Fashion Jewelry – Neck Chains

February 22, 2016

Necklaces are a must especially if you are to follow the three-piece rule. There are several chain types in the market today that it can be quite daunting to choose the right piece to suit one’s taste. The following are just some of the chains popular today and how best to use it to complete your outfit.


Rope chains are one of the popular choice when it comes to necklaces especially more so for those who are interested in wearing one with a pendant. A rope chain is made up of intertwined metal either gold, silver or platinum and the tighter the weaving, the more expensive it is as it makes use of more metal. Aside from using it with a pendant, rope chains are perfect for twisted necklace design where the chain is the main attraction.


The snake chain is both popular among men and women because of its design. Instead of the regular links, it is composed of rings which are tighten together resembling that of a snake’s body. Thin chains are common among women as it appears delicate whereas thicker ones are preferred by most men. One can use it as a collar necklace or as a choker and are perfect for low-cut dress outfits.


For those who are looking for a simple one then the wheat chain is perfect. Wheat chains are made up of several links that are intertwined together making up a thicker looking chain. This chain is perfect for those who are interested in simplicity as one do not need any other accessories to complement it. This chain is perfect for those who wears low-cut outfit but can also be a perfect accessory for smart casual outfit.


For men who are looking for the perfect fashion jewelry without looking feminine, the curb chain is the right one. The chain is made up of several chains interlocking each other. What makes the curb the choice for many guys is the fact that it tends to be heavier and larger in appearance. Modern version of the chain makes it available for women as it is made into smaller and feminine style. Curb chains are a must for those who are into night activities such as clubbing or attending informal events.


Bead or ball are common and are also quite popular because it can stand by itself or paired with a pendant. These chains are made of individual round beads with some distance between beads. These chains are ideal for a lariat or long necklace or if the beads are large enough can be used as one-stand necklace

Men’s Fashion Suit Tips

January 22, 2016

Advice is sometimes better given than taken, I know. Men wear suits to different functions or events all the time. I think some tips on how, when and what to wear, would be of great help to all suit wearing men out there.

    • When you buy an off-the-rack suit, the number one thing to check is how the shoulders fit. Business men should go for the doubled button notched lapel jacket.
    • Always unbutton your jacket before sitting.
    • For a more casual but trendy look take a jacket with a single button. It’s more fashionable to choose a suit with a double vent.
    • Choose a grey suit instead of a black suit unless you are attending a funeral.
    • The collar gap between your jacket lapels and your shirt’s collar can signify an ill-fitting jacket. Thin lapels are more modern and should always be kept in mind when buying a suit.
    • When wearing a tie remember the width of the tie should match the width of the lapel and always go for a classic knot for your tie.
    • A pocket square adds extra volume to your suit and should always match your tie.
    • Your tie should always be darker than your dress shirt.
    • Always take the same colour belt as your shoes and make sure your shoes complement your suit.
    • When wearing a waistcoat, always keep the last button unbuttoned. Wear your waistcoat with a single breasted suit; this adds a formal touch to your suit.
    • If you are wearing a shirt that can expose the cuffs make sure your cuffs are exposed half an inch.
    • If you are wearing a suit with the same colour waistcoat it’s called a three piece suit. When you prefer to wear a suit without a waistcoat you can also wear a cumber band set, which consists of a bowtie and a cumber band which is normally tied around the waist.
    • Remember to unstitch your jackets pocket; it’s normally just tack stitches that can easily be removed with a stitch remover. Also remember to remove the labels from the jacket’s left sleeve. Do this very carefully as you can rip the fabric or neighbouring threads.
    • Do not wear bright socks and make sure your socks are long enough so that when you sit, no leg shows. White socks are also a no-no unless you’re wearing a white suit and shoes.
    • Make sure your jacket is long enough so it covers your zipper and buttocks.
    • Your tie shouldn’t be longer than your waist and also not very short.
    • The hem of your pants should reach the top of your shoes and for a more conservative look, wear your pants long enough to cover your laces.
    • If you are a very sweaty person wear a vest under your shirt so you don’t end up with a wet and sweaty shirt. When wearing a vest make sure it has a deep neck so it won’t stick out at the collar.
  • Make sure you put your men’s suit back into its original bag so that it will stay dust and crease free for a long time.

Located in Johannesburg’s most iconic shopping institution, the Oriental Plaza, Abrams Stores is a family owned and managed business, specialising in high-end, exclusive branded wear for men and boys. Our philosophy is simple, and has been the driving force behind our success – we value quality, exclusivity and customer service above all else.

Starting Your Retail Fashion Business?

January 21, 2016

The fashion world is an avalanche – constantly evolving, thriving and flourishing.

If you’re looking to transform your passion and enthusiasm for fashion into a profitable business, you need to have your gun continuously blazing. In order to help budding fashion retail store owners to hit the ground running, here are some insider tips on kick starting a profiting venture:

1. Think, Behave, Live Like A Business

When you start your own venture, you might think of taking it easy. After all, it is your own business. However, if you really want to build a successful retail store, you think to start thinking and acting like an entrepreneur from Day 0. There’s no room for slacking. Develop your short term, medium term, and long term goals, and make sure every action is aligned to contribute to that goal.

2. Choosing A Good Location For Your Boutique Is Essential

Location is a matter of strategy, not tactic. Unfortunately, most retailers fail to really understand its significance. A fashion store that’s not on the main street, mall, or downtown in large areas will fail to make an impact. For instance, if you chose a spot in a slum area, surrounded by dilapidated buildings and warehouses, you’re setting yourself up for a failure. Ideally, it is recommended to locate your store around relevant businesses. For instance, you might not want to go right beside a competitor that is much bigger than you in terms of size. But setting up your fashion clothing store near a jewelry store might make more sense.

3. Find A Wholesale Women’s Fashion Marketplace

Your store’s brand is only as good as its line of clothing. It’s important that you form an alliance with the right fashion wholesale supplier that will offer you a huge selection of apparel at a discounted price. Remember, your supplier is key to the whole retail strategy. So invest time in finding one, and building a strong relationship so that you can capitalize on their market knowledge and products variety.

4. Arrange The Apparel To Attract!

It’s all in the visual appeal! There have been many researches that prove that store front plays a significant role in attracting potential customers into the store. The more attractive and creative you get, the more likely you get people interested.

5. Understanding Your Customers’ Needs Will Help You Stay On Top of the Game

What motivates and drives people’s fashion choices? Is it to look appealing? To be fashion forward? Simply put, women just want to feel good about themselves. Whether it is the high street fashion enthusiast, or the functional female, it’s all pretty much the same. Make sure your clothing line appeals to their preferences and taste. Give them genuine advice about what works for them. Ask them if they’re looking for something in specific. When you go the extra mile, it shows. And that’ll motivate them to keep coming back.

Subculture Fashion

December 22, 2015

The notion that trends in fashion take part in a phenomenon known as the trickle down effect has long been recognised by fashion pundits. A process of social emulation of society’s upper echelons by the subordinates provides myriad incentives for perpetual and incessant changes in fashion through a sequence of novelty and imitation. Dior’s ‘New Look’ of 1947 consisted of creations that were only affordable to a minority of affluent women of the time. Fashion was governed by haute-couture designers and presented to the masses to aspire toward. However, this traditional prospective has been vigorously challenged by many throughout the fashion world. Revisionist observations have introduced a paradoxical argument that fashion trends have, on numerous occasions, inadvertently emerged from the more obscure spheres of society onto the glamorous catwalks of high-fashion designers.

These styles can originate from a range of unorthodox sources, from leather-jacketed punks and dramatic Goths, the teddy boys of the 1950s, to ethnic minority cultures from all edges of the globe. Styles that emerge from the bottom of the social hierarchy are increasingly bubbling up to become the status of high fashion. There has been significant concern over the implications of this so-called bubble-up effect, such as the ambiguity between the notions of flattering imitation and outright exploitation of subcultures and minority groups. Democratization and globalisation of fashion has contributed to the abrasion of the authenticity and original identity of street-style culture. The inadvertent massification of maverick ideas undermines the ‘street value’ of the fashions for the very people who originally created them.

The underlying definition of subculture, with regards to anthropology and sociology, is a group of people who differentiates from the larger prevailing culture surrounding them. Members of a subculture have their own shared values and conventions, tending to oppose mainstream culture, for example in fashion and music tastes. Gelder proposed several principal characteristics that subcultures portrayed in general: negative relations to work and class, association with their own territory, living in non-domestic habitats, profligate sense of stylistic exaggeration, and stubborn refusal of massification. Hebdige emphasised that the opposition by subcultures to conform to standard societal values has been slated as a negative trait, where in fact the misunderstood groups are only attempting to find their own identity and meaning. The divergence away from social normalcy has unsurprisingly proliferated new ideas and styles, and this can be distinctly observed through the existence of fashion diversity. Ethnicity, race, class and gender can be physical distinctions of subcultures. Furthermore, qualities which determine a subculture may be aesthetic, linguistic, sexual, political, religious, or a mixture of these factors.

Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays investigated the drivers of social control and the engineering of consent. Their psychological theories provide insight into the causes of deviation, by members of a subculture, from social norms. They highlighted the irrationality of human beings and discovered that by tapping into their deepest desires, it is possible to manipulate unconscious minds in order to manage society. Freud believed that stimulating the unconscious was crucial to creating desire, and therefore is conducive to economic progress and mass democracy. Bernays argued that individual freedom was unattainable because it would be “too dangerous to allow human beings to truly express themselves”. Through various methods of advertising, a distinctive ‘majority’ can be created in society, where a person belonging to this group is perceived to be normal, conventional and conformist. By using techniques to satisfy people’s inner desires, the rise of widespread consumerism plays a part in the organized manipulation of the masses. However, through the unleashing of certain uncontrolled aggressive instincts, occasional irrationality emerged in groups, and this repudiation of the banalities of ordinary life is believed to be a key factor in the generation of subcultures.

The expansion of youth styles from subcultures into the fashion market is a real network or infrastructure of new kinds of commercial and economic institutions. The creation of new and startling styles will be inextricably linked to a process of production and publicity inevitably leading to the diffusion and spread of the subversive subculture trends. For example, both mod and punk innovations have become incorporated into high and mainstream fashion after the initial low-key emergence of such styles. The complexities of society perpetuate continuous change in style and taste, with different classes or groups prevailing during certain periods of time. To deal with the question of which is the most influential source of fashion, it is necessary to consider distribution of power. It is not the same for all classes to have access to the means by which ideas are disseminated in our society, principally the mass media. In history, the elites have had greater power to prescribe meaning and dictate what is to be defined as normality.

Trickling down to shape the views of the substantial passive parts of the population, designers from high places were able to set trends that diffused from the upper to lower spectrum of society. Subcultures, it was suggested, go against nature and are subject to abhorrence and disapproval by followers of mainstream trends. Regrettably, criminal gangs, homeless subcultures and reckless skateboarders, among other ‘negative’ portrayals of subcultures have been accused of dragging down the image of other ‘positive’ subcultures which demonstrate creativity and inspiration. There is an unstable relationship between socialising and de-socialising forces. Nevertheless, German philosopher Kant observed that actual social life should and always will consist of in some way its own opposite asocial life, which he described as “unsociable sociality”.

Without doubt, fashion exhibits a dichotomy of conformity and differentiation, with contradictory groups aspiring to fit in and stand out from a crowd. Previously, the pace of change that fashion went through has spawned social emulation, a phenomenon whereby subordinate groups follow a process of imitation of the fashion tastes adopted by the upper echelons of society. Veblen, a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist, criticized in detail the rise of consumerism, especially the notion of conspicuous consumption, initiated by people of high status. Another influential sociologist Georg Simmel, classified two basic human instincts – the impetus to imitate one’s neighbours, and conversely, the individualistic behaviour of distinguishing oneself.

Simmel indicated the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change. Indeed, to elucidate Simmel’s theory of distinction versus imitation, the distinctiveness of subcultures in the early stages of a set fashion assures for its destruction as the fashion spreads. An idea or a custom has its optimal innovative intensity when it is constrained to a small clandestine group. After the original symbolic value of the idea has been exploited by commercialisation and accepted as a part of mass culture, the balance will have a tendency to tip towards imitation over distinction. An example of the imitation of a distinctive subculture is the evolution of blue jeans, which originating from humble American cowboys and gold-miners, demonstrate a bubble-up effect of a subculture. On a larger scale, it can be said that Western style dressing ‘bubbled-up’ from 19th Century Quaker’s attire, rather than ‘trickling down’ from the styles of Court aristocracy.

Simmel describes fashion as a process by which the society consolidates itself by reintegrating what disrupts it. The existence of fashion requires that some members of society must be perceived as superior or inferior. From economist Harvey Leibenstein’s perspective, fashion is a market constituted of ‘snobs’. The phenomenon of ‘snob-demand’ depicts consumers as snobs who will stop buying a product when the price drops too much. The trickle down effect has been related to a ‘band-wagon effect’ where the turnovers of a product are particularly high as a result of imitation. Every economic choice is bound not only to the pure computational rationality of individuals, but is influenced by irrational factors, such social imitation, contrary to what Simmel calls the ‘need for distinction’. However, a ‘reverse bandwagon effect’ acts as an opposing force when a snobbish consumer stops buying a product because too many others are buying it as well. The resultant force depends on the relative intensity of the two forces.

Subcultures have often endured a less than agreeable relationship with the mainstream as a result of exploitation and cultural appropriation. This often leads to the demise or evolution of a particular subculture once the originally novel ideas have been commercially popularised to an extent where the ideologies of the subculture have lost their fundamental connotations. The insatiable commercial hunger for new trends instigated the counterfeiting of subculture fashion, unjustifiably used on the sophisticated catwalks in fashion dictatorships of Paris, Milan and New York. It is not purely sartorial fashion but also music subcultures that are particularly vulnerable to the massification process. Certain types of music like jazz, punk, hip hop and rave were only listened to by minority groups at the initial stages of its history. xx