8 Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photo by Nina Hale
Tattoos were once considered taboo in this country, something ne'er-do-wells and criminals got to mark themselves as outsiders in society. Tattoos weren't something respectable people considered for themselves.

That's changed, with something in the neighborhood of 23 percent of all Americans and 32 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 45 having at least one, according to a recent Pew Research Poll. Tattoos clearly aren't just for bikers, sailors or rock stars anymore.

I've had tattoos for more than 20 years at this point, and I've observed a few things that might be helpful to those contemplating getting their first one. I don't claim to be some "tattoo authority," but since the majority of the people I associate with are inked, I've noticed a few good rules of thumb over the years. Things to keep in mind before strolling into a tattoo parlor and getting that heart with "Mom" tattooed on your neck.

8. People Will Judge You.

Yes, they will. Even with much more mainstream acceptance of tattoos, people will still make unpleasant and unfair judgments about tattooed people. To some folks, a tattoo will mark you as trashy, no matter what the circumstances of your life. Of course, the types of people who will actually hassle you over a tattoo are total pricks if they're not your own mom or something, so ignore them. Allow creeps like that to go through their joyless lives judging people they don't know. They are probably miserable on some level.

You'll hear the same tired crapola like "Think what it'll look like when you're 80."

Yes, because the average 80-year-old's skin looks wonderful, and a tattoo would destroy that. The tools of tattooing have improved a great deal in recent years, and tattoos look better longer. You can also get them touched up, so there's no reason a person's older tattoos have to look like some hideous blue blob like the ones some older men have. I personally think old people with tattoos look as if they've led interesting lives. Who cares what their skin looks like at that age?

Others will judge a tattooed person in other ways. Trying to get certain types of jobs if you have visible skin art can be difficult. If you're in a very conservative field, expect to cover your tattoos if you manage to get the job at all. Things have mellowed a lot over the years, but expect that a tattoo still might close a few doors.

There's another potential downside to the way others might feel about your tattoos. Some people think that a tattoo erases any sort of personal boundary you have, and total strangers will accost you and ask to see your "work." I've had them just start rolling up my sleeve to see better. Without asking. I guess some people think that a tattooed person wants attention at all times. It's a creepy thing to think.

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9 Fall Trends for People With No Extra Time & Limited Cash, Like Me

Categories: Style/Fashion

Event photos by Keith Luter, Jr
Last week, The Galleria hosted a fashion extravaganza to launch the new Fall season. Simon Malls invited Vogue, GQ, and Glamour magazine reps and local bloggers to host a huge fashion show and trends presentation for guests. Everything was quite impressive and the clothing was, of course, superb, but as I was marveling at the fashion, I began thinking, "Ok, how does a regular Jane like me do this?" I do not have a million dollar job - though I absolutely love working for the Houston Press :-) - so my shopping budget is itty-bitty and I have a toddler hanging off of me everyday, groceries to shop for, and errands to run. I live in the real world, so my clothes have to as well.

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Houston's Newest Woodhouse Day Spa Location Opens September 20 in Tanglewood

Photo by Lubyanka
Attention writers--you need this.
In which I show up for a tour, and receive a luxurious, complimentary volcanic massage.

Located at the corner of Bering and San Felipe, Houston's newest luxury day spa is preparing for its grand opening on September 20. A modest sign hangs along the San Felipe side of the building, but the spa itself is accessed, quietly, from the interior court of the building where Dish Society is also located.

Upon entering, a friendly staff is ready to greet spa patrons in the combination reception and retail boutique area. At this point, it's important to resist the shelves full of Skinceuticals, Clarisonic, and other luxury bath and body products--proceed to the counter for pampering, and shop later.

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Lifestyling the Less Rich and Unfamous: Blake Lively's Preserve

Next stop: blogdom
When Blake Lively's lifestyle website Preserve debuted, it drew the expected comparisons to Martha Stewart (a hero of Lively's) and--more sharply--Gwyneth Paltrow's goop. Pretty actresses turning themselves into lifestyle gurus/mavens/experts with a slick website are bound to draw ire, especially since Gwyneth's goop scoop on her "Conscious Uncoupling" from husband Chris Martin. It's hard to explain the push and pull of attraction and repulsion that makes one a goop fan, but it certainly makes one predisposed to curiosity about Lively's take on lifestyle.

Plus who could resist the possibility of stumbling across Ryan Reynolds somewhere along the way?

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Houston Fashion Blogger Taylor McClure Proves You're Never Too Young for Style

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photos courtesy Taylor McClure
Did you know what you wanted to do with your life when you were 13 years old? Well, neither does Taylor McClure--not necessarily, anyway. McClure, who is in eighth grade, says that while her passion for fashion is what led her to create her own fashion blog, she hasn't mapped out her entire future quite yet. "I started my blog last summer," said McClure. "I'm usually really bored in the summer, and since I love fashion I thought a fashion blog might be fun." One day, while learning how to play the tune "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" the idea for her blog just came to her, and Somewhere Over the Runway was born.

Although fashion counts among Taylor's many hobbies -- she also golfs, and enjoys cross-country and track -- it's certainly a serious one.

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Five Things You Need to Know About Houston's Newest Fashion Blogger, Lisa Dawn of A Chic Effect

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photos by Will McDonald
Lisa Dawn of A Chic Effect
Lisa Dawn's new fashion blog, A Chic Effect comes complete with its own motto: Dream Big. Stay Chic. Be Unrealistic. According to Lisa, dreaming big--and being unrealistic--are important, no matter what the naysayers might think. "I've gotten a lot of flak for starting a blog. People can't understand why I would do anything different after spending three years in law school, but I'm passionate about it," said Lisa. "I don't see anything wrong with having unrealistic expectations, and realizing them!"

Fashion, for Lisa, is a creative outlet--a way to express herself in a conservative professional environment. She's been bringing extra flair to her own work wardrobe for years, and now she's started A Chic Effect--a guide to office chic, and beyond.

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5 Hidden Shopping Gems In Greenway Plaza

Photos by Cherise Luter
When you think about Greenway Plaza, you probably imagine business men and women milling about on their lunch break and expensive apartments housing said business men and women - because they are the only people who can afford them. Never would you think there are hidden shopping gems amidst those high rise office buildings and restaurants, but you would be mistaken.

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Seven Fabulous, Fashionable Functions in Houston in September

Schedule your style fix in advance to meet your September quota. Looking for a trunk show for the season's latest styles? Got it. Wishing for a museum exhibit to whisk you away to a stylish, bygone era? Done. Hoping to meet a designer along with the excitement of seeing brand-new collections? We're on it. September is a big month for fashion all-around, and that's certainly the case here in Houston. Apologies in advance if there are simply too many awesome, fashion-y things for you to fit into your schedule.

Dress for Dinner Season VI with David Peck: Tuesday, September 2

Dress for Dinner--or D4D, for short--isn't just a celebration of the Season VI kickoff, it's the grand opening of Peck's new showroom in Houston. Now located at 2515 Morse (at Westheimer), David Peck USA will be donating 20 percent of the evening's sales to support Recipe for Success. Sounds yummy, all the way around.

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Shop Fall's Best Trends in Houston

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photo by Christina Uticone
Distilling all of this into three things you should wear. You're welcome.
Trend reports should be reviewed with a skeptical eye (are military-style coats or all-white ensembles ever out of style?) but there are a few genuine, of-the-moment opportunities in fashion right now. If you've managed to digest all eighty-thousand pages of the September issues--seriously, have you seen Vogue?--you know that a few of the crazier trends include colorful, fake fur, sportswear couture, and head-to-toe knitwear. (Like pajamas? It's hard to say.)

If you find head-to-toe knitwear or bright purple fake fur a little impractical, you're not alone. So let's take a look at some of the more wearable fall fads.

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Prep for Fall With a Few Small Tweaks to Your Summer Wardrobe, Because It's Still Hot

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photos by Keith Luter, Jr.
As the Northern hemisphere starts preppin' for Fall, we Houstonians, really everyone in the Southern United States, scoff and keep trucking along in our cut-off shorts and flip-flops. Our temperatures happily remain in the high 90s through the end of September, if not October. Some years, we see Thanksgiving before the first blustery wind blows through the Bayou City, which creates a bit of a challenge for the fashion minded members of our society. We never get to enjoy fall trends like the rest of the country.

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