Keeping Cozy: Best Buys For Soft Sweaters

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It may not feel like Fall with 70 degree weather in San Francisco, but in other parts of the country it is definitely sweater weather. Just because it’s warm outside, doesn’t mean we aren’t already stocking our closets with cozy sweaters so that we are prepped when the chilly temps finally arrive.

Have you noticed that this year’s sweater don’t seem quite as soft as usual? We have… and we’ve made it our mission to ditch the itch and find the softest sweaters around. Read on for our top picks and what to look for when shopping.

Stay Stylish,
M&K


Fall’s Softest Sweaters

Budget Friendly Sweaters

Splurge Worthy Sweaters


The Canvas Sweater Shopping Guide

Check the Fabrication

To cut costs, we’ve noticed more than a few brands have been shuffling the fiber content of their sweaters. The Sweater Cardigan Kimberly bought last fall has been replaced with a lighter weight “all season” one. While this is true, the reality is its no longer 100% wool but a cheaper blend.

All manufacturers are legally required to list fiber content on clothing labels, along with wash and care instructions. For sweaters you often get what you pay for. Review the fiber percentages and they will often reflect the itch factor. Longer, stronger and more valuable fibers will be reflected in a price point so invest wisely.

ProTip: Everyone has their own degree of comfort, but watch wool (non merino), alpaca, and synthetics. These will also influence the breathability --aka the heat factor.

Keep Ahead of Pilling

Lately we’ve noticed that sweaters by one of our favorite brands Vince. have not been holding up. After one wear, even the 100% cashmere styles pill. The hard truth is that most sweaters will pill a bit after initial wear, but finer quality will hold up. Excessive pilling can be a quality issue resulting from a poor fiber or production.

To avoid pilling, hand wash or dry clean your sweaters to cut down on abrasion. Also invest in a good sweater-shaver, a tool that runs over the surface of the fabric and slices the pills off. Just be sure to avoid using it too often since it can compromise the integrity of the fabric.

Invest In Trends Wisely

While we love a good fashion statement and novel trick, we recommend buying wisely when investing in sweaters. This year many of the options are boxy with overwhelming bell or lantern sleeves. While some hit high on the cool factor, we recommend limiting the investment and going with a budget friendly version (Because, really how do you type on a keyboard with these styles?!) For cashmere sweaters, we recommend opting for a classic silhouette with a modern twist. This year the deep v and roll neck collar is popular and universal enough to last a few years.

ProTip: When purchasing cashmere sweaters, consider going up a size to accommodate for garment shrink when dry cleaning.

Posted on November 9, 2018 and filed under Style Stories, Women.
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Contemporary Muslim Fashion at the De Young

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Earlier this week, team Canvas took a field trip to the De Young museum to see their Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibit. We always love checking out their fashion-related exhibits and this may be one of our favorites yet.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibit to explore the complex and culturally diverse nature of modest Muslim dress codes worldwide. We thought the De Young curators did a stellar job of visually exploring how Muslim women of today have become arbiters of style not just within in their communities but around the world.

Below are some of the highlights and a few of our favorite pieces. The exhibit runs through January 6, 2019 and we highly recomend checking it out!

Stay Stylish,
M&K


A New Fashion Market

What stood out to us in the exhibit was how many of today’s iconic Western fashion houses were represented in the exhibit, including Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta. It was interesting to see how their high-end designs that have been customized for Muslim women’s diverse modesty considerations. The retail segment of “modest” fashion has been the target of large fashion houses and a growing number of muslim designers who desire to express their own form of beauty and style. Many of the pieces on display were designer with a small appearance from Macys and Nike. While fashion doesn’t come cheap and it was hard not to notice the opulence and brands displayed boldly in many ensembles and blogger looks. We found the fashion pieces refreshingly juxtaposed next to documentary photos of everyday life for a muslim woman around the globe. Below are a few of our favorite designer pieces (including a colorful feather print dress from Mary Katrantzou who we blogged about as a designer to watch last year).

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Cultural Reflections of Faith

It was also interesting to see top Muslim style bloggers represented and their unique take on dressing modestly while still expressing their individual style. Color, texture, and print mixing where themes in many of the fashion shots. The strength and boldness of the ensembles was inspiring; however, the freshness of mixing tradition with pop culture influences was most exciting. Below are a few examples from Langston Hughes and Hoda Katebi as well as a flight jacket from design house Celine.

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Posted on October 26, 2018 and filed under Style Stories.
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Shop Talk: How New Tariff's Will Impact The Cost of Apparel in 2019

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During our Monday morning meeting this week our conversation turned toward the China tariffs and the effect that they are going to have on the cost of clothing (among other things) in the very near future. Many of our past colleagues and friends in local retail buying offices have also hinted at future price impacts. As we started talking more in depth, we thought that it would be a good idea to update all of you about what to expect to see in the coming months.

Stay Stylish (and Savvy),

Megan and Kimberly


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What is All This Tariff Talk?

In case you haven’t been following the tariff situation as closely as we have, here is a brief breakdown of what is slated to happen in the new year. The current administration recently imposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including clothing, shoes, home goods, children's products, and furniture. After an initial 10% increase in late September, the tariffs will increase to 25% at the start of 2019. 

How Tariff’s Will Impact Clothing Costs?

According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that currently more than 41 of clothes and 72 percent of shoes sold domestically are Chinese-made.  That means that the 25% duties will likely be passed along in the retail cost of apparel and other items to protect seller’s margins. While many retailers are looking to shift manufacturing from China to other countries, this will take time as seller strategies solidify. In addition, be prepared for a likely shift in quality as new factories are getting up and running and skilled labor is developed. Many large retail brands may already be diversified in their manufacturing base but in recent weeks even they have warned about impacts.

What to Buy Now

While we can’t predict the future, we can be more savvy shoppers in how we invest in our wardrobe. Be proactive and look at your favorite pieces in your closet, then look at the tag—Where was it produced? Being aware of what you are buying and from where is the first step.

You can expect to see prices rise in early 2019 across the board on clothing items and we are predicting is may range anywhere from 10-25%. If you apply that across an entire wardrobe it certainly adds up. That said, you will probably feel it more in certain categories, where the US imports primarily from China.

Here are a few items that we recommend for shopping now:

  1. Eyewear/Sunglasses - The U.S. imported nearly $1 billion worth of sunglasses, goggles, and other eyewear last year from China. according to data from the U.S.

  2. Scarves/Shawls - China is also the top source for scarves and shawls.

  3. Sweaters - Your cold weather favorite is about to get pricier. The U.S. imported $4.6 billion worth of sweaters from China in 2017.

  4. T-Shirts/Tank Tops - $606 million in T-shirts, tank tops and other casual shirts were imported from China last year.

  5. Intimates - America imports more women’s underwear from China than from any other country. Last year, Made-in-China bras, girdles, corsets, suspenders and garters sent to the U.S. were worth $1.2 billion.

  6. Denim- Your true blues may get a hike as much of our “American” denim is now loomed and produced in China.


Curious to read a little more?

Here are a few educational articles we found helpful around the impacts of the current trade war conversation:

Bloomberg: China's Factory Heartland Braces for Trump's Big Tariff Hit

Retail Dive: Retailers warn of price hikes as China tariffs take hold

WSJ: Holidays Gifts May Escape Tariffs, but Retailers Won’t

Refinery29: Why Is The European Union Going After Our Jeans?


Posted on October 18, 2018 and filed under Style News.
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