When it Comes to Clothing, It’s About What’s Underneath

BoxersUpdating a man’s wardrobe means more that just substituting last season’s clothing for more stylish attire — it also means buying new underwear.

Whether men are shopping for shorts, jeans, T-shirts or sweaters, guys care just as much about their underwear as the rest of their outfit. In fact, in a Calvin Klein Underwear survey of 600 men and 400 women conducted by Survey.com, 70 percent admitted that they consider underwear an extension of their personality. Seventy-five percent of the men surveyed said that they had never been caught in embarrassing underwear.

“Whether you are wearing a crisp white shirt, slim-fitting pants or rockin’ your favorite pair of jeans, it’s important to set your wardrobe foundation with a

stylish and comfortable pair of underwear,” says Jeannie Mai, celebrity stylist, host of Style Network’s “How Do I Look” and “Extra” correspondent. “There’s nothing worse than seeing a gent in frumpy fabrics!”

So, what do men want in a pair of underwear? According to the survey, most preferred boxer briefs, and most bought their boxers in multiple pairs. Men like multi-colored or patterned underwear, and they consider the fabric when choosing their purchase. Ninety percent want underwear with good perceived value. On average, men buy more than eight pairs of underwear each year.

The survey results are consistent with Calvin Klein Underwear’s popular styles. Classic Two Pack Boxer Briefs, which come in black and white, and Body Micro Modal Trunks, with their soft feel and body-defining fit, prove to be two top picks.

To help you choose the right foundation for your wardrobe, Calvin Klein Underwear offers the following tips for choosing comfortable men’s underwear:

– Try different fabrics. Nearly every man loves 100 percent cotton, but there’s a whole world of different fabrications to evaluate. Fabrics ranging from microfibers with wicking properties for the gym, to cotton stretch for increased support and a more flattering fit, will satisfy a wide range of personalities and lifestyles.

– Fit is key. Finding the perfect fit is essential. Too loose, and you end up with excess bunching; too tight, and you’ll be squirming around all day. Don’t forget that different fabrications fit differently — 100 percent cotton tends to be looser, while cotton stretch or microfibers tend to be more body-defining.

– Go with a brand you trust. Not all underwear is made the same. Usually the more prestigious brands pay more attention to creating a better fit and using higher-quality materials and construction in order to give you the best possible underwear.

The Best Accessories are Easy, Convenient and Portable

HandyAccessoriesWhen you think of your favorite accessories, the items you reach for again and again, what words come to mind? Easy, convenient and portable, to name a few. When shopping for accessories for day to day use, special events, or business travel, several key factors stand out. Keep some of these points in mind to help you identify accessories that will make your life easier.

* Easy: Ease of use is a top trait in everyone’s favorite, go-to accessories. Whether it is a wallet with just the right number of slots, a purse with pockets in just the right places, or a smartphone case that doubles as an ID holder, the right accessories make your life easier. If you are a smokeless tobacco user, a portable spittoon that can be open and shut with one hand makes it easy to enjoy smokeless tobacco on the go. The portable spittoon from Atlanta-based FLASR features a one-hand operational design for ease of use.

* Convenient: Everyone wants accessories that are convenient. Smokeless tobacco users seeking a convenient spittoon for on-the-go use will appreciate the latest product from FLASR. The 4-ounce portable spittoon is designed to stay securely shut to minimize the risk of spills and leaks when not in use, and the one-hand open/close feature is engineered to help maximize convenience and discreet use on-the-go.

* Portable: The right accessories should enhance your social life, not hinder it. Nothing gets in the way on a date, or at a party or other event like a poorly designed purse that falls open, a wallet that won’t close or a smartphone case that’s bulky. For smokeless tobacco users, portability is paramount if they want to have a subtle spittoon on hand in order to enjoy dip, chew or snuff at an event away from home. FLASR’s single-hand design and 4-ounce size is designed to fit in a pocket for easy, subtle storage that doesn’t attract attention.

* Personal: Of course, the best accessories are the ones that let you show some personal style, such as that unique handcrafted handbag or customized smartphone case. Smokeless tobacco users seeking a portable spittoon have a choice of several designs in the FLASR collection. For more information about the FLASR line of products, visit www.flasr.com.

How to Save Money on Shipping

MoneyMailCare packages, gifts, and items sold in online auctions all require shipping -; but among weights, boxes, overnight flights, and rising postal rates, getting a package from point A to B can become pricey.

As fuel and food costs strain Americans’ budgets, many people look to cut costs in unexpected places, and trimming shipping costs can free up extra cash. Here are some tips for Americans looking to save money on shipping:

– Consolidate packages. If your brother’s kids all share summer birthdays, why send gifts in June, July and August? Shop ahead, then send the gifts in one box to save on packaging and shipping costs.

– Plan ahead. Sometimes you must rush items overnight, but with non-emergency items, it’s better to choose non-priority domestic mail services. The holidays, for example, arrive at the same time every year, so send packages a week or two ahead of time. Trains and trucks, while slower than airplanes, also cost less.

– Consider what you’re shipping. When choosing what present to ship to your friend living overseas, you might want to consider an object’s heft before you swipe your credit card. Heavy objects cost more to ship.

– Look for free services. If a company offers free boxes, free pickup or delivery, or other deals, factor that into your overall shipping costs.

– Compare rates. Not all shipping carriers offer the same deals, so price shopping is never a bad idea. One company, Pak Mail (www.pakmail.com), which offers custom packaging and shipping services from over 400 locations nationwide, provides free shipping estimates. Pak Mail uses different carriers to ensure that its customers get great deals on international and domestic shipping, making saving money easy.

How to Shop Healthy And Stay on Budget

ValueBudgetModern grocery shoppers are more informed and educated than ever before, and many are doing a better job of avoiding foods with artificial ingredients and and/or added sugars. Yet, cost and convenience still play a large role in determining what ends up in the grocery cart, so a balancing act is on display in the aisles of today’s modern grocery store.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans point to the fact that many adults lack essential nutrients like calcium, fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, C and D.

Fresh produce and fruit juice can fill the vitamin gap, and frozen juice concentrates can provide an affordable source of vitamins in a convenient, family-friendly form.

In fact, healthy eats that don’t cost a fortune allow families on a budget to increase their nutrient intake, thus lowering their risk for various health conditions.

“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases,” says Christine Pfeiffer, the lead researcher in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

A vitamin D deficiency, for instance, can increase the risk for diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and even the seasonal flu. Pfeiffer adds, “… higher deficiency rates in certain age and ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention.”

Innovative juice manufactures like Old Orchard Brands are helping to bridge the vitamin gap with better-for-you, affordable options. Its new line of Fruit & Veggie frozen concentrates combines carrot, sweet potato and beets together with peach, mango, blueberry and other juice favorites to provide a full serving of fruit and vegetables in each glass; and each serving costs less than $.50. The leading juice manufacturer also offers Old Orchard for Kids, a bottled line of juices featuring 50 percent less sugar, just 60 calories and the full recommended daily amount of vitamin C with each serving.

Today’s consumers are fortunate to find a number of new grocery options that don’t require a compromise between affordability and nutrition.

To find more tips for shopping on a budget, visit www.oldorchard.com. The site also has exercise information and recipes for fun, easy family dinners.

Attention Grocery Shoppers: Counting Calories Made Simpler

CheckLabelsReading nutritional labels can feel like you are reading a foreign language sometimes. But the good news is that new simplified nutritional labels are on the way and will be placed on the front of the package. The United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have released new dietary guidelines to help consumers make better-informed decisions on the calories that they consume.

As part of the American Beverage Association’s (ABA) Clear on Calories initiative, beverage makers like The Coca-Cola Company are putting calorie information at the fingertips of consumers. Beverage companies have pledged that all beverage containers 20 ounces and smaller will display total calorie counts on the front of their can or bottle. Also company-controlled vending machines and soda fountains will display calorie counts on selection buttons or in close proximity to the machines.

“It’s exciting to see beverage companies move the labels to the front and make them easier to understand for consumers,” said registered dietitian Daniel Santibanez. “We all need to make informed decisions about the products we are consuming, and making nutrition labels easier to find and understand is just one step forward in that direction.”

During your next shopping trip, use these five tips to improve your label literacy:

1. Take note of serving sizes and calorie count. Your favorite sandwich cookie may be only 160 calories per serving, but are you really going to stop after one serving?

2. Look at the total calories and the calories coming from fat. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 40 calories per serving is low, while 100 calories is moderate and 400 calories is high.

3. Plan your meals before you go shopping. Try to prepare meals that are not only tasty but also low in calories. Doing so will help you avoid buying items that are not on your shopping list while also shielding you from high-calorie snacks.

4. Carry a calorie “cheat sheet.” Sometimes you will come across foods in the grocery that do not have nutrition labeling. Carry a calorie sheet, or use a mobile phone app.

5. Read the Percent Daily Value (DV). The DV is formulated for a 2,000 calorie diet, but it can provide a basic guideline even if you consume more or less.

The next time you’re at the grocery store or fountain machine, start reading the nutrition labels or calorie counts, and you’ll find yourself making more informed, healthier choices.

Men: Smart Tips for Effortless Shopping

RealJeansMany men don’t spend a lot of time shopping to begin with, but in a tough economy, purchasing new clothes is even more likely to go by the wayside. When everything in the closet seems to be worn out, outdated or ill-fitting, the dread begins as it’s time to head to the store.

For these men, it’s not about fashion, but instead about finding an affordable price point for durable and comfortable clothes. If this sounds all too familiar, read on for shopping smart tips to make the process bearable.

Shop with ease: Find clothes where you are already shopping. You can find long-trusted brands offering top-quality clothing at the mass-market stores where you’re already shopping. Next time you make a trip to Wal-Mart, take a quick look at the men’s apparel section, and you’ll be surprised at what you see. Brands like Wrangler, for example, offer a variety of styles, all with a full warranty for a year, so you know what you get is worth the purchase. And one-stop shopping makes clothes-buying easier for even the most time-strapped consumers.

Shop necessity: Choose comfort and durability over flash and trends. Make sure anything you buy is made with premium fabrics and constructed to keep its shape. Higher-quality apparel lasts the longest, so you get the most for your money. When you find a quality brand, choose from any of its fits and finishes to get the style that works for you. Remember that traditional styles that fit well will always be in fashion.

Shop value: Look for the best deal. There’s no need to pay designer prices when you can buy what you want and need for a fraction of the cost. Wrangler clothing is priced right at less than $20 for jeans, pants, shorts and shirts at value-minded retailers nationwide. When you combine the price with the 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, you know you can count on Wrangler for quality, comfort and value.

For more information on smart shopping tips for men’s apparel, visit www.wrangler.com.

Tips for Toilet Shopping

ToiletsAmericans will spend, on average, seven years of their lives in the bathroom. That’s way too much time to be dealing with a plunger.

“Today’s toilets virtually eliminate clogging,” says James Walsh, chinaware director for American Standard. “There are toilets that have been independently rated to flush 1,000 grams of solids with a single flush. That’s almost two and half pounds!”

Here’s how to find the finest in flushers:

1. Check the test scores. The Maximum Performance (MaP) Test is an independent report that tests how many grams of solids can be cleanly eliminated on a single flush. Developed by John Koehler and Veritec Consulting, the latest report is available for free at www.veritec.ca. Other independent flush test results are available from consumer ratings magazines.

2. Look for the widest trapway. Most toilets have a two-inch wide waterway snaking out the back of the bowl. The narrow trapway enhances the strength of the siphon, which is the pull-action that draws waste and water out of the bowl. While the difference between a two-inch and a two-and-three-eighths-inch trapway doesn’t sound like much, the additional width can handle 70 percent more mass.

3. Seek out power from above. Today’s top flushers harness bowl-cleaning energy when the water enters the bowl, not as it exits through the trapway. The top-rated Champion 4 toilet from American Standard has the widest opening between the tank and bowl at four inches. A patented, funnel-shaped flush valve accelerates the water as it leaves the tank.

4. Give peace and quiet a chance. Pressure-assisted toilets prevent clogging, but flush loudly. Gravity-fed toilets have a quieter flush, and the top performers are actually the quietest. The re-engineered waterways reduce water turbulence.

5. Look for fully-glazed waterways, because the porcelain glaze impedes sticking. Double-glazing that incorporates anti-microbial elements provides nano-level smoothness, and the added benefit of inhibiting stains and odors.

High-performance toilets are available from lower price points on up to high fashion styles, so there’s no reason not to toss your plunger. After all, it’s seven years.

Shopping for a New Sofa? Keep These Design Tips in Mind

UpholsteryDesignLooking for a quick and easy way to freshen up your living room? Look no further than your sofa. A change of upholstery, especially a custom design, can change the look and feel of your room without a complex renovation.

Today’s sofa styles range from sleek and modern to traditional and timeless with a range of details like tufting and nailheads, shown in ready-to-ship fabrics, or you can pick from an expanded collection of fabric or leather to suit your style and budget.

When picking out your new sofa and giving it your own personal touch with a range of custom options, keep these design tips in mind:

* Fabric: There are so many pattern and texture options.
How do you decide between a menswear stripe, graphic floral, luxe leather or solid chenille? Gary Babcock, with Arhaus, a home furnishings store, says to look in your closet for guidance. “What color do you wear more? What’s your favorite pattern? Your home is like your wardrobe and you need to look good in it.”

* Tufting: It’s trending and so much so that entire sofas are tufted. But it does come in various degrees. The deeper the tuft, the more dramatic and glamorous the sofa, while a more subtle tuft with simple button detail is more conservative, contemporary and more suited for the minimalist.

* Frame: Rather than concealing the frame in the construction process, designers are exposing it, giving the wood timeworn details and a beautiful finish. Adding an architectural element to the piece, an exposed frame brings another level of style to your space particularly if it’s an open floor plan.

* Finish: The finish of the sofa frame, if exposed, and legs comprise another opportunity to showcase your individual style. With retailers like Arhaus, you have your choice of many finishes, ranging from a rich walnut to weathered barnwood.

* Finale: If an option, don’t overlook the nailhead detail-the finale to your sofa design. Use nailheads to accent a unique feature of the sofa such as a rolled arm or seatback. But be sure to browse the range of sizes and finishes, including old gold, stainless steel, pewter and gunmetal. Designers can further customize the look of your sofa by changing the spacing between each nailheads.

Home furnishings stores such as Arhaus offer a range of sofa styles, as well as complimentary design services to help you create a one-of-a-kind item. In-stock pieces can be delivered in two to four weeks, and custom pieces can be expected in 10 to 12.

For more information and design ideas, visit www.arhaus.com.

The Ultimate In Shoe Shopping

When shopping for shoes, there are many great places to look for bargains. There are outlet stores in the United States for all the well known brands from Nike to Birkenstocks. But where to go when a woman wants just great selection of truly unique shoe shops and the joy of shopping for shoes. Of course Milan springs to mind and in the United States, Fifth Avenue in NEW York and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles spring to mind. But Paris may still offer the ultimate shoe shopping experience.

Shopping is an art in Paris and shoe shops are everywhere, on every Rue, and every Boulevard. Parisians are fashion conscious people who dont shy away from walking blocks to a favorite bistro or caf. Shoes and fashion are equally important to them.

There is one entire street in Paris, the Rue Meslay that is devoted to shoe shops, nearly forty shops specializing in shoes for men, women and children and all styles. Of course there are a few bistros and some shops that specialize in costume jewellery, an over flow from the real heartland of costume jewellery, the Rue de Archives. Some of these shoe purveyors are not for retail and sell only wholesale, but the majority are open to the public. The Rue Meslay runs for over a kilometre through the third arrondisement, from the edge of the Marais and ends at the sketchy Blvd. St. Denis metro station. His area is one of the red light districts of Paris and you may be approached by one of the many ladies on the street that have more than shoe shopping on their minds, just at the moment at least. And, yes indeed, women do proposition other women in this city and these modern times.

Of all the great shoe shopping areas in Paris, including the area around the Madeline monument, probably the foremost is the roughly triangular shaped area of Saint Gemain de Pres that stretches from the Rue du Cherche Midi across the Boulevard Rennes down the Rue du Dragon and ending at the Boulevard Raspail. This is a virtual Bermuda Triangle of shoe shopping that, upon entry, the shoe shopper may not be glimpsed again until the expiration date on her credit card. Bridging the corner of the Rue Cherche Midi and the Blvd Rennes is the flagship store of Camper. These colorful, iconoclastic designs are the embodiment of offbeat city chic, natural fabrics, and comfort.

Across the street on the corner of the RUE Dragon are several more shoe stores, on of which, Mephisto offers high style and comfort, as does Arche, a prototypic example of Parisian shoe design. Next door is a moderately priced shoe store, Anouk that has high styled shoes at affordable prices and great sale. Mosquito, another shoe shop that specializes in unique and often offbeat styles is nearby.

The consumer has access a shoe shopping experience par excellence. What a great way to take a break from all those wonderful museums than to re-enter them in a new pair of comfy shoes?

Benefits of Collective Shopping

You may be wondering to yourself Collective shopping, what the heck is that? Really, there’s not too much to it. Collective shopping is simply shopping smarter, that is shopping in places that you can compare prices.

Everyone knows that if you look hard enough, you will find good deals on the things that you want. However, this can be a very time consuming and frustrating task to undertake. That’s where collective shopping comes into play. Don’t waste your time searching through bunch of different sites searching for one thing. Search for it all from one site. There are sites out there that bring many major shopping and auction sites into one easy to use site so that you can shop more quickly and more efficiently. I like to call these Collective Shopping Sites. This is a great example of a collective shopping site Number1auctions . It brings many major shopping sites together, plus a few that you may not even know about but could have the lowest prices.

Once you have found your preferred Collective Shopping Site bookmark it and use it every time you shop online. You will save enormous amounts of time and youll be getting the best possible price on the items you need and want. The internet is an extremely useful tool, but that doesnt mean that it has to use up all your time! So don’t just shop online, shop smart, shop collectively.