Fashion Tips

  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.


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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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):

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  6. 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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  7. Just What is Undertone and Why Does It Matter (Or Doesn't)?

    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.

    Vein check.
    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.

    Jewels rules.
    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.

    Paperwork.
    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 you’re 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.

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