Your Guide to Shopping for Stylish Eyeglasses

More people are finding that they need glasses to read, complete school-work, watch television or to work. The Vision Council of America estimate that about 75% of adults wear eyeglasses for some type of vision correction. While some people wear glasses for prescription purposes, there are others who only just need to use click me reading glasses. Continue reading »

CUTDROP.COM Relaunches as a Chairty-Aimed POP-UP Shop

cutdropOnline apparel store Cutdrop.com switches gears to become a virtual pop-up shop with a charity twist.

Beginning on October 19, 2009, Cutdrop.com will exclusively host one clothing or accessories brand each week. In that span of time, the site will offer items at a discount price and donate a portion of the profits to the charity of the brand’s choice. Cutdrop.com will also work with the individual brands, their respective charities and over 300 of the site’s online affiliates on marketing initiatives for the duration of the week. Continue reading »

Bigger is Always Better

This is a guest post by Jana K. Hoffman, the editorial assistant at Lehigh Valley Style and freelance fashion writer. You can also read her stuff on BettyLife.

Let me tell you why bigger is, as a matter of fact, always better — when it comes to sunglasses, that is. I don’t quite know when my addiction for large, bug-eye sunglasses occurred, but ever since I tried my first pair on several years ago (I think when it first became trendy) I’ve never quite looked at sunglasses the same.

Big Sunglasses

First of all, they really are attention grabbers. Not that I’m desperate for people’s comments, but if you’re looking to make a few heads turn, try on a pair of extra-large frames. Be prepared to accept both positive and negative responses. Not everyone digs large sunglasses, you know.

Secondly, they are so fun! Need I say more? I have pink frames, tortoise-inspired, bronze, embellished, the list goes on, really.

They’re cheap. Or, well, they can be cheap. I don’t spend much money on sunglasses because I know they’ll get tossed around my in car and purse so I look to places like Target and the flea market for inexpensive and vintage styles.

Large sunglasses are still “in” even if they’re not the marketed fashion trend of the season. I don’t think they’ll ever go out of style. And even if they do, who cares? No one says you have to follow trends, anyway.

Finally, they scream personality. Oh, those boring, black round little lenses are rather drab. Add some punch to any outfit with an eye-catching pair of big, BIG, sunglasses.

Oberon Socks Great Quality & Amazing Customer Service

A few months ago a friend got me a pair of Oberon Socks as a gift, as soon as I opened the packaged I knew they were something special.  I enjoy nice clothing, but $15 for a pair of socks seemed a bit much for one pair.  The socks are mostly wool, blended with acrylic and spandex for shape and felt really good to the skin.  Available in two colors, I received the black and gray pair with embroidered skulls.  Taking into account how expensive they were, I waited to wear them to a special event.oberon-black-gray-skull-argyle-socks

An oppertunity came up to shoot a wedding in April with my good friend Alison and it would be the perfect time to finally wear these socks with a pair of dress pants and shirt, not my normal attire.  The fit was great and I had no problems getting my dress shoes on with them, they actually felt good to wear.  I say this because I’ve never worn wool socks and still have horrible memories of my Mom making me wear itchy wool sweaters as a kid.  The socks felt so good I’ve dedicated a whole article about my experience with them!

It was a perfect day for a wedding, low 70’s with no humidity, the ceremony was outside and the reception was inside, with a courtyard that guests could mingle before and after dinner.   The whole time I was working I couldn’t get over how good the socks actually felt; it had been more than a year since I last wore my dress shoes and I didn’t have the fondest memories of them, that night they didn’t bother me.

After six hours of shooting, my job was done and I headed home, looking forward to getting out of the monkey suit and relax, it was now after midnight.  I took my shoes off after getting in the door and to my surprise a hole half the size of a dime was staring back at my in my right sock, by the big toe.  This greatly disappointed me because my friend spent a good amount of money on socks and because I wore them one time.  Furthermore, the socks feature

a hand linked toe – a distinctive feature found only in the highest quality socks. Ordinary socks have an uncomfortable seam closing the sock’s toe. The hand linking process eliminates that seam by aligning the loops of the material at the toe and closing the sock with a single stitch for the ultimate in comfort and fit.

I set them aside, took a shower and went to bed.  Sunday afternoon I decided to write Oberon an email, letting them know how impressed I was with their socks, how great they felt but also how disappointing it was that after wearing them once they formed a hole in the toe.  Oberon makes one product, socks, currently they offer them in two colors, these short run socks are their business, so I wanted to let them know how I felt.

10:15 Monday morning, to my surprise, Chris from Oberon replied to my email.  A real person none the less, not a canned automated email message from customer service.  Chris thanked me for the kind words and apologized for the impression Oberon socks left on me.  He went on to explain they had a short run of socks that slipped through quality control but were slightly defective, causing the toes to come apart.  Because they were a gift, he couldn’t look up my customer information to see if my socks fell within the time frame this minor slip-up happened, but without question he offered to send me a replacement pair.  Additionally, Chris sent me a pair of blue and white ones as an apology.

My reply to Chris was enthusiastic, I really like when businesses, small and large, actually listen to their customers and take the time to help them with whatever they need.   Replying to my email within 24 hours is kind of a big deal, so needless to say I’m impressed.  Moreover, I wasn’t expected a handout, or even the second pair, which I thought was a great gesture on their part and proved they really stand behind their product.  I asked Chris if he wanted me to send my defective pair of socks in, or at the very least take photos, he said it wasn’t necessary and again thanked me for the business.

Thursday the replacement socks came, beautifully wrapped in paisley tissue paper.  I wore the black pair to shoot another wedding that weekend and had no issues with them, comfy as the previous pair I had worn.  The quality is there, I was just misfortunate enough to receive a bad pair.  Without question I’d recommend them to friends or buy them as gifts.

It’s rare for me to fully endorse a product or company, especially with how most businesses run their operations.  It seems too many have a great product with craptastic customer service or a customer service department that is hell bent on proving nothing is wrong and refuses to replace your faulty product because the business knows its crap to start with.  Oberon is neither, they make really high quality products, have an amazing customer support system and really strive to make their customers happy.  This is probably how they’ve managed to build their loyal fan base.

Learn more about Oberon Socks and buy them here.  Become a Facebook fan and follow them on Twitter for updates, including this design being released July 1st.  Support small independant businesses who make quality products and actually care about their customers.

The Cheapskate’s Manifesto: Save Money on Prescription Glasses

I’m baffled by the fact that three of the major purchases of our lives as adults are ones we often spend very little time thinking about.  They are, in no particular order, a car, home and glasses.  Two of the three are really spendy and if you think about it, most people decide on them almost instantly, a gut reaction.  The last, for those of us unlucky enough to deal with less than perfect eyes, can have the most dramatic effect on how people see us.  I’m one of the unlucky who have been wearing glasses for about 8 or 9 years now, so most of my adult life.  Buying glasses that not only look good on you but also don’t break the bank can be difficult.

This brings me into how I’ve saved a ton of money purchasing my prescription glasses this year online.  It’s been 3 years since my last eye checkup and my glasses had seen better days.  I’ve read in the past on a few sites you can save tons of money buying online, but I’ve been a bit wary to do so.  After going to a few places to try frames on locally and seeing prices of $150-400, some even higher, just for the frames, I researched online even more, and booked an appointment with my local Opthamologist.  The appointment was normal, fast and in 20 minutes I had a prescription for glasses, which of coarse they try to sell you there locally.  I declined and left, already knowing what styles looked best on me.

After some research, I ended up on www.39dollarglasses.com, a pretty simple and straight forward site that offers $39 glasses and frames!  Too good to be true I thought, so I spent more than an hour reading through the whole site and looking at the terms of service, more on that in a minute.  You won’t find name brand glasses, in fact you won’t find any names on the glasses, which is fine by me.  They have a somewhat limited selection, which I think works better for them, and I headed right into the semi-rimless and found a pair instantly I liked, but would they fit?

They have PDF files of all their glasses online so you can print them out, cut the frame out and hold it up to your face.  Sounds silly but I did this, and it really helped.  Additionally, they offer some suggestions based on your face shape and show a model with a sample pair on.  But what if I don’t like them?  The terms of service say they will accept returns and in most cases they can cut your lenses to fit a different pair of frames for no extra charge.  Perfect.

After some thought and more reading through the site, along with emailing the frames to several friends for their feedback, this is the pair I ordered:

Filling out the prescription information was straight forward, and luckily I could read my Doctors handwriting, with one minor exception.  They need to know the distance between your eyeballs in millimeters.  Not much of an issue since the same PDF that has frames also has a ruler, so print it, cut it, look in the mirror with it held up to your face and it will give you the proper number.

The frames I chose were $59 (with glasses), and while the site is called $39 Dollar Glasses, only about 1/4 are actually $39, the rest vary with prices as high as $119 for bendable rimless titanium glasses, still a steal compared to $300+ for frames only from a local store.  There are several upgrades available, all for additional money, like lighter and thinner lenses, advanced anti-glare, tints, and more.  I chose none of them, only the glasses and the clam-shell case that came free.  After filling out the remaining billing and shipping information, the order was complete.  This was on a Thursday night, and I had read that most glasses are done in 2-3 days, so the anticipation started to build.  I chose the cheapest shipping method, USPS Priority mail, but options are available for faster should you need it.

One week later, the following Thursday, my glasses showed up here at work, where I had them shipped.  They were in a cloth case, inside the hard sided clamshell case, stuffed inside a padded envelope.  They arrived perfectly fine and as pictured on the site.  Now, the moment of truth, would they fit, would they look good, would I like them?

Yes, yes and yes.  I know my head is shaped kind of funny, so I was worried about them being wide enough and it looks like I picked the right pair.  They look great, I’ve been wearing them for nearly two full weeks now and the prescription seems spot on, with zero headaches or other problems often associated with new glasses.  My co-workers and friends have all complimented me on how great they look.  I’ll probably order sunglasses from them at some point later on in the year now, based on the great experience I’ve had.

The one thing I did notice, which I may try to take advantage of with sunglasses is, $39 Dollar Glasses will cut lenses into your existing frames for just $39.  If I happen to find a pair of sunglasses I like locally, I may just buy them and send them in for custom lenses, but this could be really helpful if you like your current frames or have scratched them really bad.

Total out of pocket expense for lenses and frames was about $65.  Compared that with my expectations to pay roughly $200 for name brand frames and $100-200 for lenses from a local store and I saved more than $330.  Buying glasses online isn’t for everyone, but this has been a very pleasant experience for me.

www.39dollarglasses.com

Give JLove a Cookie So She Shuts Up

Unflattering pictures of Jennifer Love Hewitt in a bikini hit the internet last week and started a veritable shitstorm of blog comments and debates about body image. To that I say – everyone shut the fuck up. Just shut up. Homegirl let herself go a little bit. JLove has natural curves and no talent and I am okay with both of those things. However, she needs to not be allowed to blog on her MySpace ever again because no one cares what she thinks. She raves about how a size 2 isn’t fat; it’s not, but there’s no way in hell she’s a size 2. And my major problem with JLove is that she could have prevented this all from happening.

This is clearly her fault. No, I’m not talking about hitting the gym (although it couldn’t hurt, she’s looking a lil fleshy). She has been on enough moderately (inexplicably?) successful TV shows to know that when you wear an ill-fitting, fugly-ass bikini on a beach laden with photographers, you are going to be criticized. First, the top – JLove, you have huge tits and a bandeau is just not going to do it. Get something with a wire or a halter cut to support those puppies. I can only imagine the bruising on your knees from the constant beating from your breasts. Second, the bottoms – why would a girl with wider hips ever pick hipster bottoms with low-cut legs? She looks stubby and broad and neither is a good look. High-cut bottoms elongate the leg and thinner side straps don’t draw as much attention to your child-bearing pelvis. There is just more fug here than I can deal with.

I understand too that negative body image is a problem, especially among young girls. And I agree that we place almost unreachable standards of beauty on celebrities. However, here’s my deal – for as many girls have negative body image, there are like 90 obese people reaching for cheesesteak #2 (yes, these are clearly real facts, I live in Philly, one of the fattest cities in America and I am pretty much an expert). Also, if you’re a celebrity and can afford a personal trainer, whatever healthy food you wanted, and someone to tell you what to wear, why not have a bangin’ body? I think it’s interesting too that we criticize Hollywood and the fashion industry for promoting skinny people, but you never see Runner’s World get criticized for having emaciated-looking marathoners on the cover (check out Jan 2008 issue, the chick on the front has bangin’ legs but is skinny and airbrushed as fuck and it’s kinda gross).

Whatever. Buy a better bikini and fire your stylist. And stop your blogging and being famous then no one will give a shit what you look like (and the world will be rid one more talentless chick with huge tits). There, problem solved.

If you wanna look at the offending pics, start with this artice at People.com and work your way from there. I’m too lazy to post links. I just like to rant before I go to the bar.

Eco Sexy

Today is Blog Action Day! A day where fourteen thousand blogs will discuss one issue by trying to make an impact on 15 million readers. The topic? Environmentalism.

I feel that a lot of people don’t know what “going green” means. According to Wikipedia it means

…a concern for the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural enviroment, such as the conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and certain land use actions.

The concern I feel most people have is where to begin. There are plenty of simple tips to get yourself started. Every little bit counts whether its taking less time in the shower or changing your light bulbs. A few examples can be found right here on Randomn3ss, “Going More Green“, by Lauren. Or rent the infamous movie by Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth.

However, I digress. My topic is about sex. Now I can imagine the puzzled looks on everyone’s faces. Yes, I wondered myself how anyone can green up their sex life. Well, it can be done. Let’s explore it further.

I got these tips from Treehugger, a website that has a plethora of environmental topics.

  1. Sex Toys – Most sex toys contain chemicals called phthalates, a threatening chemical that’s been banned in children’s toys since 2004. It is especially said to be dangerous in sex toys because of the warm and moist places they are deposited in. So, instead of purchasing a unsafe toy it’s suggested to buy a more natural companion. Trying out a toy made of glass, metal, silicone, hard plastics, or elastomers is a safe bet. Instead of wasting batteries look for a rechargeable toy. Fun Factory is a neat place where you’ll find Lily, Lelo & Acuvibe.
  2. Lubricant – Looking at the labels helps choosing a more natural lubricant. Avoid using any petroleum (save the fossil fuels), artificial scents, flavors and colors. A good choice is Babeland’s water based lubricant.
  3. Condoms – The phrase, “reduce, reuse and recycle” is an angelic symphony to any environmentalists ears. However, this does not apply to condoms. We all know that a baby free environment means using a safe and reliable form of protection. Nothing beats the good ol’ latex condom. However, they are still determining whether or not a latex condom is biodegradable. For a biodegradable option lambskin is an option to protect against conception not STDs. For vegetarians (like me) and vegans a good source is Glyde condoms. Any condom that is polyurethane is not biodegradable so try and stay away from them. Another excellent tip is not to dispose condoms down the toilet, it will clog the pipes, treatment plants and rivers.
  4. Green Date – Homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual and asexual are terms we’ve heard of to describe one’s orientation or style. What about ecosexual? They exist and in large numbers. If you’re looking for a companion that doesn’t chomp on animals, recycles and uses organic toothpaste you can find a match on Green Singles, Green Passions and Human 2 Human.
  5. Dress Eco Sexy – Looking and feeling sexy can make for some naughty antics. Why not save the environment while you’re at it? There are products for men and women. Peau Ethique has some cute and comfortable undergarments along with Bueno Style, Butta and Green Knickers. My ultimate favorite is Enamore which has gorgeous, sexy clothes and lingerie.

Marvel comic collection hits dog fashion

This is one of those unique concepts that, well let’s be honest, makes you scratch your head. The concept is a highline dog accessory company uniquely called Chi WOW WOW that is known for making mink lined coats for your four legged friend offering up t-shirts and sweatshirts with officially licensed comic book characters from Marvel comics.

My dog wears sweatshirts in the wintertime, she weighs 8 pounds and I live in the northeast part of the country. That said, she has a nice black sweater with white skulls on it, looks good with the spike collar I might add. I’m not sure I would feel comfortable walking her in public with a Spiderman sweater though. This high-end dog fashion will probably catch on most for those dog owners with small children and perhaps with adults who are reliving their own childhood. Unique concept, classic images, not my cup of tea but I’m sure it is someone’s.

14 insane dog costumes

My dog Bella only wears sweaters when it is cold out, she has a reason to, she weighs 8 pounds! I don’t make it a habit of dressing her up for the sake of dressing her up. Many girl friends of mine want to paint her toe nails and put her in stupid little outfits for their own enjoyment, fuck that! Other people’s pets are fair game though and I will laugh at how stupid and silly they look all day long. Check out this great collection of 14 amazing & ridiculous dog costumes. Some of them just aren’t that funny while others are clear winners.

eBay: Nike Air Force 1 Fukijama from Entourage

One of my favorite TV series right now is Entourage, which is loosely based on the life of Mark Walberg. In episode 33, Turtle makes a huge deal about a limited edition pair of Nike sneakers. He ends up not getting them, but Vinnie Chase pulls some strings and gets him a one of pair of custom Fukijama sneakers. Someone has these original, one-offs and is selling them.

Fukijama

See the auction here. Current price is $11,100 and has 9 hours left.