Back in 1937, James Laver, a fashion theorist/historian who was also the curator for Victoria and Albert Museum in London from the 1930s to 1950s, came up with Laver's Law, to help understand the fashion trend lifecycle:
10 years before its time: Indecent
5 years before its time: Shameless
1 year before its time: Outre (Daring)
Current fashion: Smart
1 year after its time: Dowdy
10 years after its time: Hideous
20 years after its time: Ridiculous
30 years after its time: Amusing
50 years after its time: Quaint
70 years after its time: Charming
100 years after its time: Romantic
150 years after its time: Beautiful
And yet, with social media and the era of fast fashion, this trend lifecycle feels like a moot point. This is why we see vintaged-look making a comeback, and not because it's ironic.
Two trends that we keep seeing are tie-dye and mineral wash.
Tie-dye has been around for centuries with the earliest surviving examples from pre-Columbian era in Peru dating back between 500 to 810 AD. It's part of a dyeing process called resist-dyeing, preventing the dye from evenly reaching all parts of the cloth. This resistance is conceived through wax, mud or starch paste, tying/stitching (also called shibori), or chemical agent that will repel another dye. The Indonesian batik and tie-dye are the most famous examples of resist-dyeing.
Tye-dyeing technique was first introduced to the US in early 1900s by Professor Charles E. Pellow of Columbia University. Pellow accquired tie-dyed muslins and subsequently gave a lecture about tie-dye.
But tie-dying itself rise to a meteoric level in 1964. Don Price, who worked as a marketer at the dye company Rit, advised Rit to replace the box powders with squeezable liquid dyes, to create multicolor designs easier. When Price heard about Woodstock, he sponsored artist to produce several hundred tie-dye t-shirts to be sold at the festival. The tie-dye trend, with its swirly pattern and bold, bright, contrasting colors, was naturally embraced by the counterculture art psychedelia, and the rest is fashion history.
The reason why tie-dye became so popular is because it's relatively easy to create (especially with the commercialization of pigments like the ones Rit produces), and no two pieces are the same.
Today's culture emphasizes on uniqueness, and tie-dye has gone to a new level through the hands of fashion artists. You can still find brilliant colors clashing with one another, but most of the modern tie-dye garments are monochromatic and feature soft, pastel colors.
Just like no two tie-dye pieces are the same, no two mineral-washed garments turn out the exact copies either.
To understand mineral wash, we first need to look at stone wash and acid wash. Stone washing is exactly as it sounds like. A garment is put inside a rotating washing machine with special stones like volcanic stones. These porous stones abrade the garment which it hit, leaving pronounced markes especially near the edges and exposed areas like the seams.
Although it became very popular in the punk scene in the 80s, acid wash began in the 60s and was the trend amongst surfers. It uses the same basic techniques (and props) as stone wash, but the stones are first soaked in potassium permanganate solution and then sun-dried. The stones are porous enough to be still carry the solution even when they're dry. Acid washing makes the abrasion look even more prominent in a shorter time than stone washing.
Mineral wash uses the solution, but instead of volcanic stones, foam is used. The result is a fainter, softer vintaged look without damaging the garment's fibers.
It's been approximately thirty to forty years since the height of popularity of both tie-dye and mineral wash. According to Laver's Law, this means these washes are currently in the Amusing phase and moving on to Quaint. However, judging from how quickly both mineral-washed and tie-dyed Mono B items are sold out, it's safe to say that these trends are are still very, very popular.
After its success with Mono B BRONZE (the pure-performance activewear line featuring items made of Lycra® and Supplex® or another blend of Lycra) and Mono B GREEN (with 100% recycled polyester or 100% recycled nylon mixed with another fiber), Mono B now introduces TACTEL® to its core activewear line.
Produced by Invista, the maker of Lycra, TACTEL is a nylon 66 microfiber that dries eight times faster than cotton. It's also at least twice as soft and 20% lighter than most fabrics. The suppleness and softness of TACTEL help minimize chafing. Two other important aspects of TACTEL are its breathability and noticeable strength.
As with other nylon fibers, TACTEL is hygroscopic. It absorbs moisture out of the air or out of its surrounding (such as our skin). The higher the humidity, the faster nylon will absorb moisture, until it becomes saturated. When exposed to dryer air, the moisture will evaporate and the fiber will dry out.
All these traits make TACTEL an ideal microfiber to use in activewear.
TACTEL activewear items are now available for Mono B's first 3D animal print jacquard line, available in 3D Giraffe and 3D Leopard (such as APH8039-Natural and the matching sports bra AT8040-Natural, in the picture to the left). The raised outer surface of the item creates a unique sensation. The leggings (in all lengths) also have an inner lining whose color matches the outer shell, so you can move with more freedom.
Click here to start exploring our TACTEL items, or type in "TACTEL" in the search bar.
Since it looks like we won't be going to trade shows any time soon (or opening the showroom), we've decided to showcase our styles digitally.
We hope this will at least give you a sense of how the clothes look like in motion.
Stay safe, everyone!
Lola (from Kinky Boots) perhaps has the best line when it comes to the color red. It is the color of desire, and thus, love. Red is the shade of choice for a restaurant's interior because it stimulates the customer's appetite. There's still an urban legend that goes around saying red cars get ticketed more often than cars in other colors.
Back in the seventeenth century, one of the original red dye came from an insect called cochineal, a little bug that now lives mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands. When Spaniard invaded Mexico in the 16th century, they saw the Aztecs had vibrant fabrics dyed in red, so the European invaders stole the Aztec's discovery of the cochineals. At that time, there had already been other sources of red dyes, but nothing was as pigmented or able to produce red hues that stayed longer on textiles.
The Spaniards harvested the bugs, dried them, and sent them to Europe. For a long time, the bugs were one of the best-kept secrets in the dying industry because the European importers couldn't tell if the pellets they received were berries, bugs, or minerals, and the Spaniards were tight-lipped about how they procured them.
However, in 1869, the synthetic red dye Alizarin was discovered. This dye was the first natural dye to be produced synthetically (in nature, this type of red dye was extracted from madder root). And thus the cochineal industry was upended.
Fun fact: did you know that the red dye in your food and or cosmetics may have come from dried cochineals? The demand for natural ingredients has resurrected the need to harvest the cochineal bugs, and apparently the dye from cochineals is safe enough to put near the eyes. Check the product's ingredients. If they include carmine, cochineal extract, or natural red 4, then that product was made using cochineal bugs. But not to worry, vibrant-red sweet potatoes are now used to replace the bugs as a source of red dye.
But back in the sixteenth century, the cost of red dye so high that only the rich and well-connected could afford it. One of the most famous fans was Louis XIV. Not only did he wear garments in red, but he also painted his heels scarlet. According to historian Philip Mansel, the gesture of painting heels meant that the nobles never dirtied their shoes, and that the red color meant the wearer was "always ready to crush the enemies of the state at their feet." Mind you, this is the same Louis XIV who famously said, "It is legal because I wish it."
Fun fact: although the current pope, Pope Francis, has chosen to wear black shoes, traditionally, popes had always worn red papal shoes. The red shoes symbolize Jesus Christ's blood when he was whipped on his way to being crucified, and of course, when his hands and feet were pierced on the cross. Many popes decided to forego this tradition, but Pope Benedict XVI restored the use of the red papal shoes.
Another shade of red that's just as popular, is pink. Nowadays, pink is a girl's color. This is evident in Barbie's hot pink color identity and the iconic pussyhats (initiated by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman) that first made their appearance in the US' 2017 Women's March.
However, this wasn't the case in the mid-1700s. in Europe, both male and female aristocrats, wore pink because it was considered a luxurious color that symbolized wealth, class, and privilege. In fact, Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's chief mistress, loved pink so much that in 1757, the French porcelain manufacturer, Sèvres, named a new shade of pink, Rose Pompadour.
Back in those days, children of both sexes were dressed in white, and pink was assigned to the boys because it was thought to be close to red, a color associated with masculinity, and had military undertones.
In the mid 19th century, men started wearing darker tones, leaving pastels to the women, and thus pink became a feminine color. This feminization was also attributed in part to the color's proximity to the naked female body.
The Nazis saw this color and applied it to their coding system, where gay men in concentration camps had to wear a large pink triangle, intended as a badge of shame. These gay men were lumped with rapists and pedophiles, who also wore pink triangle badges.
In 1950s postwar America, pink has generally been associated with girls, whilst blue with boys. "Society decides what colors mean," said Valerie Steele, editor of the book Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, and director of The Museum at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. "When that particular divide was made, it reinforced the perception of pink as a frivolous, because of its association with women, who have been traditionally looked down upon."
But the color pink has been reclaimed. The pink triangle has now become a powerful symbol of gay pride. Rihanna came up with a pink Fenty x Puma collection that features items for men. Pink is punk, as declared by The Ramones and The Clash.
But as punk as pink (or P!nk) is, this color is still considered a variation of the red hue. Therefore, just like red, pink (and its counterparts like peach, fuchsia, and cantaloupe) are the colors for Valentine's Day.
We get it, you love fashion, and so do we! But we're also aware that the fashion industry is the second-largest Earth polluter, just behind the oil industry. On a side note, it takes fossil fuels to create fibers like polyester, nylon, and viscose.
The year 2020 marks Mono B's eleventh anniversary. Last year we released Mono B MEN, our range of activewear, athleisure apparel, and loungewear for men. Two years ago, we released Mono B SWIM (and we can't wait to launch more of our swimwear line this summer). This year, though, is special. This is the year Mono B goes one step further and improves our activewear collection by adding Mono B GREEN, featuring leggings and sports bras made using either 100% recycled polyester or 100% recycled nylon.
Unlike cotton, virgin polyester and virgin nylon fibers aren't found in nature, and it takes human ingenuity to discover it and perfect it.
Polyester, which is a polymer, can be found in plastic, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. And yes, you have probably seen photos of PET bottles littering the beach. They're not just unsightly, they're also terrible for the environment. Polymers may take thousands of years to decompose and break down, so why not recycle them?
Some items from the Mono B GREEN activewear line use 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. Post-consumer because the polyester chips came from PET bottles and other recyclable polymer items.
These 100% recycled polyester fibers are from a Chinese company called Jiaren. Jiaren is a joint venture between the Tokyo-based, Japanese company Teijin Ltd., and Jinggong Holding Group, a Shaoxing-based international enterprise in environment management. Teijin perfected the use of ECO-CIRCLE technology, which enables polymer to be recycled without losing its quality.
The rest of the Mono B GREEN activewear use 100% pre-consumer-recycled nylon. During production, tons of nylon fabrics become scraps. The recycling industry collects these scraps and turns them into nylon chips, that they later spin into nylon threads ready to be woven into activewear.
The 100% recycled nylon fibers come from GREENLON nylon yarns. The production of these yarns saves energy up to 8.5%, water consumption up to 84%, whilst reducing CO2 emission up to 77% compared to virgin nylon fibers.
By now, you've probably seen activewear with recyclable fabrics being sold for hundreds of dollars. Well, not ours. At Mono B, we believe that an active life is crucial - this is exactly why we're in the activewear business. That's why the Mono B GREEN activewear items are within our price range, leaving it possible for you to make more margins.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.Â
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.Â
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.
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.