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Labor Day: fashion then and now

September 7, 2020

Labor Day — always celebrated on the first Monday in September — is an important public holiday in the US. Honoring how industrious American workers have brought prosperity to the nation, the first Labor Day was held in 1882 when how we worked, lived and dressed was very different.

But how different were clothing styles in 1882 compared to today? To celebrate Labor Day 2018, we’re exploring the top fashion trends of both eras to see what similarities and differences exist…


Although skirts became narrower as the 1800s wore on, skirts from 1882 onwards started to widen again. Around this time, the biggest skirt trend was for the design with the accentuated ‘bustle’ — padding worn under a skirt at the top to puff the fabric out.

Using deeply folded pleats, this style accentuated the hips and became one of the era’s most attractive and sought-after looks — something we’ve seen brought back in style today by Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Amber Rose. The trend for emphasizing the hip area didn’t last too long, but it was long enough to show that even prior to Instagram and hip-boosting, ‘body contouring’ surgery; there was a fascination for volumizing this part of the female body.

Fine silks were used to create formal going out tops and tailored skirts were made using linen or wool — fabrics that are still widely used today. There was a noticeable difference in the materials used by older and younger women too, as more mature women were often seen wearing thick velvet fabrics as opposed to thinner materials. Cotton wasn’t as commonly used as it is today either, this material was reserved for royalty or wealthy families as it was imported from abroad.


During the late 1800s, puff sleeves were very popular and this style is roaring back into trend according to Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, with Gigi Hadid, Margot Robbie and Emily Ratajkowski all rocking the look.

If you look at old photos, you’re sure to notice ladies wearing tight bodices and high-neck corsets. This was a leading trend for stylish women around 1882, partly due to a need for ladies to appear ‘covered up’ and respectable, yet still flaunting a feminine silhouette. High-collar shirts — especially with cut-out sleeves or completely bare arms — are popular today and bring the same air of sophistication to a modern-day style.


When it comes to patterns, tartan and plaid were popular largely due to the influx of Scottish immigrants to America who brought the fabric with them. We still see these prints today, largely around the autumn and winter months due to the warm color palettes.

Coats and jackets

Keeping in line with the covered-up approach to style, women were often seen in long-sleeved jackets that complemented their skirts.

Nipped in at the waist, jackets during this era were like dresses at the time, as their cinched waists showed off the female silhouette. We have similar styling today in tailored suit jackets and belted jackets; women often pair these with slim-leg trousers to show off their curves and extenuate their legs.

Bright colors were commonly used in the late 1800s, peacock blue and bold red are two hues that were especially popular. In addition to these, the 1890s are known by some as the “mauve decade” due to the invention of this color dye around this time. Nowadays, we have a wider range of clothing to choose from, but we still take inspiration from the bright hues of the 19th century if we’re looking to add a pop of color to our look.


Women still accessorized in the 1800s, bonnets in particular were popular which were secured around the chin with ribbon or lace. Although this style of headwear is long gone, hats and head pieces, such as fascinators, are still widely worn to weddings and formal events to complement an outfit.

Tight-fitting necklaces were also worn in the late 1800s, made popular by Queen Alexandra of England who wore one to hide a scar on her neck. Although they’ve changed in appearance, chokers are still a popular accessory today. As noticed by Hello magazine, this style has been spotted on the likes of Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian.

Of course, fashion trends have changed since the first Labor Day, but we still take a lot of our inspiration from the ladies of the 1800s. Could lace bonnets and knee-length swimsuits make a comeback…?




Bridal Traditions From Around The World

December 4, 2018

Understanding wedding traditions from across the globe

Wherever you are in the world, marriage will be seen as a special occasion. From country to country though, cultures will have different ways of getting ready for and then actually celebrating two people getting married. Join going out dresses retailer QUIZ as they shine the spotlight on some of the weird yet wonderful wedding traditions from across the globe…

Wedding traditions in China

Wedding traditions will vary from region to region across China simply because of the size of the country. However, each has their own special meaning.

During every day of a month in the run-up to their wedding, Tujia bridges must cry for an hour per day. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.

Grooms in China’s Yugar culture will actually shoot their brides with a bow and arrow. Thankfully, the arrows are free from their arrowheads! After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.

Then there is the ‘good luck woman’, who will assist the bride in doing her hair while she is getting ready on the day of her wedding. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.

The bride will then be collected from her home by the groom. Upon arriving at the bride’s home though, he will be greeted by the bride’s friends, who block his entry into the home (it’s all in good spirits). The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.

A red dress, or Qi Pao, which is embroidered with gold and silver detailing is traditionally worn by brides across northern China. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing.

Once the night of the wedding comes around, the bride is presented with a half-cooked dumpling. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.

Wedding traditions in Germany

There are so many wedding traditions to be aware of in Germany. Many of them start before the big day even begins too. For example, before a future bride-to-be is even engaged, she saves away pennies, which will then be used to purchase her wedding shoes. This tradition is said to help the happy couple get off on the right foot.

Couples in Germany don’t just send out their wedding invites in the post either. They send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!

A civil ceremony must also be held by German couples at their town registry office. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.

For German couples planning a church ceremony, a tradition is that a Polterabend is held a few days after the civil ceremony. Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.

Don’t be surprised to see German newlyweds sawing logs after a church service either. A log is set up on a sawhorses and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!

Then there’s the reception. There, the bride’s veil is held up and the bride and groom dance underneath it. When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.

Wedding traditions in India

Depending on the region where the ceremony takes place, Indian weddings will differ. As a result, bridal traditions are different too. It’s not uncommon for Indian weddings to take place over several days — different to the couple’s one special day in other countries.

A Mehendi ceremony will be undertaken by the bride in the days leading up to the wedding. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.

How about the bride’s outfit? Well, this will again depend on where the bride was born. In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.

Walking around the fire is a key element of Indian weddings. The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.

Wedding traditions in Spain

Traditional Spanish weddings are quite different to those held in the UK too. For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.

Black lace was traditionally used to make both the wedding dress and veil. However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.

It’s also tradition that a Spanish wedding will get underway in the early evening and then continue into the early hours of the next day. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.

Flowers are a key element to traditional Spanish weddings. In fact, many ceremonies see the orange blossom chosen to symbolise purity. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!



The Culture and Cuisine of Kuching

May 3, 2018

Situated on the tropical island of Borneo, Kuching offers a taste of authentic Malaysia. Look past its modern shopping malls and high rises and discover old colonial buildings, historic temples, bustling bazaars and handicraft shophouses. A melting pot of cultures, it’s a place where grand Indian mosques vie for attention with ornate Chinese Temples, and streetfood vendors sit side by side with chic waterfront restaurants.

You’ll find plenty of tourist guides online if you want more information on Kuching. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the city’s rich culture and cuisine.

The riverfront

To soak up the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere, head to the riverfront along the Sarawak River. Lined with craft shops, café terraces and hawkers, this newly redeveloped area is a thriving hub of activity. The mile-long esplanade offers fantastic views of traditional houses and historic landmarks such as the The Astana and Fort Margherita. Don’t miss the chance to take in the sights from the water with a ride on a wooden sampan boat.

Many historic buildings have been preserved along the banks, including the Chinese History Museum, the Square tower and an open air amphitheatre. Also overlooking the waterfront is the colourful Tua Pek Kong Chinese temple, which dates back to the 19th century and hosts various festivals throughout the year.

The city’s oldest street, Main Bazaar, runs alongside the river and offers a rare glimpse into local life. The street oozes charm from a bygone era, where tradesmen, tin-smiths and antique collectors eagerly await new business and Chinese shophouses beckon with intriguing crafts and trinkets.

Museums and attractions

Culture vultures won’t want to miss the Sarawak Museum, the city’s oldest museum, which houses an array of unique displays including rare taxidermy, indigenous artifacts and one of the best natural history collections in southeast Asia. The historical Chinese Museum on the waterfront is also well worth a visit, or for something a little bit different, check out the world’s first Cat Museum, containing over 4,000 artifacts and exhibits. Kuching’s cat obsession is evident throughout the city, with numerous feline-themed statues and sculptures dotted around its streets.

If you’re keen to learn more about Borneo’s rich heritage and local traditions, a day trip to the Sarawak Cultural Village is a must. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Santubong just outside of the city, the 17-acre park is home to over 150 people and describes itself as ‘the living museum’. You can easily spend a day here wandering among the traditional houses, watching the village residents make handicrafts and perform traditional dances in costume.

Where to eat

When it comes to food, Kuching is a trove of gastronomic delight. With new establishments opening every day, the ever-expanding dining scene and café culture offers visitors a truly diverse and exciting experience. The city’s multi-layered ethnic make-up is reflected in the restaurant menus, with everything from Asian and Chinese fusion food to traditional Italian pizza and Swedish meatballs.

If you want to dine like the locals, head to the open-air Top Spot food court. Unusually located on the top level of a multi-storey car park, after making the climb you’ll be greeted by a range of neon-lit hawker stalls serving cooked-to-order meals.

The city’s street markets are also some of the best places to sample authentic Sarawak delicacies. One of the most popular with visitors is the Siniawan Night Market, where you can sample favourite local dishes such as pork satay, kolo mee noodles and the rainbow-coloured kek lapis cake. You can also pick up a variety of exotic fruits from the rainforest and various other fresh produce.

Culture, Food

The Cultures Behind The Best Foods In The World

April 15, 2018

The world is truly full of many different cultures. Americans have their own culture, while Mexicans do as well. Each culture has its very own selection of dishes. The good news is that cultures are always happy to share their foods with others from around the world. Each culture has some delicious foods, but some cultures are far more well-rounded than others. So, which cultures have the best foods in the world? You’ll find out below.


India is really a hidden gem when it comes to culture foods. The country and its people are responsible for some of the most delicious foods in the world. Dal, Dosa and Chai are all great choices. Dosa is a pancaked which has been filled with cheese or even spicy vegetables. It is a good meal for lunch or dinner. If you’re not a fan of coffee or tea, you should give chai a chance. It is really difficult to resist. Don’t be afraid to go there because of the distance it’s much easier thatn you think. Check out these flights from Dubai to Kochi, for example.


The Japanese are well known for their delicious foods. The country has produced foods that are capable of satisfying the masses. One of their most delicious recipes is miso soup. It might be simple, but it is also very wholesome and delicious. Sushi and sashimi are two other scrumptious Japanese dishes. When you’re in Japan or a Japanese restaurant, you’ll also want to try Ramen, Unagi, Tempura, and Kaiseki. All of these foods are scrumptious and fulfilling.


The Spaniards have proven time and again that they can be very versatile when it comes to food. The country knows how to produce delicious foods, which are suitable for all times of the day. Two of the best delicious from Spain are churros and Jamon Iberico. If you’re looking for a delicious treat and you have a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to check out Churros con chocolate. On top of that, Spain has some of the best instant pot recipes on the planet.


A lot of people would agree that the Italians have the most delicious foods. After all, the country is known for creating the pizza. Of course, this isn’t the only thing that they produce. They also make Italian-style salami and spaghetti bolognaise. Plus, you have Italian meatballs. Truly, the list could go on and on. If you’re hungry, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to find an Italian meal that will prove to be incredibly delicious and satisfying.



The Perfect Drinks and Aphrodisiacs for Getting the Most Out of Your Date

December 5, 2017

Whether you’re going out on a date with the town virgin, taking that real nice and nasty girl out for a night on the town, or trying to hook up with a cheating wife, it’s very important to know your food and drink. Part of what will make the date a success depends on you ordering the right things to keep the focus on the sex that hopefully both of you desire, openly or in secret, or maybe a little bit of both.

Foods To Consider:


Oysters: this one is definitely at the top of the list, and is a famous aphrodisiac world over. The only caveat is that a lot of people can’t stand the taste or texture of oysters. A possible workaround is to order them in a presentation where you can’t taste the oyster flavor and they are cooked thoroughly. Oysters Rockefeller or something similar is perfect for this. Also, if there are no oysters, most other seafood works almost as well. Conch meat is famous as an aphrodisiac as well, and many consider it to be at the level of oysters even.


Chocolate: this is a biggie, and no woman in her right mind doesn’t like chocolate. Ok, some women may in fact not like it, but they’d be very few and far between; I’ve yet to meet the first woman that didn’t love chocolate. Include chocolate in your dessert on any sexy date as a must!


Watermelon: watermelons are another food that helps stimulate the sex drive, due to the high amounts of lycopene in it. This substances helps improve blood flow, which is the first step towards getting highly aroused and in the mood to take things further.


Drinks To Consider:


Coffee- this one tops the list because it’s a stimulant and helps improve blood flow to the whole body. Studies have suggested strongly that this delicious substance can often help women get in the mood for sex in a subtle but powerful way.


Brandy Alexander: the secret to this little baby is that nutmeg is one of the ingredients, and nutmeg is another known powerful aphrodisiac.


Casino Royale- some people swear this is the ultimate aphrodisiac drink, perhaps because it contains egg yolk, which is a known testosterone booster in both men and women. Yes , testosterone makes women excited too!


Do you have any other suggestions for foods and drinks that help take things to the next level? Leave us a comment below!