Mono B Blog

  1. The Holiday 2019 Lookbook is Here!

    The Holiday season is upon us, and it's time to start planning what your window display (both IRL and virtual) is going to look like.

    The new Holiday 2019 Mono B editorial book has just been released, and you'll be getting the free copy with your goodies. You can also see the digital version by clicking here.

    Aside from several parts of the world, most of the US is bracing for cold days to come. That's why our "Layer Up" section contains so many items, starting from cotton-based sweaters to active windbreakers. Black and charcoal-grey are staples, but you'll also find almond (a very muted dusty pink) in our selection. This color is so gorgeous and demure - we recommend pairing them with neutral or earth-toned activewear for an urban athleisure vibe.

    Outerwear: KT11221-Almond. Bottoms: AP1912-Charcoal-Grey.


    Outerwear: AJ2388-2-Tone-Charcoal. Bottoms: APH6179.


    The "Shimmer Sisters" section showcases (ooh, quadruple allusion there!) metallic activewear. Whether crafted using foil-print four-way stretch fabric or metallic thread, the holiday season is the perfect time for a bold, non-floral fashion statement. And we don't need to remind you that Halloween is just around the corner. Your customer (and you) may benefit from a DIY costume idea.

    Top: AT2603. Bottoms: APH2612.


    Top: AT2550. Bottoms: APH2549.


    The Holiday 2019 trending colors are highlighted in the "Hue's Hue" section, and this year (as you may have noticed), we are big on food. There's almond, acorn, mocha, walnut, and coffee, and these delicious colors translate so well on clothing. Now you can wear what you eat (just not literally - we hope).

    Top: AT2494-Acorn. Bottoms: APH2492-Acorn.


    There's going to be a dedicated blog post for the next section: "Savoie Flare," but this features our comfy and chic flare leggings. Flare bottoms add curves whilst elongating your legs, making these leggings a double winner.

    Top: AT2638. Bottoms: APH2664.


    Top: AT2620. Bottoms: APH2665.


    And finally, "Something for the Guys." It's hard to imagine Mono B MEN is now in its second season (it's hard to imagine Mono B is ten years old!). The Mono B MEN collection offers more urban/street items, as well as performance-based pieces such as the 2-in-1 Active Shorts with Fitted Leggings Combo (MB527-Black).

    Outerwear: MT543-Navy. Bottoms: MB521-Black.


    Top: MT566-Black. Bottoms: MB550.


    Top: MT502-Black. Bottoms: MB527.


    Read more »
  2. Early Black Friday Deals

    We're almost in that time of year again. When you're a retailer, you'll need to start planning your own Black Friday event, and Mono B is here to give you a little nudge.

    From September 27 until October 4, 2019, Mono B runs the Early Black Friday promotion that'll give you discount on certain amounts of in-stock items.

    Order $500 or more, get 5% off with coupon code 5BEANS
    Order $1000 or more, get 8% off with coupon code 8TATERS
    Order $2000 or more, get 10% off with coupon code 10PARDON

    If you're a Mono B VIP member, you'll get this discount on top of your 5% VIP discount. Click here to become a VIP member before the promotion ends.

    The coupon doesn't work? Try these:

    • Are the items all in-stock (not in any of the preorder/VIP section)? If there are $400 in-stock items and $200 preorder items (total is $600), you still won't be able to use the $500 coupon because it's only for in-stock items. The coupon has been programmed to only count in-stock items.
    • Input the coupon code in the View and Edit Cart section.
    • Is coupon still not going through? Just write it down in the Comment section as you're checking out and if it checks through (it's all in-stock and not preorder), we'll apply it manually.

    Happy shopping!


    Complete terms & conditions:

    1. Valid on all in-stock orders placed on monobclothing.com from September 27 till October 4, 2019.
    2. Not valid on preorder or back-ordered styles.
    3. Cannot be combined with other promotions (VIP members automatically get 5% VIP discount on top of corresponding early Black Friday 2019 discount)
    Read more »
  3. Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Review

    Brittany Runs a Marathon Sundance Poster

    Not gonna lie, I had been anticipating Brittany Runs a Marathon ever since I saw the trailer some months ago, and not gonna lie, my initial feeling when the end credits rolled was "that's it?"

    Even with its running (pun not intended) time (103 minutes), the film's ending somehow feels not satisfying enough.

    We meet the titular character, a 27-year-old New-Yorker Brittany Forgler (Jillian Bell) with issues that include drinking problem, not wanting to be helped, and using accents and bits to deflect from real problems (she taped her nose up and becomes Wilbur from Charlotte's Web when her boss at a theater she works tells her she can't be late all the time).

    Brittany goes to a physician to score some Adderall and that's when she's told she has to make some lifestyle changes since her body mass index shows her being overweight.

    "I feel like you're totally missing the point of those Dove ads," she says, referring to advertisements that promote body positivity.

    When Brittany breaks down in her apartment, her upstairs neighbor, Catherine (Michaela Watkins) with whom Brittany has a contentious relationship with (Catherine always tells Brittany and her roommate Gretchen to pick up after their things), knocks on Brittany's door to ask her if she's okay. Unable to shake Catherine off at first, Brittany tells her how she feels (she's almost 30, her life's not going anywhere), and Catherine tells her to take it day by day.

    True to the adage, the journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step, Brittany starts to run, something she can afford after a visit to a gym reveals a healthy lifestyle can set her back hundreds of dollars.

    Catherine, after seeing Brittany all sweaty post-running, tells her to join her running group every Saturday, which Brittany begrudgingly goes to, and meets Seth (Micah Stock), who's also struggling to run and only does so because his kids make fun of him for not being athletic.

    Brittany (Jillian Bell) and Seth (Micah Stock) meeting for the first time.

    Brittany (Jillian Bell) and Seth (Micah Stock) meeting for the first time.

    From then, their friendship grows, and the trio (Brittany, Seth, and Catherine) vows to do the New York City marathon.

    As someone who's been struggling with body image, there're so many takeaways from this movie.

    First, you can't be too lazy to start, and when you do, you need to have self-discipline. Brittany is very good at this that she becomes obsessed and physically hurts herself that she needs to drop out of the marathon that Catherine and Seth run.

    Second, sooner or later, you'll start recognizing those who support you and those who don't, and it's OK to shed those who turn out to not be your friends. This happens to be Brittany's roommate Gretchen, a narcissistic Instagrammer (that's a bit redundant) who either fakes or never takes interest in Brittany's new-found love with running. And to a lesser extent, to Jern, Brittany's "coworker" turned lover in a house-sitting job they shared at a swanky townhouse.

    Third, group exercise is fun. It helps make friends, brings out of the shell, and nurtures our competitive edge (in a good way, hopefully). Catherine and Seth remind and support Brittany to keep running, to be healthier, and to be happy. Accountability is a key point here, and having friends to remind us of our goals is crucial.

    Fourth, sometimes you have to seek and accept help. This is Brittany's biggest issue in the movie. She's already hostile to Catherine, even when Catherine has been nothing but supportive, and when Catherine, Seth, and Seth's husband wants to pay for Brittany's marathon registration, Brittany flatly tells them she doesn't need their pity. It is her brother-in-law Demetrius (Lil Rel Howery) who has been her de-facto father when her actual dad passed away, who reminds that it is okay to seek help.

    Fifth, when we shame or bully others, most often than not, we're projecting our own insecurities. Brittany learns this the hard way when she's drunk and depressed, and, even after losing weight, thinks that she's not good enough. That's when she berates Demetrius' overweight female guest at Demetrius' birthday party. The female guest comes with an attractive, slim husband, and Brittany launches a tirade even as her sister (Demetrius' wife, Cici - played by Kate Arrington) is giving a toast to Demetrius.

    Needless to say, activewear and athleisure are featured heavily in this movie. There's a scene when she just starts running and she looks at the other runners who wear leggings in different colors and designs. One of the changes Brittany undergoes in the movie is her wardrobe. When she goes out on her first run, she wears a hoodie top with (most likely cotton or cotton-blend) joggers and a pair of Converse. During the marathon, she wears an athletic shirt and Capri leggings and running shoes. Cut to the ending, and she's out running with a long-sleeve athleisure top and running shorts.

    The movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2019 before its wide release in late August of the same year, way before most folks start listing their New Year's Resolution, almost as if to say we don't have to wait till New Year's or next Monday to start something new and drastic.

    The cast & crew (l-r): Lil Rel Howery (Demetrius), Alice Lee (Gretchen), Micah Stock (Seth), Jillian Bell (Brittany), director Paul Downs Colaizzo, Michaela Watkins (Catherine), and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Demetrius).

    The cast & crew (l-r): Lil Rel Howery (Demetrius), Alice Lee (Gretchen), Micah Stock (Seth), Jillian Bell (Brittany), director Paul Downs Colaizzo, Michaela Watkins (Catherine), and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Demetrius).

    Brittany Runs a Marathon is written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo. It's out now in theaters, and soon on Amazon Prime who had acquired the rights.

    Trivia Bits:

    The film was inspired by the director's friend, Brittany O'Neill, whose photos appear before the end credits.

    Actress Jillian Bell loses 44 pounds after she began running for this role.

    The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world and is held annually. Runners are expected to run a distance of 26.2 miles.

    Brittany O'Neill, the inspiration behind the movie.

    Brittany O'Neill, the inspiration behind the movie.

    Read more »
  4. Why Do I Keep Missing Out on Daily Deals?

    We know, we know. It's terrible to miss a deal, especially if it's something cute that you think will sell well at your store. Mono B's Daily Deal is updated every weekday morning, a few minutes before an email with the Daily Deal item(s) is sent on the same day at 8.30 AM PT. We've seen items being sold out within the first ten minutes after the email blast was dispatched.

    With that in mind, here are some trips to make sure you don't miss out on Daily Deal items:

    We have very limited quantity of each Daily Deal item, and sometimes they come in a broken or incomplete pack. This is good news to those who only need certain sizes, so please make sure the quantity you're ordering is correct.

    A Daily Deal item will not be offered again, and since it's in the Sale category, all purchases are final (which means no returns, store credits, or refunds).

    The only way you can get the Daily Deal is through monobclothing.com, as the item isn't offered on other websites or platforms, and definitely not through phone or email order as we no longer take orders by phone or email. You'll need to register your account on monobclothing.com and have it verified to gain access to the website. Have we mentioned that the prices on monobclothing.com are $1/unit less than other platforms? A pack usually consists of six pieces, so this means you'll be saving $6 when you purchase from monobclothing.com.

    Your purchase of Daily Deal item won't be finalized if you don't check out and get an order confirmation number. Putting it in your cart does not mean the item is being held for you (and this is true for other items on monobclothing.com and across all platforms as well).

    Which brings us to this most important tip: don't wait. Stalk the Daily Deals page. Refresh your email constantly (they may go to the Promotions folder depending on your email service provider). When you see something you like, put it in your cart, and check out.

    Finally, let the incomparable Dame Judi Dench bless you with some luck for your next Daily Deal purchase.

    Read more »
  5. The Crop Top Craze

    Summer is approaching, which means we'll need clothes that are breathable and or offer easy access to breeze.

    Apart from strategically placed straps and cutouts, another form of perfect summer tops is the crop top. But how did this trend first come into being?

    In lots of Asian and African countries, where the climate is relatively and consistently hot through the year, crop tops are a life-saver. The Indian choli, for example, has been worn for thousands of years. The choli is worn with a lower garment and a veil. 

    Meanwhile, in European countries and the US, both women and men (well, mostly women) literally had to suffocate from wearing high-neck dresses and corsets. And the religion-based puritanism didn't help at all. Even the bathing suits covered most parts of the body as seen in the illustration taken from Danish magazine Femina in 1898. The previous photo showing two Indian women were taken circa 1872. 

    In the 1940s, due to fabric rationing in World War II, many designers and fashion houses creatively worked their way around this by cutting the length of the top, and more glamorous celebrities like Ginger Rogers and Marilyn Monroe popularized this look. Yet it wasn't until the sexual revolution in the 1960s that crop top really became popular. In 1945, a young women wore a "halter and shorts with nude midriff" in Central Park and was fined $2 (otherwise she'd have to spend 2 days in jail). But things weren't that strict in warm and sunny California, where the crop top became almost a natural item to be worn.

    Then of course, Flashdance happened. Steamy, sexy, Flashdance. It became the epitome of the early 80s and people were inspired to get those toned abs by joining aerobics classes. The trend carried through to the new millennia thanks to performers like Madonna and Britney Spears who rock the crop-top look. The crop top became a staple of iconic movies and TV series like Clueless, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and Mean Girls.

    As a sidenote, men have also enjoyed donning the crop top since the 1970s, and this started by the world's arguably manliest sport: the American Football. At first, it was unintentional. The bottom part of the jerseys worn by the players would get ripped when oppponents tried to tackle them. But then by the mid 80s, almost every player started baring their midriffs by either cutting their jersey or tying them in the back. Nowadays, both musicians and athletes are making crop-tops for men a must-have.

    Now that the crop trop trend is back again, the most important question is, who looks good wearing it?

    And the answer is: everybody with confidence, and that should also mean you.

    When worn correctly, crop tops can both elongate or shorten the torso and help create the hourglass shape that both women and men covet. Here's a few loose guidelines:

    Tall people, if for whatever reason you feel like your torso is too long, then opt for a crop top that doesn't show too much skin, or balance it with highwaist bottoms.

    Short people, elongate your torso by donning a fitted top, as a loose top will just drown you.

    Curvy and or boxy people, wear a somewhat loose crop top that doesn't cling too much to the body and pair it with pants or skirt that flare out at the waist to get that hourglass shape.

    If you feel daunted by the prospect of showing your navel, then opt to wear Mono B's highwaist leggings as they both cover the navel and provide tummy control.

    Other than that, go have fun. You can work on that beach body all you want, but if you don't work on your confidence, then there's really no point.

    Read more »
  6. Just What Is Seamless Clothing?

    Seam-free and stitch-free, seamless clothing has been around for quite a long time, but it's becoming a rising trend, and for good reason.

    The first clothing item that used the seamless technology is the pantyhose. And you can see the (incredibly satisfying) process in this video below.

    Now you may be surprised to see that even for a clothing piece that advertises the term "seamless," it isn't really seamless. Rather, it uses very minimal cutting and sewing. Part of it is for reinforcement. Another reason is because the visible seamlines are actually the skeleton for the woven fibers (since they're woven in cylindrical/tube pattern).

    So, why do people go absolutely bonkers over seamless activewear and swear by it?

    No Chafing
    Since seamless activewear minimizes seams and cut-and-stitch, there is minimum seamlines and this causes less friction on the skin as you move in your activewear.

    APH2377-Mauve

    It Hugs All Your Curves
    Another benefit of minimal seamlines is that you won't have to worry about bumps and folds. When a regular clothing is cut and stitched, the seamlines appear tighter than the fabric panel because eventhough the manufacturer uses zig-zag stitching for the four-way stretch fabric, the thread is not elastic. This can sometimes result in unwanted folds that aren't too flattering.

    So Lightweight
    Seams add weight. That's a fact. Less seams means less weight. That's why when you put on your seamless leggings, they feel so light and so comfortable.

    Longer Lifespan
    This advantage factors in all the previous points. Since it's 99% constructed by being woven into a clothing piece and not cut-and-stitched, the piece moves with you. There are no panels sewn together by non-elastic fabric that rip when they're stretched and pulled away from one another.

    More Creative Designs
    There are a myriad of variations for regular cut-and-stitch clothing, and the creativity is shown through prints and the exciting ways a designer can make paneling patterns (with colorblock technique or using mesh and straps or same-colored fabrics with strategic seam placements) to flatter the wearer's body. With seamless technology, a pair of leggings can be woven already with its own patterns, complete with perforated areas, mesh-like areas. This is because seamless garment knitting machines allow different knits to be put together side by side. Whether it's rib, jacquard, jersey, or mesh knit. All with minimum stitching.

    APH2377-Mauve

    For manufacturers, the key benefits for creating seamless clothes are how much time is saved to create a garment. When producing regular cut-and-stitch item, many aspects (such as pattern-making, cutting, adjusting, and sewing) add to the overall production time, and time is money. A seamless clothing, on the other hand, can be assembled in minutes (although using a fairly expensive machine). The saving of the cost can hence be passed on to the wearer.

    Mono B is coming up with more exciting seamless activewear, athleisure wear, and loungewear, from tops to leggings that you can workout in. Check out our curated Seamless collection.

    Read more »
  7. Why You Shouldn’t Wear White before Memorial Day

    You may have heard the idea that we shouldn't wear white after Labor Day and before Memorial Day. We've scoured the Internet and here are the reasons not to wear white before Memorial Day:

    1. Nothing.
    2. Nada.
    3. Zilch.

    In all fairness, some people did (and do) not wear white between September and May. And in all fairness, there are some practical as well as totally classicist reasons that may or may not have been true.

    Memorial Day is generally accepted as the beginning of summer, whilst Labor Day marks its end. (Shop Mono B's #MemorialDay curated collection).

    Valerie Steele, the fashion historian, curator, and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology comments that "There used to be a much clearer sense of re-entry [between the changing seasons]. You're back in the city, back at school, back doing whatever you're doing in the fall - and so you have a new wardrobe."

    But exactly how this fashion rule appeared is murky.

    Seasons Change

    One explanation is the seasons. White (and its ilk such as ivory or ecru and other pastel colors) reflects light and heat. This is why in summer, when the sun is super bright, wearing white is such a life-saver. This was especially true before AC was invented.

    "Not only was there no air conditioning, but people did not go around in T shirts and halter tops," Judith Martin, also known as the etiquette columnist Miss Manners, tells Time. "They were what we would now consider fairly formal clothes." Meaning, people walked around in blazers and shirts and skirts or pants. Wearing white was not only accepted - it was a way to survive.

    When summer ends and rain starts and the streets become muddy, people opt for darker colors because dirty doesn't show that prominently on dark-colored clothes. What's more, dark colors absorb light and heat, a win-win solution to both keeping warm and not dirty-looking.

    Clash of the Classes

    Another supposed reason that gave birth to the no-white-rule is elitism. Panama hats and light-colored linens give out leisure vibes, and leisure is a luxury that a lot of the working class (those not in the upper class) can't afford. "If you look at any photography of any city in America in the 1930s, you'll see people in dark clothes," says Charlie Scheips, author of American Fashion. These are the working class, hurrying off to their jobs.

    In the 1950s, as the working class earned more money and the nouveaux riches tried to elbow their way into the upper-class society, the old elite imposed certain rules to keep these newly minted rich people away. And yet, the nouveaux-riches crowd wanted to fit in, and so they played the games of the table manners and no-whites-in-certain-months.

    But again, many of the fashion rules are meant to be broken, and we've seen a lot of bloggers telling people to not wear leggings with certain shoes or jackets or shirts. And nowadays, although white and bright clothes are a tad more difficult to maintain and wash than their darker counterparts, there is almost no reason to not wear white all year round. When in doubt, just be Michelle Obama (and show up at the Inauguration Ball in a white number by Jason Wu - photo by Getty Images/Timothy A. Clary).

    Read more »
  8. Polyester, Nylon, Cotton? Find Out Which Leggings Are Best for You

    You've found the right color, you've found the right print, you've found the right accent. But what does the fabric content mean?

    All (good) leggings must be constructed using an elastic fiber. In most cases, it's elastane such as spandex. Spandex stretches and hugs every curve of your body. Pure spandex, however, is like a rubber band. It's sticky, it's suffocating. But pair it with another fiber like polyester, polyamide (like Nylon), or cotton, and it's golden.

    Breathability

    Polyester and polyamide knit fabrics are breathable, although this largely depends on the weave, namely the size and number of holes, and how tightly the fibers are woven together. However, cotton still takes the crown for breathability, although not when it's wet. Wet cotton is sticky and heavy. Have you ever tried to put on a pair of 100% cotton denim pants when you're sweating? Yeah, wet and sweaty cotton leggings are probably slightly better than denim pants, but still...

    Moisture Management

    Let's face it: we sweat. This is the way our bodies keep cool so we don't overheat (and die). While polyester is hydrophobic (meaning they're moisture wicking and water resistant), cotton retains water, and this leads to more than just sweat stains. This is why obstacle race guidelines always reminds you to wear polyester-based leggings (and underwear). They dry more quickly than cotton-blend leggings (and underwear). Polyamide threads are not as hydrophobic as hydrophilic (they absorb water, just not as much as cotton), they will feel cold when wet, thus keeping you cool, but it won't dry as fast as polyester.

    Shape Retention

    We have four words for you: read the care label.

    Try to resist the temptation to just throw in your spandex-blend leggings inside the dryer. Spandex's strands can dry out and break, causing the item to lose its stretchiness. Polyester and polyamide are still the winners when it comes to durability, but cotton that has been infused with spandex can also hold its shape for a long time, as long as they're treated with care.

    Printability

    This is especially relevant for those who'd like to do heat transfer such as vinyl printing on the garment (see Mono B's Private Label program). Although polyamide-blend, polyester-blend, and cotton-blend fabrics can take heat transfer, polyamide-blend fabrics will melt if the heat is too high. Polyester and cotton can hold printing better than nylon.

    Then there's the prime fabric blend: Supplex® and Lycra®. These two fibers are specially crafted for performance wear. Supplex, a trademark of the brand DuPont, was patented in 1985. Fun fact, DuPont is also the company who invented Nylon, the most famous polyamide, as an alternative to silk stockings. The polymer-based Supplex has finer fibers than regular polyamide, thus making it softer and more water-repellent. Lycra is an elastane. It's lightweight, almost invisible, and stretches alongside your body during even the most rigorous activities. Our Mono B Bronze line combines Supplex with Lycra to produce pure performance wear. These leggings have stood the test of time, from HIIT sessions to muddy obstacle races.

    Ultimately though, activities and temperature will dictate which leggings you need to wear for the day. Although polyester/polyamide (including Supplex) and elastane blend (including spandex and Lycra) are perfect year-round, nothing beats the comfort of lounging in a cotton-blend pair of leggings. And always remember to check the wash instructions to maximize the lifetime of your leggings.

    Shop Mono B's cotton collection (including leggings and athleisure wear):

    Read more »
  9. Is It Denim or Is it Jean?

    Denim and jean have been around for centuries, and although their reign has been (somewhat) toppled by activewear, they still remain an essential part of the fashion world. But many still find the two terms confusing. Which one is jean and which one is denim?

    Jean fabric came from Genoa, Italy and was originally a blended twill of wool and cotton. Jean was very similar to cotton corduroy (also a famous product of Genoa). It was worn by the sailor of Genovese Navy force since they needed a fabric for both wet and dry. In 1800, André Masséna (one of Marshals of the Empire appointed by Napoleon) had his troops placed in the city and ordered supply from Jean-Gabriel Eynard, a Swiss banker who migrated to Genoa to start a business in the city. One of the supplies Eynard furnished the troops was that twill fabric dyed in blue called "bleu de Genes" ("blue from Genoa") and you guessed it, the term "blue jeans" was born.

    Meanwhile denim hailed from Nîmes, a city in southern France. Its full name is "serge de Nîmes" or simply "fabric from Nîmes." It began as a blend of wool and silk, making the cloth very durable and sturdy. These characteristics mean the first denim fabrics were difficult to sew, since it required industrial-strength needle. They were also expensive, since wool and silk weren't (and aren't) as abundant as cotton. The original denim was created by the shepherds in the Cévennes mountains (just northwest of Nîmes) since they needed durable clothes to work in.

    It was around the 17th century that denim fabric and jeans fabric intersected. Some argue that denim (made of wool and silk) were coarser yet considered of higher quality, more expensive, and more durable sibling, whilst jeans (wool and cotton) were lighter, still durable, and less expensive. Nobody really knows why blue (or more accurately indigo) was used, perhaps because the jean fabric was intended for the Genovese Navy force. Weavers in Nîmes were said to have tried to reproduce jean, but found a different way to do it. Maybe this was the reason why denim fabrics were also dyed indigo.

    Jean became an essential textile for working-class people in Northern Italy so much so that a painter nicknamed The Master of the Blue Jeans (perhaps a student of Caravaggio) created ten paintings depicting scenes with lower-class and working-class people wearing blue fabric. It was most likely Genovese blue jean because it was cheaper than the French denim. Shown here is one of the paintings called A Frugal Meal.

    Cut to the modern US fashion history, both denim and jeans had been constructed using 100% cotton, and the first name that comes to mind when we talk about denim is Levi Strauss, and for a good reason.

    Strauss (along with Jacob W. Davis) was credited to have given birth to denim and jeans.

    In 1851, Strauss migrated from Germany to New York to join his older brother who owned a dry-goods store. He then heard about the San Francisco Gold Rush and moved there two years later to start a West Coast branch of the business.

    A few hundred miles away in Reno, Nevada, Jacob W. Davis, a Russian-American tailor, was making heavy duty textiles such as tents, horse, blankets, and wagon covers made from cotton denim supplied by Strauss.

    One day, a customer asked Davis to make a pair of work pants for her woodcutter husband, so Davis created a pair of pants using heavy-duty cotton duck (a type of woven pattern different from denim and jeans). This became a success and by 1871, instead of cotton duck, he used Levi's cotton blue denim for the pants which featured seams on the fly and pockets reinforced with rivets. In fact, the demand for the pants were so high (thanks to miners and workers wearing them during the Gold Rush) that Strauss and Davis patented the pants (along with the copper-rivet reinforcements and orange double stitching). The two men became business partners. Davis ran the manufacturing division of Levi Strauss & Co. whilst Strauss continued to experiment with different fabric variations and styles. The styles were given numbers, including the popular Levi 501s.

    For reasons unknown, although the fabric that Strauss and Davis used was denim, the style (of the pants later became known as jeans.

    And the confusion began.

    Some have argued that "denim" refers to the fabric whilst "jeans" refers to the style of pants, and by extension, all of jean pants are made of denim, but not all denim is jeans. However, now we know that both denim and jean are indeed fabric. Both denim and jeans are wrap-woven twill.

    In the past, denim was constructed using wool and silk, whilst jeans used wool and cotton. Nowadays, they're both mostly 100% cotton. The difference is in the dye, or rather, the time of the dye.

    True denim uses two yarns: one color (most likely blue), the other white, meaning it has already been colored before being woven.

    True jeans fabric, on the other hand, whilst also uses two yarns, is dyed after the fabric has been woven.

    The only sure way to find out if your piece of clothing is denim or jeans is to see both sides. Since denim is warp woven using two yarns of different colors, one surface will feature one color whilst the other will have another. Because jean is dyed after it's woven, both surfaces have almost the same color.

    Now that you know which one is which, it shouldn't destroy your love for denim and or jeans. In fact, these two fabrics are so ubiquitous and essential at the same time that they are so versatile. Make them your own by adding embellishments like Swarovskis or patches. Wear them even when they're ripped because shredded jeans show character. Wash them over and over again until they're faded because there's history in them. Wear them on top of your athleisure or activewear or dresses to complete a casual look.

    One thing for sure, don't exercise in jeans. We have activewear for that.

    Read more »
  10. How to Maximize Your Paid Membership Perks

    Image by Pexels from Pixabay

    Costco has it, Amazon has it, Disney has it, even your local grocery store has it.

    There are certain perks that a membership provide, but are they really worth it? Read on to find out what benefits you should look for in a membership and the best ways to maximize them.

    Tangible: Discounts

    Whether it's percentage off the merchandise or free shipping, discounts are possibly the main advantage you should be on the lookout for when signing up for a membership deal. But this really depends on how much you're spending to make that membership fee worth the discount.

    For example, Mono B's VIP membership is $45 monthly, and you automatically get 5% merchandise discount. This means you'll need to spend at least $900 every month to get your membership money back.

    Although discounts are the most tangible and measurable perk in memberships, there are other benefits that you want to keep in mind when you decide whether you should pay to become a member or not.

    Tangible: Processing Time

    Let's face it: in this world of instant gratification, speed is something we can all appreciate. Amazon Prime thrives with its free two-day shipping (although there have been numerous complaints from Amazon fulfillment workers and package drivers). Theme parks like Disney World and Six Flags also offer paid services that let you cut lines.

    Mono B's VIP membership also offers a fast track service that pushes your order to the front of the line, and depending on how big your order is, you can cut the processing time in half and have your order ready in a few hours instead of two to three business days.

    Tangible: Exclusive Section

    More leg room, wider food selection, better service - these are what we get when we upgrade to business class or first class. Of course they all come with a price.

    Many websites have a special section that can only be accessed by certain members. This ensures the exclusivity of the club.

    When you become a Mono B VIP member, the VIP exclusive category is unlocked and you can preorder items months in advance. (The preorder listings in the non-VIP category becomes live one month prior to the estimated arrival date.) This way, the Mono B VIP members can schedule their looks with ample time and not worry that the preordered item will have been sold out by the time it's available for general customers.

    Intangible: Status

    There are also "benefits" one can get from paying for this VIP status. One of them is, well, status. This feeds our ego and for some people, it's nice to be acknowledged and belong to a certain group or class.

    Intangible: Sense of Security

    Another "benefit" is sense of security. Although we're not using the privileges, they're still there when we want them. This explains why people have gym memberships but rarely use them. All the equipment is there when we need it. So when we feel motivated enough to go, we can use it. The question is, when are we determined enough to get up and work out? (Best answer is always, as numerous studies have shown that being active and working out have been linked to better health and longer life.)

    Two final aspects to think about when purchasing a membership is the starting date and cancellation policy.

    Some memberships, like Mono B VIP, starts the billing cycle on the first of every month. If you start your membership on July 25 without purchasing at least $900 (and therefore maximizing your 5% discount) within six days, when your membership gets renewed on August 1, you will have paid one month for nothing. (Alternatively, with Mono B VIP membership, you can also get three months VIP deal where you can get three months VIP membership and only pay for two months.)

    Cancellation policy is also just as important. Don't get suckered into a membership and end up not using it with no way to cancel it. Some companies are notorious for trying to give discounts to keep customers from cancelling their subscriptions. Some companies offer a supposedly easy cancellation, with totally different reality.

    The Mono B VIP membership only requires three months of commitment. If you feel you probably won't get the most of it, you can cancel the membership by phone or email before your membership gets renewed on the first of every month.

    Now that know the advantages of getting the VIP treatment, you must ask yourself (and those whose opinion matters) if you do need to become a member.

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