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Can Walking in High Heels Give You Osteoarthritis?

Most women will wear high heels at some point in their lives; some women wear them every day! However, can wearing our favourite shoes be causing more damage than we think? High heels have been reported to cause back pain, joint pain and even sprains, but what about arthritis? We look at whether wearing those gorgeous Louboutins is doing real damage to our bodies.

What is Osteoarthritis?

A type of arthritis, osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints in your knee. According to various Arthritis groups and charities, this is caused by the surfaces within your joints becoming damaged, which then restricts the movement in your knee. The cartilage will then become thin and rough,  whilst the bone underneath thickens up. Tissues in the knee will become overactive, as the body tries to repair the damage. This condition can be extremely painful, especially as it progresses, making it almost impossible to move your knee. There are many signs and symptoms that you have osteoarthritis in the knee, including:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Crepitus, which is when the joint creaks or crunches when moved
  • Not being able to move the joint as far as normal, or lack of movement in the knee

Depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis it can cause great amounts of discomfort and distress. If you notice any unusual symptoms then it is important to see your doctor immediately, as they can run various tests to check for osteoarthritis. Luckily, there are a wide range of osteoarthritis treatment options, which can help ease the symptoms and help sufferers regain proper use of the joint.

What are the causes of osteoarthritis?

There are a wide range of factors which can lead to a patient getting osteoarthritis; normally a combination of several different of the following:

  • Genes – There are some forms of osteoarthritis that are passed down through families. If you have a family member with this condition then you are more likely to be diagnosed yourself.
  • Age and Gender – Women over the age of 45 are far more likely to get osteoarthritis, however, this isn’t an exclusive condition.
  • Obesity – Being overweight can put pressure on your joints, which can cause this condition to develop.
  • Injury or abnormalities – An injury of the joint can increase the chances of getting osteoarthritis. Also, any joint abnormalities that you may have been born with can develop into arthritis.

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Image Credit

Can walking in high heels give you osteoarthritis?

It doesn’t seem as though walking in high heels can give you osteoarthritis, looking at the causes. However, some medical experts beg to differ! Various studies have been conducted over the last 5-10 years, looking at the impact on women who wear heels. Taking the other factors into account, there is a chance that osteoarthritis can develop from wearing high shoes; especially for women over their late 40s and those who are overweight. The evidence is so far inconclusive, but this is something that experts will be looking into until a more definitive answer is provided. If you’re worried about the impact wearing heels could be having then talk to your GP or medical professional. They will be able to run tests, such as an x-ray, to see whether wearing your favourite shoes every day is causing problems.

We should all be able to enjoy wearing the shoes we want, but we should also be aware of the possible implications. If you do wear high heels on a regular basis then make sure you give yourself some time off, at least once a week, in order to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

What Does Your Bag Say About You?

2aA bag becomes so much more than just a catch all for the items that we tote around. It is an essential accessory that can actually make your look come together. The right bag can make a pivotal statement in how you appear to others.

All individuals differ in style, as well as personality. We change our clothing with the seasons, as well as the accessories that we wear. However, there is a certain distinction in the accessories that we choose. They typically possess the same style because we base our appearance on our personalities. So, what is your bag saying about you?

Tote Bag

A tote bag creates an appearance of style and ease. This type of bag says you are ready to go on a whim. The great thing about a tote bag is they come in all different sizes, so you can find a bag that is big enough to carry all your belongings.

People who carry tote bags are said to be planners, and typically do not like to be without the things they need. You can almost guarantee that all tote bag carriers have plenty of pain reliever, band aids and hair ties stored away in their bag.

Messenger Bag

Messenger bags are diverse and functional. People who utilize a messenger bag into their everyday life are said to be laid back. This type of bag is easy to throw all your items in and go. These individuals are also rarely stressed out, and like to be on a constant go. You could say, people who carry messenger bags tend to land where ever the wind blows them.

This type of bag is especially popular among men. They are fashionable, practical and give a great sense of style

Cross body Bag

If you are carrying a cross body bag, then you are known as someone who only needs the bare essentials. A tote bag is much too large for these types of people, but they love the comfort that a messenger bag possesses. The cross body bag will allow you to do whatever you want without your bag getting in the way. It is truly a great choice or those who lead active lifestyles

The Clutch

People who carry clutches are known to be minimalist who like to be a little fancy around the edges. These individuals like to keep life clean and simple, but don’t have a true need to be hands free. It is easy to look empowering when holding a clutch.

Backpack

Backpack lovers are people who live active lives and tend to travel a lot. Because they are always on the move, they need a bag that will hold all their stuff. Backpack carriers are always ready for any situation, but like a bag that is designed for comfort.

Backpacks made of canvas, like these, are also a great style for individuals who want to stand out. Nowadays, fashion is taking things a little bit further so even if you aren’t an active kind of person feel free to use your backpack as an everyday accessory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Arm-Carry Bag

Those who choose to carry an arm bag are said to be both independent and fashionable. This type of bag is designed to sit in the crook of your arm, which will give you a sassy attitude style. However, it is only because you possess confidence that this attitude is conveyed. Individuals who utilize arm bags enjoy sophistication, and keeping up with the latest fashion.

When you are in a crowded room of women, take notice to the many different types of bags that are being carried. There is one thing for certain, none of them are bound to be the same.

A bag actually has the ability to say more about who we are than our actual clothing. It is a place that we keep all our important, personal and private information. Perhaps, this is why women are always in search of the ultimate bag, and that is why so many women end up with a whole collection of bags. However, each of those bags can bring out a different quality in our personalities. What does your bag say about you?

Lady Rebecca

Lady Rebecca is a lover of fashion and beauty. She doesn't claim to be the most fashionable girl in the world and sometimes wears odd looking clothes. I wear my sunglasses at the slightest hint of sun and enjoy cocktails with friends!

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How To Get Bargains From Designer Outlet Stores

shopping

In the past it used to be more difficult trying to find bargain prices on designer clothing in the UK.  Nowadays though, if you know how to get the most out of your trip, you can pick up great bargains at designer outlet stores.  Retail Week conducted a survey recently that found that outlet stores have seen an increase of 20% in their sales.  It is not too hard to see why when you consider that items made by big name labels such as Armani, Gucci, Karen Millen and Gap are often selling at 80% off.

The problem with outlet stores is they are so enticing and if you don’t exercise some caution when shopping at them you could spend more than you wanted to on things that presented as bargains that aren’t actually bargains at all.  This article is designed to help you and contains lots of handy tips to prevent you from wasting money and find the real bargains.

Look At The Occasionwear, Knitwear and Jackets

Look for reduced pieces in the above sections as they rarely go out of fashion very regularly.  Occasionwear is a must for your wardrobe because if you need a cute little outfit for a night out or dinner with friends, you can do a lot with one or two little black dresses at your disposal.

Buy Prints Exercising Caution

Without a doubt, prints can be very attractive and eye-catching; however they are normally specific to a particular season.  So always keep that in mind when looking at those fancy animal prints.

Stick To Pieces And Labels That Never Go Out Of Fashion

Often a label will produce a line that never goes out of fashion.  Take 7 For All Mankind jeans, Christian Louboutin court shoes and Alice Temperley beaded dresses as great examples of these.   Regardless of what is currently hot and en vogue, these kinds of items are timeless.

Don’t Buy Something Just Because A Celebrity Wore It

Many women make the mistake of seeing a particular item or brand of clothing being worn by their favourite pop star, reality TV star or TV soap actress and want to rush out and buy it for themselves because they make it look so good.  This is never a very sensible buying decision as by the time many of these pieces are affordable, they are not trendy or out of season.  Furthermore, who actually wants to walk around wearing things that Victoria Beckham or Cheryl Cole wore a couple of years ago.

In the past outlet stores were infamous for selling hundreds and hundreds of clothes that were only available in one or two sizes or were out of season.  However, things have changed a lot since then.  New clothes are now being added every week and control of the stock has changed dramatically.  Therefore it doesn’t really matter whether you are shopping in winter, autumn, summer or spring, you will always be able to find affordable designer clothes, as long as you shop sensibly and follow the above tips.

Lady Rebecca

Lady Rebecca is a lover of fashion and beauty. She doesn't claim to be the most fashionable girl in the world and sometimes wears odd looking clothes. I wear my sunglasses at the slightest hint of sun and enjoy cocktails with friends!

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The Savvy Mums Guide to Cheap Vintage Kids Clothing

The vintage, twee look has never been bigger and naturally, we want our kids to be an extension of our style. Well, if they let you that is! Vintage kids clothing does not have to break the bank either. All yummy mummies want their kids to look their physical best as well making them stand out from the crowd. The supermarkets are a cost-efficient way of dressing our precious ones, but they are hardly standing out from the crowd and can tend to get lost in a sea of either pink or blue. As always, fashionable clothing should not come with a hefty price tag; savvy and trendy mums always ensure that their kids are turned out well for less. While it is tempting to spend a small fortune on making your little ones look dapper, it is sometimes unnecessary. Take a look at this guide on how to dress your trendy little ones for less:

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With thanks to Frugan for the awesome image

Online:

Look online for classic vintage inspired pieces. There are some great retailers online, and you can save a small fortune too. Online retailers may offer discount codes and coupons, which are searchable through Google and sent straight to your inbox.

Second Hand:

Buying second hand children’s clothes only means that you are saving money and not compromising on style. Searching for children’s vintage and designer clothing that has been pre-loved is a great way of getting quirky, one-off or classic pieces of clothing for the child, which would usually cost a fortune in store. Buying second hand does not mean that you have to compromise on quality either, many like-minded mums sell their little ones clothes online due to the kids growing out of their clothes at an alarming rate. Let’s be honest, our kids grow out of their clothes quicker than we can replace them!

Swap Shop:

Why not call upon your other mummy friends and have a good old fashioned swap shop at your home. To make it more mummy-centred, you can always provide nibbles and drinks before swapping your children’s clothes. Not only can you grab yourself a bargain, but it’s a great way of catching up with the girls and indulging in a vino too! Why should the kids have all the fun?

Think Ahead:

Let’s be honest, the seasons are never a surprise and some forward thinking and planning ahead is all it takes to grab a bargain. While the high street may start putting summer clothes out during the back end of Spring and winter clothes out towards the end of Summer, that doesn’t mean that you need to buy the seasonal clothes at that time. Usually, we are still in the midst of that season! For many retailers, this is peak time for sale or clearance clothing so take a look at the sale rails, this means that you may be two months ahead clothing wise, but at least they can be stored. That is some serious organisation and dedication to fashion.

Of course, as savvy as many mums can be, it’s an occupational hazard to get caught up in buying your little ones as many clothes as possible but follow the tips as above, and your kids will be the talk of the playground!

Ladies: Buy The Perfect Purse With this Cheatsheet

A purse is much more than a girly accessory. It’s a practical carrier for all of your important cards and hard earned money, a way to express your sense of style, something that can set your outfit off and make it pop, as well as a lethal weapon in times of need (depending on how full it is). The purse you choose is something you’ll carry everyday, this means it needs to be versatile, comfortable, pleasing to the eye, and good quality. Shopping for the right purse can be a difficult task, but with this cheat sheet you’ll be able to pick the most perfect purse for you:

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Image Author: Flickr

Size

The size of the purse you choose totally depends on the important things you need to carry with you day after day. You need room for your money, cards, precious photographs and perhaps a few other things – something too big will cause you to overfill it and you’ll never be able to find what you need. Choose a purse that’ll fit your bare essentials so you don’t put things in you don’t need, but don’t choose one too small either as this won’t be practical for day to day use. You might even want two purses, one for your notes and another for your coins. However, this totally depends on your own personal preference. Shinola do a great range of purses and wallets with a variety of pockets and zips in different sizes for you to choose from.

Versatility

It’s important that your purse is versatile, however; this doesn’t mean your choice needs to be boring. Decide whether you’d like your purse to blend in or stand out. You could make your new purse a lovely focal point with a bright colour or funky pattern if you can wear clothing to compliment it. However, the most versatile purses are those in neutral colours and materials.

Price

Ok, you might not want to spend a lot on your new purse, and that’s totally understandable. However, if you do have a little more money to spend on it, you won’t regret it! You carry your purse every single day, and if you buy a good quality one it’ll last you ages. If you work out how much you’ve spent divided by the amount of times you’ll use the purse, in the end, it’ll be as if you’re in pocket! Look for a purse made from a sturdy, durable material like leather for one that will stand the test of time. Just be sure you don’t overfill a leather purse, as once it’s stretched, it won’t go back to it’s original size or shape!

Your day to day purse is a great opportunity to show off your style and create an awesome focal point for your outfit. You can use pattern to draw the eye to your purse and make your outfit pop, or buy a textured purse to add interest to your look. Use this cheat sheet and there’s no way you can go wrong!

7 Things You’re Doing That Make You Look Years Older

Nobody wants to make themselves look older (unless you’re a teenager desperate to get into your local club night), so it might be a surprise to you to learn that people make themselves look older every single day. This is due to certain lifestyle choices people make every day, yet they don’t realise they are bad for them. Here’s 7 things you’re probably doing that make you look years older:

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Photo author: flickr

1. Smoking

This is an obvious one: smoking is so bad for our bodies and skin, yet millions of people all over the world still do it. The nasty chemicals in smoking help to break down the skin’s collagen, amongst other things, making our faces appear more wrinkly and lined than they would normally. You get lots of little pucker lines around the mouth, as well as lines on the cheeks, forehead, and around the eyes.

2. Drinking in Excess

Many people drink way more than the recommended amount. People tend to have a couple of drinks after work here and there, as well as a binge on the weekend – the units all add up, and although you may not think you’ve had that much, it all helps to dehydrate your skin and body. You should drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage, and make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Try to stick to the daily recommended amounts too.

3. Dying Your Hair Blonde

As we get older, our skin changes. People don’t take this into account, and still dye their hair the same old colour they’re always dyed it. This means that certain shades of blonde can really age us! When you go to the hairdresser next time, keep an open mind and ask for a shade that would suit your skin tone.

4. Wearing Boring Colours

Boring colours, especially those worn closest to the face (e.g. scarves), can age us – not to mention make our wardrobe look drab and boring. Avoid dusty pinks, greens, blues, and lavenders. Pastels are fine!

5. Eating Too Much Junk Food

Junk food not only contributes to weight gain, but to ageing too. The more you eat, the more your skin looks sallow, wrinkled, and unhealthy. Stick to eating junk food one day a week and eat healthily the rest of the week in order to keep your skin looking youthful.

6. Spending Too Much Time in The Sun

Sun damage is a huge factor in premature ageing, so you need to make sure you protect from it’s harsh rays properly. Apply a suitable SPF all over, including your face, and reapply throughout the day whenever you’ll face the sun.

7. Avoiding All Fats

Many women avoid fat in their diet to lose weight, but healthy fats contribute to collagen production, so avoiding them altogether isn’t wise. Make sure you include nuts, fish, avocado, and healthy olive oils in your diet in order to reap the benefits. Marine-d3 has a similar effect!

Avoid these 7 ageing sins if you want to look younger for longer!

 

How Lingerie Has Shaped The World And Women Today

The term lingerie, as we know it today, has only been in popular use since around the late 1850s, however it goes back much longer than that. Lingerie was originally introduced, into the English language, as a word that meant scandalous underclothing.

 At times lingerie has been painful, practical and empowering, and throughout history, from the Egyptians right the way through to the uplifted busts of the early 1990 supermodels, lingerie has been a part of our social and cultural development, and we have learnt a lot about people and history from that.

 Lingerie is now available to buy online, from sites like lebeau lingerie, or on the high street. But it has not always been like this.

 Lingerie in Ancient Egypt

It really is impossible to know exactly when the concept of lingerie started, but from records it seems that it first appeared in ancient Egypt (3,000 B.C.).

 During these times, clothing was very much a status symbol, especially for women. Higher ranking women would wear a shapelier, narrow tunic as an undergarment. This would highlight and mould to certain areas around the bust and waist, the tunic being supported by a crosswire shoulder strap. Slaves and servants would only wear simple loin clothes, or went naked.

 Certain artefacts have been found that certainly support the above, and have shown woman wearing these undergarments.

 Ancient Greece and Rome

History is recorded in a number of ways, and in Ancient Greece a lot can be drawn from their many well preserved figures and statues. One female figure, from around 2,000 B.C., which was found in Crete shows the first ever recorded corset. It consisted of a caged underskirt, which pushes the breast upwards. So, our beloved corsets actually stretch back four thousand years.

 The statues that can be seen in Rome, Greece, and the surrounding islands, often depict woman wearing a crossed band over the shoulder that supports the breast.

As well as the statues, there is plenty of writing to support the early use of lingerie. They are often described as bands of linen that support and control a woman’s body shape.

 Roman fashion followed the Greek very closely, and in Rome, there is evidence in a mosaic (A.D. 400) that show woman wearing a bikini. So, next time you wear yours on the beach, or around the pool, you can safely say that the bikini is two thousand years old.

 The Middle Ages

Just as in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, it was the privileged and nobility that wore undergarments. These were usually placed under very expensive outer dresses because people did not want to have their expensive clothes dirtied by their own skin, but the undergarment also provided an extra layer of warmth.

 There were two huge developments in the undergarment, or lingerie, during the middle ages: the smock (chemise) and later the corset. These were introduced, and widely used between the fourth and sixteenth centuries.

 The Golden Elizabethan Age

Lingerie quickly started to develop during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. This was partly down to the introduction of the skirt, during the mid to late 1500s. These skirts were named a ‘farthingale’ and were available in two types; the Spanish, and the French. The French farthingale quickly became the most popular choice, and many Elizabethans wore a roll or sausage of stiffened material known as a ‘bum roll’ to help hold up the skirt. During the fifteenth century women also wore a ‘basquine’ or ‘vasqine’, which, as you know, is a laced bodice that the farthingale was attached to.

 The French Revolution

During the late 1700s is where lingerie was turned on its head. French woman discarded their more traditional petticoats and corsets and returned to a more Greek approach to undergarments. They replaced the stiffened corset with a more flexible undergarment, where it was more about shaping the body with high-waisted muslins.

 The Innovative Victorians

In the 1800s woman saw the return of the boned corset, following the end of the Napoleonic wars. This form of lingerie was regarded as being part of the fabric of society, and had no class or social boundaries. This trend carried on from the end of the French Revolution to World War One – the corset ruled supreme.

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(Image taken from Flickr: Minnesota Historical Society)

The Victorians were often seen as modest and prudish, however this was not the case for most people during this time. The corset allowed women, from all classes and backgrounds, to feel more empowered and feminine.

 The innovative Victorians, in 1829, created the first front fastening bask which allowed woman to put on or take off their corset without the help from anybody else. Victorian woman also started to wear lingerie which was laced trimmed, embroidered and frilled, as well as using silk in their underwear.

 During this time, the Industrial Revolution was starting and in full effect, allowing lingerie to be more mass produced, using moulding and dye to enhance the colour and shape of the lingerie.

 Also, during this innovative period of lingerie development, woman’s stocking were invented, together with the garter. Striptease shows became more popular, with French girls wearing the very latest, and more revealing lingerie items of the era.

 Twentieth Century

This is where comfort became more important than appearance. With social and cultural changes, woman needed lingerie that would support and fit in with their new lives. Woman participated in more sports and dancing, their lives and roles in society were evolving and changing.

 With this softer bra, which had been introduced, came cup sizes in 1935. The four cup sizes were A, B, C and D, with Double D, and Double A coming along later.

 21st Century

Now lingerie producers, and fashion designers had really got a hold on lingerie, bras and pants, they started to really push and develop for the mass market.

More importantly, lingerie started to be developed for every occasion, with the launch of a variety of different styles, types and cup fills. Pants started to be developed with this in mind too, varieties were launched that focused on different types to be worn underneath different clothing.

Over thousands of years lingerie has helped support, change and empower women. It has only been in the last century that lingerie has been made available to every woman.

 The big question is: what is next for lingerie?

Did You Know Dogs Can Be Fashionable Too?

The pet industry has taken the fashion world by storm, with more and more of us investing our time and money in both pets, and their outfits, that would leave most folk hiding in the shadows.

 We have all seen the likes of Paris Hilton carrying around her dog in her handbag, or other tiny dog breeds that have to be carried around like royalty. Dogs should never be treated as a fashion statement, or accessory to their owner.

 Far from it, our four legged friends now have fashion accessories of their very own.

 Over the last few years, there has been a huge leap from tartan dog coats (for cold winter walks) to dog boots and diamante encrusted collars. This huge leap has been driven from the fashion accessory dog. No more is it a fashion accessory for their owner, they now have a fully supported range of clothes, equipment and bedding that their owners are happy to provide to them.

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(Image from Flickr: Vivian Chen)

 So, what fashion accessories for dogs are available?

 Well, dog boots and diamante encrusted collars are just the tip of the iceberg. You need to think big if you really want to know what is available for dog lovers.

 There is a wide selection of fashion accessories for woman, from rings and necklaces to hairclips and bows. Fashionable dogs also have these things.

 If you think about the coats, shoes, and costumes available to woman, then dogs have these items too.

 How about dogs wearing sportswear for exercising, just like you may do when you hit the gym? Yes, dogs have a wide range of sportswear, or walkwear, available to buy.

 The amount of products available on the market is truly inspiring. Gone are the days of celebrities using their dogs as an extension of their own fashion, an accessory to themselves, but your four legged friend can stroll into their own walk in wardrobe, and have just as much choice as you do.

 You may think this is a little over the top, but the way the market is going it is only going to get bigger and better for some dog owners.

 If you are a dog owner who likes their furry friend to look their best at all times then doggy fashion will only give you more choice, and drive down prices going forwards. Dog hair clips and bows, as well as precious metals encrusted in their leads, collars and bedding can all be purchased through a number of different online, and high street outlets.

 If you are dog owner who may only look at the very basics, then you are still spoilt for choice. If you like taking your dog for long, mucky, walks in the fields and other open spaces, then you have a variety of accessories available to you. The more traditional tartan coats, and walking harnesses and boots can still make your dog very comfortable, even though you may not see these things as a fashion accessory.

 Whether you want to get your dog looking their best through fashionable accessories, or you aim to be a bit more practical with what accessories you buy, the choices you have are growing each and every week.

Have You Just Booked Your Cruise? Here’s What To Pack

You have just booked your last minute cruise deal, so it is quite understandable that you want to start packing straight away. However, as you know, when you are excited it is more probably that you will forget certain things.

 Cruises are also different to other holidays and vacations, you must remember that you must dress appropriately when you arrive at your departing port, or that you are on a cruise ship with limited shopping areas (and the prices you pay will not be the same as your local grocery store), and you may be calling at a number of destinations that offer something different.

 Each cruise often has the ability to surprise, as the weather on the seas can be a lot different when compared to land based holiday resorts.

 If you have booked your last minute cruise deal, you may have done so by scouring the internet and finding deals on this page.

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(Great photo from Pauls Imaging via Flickr)

 With this in mind, here is a useful packing guide especially for those who have booked a cruise.

 Be smart when packing your carry-on bags

This is especially important for those on a fly cruise, when you have to rely on airport staff to get your luggage to you at the first attempt.

 Pack important medications, toiletries and a light change of clothes to take with you. This way you are prepared for the worst case scenario of your luggage going missing in transit. You will have the ability to keep clean and stay healthy. What more could you want before your luggage is forwarded to your next port of call.

 Know the onboard dress codes

The dress code can be very different depending on which cruise operator you use, cruise liner you travel on, and even different areas of the liner itself. Knowing is half the battle before you start to pack.

 Some people still like to dress up, as cruising still holds a sense of class and nostalgia. Men will be in formal suits and tuxedos, while woman are in formal gowns. However, most cruise liners operate a more relaxed approach to dress code, with ‘smart casual’ being very much the theme.

 Do your laundry

If packing light is more your style, then you can make use of the laundry services onboard the cruise liner. Depending on your booking, and what class of cabin you are staying in, the laundry service could be free. However, if laundry is not covered you may want to consider packing a little more, and doing less laundry.

 If you do have to pay for your laundry, then pick up some travel detergent before you board. You can also rinse out shirts and underwear in the cabin’s bathroom or freshen it up with some Febreze to get more than one use out of it.

 Bring your favourite toiletries

Most toiletries are provided in your cabin, but if you have your favourite or preferred brands in soap and shampoo take them with you.

 Likewise, if you dry your hair using a hair dryer do ensure that you pack your own. The hairdryers that are offered as part of your cabin are often weak and not very powerful.

 Bathroom provisions

Each cruise operator and each cruise liner has the potential to offer something a little different to the next. So, if you are thinking about packing your bathrobe, read up on what is included in your cabin and your booking. Word of warning, do not take your bathrobe home as you will be charged for it.

 Some cruise operators will require you to stipulate your requirements before you book. Otherwise it is just a case of checking what bathroom provisions are included on their website or ask your travel agent.

 Dress for your destination

If your last minute cruise includes calling in at a number of destinations, then read up on them. Each destination will offer you something different, so it is important that you not only dress for the destination, but you also respect it too.

 If you are travelling across Europe, expect a more casual approach to attire, but it you are calling in at destinations which have a more strict approach towards your attire then dress appropriately.

 Also, you should think about what you plan to do at your destination. If you are planning on long walks, hiking, biking, exploring and taking in the sights, take comfortable footwear. However, if you plan to keep to the beaches and enjoy the view, then pack some flip flops.

 Save room in your suitcase

No cruise is complete without picking up a few souvenirs during your time at sea and at your destinations. So it is essential that you leave a little bit of room in your suitcase so that you may bring these souvenirs home with you.

 Mix up your clothes

Why waste room in your suitcase with entire outfits or fight over cabin space and who has the last hanger, instead pack clothing items that are easily mixed and matched with one another.

 Try and stick to a minimum selection of colours, for example; black goes with almost anything so try and pack a selection of black tops and bottoms to go with a few of your other items.

 Layers are important too. You may have a good idea what the weather will be like when you depart, but things change, so it is essential that you take items which have the ability to provide you with a number of different layers.

 Accessories are also important, take a small selection of jewellery with you to add a little something to your outfits.

 As the bigger cruise liners hold such a huge capacity of people, you have the ability to wear the same outfit twice without seeing the same person, or group of people again throughout the rest of the cruise.

 Keep your documents safe

When packing, keep all of your important documents with you. This is just common sense.

 Make sure that you pack passports, boarding passes, visas and any forms of identification and keep this with you at all times. Place them in your carry-on bag, rather than your luggage, as it means that you have access to them at all times.

 You are now ready for your last minute cruise deal. Go and enjoy it.

Hot or Not? A Guide To Mens Nightwear

This is an area that has been a thorn in a man’s side for the last decade – Nightwear.

 There has been very little development in fashion when it comes to men’s nightwear, in fact the only addition of note has been the onesie, and that has been modified from babies’ sleepsuits.

 And, every man probably remembers receiving some ‘extraordinary’ pyjama sets for Christmas and birthdays. Not only do you feel uncomfortable in them, if you have a partner just imagine how they feel looking at you, their reaction would be to laugh or cry.

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With thanks to Vic for the image

 A man’s desire to look good in the bedroom should not only be restricted to sex. Instead it is important that a man feels good in what they wear, again this should apply to the bedroom with some great nightwear available at xlme.co.uk/

 So, what is on offer in the bedroom for men today?

 This guide will run through several items of nightwear that should be considered. Every man is different, and will have their very own likes and dislikes. So, here we go:

 Lounge Pants

These are probably one of the most popular choices, and can be found in either a chequered or plain design.

 If you choose to go for chequered pants, ensure that you have a matching plain top (assuming that you want to wear one). The matching plain top will go well with nearly any pattern on your chequered lounge pants. Do not wear a patterned top, as matching the patterns can be incredibly difficult. Remember, you want to feel comfortable when you are wearing lounge pants, so it is important that they look the part.

 The Dressing Gown

Also known as a robe in some places, the dressing gown comes in two different types. Men have the choice between the traditional fleecy number, which is ideal for those cold days during the winter months. There is also a lightweight alternative, and you may be thinking of the silky, oriental types, but in reality you can pick up some great plain designs.

 Slippers

The footwear you can officially wear indoors, without the looks from your other half. There are two choices when it comes to slippers, the luxurious leather slippers or the more comfortable fabric loafers.

 Briefs and Boxers

Obviously not at the same time, it is one or the other. Underwear may not be classed as your more traditional nightwear, but many men do opt for briefs or boxers when hitting the hay.

 It is not surprising, as what is comfortable and confident during the day can be reflected during the evening and night. Fit is essential when choosing either briefs or boxers.

 Pyjamas

The classic woven pyjamas have been one of the mainstays of men’s nightwear. These can be very sexy and extremely comfortable, but are also very individual.

 Some men prefer the lounge pants, or shorts, with a t-shirt, whilst others will opt for the woven pyjamas. Some men will go for a combination or something in-between. Whatever you choose, be sure that your comfortable as this will breed confidence.

 Take pride in your nightwear.