Category: Accessories

Shoe Life – A Fairy Tale Story

Pepita Jones

Pepita Jones

Clothes makes a woman happy but a good heel can give her confidence and a lot of sex appeal.
– Christian Louboutin

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I like women to see my shoes as objects of beauty, as gems outside the realm of fashion, within their own universe.  Shoes are not an accessory; they’re an attribute.  You should open a shoebox as if opening a present.  Voila!
– Christian Louboutin

He is so right.  A good heel tends to elongate and give shape to the leg, that is why women would suffer the pain and discomfort of high heels for long periods of time because they do boost women’s morale and self-confidence, thus, being literally a fashion victim. lol  No pain, no gain!!!

Having said that, there are high heels that are so well made, though could cost the Earth, but despite their towering heights they can be reasonably comfy.

Victoria Beckham is an advocate of high heels. Kudos to her, she makes high-heels wearing looks so natural, elegant and normal.  It is seldom that she goes about her business without her trusted high heels even when seen with her children, with Harper on her hip.

Louboutin-Ultimate-web-only

It is better to buy the more expensive shoes because they are better made and more comfortable and as such, it is important that they are looked after good and proper.

The same shoes should not be worn every day.  Give shoes a time to breathe and dry up.  Feet sweat copiously especially during the summer!!!

If in case  shoes become smelly, you can rejuvenate them and vanish the smell by putting orange peel inside the shoes, overnight and the next morning, you will be rewarded by citrusy smelling shoes.

The best time to shop for shoes is during the end of the day when your feet are swollen and tired from all those standing around and walking here and there.  This will ensure that the fitting of your shoes is much better and prevent pinching the next day.  Always try both pair.  Left and right feet are different from each other.

 

 

Blue Diamond Found

Blue diamond

Wow, some lucky woman will have her digit and neckline and possibly her wrist too adorned with blings from this newly found blue diamond.

Lucky for some!

 

As the gorgeous Marilyn, who knew a thing or two about diamonds, sang:

Men grow cold
As girls grow old,
And we all lose our charms in the end.

But square-cut or pear-shaped,
These rocks don’t lose their shape.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

 

Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered

Sky News 

A massive diamond with a possible price tag of more than £36m has been discovered at a mine in South Africa.

The 29.6 carat blue diamond, described as being “exceptional”, was dug up at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria – owned by Petra Diamonds.

Chief executive Johan Dippenaar said: “The stones in the last year or so are selling well above $2m (£1.2m) per carat. That’s not my quote, that’s updates in the market.”

However, analyst Cailey Barker at brokers Numis said it could expect to fetch less – between $15m (£9m) and $20m (£12m) – at auction.

The mine, owned by the firm since 2008, was also where the Cullinan Diamond was found in 1905 – described as the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered and weighing 3,106 carats.

Other notable diamonds found in the mine include a 25.5 carat Cullinan blue diamond, found in 2013 and sold for $16.9m (£10m), and a diamond found in 2008, known as the Star of Josephine, which was sold for $9.49m (£5.7m).

How Not to Commit Fashion Faux Pas

Peter has drawn my attention to an interesting BBC article regarding no-nos for clothes. Yes folks, the hubby is now a bona fide metrosexual. He looks after his appearance more. He is Hugo Boss, he is DKNY man, he is Armani, he is Paul Smith, he is D&G, he is Versace, he is so designer lately. He was telling me that he will not be seen dead with white socks with an open toed sandals.

Peter has changed, he is now more aware of what he wears, which is really a pleasure for me.

Anyway, as per Peter, the BBC article is really fine reading, very informative. The advice are sound. I do want to know whether it is allowed to wear a green blouse with a blue pair of trousers. Does vertical stripe more slimming than a horizontal stripe? Well I shall leave you to read the article below and find out for yourselves.

Cheers

Jean
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How Not to Commit Fashion Faux Pas

Are there really ‘rules’ to what to wear?

By Denise WintermanBBC News Magazine

Details from clothing: a man's tie, vertical stripes, denim, clashing patterns, green and blue clothing

Blue and green should never be seen, or should they? Do the traditional rules of dressing still apply?

The world of high fashion always claims to be about breaking rules. Take a look at the catwalks at London Fashion Week, which starts today.

But when it comes to our everyday choice of clothes there’s always someone piping up about some longstanding rule. The rules have such longevity because most people like having guidance about how to dress, says Andrew Groves, who heads the University of Westminster’s fashion department. “We all like to think we’re individuals but rules give people a certain security when it comes to fashion.”

So are they arbitrary and outdated or do they still apply?

1. Don’t do denim with denim

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in 2001

It’s a look that “contravenes all known laws of human decency” says the Guardian’s fashion commentator Hadley Freeman.

She’s not alone in her disgust but despite all the haters double denim has made a comeback on the catwalks this year, even appearing on the cover of Vogue.

That’s exactly where it should stay, says Groves. “Only a young, beautiful, 6ft model can make double denim look vaguely OK. That’s because it’s just not right.”

If you insist on giving it a go, mix things up, say the pundits.

“Wear different washes rather than denims that are too matchy, matchy,” says Poppy Dinsey, founder of outfit sharing site What I Wore Today (WIWT).

But remember, when double denim goes wrong it goes really wrong. See image to the right. Enough said.

2. Men shouldn’t wear white socks

If there is one rule all men should still follow, this is it, say some in the fashion industry. The only outfit white socks don’t ruin is a sports kit, they add.

“Unless you’re exercising there is absolutely no appropriate moment to wear white socks,” says Alex Bilmes, editor of Esquire magazine. “These types of rules exist to make sure fashion innocents don’t make such a bad mistake.” Certain people in the Netherlands seem to think so.

As well as attracting attention because of the colour, white socks are usually made of bulkier material and ribbed because they are mainly for sport. They look cheap and nasty with normal clothes, say fashion experts.

“Don’t even try to wear them ironically, they’re horrific,” says Groves. “Coloured and patterned socks are the big trend.”

3. Legs or cleavage – never both

Julia Roberts at the Toronto Film Festival
Julia Roberts obeys the legs/cleavage rule at the Toronto Film Festival

If there is one rule all women should follow, this is it, say the same fashion experts. “It’s the absolute golden rule,” says celebrity stylist Martine Alexander.

“One or the other, never, ever both. It looks cheap, simple as that. No-one with any sense of style likes to see it all at once,” she says.

The rule is about having one focal point, says Groves. “You don’t want different parts of your outfit competing for attention.”

It’s even emerging as a rule for men, says Alexander. The deep V-neck T-shirt, modelled by the likes of Russell Brand, is becoming increasingly popular and a way for males to show off their chest muscle. “Please don’t wear one with shorts, it’s too much flesh,” she says.

4. Vertical stripes are slimming

Vertical stripes at London Fashion week in 2007

The scientific world, as well as the fashion one, have been trying to work this out for years.

In the 19th Century, Prussian physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz studied the effect of stripes on our visual perception.


Historic rule breakers – US college girls

US college students
  • Went from rule breakers to changing global fashion
  • Made jeans, trousers and shorts acceptable for women


He recommended women wear horizontal stripes to look taller.

A study by perception expert Dr Peter Thompson in 2008 supported this, saying horizontal stripes which go across the body are more slimming.

But this was challenged in 2012 by an amateur scientist taking part in Radio 4’s “So You Want to Be a Scientist?”. Val Watham, whose mentor for the programme was Thompson, did a study that supported the theory vertical stripes are slimming.

The results, documented on her Facebook research diary, suggested vertical stripes make people look taller, while horizontal hoops make them look wide.

“My advice is to wear black,” says Thompson.

Fashion experts say any stripe that is stretched across curves, be it big bosoms or big hips, will make you look fatter.

“The clean lines are pulled out of shape,” says Alexander. “My advice is to approach stripes with caution.”

5. The tip of a tie should always cover the last button of a shirt but never go below your belt

The sartorial rules when it comes to ties, shirts, jackets and buttons are a minefield, say those in men’s fashion.

They’re also set in stone and for good reason – men often need a lot of guidance, says Bilmes. “The rules when it comes to menswear are arcane but they work.”

The tip of a tie covering the last button of a shirt but never going below your belt still absolutely applies to those in the industry.

“Any longer and any shorter and it just looks like a mistake,” says Bilmes.

The primary purpose of buttoning things a certain way is show off good tailoring and lines. But they also serve another purpose.

“The rules are all about sending out a subtle message,” says Groves. “Leaving strategic buttons undone shows the button holes on your suit or shirt are functional and what you’re wearing is good quality.

“With cheaper clothes often buttons are sewn on but don’t actually work.”

6. Never mix patterns

Clashing patterns at London Fashion week in previous years
Clashing patterns at London Fashion week in previous years

Clashing prints might make Coco Chanel spin in her grave but it is one of the hottest looks of the moment, says Dinsey. See Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders and Givenchy. Mixing fabrics is also big news.

“It’s edgy,” says Alexander. “Matching everything makes you look like you’ve tried too hard. Style should look effortless.”

Again, a bit of caution needs to be applied or you might make people’s eyes go funny.

“While we may remember our mothers or grandmothers espousing these socio-stylistic tenets of fashionable rule keeping, these days, often they are no more meaningful than any other personal preference when it comes to dressing,” says fashion historian Rebecca C Tuite.

7. Straight men should only pierce their left ear

Diego Maradona with an earring in his right ear
Former footballer Diego Maradona

The ear a man pierced was once thought to suggest his sexual orientation, the left meaning he was straight and the right meaning he was gay, say piercers.

Male rule breakers – the Macaronis

A Macaroni
  • Took flamboyant continental styles of the French and Italians to the very extreme
  • Wore towering, elaborate wigs, garishly patterned waistcoats and brightly coloured stockings


It was an urban myth, they add, but it doesn’t matter anyway as men now get every part of both their ears pierced, from the concha to the tragus.

“Ear piercing has gone past being symbolic of anything in this country,” says Brendan Mellor, manager of Holier Than Thou piercing and body modification studio in Manchester.

The favourite part of the ear for men to get pierced is currently the helix, he says. That’s the rim at the top of the ear.

What’s now debated is the age a man should stop wearing an earring, say those in fashion. “Anyone over 50 looks ridiculous, it’s a mid-life crisis earring,” says Bilmes. “Harrison Ford had his ear pierced in his 50s and even he couldn’t make it look good.”

8. Shoes and bags/shoes and belts should always match

They should match, but only if you want to look like a time traveller from a bygone decade, say experts. “This look really smacks of the 1950s when a sleek, matchy-matchy look was all the rage,” says fashion historian and trend forecaster Amber Jane Butchart.

“The Baby boomer, counter-culture generation really rebelled against it and it’s never really made a full recovery, except for some brief occasions in power dressing during the 80s.”

The look is too contrived for 2013, says Groves. “Nowadays being fashionable is all about being individual, quirky and eccentric – the Alexa Chung look.”

Anyway, women’s bags come in all sorts of crazy colours, fabrics and sizes now, you’d be hard pressed to get complementing shoes, he adds.

9. Blue and green should never be seen

L to R: Naeve Campbell, Claire Danes, Ivanka Trump
In blue and green: Neve Campbell, Claire Danes and Ivanka Trump

It’s not the only colour combination traditionally frowned upon, brown and black, navy and black and pink and red are also a no-no if the old rules are to be believed.

Historic rule breaker – Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette
  • Scandalise 18th Century France by ditching the glitz and adopting a more simple style
  • They were so simple the nation thought she was wearing underwear
  • By the 1790s French and British women had adopted the style


Then there is red and green which “should only be seen upon an Irish queen” and “never be seen without a colour in between”, according to traditional sayings.

“Often these rules come from how similar in tone and hue the colours are supposed to be,” says Butchart.

“People generally think there are clashing combinations, like pink and red. I don’t think anyone adheres to them now, blue and green can look great together.”

Navy and black is fast becoming a fashion red-carpet favourite, says Alexander.

“Black and a midnight blue look so opulent together. It’s what I suggest for a lot of my clients when they are picking out a dress for a big event.”

10. Never mix gold and silver jewellery

The fashion jury is out. It offends some. “Dreadful,” says Groves.

Others are more open to it. “It’s down to personal choice,” says Alexander. “I think it can work in a statement necklace but when it comes to fine jewellery I’d stick to one metal.”

Definitely match the metals of earrings and a necklace, says Dinsey.

 

Kobi Levi Statement Shoes

Kobi Levi makes the most original, quirky and fun shoes.

They are works of art.

Kobi Levi Statement Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1001: Guide to Shoes

Let me be surrounded by luxury, I can do without necessities.
– Oscar Wilde

1001: Guide to Shoes

Which shoes

How to Choose Necklaces to Work with Your Neckline

Below is a list of very useful tips on how to dress up a neckline with the appropriate shape and style of necklace.
Thank you Imogen Lamport.

JXXX

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April 2, 2013 by Imogen Lamport

Choosing Necklaces for Necklines

 

Different necklines look better with certain necklace styles.

Turtle necks – best with longer necklaces

Crew necks – best with short necklaces such as necklace ‘collar’ or bib styles

Scoop necks – fill in the space with multiple strands of beads or larger scale pendants

Strapless – look great with chokers or short pendants, leaving your lovely decolletage bare

Square necks – look for pendants with an angular finish to harmonize with the angular neckline

Asymmetric necklines – look for necklaces that aren’t symmetrical, instead a necklace that has it’s own asymmetry can work, alternatively a long string of different sized and shaped beads can work well.

Halter necks – these create a narrow V neck – so look for a narrow pendant with a sharper end

V neck – ideally a necklace that matches the shape of the V – depending if it’s a wider or narrower V neck.

Collared shirt (button down) – there isn’t much space for anything too wide, so a choker style works if you have a long neck, if not a slimmer pendant that sits above the last open button.

Boat neck – a long string or two of beads is ideal for this neckline.

Cowl neck – this neckline is already detailed and has volume, so either a short and small pendant or a pair of feature earrings instead of a necklace.

Sweetheart – a curved necklace that has width that will balance the open decolletage of this neckline.

Diamonds – A Girl’s Best Friend

Being a Valentine’s day tomorrow, what better article to blog than what would put a smile to a girl’s (and boy’s) face.  Diamonds of course, be it in a pair of earrings, an eternity ring or GASP an engagement ring, you can’t go wrong with a diamond.

I wanted diamond earring for my milestone birthday last year, my husband even asked me what I wanted.  Told him that I wanted Diamond Earrings.  On my birthday, he gave me a cheap, although nice, imitation of diamonds, a set of Swarovski necklace and earrings.  He said later that he thought they were diamonds.  He is now making up for his STUPIDITY!  So for those in a like mind as my husband, please read on.

 

JX

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diamond-cuts-jpg_112613Yahoo! Finance UK – 17 hours ago
 

You don’t need to spend more to get bigger diamonds or more impressive jewellery, you just need to know a few tricks of the trade.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many hopeless romantics seize the opportunity to shower the object of their affections with shiny tokens of love – sending the sale of diamond rings and jewellery soaring by nearly a third in the run-up to February 14.

But getting the most sparkle for your buck can be a bewildering task for a novice: Which shape, what colour, how much?

So Yahoo! Finance spoke to diamond expert Vashi Dominguez to find out how to pick a diamond in the rough and get the most sparkle for your money.  

1.    Choose a diamond that is slightly less than 1/2ct or 1ct, for example 0.45ct or 0.95ct, says Dominguez. The difference in size isn’t noticeable, and could save you up to 30% off the price.

2.    Colourless diamonds (D colour) are more expensive than a stone that is nearly colourless (G colour). Yet the difference isn’t visible to the untrained eye once the gem is set in a ring or piece of jewellery.

3.    Similarly, you can save by opting for SI1 clarity rather than VS1.

4.    Don’t dismiss stones with imperfections or inclusions, unless looked at under a microscope, imperfections often can’t be seen, but can lead to a substantial slice off a price tag.

5.    Buying your diamond online can shave up to 80% off the cost. Compare different retailers to get the best deal possible. 

6.    White gold is a cheaper alternative to platinum but looks very similar.

7.    You can use an illusion mount, a mirror-like plate, to create the impression of a bigger stone. However, these can be more difficult and costly to repair.

8.    A bezel setting, when the stone is circled by the metal of the ring, also boosts size appearance. And this setting also means cheaper stones with minor defects on the edges can be used.

9.    Set a ring with side stones, a trick to make a ring look more impressive and create a larger impact on the recipient.

10.    Though elongated shapes don’t have as much brilliance and sparkle as round diamonds, a pear shaped stone often looks bigger than the equivalent carats in round or square stone.

Vashi Dominguez has more than a decade of experience in the diamond industry and is the founder of DiamondManufacturers.co.uk

 

High Heels – The Evolution

Why did men stop wearing high heels?

By William KremerBBC World Service

A man's high-heeled shoe

For generations they have signified femininity and glamour – but a pair of high heels was once an essential accessory for men.

Beautiful, provocative, sexy – high heels may be all these things and more, but even their most ardent fans wouldn’t claim they were practical.

They’re no good for hiking or driving. They get stuck in things. Women in heels are advised to stay off the grass – and also ice, cobbled streets and posh floors.

And high heels don’t tend to be very comfortable. It is almost as though they just weren’t designed for walking in.

Originally, they weren’t.

“The high heel was worn for centuries throughout the near east as a form of riding footwear,” says Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

Good horsemanship was essential to the fighting styles of the Persia – the historical name for modern-day Iran.

“When the soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could shoot his bow and arrow more effectively,” says Semmelhack.

At the end of the 16th Century, Persia’s Shah Abbas I had the largest cavalry in the world. He was keen to forge links with rulers in Western Europe to help him defeat his great enemy, the Ottoman Empire.

Copyright © 2013 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, CanadaA men’s 17th Century Persian shoe, covered in shagreen – horse-hide with pressed mustard seeds

So in 1599, Abbas sent the first Persian diplomatic mission to Europe – it called on the courts of Russia, Germany and Spain.

A wave of interest in all things Persian passed through Western Europe. Persian style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats, who sought to give their appearance a virile, masculine edge that, it suddenly seemed, only heeled shoes could supply.

Louis XIV painted in 1701 by Hyacinthe Rigaud (Getty Images)
Louis XIV wearing his trademark heels in a 1701 portrait by Hyacinthe Rigaud

As the wearing of heels filtered into the lower ranks of society, the aristocracy responded by dramatically increasing the height of their shoes – and the high heel was born.

In the muddy, rutted streets of 17th Century Europe, these new shoes had no utility value whatsoever – but that was the point.

“One of the best ways that status can be conveyed is through impracticality,” says Semmelhack, adding that the upper classes have always used impractical, uncomfortable and luxurious clothing to announce their privileged status.

“They aren’t in the fields working and they don’t have to walk far.”

When it comes to history’s most notable shoe collectors, the Imelda Marcos of his day was arguably Louis XIV of France. For a great king, he was rather diminutively proportioned at only 5ft 4in (1.63m).

He supplemented his stature by a further 4in (10cm) with heels, often elaborately decorated with depictions of battle scenes.

The heels and soles were always red – the dye was expensive and carried a martial overtone. The fashion soon spread overseas – Charles II of England’s coronation portrait of 1661 features him wearing a pair of enormous red, French style heels – although he was over 6ft (1.85m) to begin with.

In the 1670s, Louis XIV issued an edict that only members of his court were allowed to wear red heels. In theory, all anyone in French society had to do to check whether someone was in favour with the king was to glance downwards. In practice, unauthorised, imitation heels were available.

Red soles are back

 A child's shoe from the mid-17th Century and a Christian Louboutin from 2007
  • The 17th Century shoe on the left, which may have been French, was for a child – its stacked leather heel was painted red to suggest privilege
  • “An obvious link with Louis XIV and the red sole and heel is Christian Louboutin’s red sole (right), which is today one of the most immediate and recognisable status symbols,” says Helen Persson from the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • But while today’s fashion designers have a huge array of plastics and metals in their toolbox, it was an engineering challenge for 17th Century shoemakers to support the instep on a high heel
  • One solution was to place the heel very far forward in the shoe – this effectively transferred the problem from the shoemaker to the wearer

Although Europeans were first attracted to heels because the Persian connection gave them a macho air, a craze in women’s fashion for adopting elements of men’s dress meant their use soon spread to women and children.

“In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits,” says Semmelhack.

“They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel – it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.”

From that time, Europe’s upper classes followed a unisex shoe fashion until the end of the 17th Century, when things began to change again.

“You start seeing a change in the heel at this point,” says Helen Persson, a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. “Men started to have a squarer, more robust, lower, stacky heel, while women’s heels became more slender, more curvaceous.”

Why are high heels sexy?

Jane Hamilton modelling a swimsuit in heels, 1938

Association Elizabeth Semmelhack believes that high heels began to be seen as erotic footwear when they came back into fashion in the late 19th Century – the nude models on French postcards were often wearing them

Biology Dr Helen Fischer, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, says that heels force women into a “natural courting pose” found amongst mammals, with an arched back and protruding buttocks

Patriarchy Not only do heels transform the way women’s bodies look to please men, they cause them pain and prevent them from running away – radical feminist Sheila Jeffreys says they are one way in which women are forced to “compensate for the lack of power that men may be having”

The toes of women’s shoes were often tapered so that when the tips appeared from her skirts, the wearer’s feet appeared to be small and dainty.

Fast forward a few more years and the intellectual movement that came to be known as the Enlightenment brought with it a new respect for the rational and useful and an emphasis on education rather than privilege. Men’s fashion shifted towards more practical clothing. In England, aristocrats began to wear simplified clothes that were linked to their work managing country estates.

It was the beginning of what has been called the Great Male Renunciation, which would see men abandon the wearing of jewellery, bright colours and ostentatious fabrics in favour of a dark, more sober, and homogeneous look. Men’s clothing no longer operated so clearly as a signifier of social class, but while these boundaries were being blurred, the differences between the sexes became more pronounced.

“There begins a discussion about how men, regardless of station, of birth, if educated could become citizens,” says Semmelhack.

“Women, in contrast, were seen as emotional, sentimental and uneducatable. Female desirability begins to be constructed in terms of irrational fashion and the high heel – once separated from its original function of horseback riding – becomes a primary example of impractical dress.”

High heels were seen as foolish and effeminate. By 1740 men had stopped wearing them altogether.

But it was only 50 years before they disappeared from women’s feet too, falling out of favour after the French Revolution.

By the time the heel came back into fashion, in the mid-19th Century, photography was transforming the way that fashions – and the female self-image – were constructed.

Pornographers were amongst the first to embrace the new technology, taking pictures of naked women for dirty postcards, positioning models in poses that resembled classical nudes, but wearing modern-day high heels.

Elizabeth Semmelhack, author of Heights of Fashion: A History of the Elevated Shoe, believes that this association with pornography led to high heels being seen as an erotic adornment for women.

Two men wearing modern high heels
A rare sight – men in high heels at a gay pride party in Spain in 2005

The 1960s saw a return of low heeled cowboy boots for men and some dandies strutted their stuff in platform shoes in the 1970s.

But the era of men walking around on their toes seems to be behind us. Could we ever return to an era of guys squeezing their big hairy feet into four-inch, shiny, brightly coloured high heels?

“Absolutely,” says Semmelhack. There is no reason, she believes, why the high heel cannot continue to be ascribed new meanings – although we may have to wait for true gender equality first.

“If it becomes a signifier of actual power, then men will be as willing to wear it as women.”

All Tied Up

Isn’t it most annoying that wearing a tie becomes impossibly complicated when you are going to be late for work?  Even more stressful is when you can’t find a tie to match your shirt; when you find one, your digits are all thumbs.

My husband says that most people at his work do not wear ties anymore.  The ties are often relegated to the trousers’ pocket waiting to be worn when they have more time puzzling the art of tieing but most of the times, ties remain forlorn in the cocoon of sweaty pockets.

Gone were the days when you have to be suited and booted to be personable enough to hold an office job.

All Tied Up

Below is a pictorial illustration of the most popular ways of knotting one’s tie in few simple steps:

ties

 

No reason anymore not to smarten oneself up.  Wear that tie!

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