities were seen flaunting colored stones like amethyst, black onyx, opal, colored diamonds and diposide.

Jewelry styles like bib necklaces, gold cuffs, tassels, bold rings, snake jewelry, chokers, minimal pendants and statement hair accessories were some hot trends of the year.

Inspiring Celebrities:

It is hard to pick the most inspiring celebrity. There were many divas that were considered as the icon of fashion and glamor. From dresses and jewelry to makeup and hair do, different celebrities took the center stage for different reasons.

Out of the endless list, few fashion inspiring celebrities that were in lime light for their amazing and elegant style senses were Kate Middleton, Sandra Bullock, Dian Kruger, Jennifer Lawrence and Miranda Kerr.

Personally, we love Kate Middleton and her versatile style. She is a people’s princess. We love the royal for her thrifty style senses. It is now a common practice to see the duchess repeating her dresses often. But to mention, her style sense is so powerful and amazing that the recycled dress still manage to create a unique and lasting impact. Alike dresses, she often repeat her jewelry, handbags and footwear. She flaunts everything with all grace and elegance.

Additionally, her pregnancy and birth of her first child Prince George along with the recent hacking trail and announcement for the royal tour to Australia and New Zealand were few other reasons of her being in the news for all the year.

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