Mono B Blog
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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."Â 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).
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.
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...
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.
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.
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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not many people have enjoyed the success, reverence, and respect in the fashion business like Diana Vreeland.
Fashion designers took cues from her as she dictated which way fashion should go. She worked for influential fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.
Where Chanel came from in France is anyone's guess. She said one thing one day and another thing the next. She was a peasant - and a genius. Peasants and geniuses are the only people who count and she was both.
It's no surprise that for World Book Day, Mono B selected two works by Diana Vreeland.
The first one is D.V., her iconic autobiography.
The book was first published in 1984 and has since become a sartorial bible for those who wish to know what made the original Empress of Fashion tick.
Of course the book is not without criticism. Some readers have pointed out how Vreeland was absolutely out of touch with reality and how the book could benefit from braver editor so it wouldn't sound like (uncensored) trains of thoughts.
If you'd rather see gorgeous (and we mean gorgeous) pictures of Vreeland and her life and times in the fashion world, look no further than the scarlet-covered Diana Vreeland: An Illustrated Biography by Eleanor Dwight. Fun-fact, red is Vreeland's favorite color. Her living room is a crimson celebration, decorated by the great Billy Baldwin (the interior designer, not the actor). Complete with exclusive personal materials from Vreeland's personal collection and a preface by Vogue's André Leon Talley, this book makes a handsome (and inspiring) coffee table addition.
Mono B would like to give something back to all mothers.
Starting Monday, April 22 until Sunday, April 28, all online orders that are being shipped out will receive 50% off on ground shipping charges.
If you'd like to expedite a shipment, we'll calculate the price of 50% regular ground shipping and subtract that from the expedited shipping you choose.
Ground shipping fee is $18. If you choose ground shipping, during the promotion you will only pay $9.
If you choose expedited shipping and the expedited shipping fee is $29, then we'll cover the $9 and you'll only need to pay $20.
Below are the terms & conditions:
- Offer valid for all in-stock items and shipments that we receive between April 22 and April 28, no minimum or maximum order amount.
- Offer valid for either UPS or FedEx Ground shipping (using Mono B's account) to 48 contiguous US states only.
- VIP customers receive both 5% merchandise discount and 50% ground shipping discount.
- No coupon code needed.
The animal print trend began in the late 1960s, but centuries before that, real animal skin (and fur) had already been a mainstay amongst the wealthiest.
The association of animal skin and fur with the good life continues and carries over into the modern world, which explains its endurance.
When Jackie Kennedy was photographed wearing a leopard fur coat by Oleg Cassini, the demand for fur coats skyrocketed and 250,000 leopards were slaughtered in the name of fashion. (To his credit, Cassini then stopped using real furs and only used faux furs in his creations. He even developed Evolutionary Fur, a durable and low-maintenance synthetic fur fabric).
As the world becomes more and more progressive and more fashion houses have pledged to go fur-free (starting with the revolutionary Stella McCartney), animal patterns from real fur and skin have been hand painted or digitally printed onto fabrics.
This opened new doors to creativity in the world of fashion. We see animal prints from coats to ties to phone cases to, of course, activewear.
Each animal print allows the wearer to channel their characteristic. Fast and active? Wear the cheetah. Sleek and dangerous? Go with leopard. Slinky and smooth? Get the serpentine. Unique and graceful? Choose zebra.
The digital age (and creativity) has also made it possible to mix and match the colors, and now you can wear dark brown and navy leopard print or blue snake print to your next outing.
One thing for sure, no actual animals were harmed in making these prints, meaning you can show your adoration for these animals without guilt.
The activewear industry has been coming out as the winner from year to year. According to a study called Future of Apparel released by NPD Group in mid 2018 called Future of Apparel, activewear is reponsible for 24% of total apparel industry sales. There is also significant rise in the global activewear market, with a study by Report Buyer concluding that activewear's compound annual growth rate is expected to be 6.8% and total sales reaching USD 567 billion by 2024.
Some have argued that activewear is just a fad, and that denim is experiencing a resurgence, but so far, the activewear market has yet shown no sign of slowing down.
So how does athleisure come into play?
"Athleisure" is a portmanteau that combines "athletic" and "leisure" and it means exactly that: apparel that can be worn to gym, dance class, HIIT session, or yoga whilst being functional (and fashionable) enough to wear as casual clothes. To our knowledge, the earliest record of this term being used for the first time was in the March 1979 issue of the now-defunct Nation's Business magazine. The magazine ran a cover story on the sports industry called "The Games People Play - and Pay to Watch" by Tony Velocci.
The whole athleisure (a new term that has popped up) market is in a state of tremendous growth," says John Gehbauer, the (Sporting Goods Manufacturers Associations') director of advertising and promotion.
Four decades later and the activewear and athleisure markets are still going strong, with haute couture houses releasing their own polyester-spandex or nylon-spandex blend designs, whether on their own (such as Versace), or as a collaboration (Adidas by Stella McCartney). Celebrities, such as Kate Hudson, Beyoncé, and Kanye West, also recognize the potential the activewear market has.
Unlike stiff and restrictive denim, activewear (and athleisure wear by proxy) is comfortable and multifunctional. Countless of articles have been written on how to pair leggings with high heels and knee-high boots to make them work-ready. Backed by the booming of fitness industry, activewear and athleisure wear are gaining market and momentum. After all, who wants to squeeze into a pair of denim jeans after a sweaty workout? (Check out Mono B's Athleisure Tops category for a selection of coverups.)
Some have even argued that activewear and athleisure wear are the clothing of the future, at least in our science-fiction culture. Spandex blend has been the go-to fabric since superheroes started being depicted on film. Gersha Phillips, the costume designer of Star Trek: Discovery notes that she uses spandex depending on how she wants to shape the costume.
On a side note, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was so convinced that spandex was the true fabric of the future, that he insisted all of the costumes were made in spandex. This became a challenge because spandex retains odor, and if you're wearing the incorrect size, it can look so unflattering and cut circulations (if it's too small). So always remember to wash your spandex-blend items and wear the correct size.
Ever wonder why you get a lot of compliments when wearing certain colors and lots of bizarre stares when wearing others? Most likely that has to do with your skin's undertone, and whether it's warm, cool, or neutral.
Don't confuse skin tone with undertone. Skin tone is the color on the surface (fair, medium, or deep). Undertone is exactly like the name: the color under the surface. Unlike skin tone, under tone stays the same, even if the skin tone changes.
Warm undertone colors: yellow or gold. Cool undertone colors: blue, pink, or red tints. Neutral undertone colors: a mixture of both warm and cool colors.
Let's look at the ways you can find your undertone.
People with cool undertone have blue or purple veins. Those with green veins have warm undertone. Colorless veins or veins that match the skin color mean neutral undertone.
This one is perhaps the least objective of the test, but try it out anyway. If gold looks more flattering on you, that means you have warm undertone. Silver? Cool undertone. If you can rock both colors, then you have neutral undertone.
Place a white paper by your skin. If your skin looks yellowish or greenish, that means you have warm undertone. If your skin appears rosy or reddish, then you have cool undertone. If your skin looks grey or ashen (not ashy), you most likely have neutral skin tone.
Absolute or Off.
Just like the jewelry test, this one's also somewhat subjective. If you feel you pull off absolute black or absolute white clothes better than off-white, ivory, or tan clothes, you're cool toned. If you wear the opposite better, then you have warm undertone.
Hair and Eye.
Those with warm undertone tend to have blond, red, brown, or black hair (with yellow or red glow) with brown, amber, or hazel eyes. Those with cool undertone usually have blue, grey, or green eyes with blond, brown, or black hair (with blue, grey, or purple glow).
Tan or Burn.
After spending the day out in the sun, if your skin turns golden-brown, you have warm undertone. If youâre more prone to sunburn, you have cool undertone.
Try as many tests as you can to find a definitive answer, and once you know which undertone you have, you can determine which colors work on you, including lipstick, foundation, hair color (if you want to dye your hair), and clothes.
Here's a little cheat sheet to navigate Mono B's collection to find out which colors work for certain undertone.
Warm undertone: Coco, mustard, ivory, rust, olive, coral, cream, peach, amber, yellow, gold.
Cool undertone: Blue, sky blue, all shades of grey, lavender, white, mauve, magenta, fuchsia, hot pink.
Neutral undertone: Tomato red, yellow, pine, green, jade, dusty blue.
Any undertone: Burgundy, eggplant, plum, teal, medium teal, black, neon yellow.
However, take all of this with a grain of salt. Life is too short to limit ourselves to a handful of colors just because someone tells us to. Experiment and go crazy.