Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Latest Trends in Kids Clothing

Picking out clothes for your kids is not easy. You have to find something that they'd be comfortable wearing; clothes that are easy for them to get in and out of; clothes that they will love to wear. For a lot of parents, it is also important that the clothes they buy make their kids look good. Thus, many parents invest on the latest fashion trends in kids clothing.

Kids Fashion Trends for 2013 and 2014
Since most of the year is almost done, trends are shifting towards the year to come, 2014. But then, winter is just about to go full blast, so there's also a lot of new and fashionable stuff for the cold months. Here are some of the latest in kids clothing for the remainder of 2013 and for the coming year.

Fall/Winter Trends
The fall/winter trend in kids clothing uses a lot of silhouettes and adopts a number of style varieties. Mixing and matching is a big thing. Here are specific things you might want for your kid:
  • Knitwear like cardigans, sweaters and jumpers.
  • Fake fur - for both boys and girls. Look for fur coats, bags, hats, collars and ear muffs.
  • Go for clothes with neutral hues and natural colors. You'll never go wrong with black and white, although some parents might consider these colors too grim. If that is the case, go for more neutral ones like brown or grey. Add some brightness by pairing these colors with pinks, blues, purples and some orange.
  • Denims will never go out of style. No matter what season or time of the year, always get some jeans for your kids. Skinny jeans are still good, but you may want to try out embellished jeans for a slightly different look. These are jeans accented with crystals or laces. Denim jumpsuits should be just perfect for your little boy!
  • Hats for kids have always been creative and fashionable. You won't go wrong in choosing bold printed ones. The same thing goes for fur and knitted hats. It all actually depends on the kind of look and feel you want for your kid.
  • Your little boy should pair their jumpers with V-neckline shirts. Dressing him up in grunge jeans will also make your little boy look and feel good. He'll easily stand out in a crowd.
  • Bold prints are the "in thing" for little boys.
  • Military-inspired outfits never go out of style for fashionable little boys.
  • Get some clothes with embroidery and appliqués for your little girl. Stripes, statement prints and polka dots will also be popular.
  • Finally, do not be afraid to experiment with colors. Veer away from usual color pairings and try to pair off contrasting colors. You'll be surprised at the results!
For the Year 2014
Next year, vibrant colors - bright hues - will continue to dominate kids' clothing. Big prints and bold graphics on tops (including sweaters) will also be common. Embellished denims (with appliqués, buttons, laces, etc... ) will likewise continue to make an appearance. Other trends include watercolor prints, Indian-inspired cloths and scribble or drawing-like prints.

No matter what the trend is, when choosing clothes for your kids, it is important to remember that what matters most is how comfortable and confident they feel in their clothes.

If you're looking online for clothing for your kids, try TrueToSizeapparel.com. True to Size Apparel is one of the largest wholesale distributors of Port Authority Clothing, selling teen, baby & kid clothes, work clothes to corporations, uniforms to schools and to men & women who know and buy the brand for themselves for over ten years. Port Authority Clothing is the largest brand of apparel sold by embroidery & screen printing companies in the United States. The True to Size Apparel website is where to buy blank clothing online at a discount price, and it includes contact information and Port Authority Clothing sizes charts.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Why Congress Was Right to Ban the Incandescent Light Bulb - What We'll Live Like in 2014

The end is coming, at least for the incandescent light bulb. With the signing of the Clean Energy Act of 2007, the incandescent light bulb will effectively be banned from sale in the United States by 2014. In some ways this is of little wonder; the incandescent bulb has hardly changed since its invention by Thomas Edison in 1879. Inherently inefficient, incandescent bulbs work by heating up a filament until it glows white hot. This is the cause for its massive inefficiency (90-95% of the electricity used is wasted as heat) and is precisely why Congress has banned it.

So, the big question is, what are Americans going to do without the incandescent bulb? Clearly, our legislators have already decided that Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), which only use about 10% of the electricity, will be the main replacement. We've all heard about these energy savings, but even so, CFLs are like the lighting equivalent of John Kerry in 2004; maybe a better logical choice, but not someone you want to have over for dinner. Especially not in every room of your house, with a term limit of 10,000 hours of use.
Worse than that, all CFLs have a minimum of 5mg of mercury, an extremely toxic element. While reports of hazmat toxics teams being called in for a broken CFL are overblown, that much mercury is still a problem, especially because a viable recycling scheme does not currently exist in the US, and most CFLs end up broken and in landfills. That 5mg of mercury in each CFL is enough to contaminate 625 gallons of water according to the standards set by the EPA, so you can imagine the consequences if our entire nation switched to CFLs.

Luckily, Light Emitting Diodes (LED) light bulbs, are beginning to mature as a technology, and are finally at the point where they are becoming a viable way to light your home. Commercially available LEDs have outstripped incandescent light bulbs in terms of efficiency (as measured by the amount of light produced vs. the amount of energy used) and have none of the mercury of CFLs. Another difference is that LEDs produce focused light, which goes in the direction it is aimed, instead of being diffused like other lighting technologies. While this requires a different approach to lighting (such as using adjustable swivel necked lamps), it ultimately keeps you from using energy on unnecessary lighting (like illuminating the back of your lighting fixture).

However, most LED lights are simply not bright enough to replace old fashioned light bulbs or are simply too expensive (often over $100) to be a viable alternative. Another problem is that it is hard for people to know how bright these bulbs actually are; while a large company can afford to buy a few just to check, the rest of us just can't afford that. That's why we're so happy that http://compareledlights.com/index.php has been started; it's high time someone decided to test out all the hype about LED light bulbs. Offering a lot of basic information about LED lights, reviews of all sorts of LED light bulbs, and picture of the bulbs in use, compare LED lights is a great resource, and we're thrilled that the next step in bringing LED lights to the general public has finally arrived.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Textiles Exports: Post MFA Scenario Opportunities and Challenges


The Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) has governed international trade in textiles and clothing since 1974. The MFA enabled developed nations, mainly the USA, European Union and Canada to restrict imports from developing countries through a system of quotas.

The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) to abolish MFA quotas marked a significant turnaround in the global textile trade. The ATC mandated progressive phase out of import quotas established under MFA, and the integration of textiles and clothing into the multilateral trading system before January 2005.

The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing

ATC is a transitory regime between the MFA and the integration of trading in textiles and clothing in the multilateral trading system. The ATC provided for a stage-wise integration process to be completed within a period of ten years (1995-2004), divided into four stages starting with the implementation of the agreement in 1995. The product groups from which products were to be integrated at each stage of the integration included (i) tops and yarns; (ii) fabrics; (iii) made-up textile products; and (iv) clothing.

The ATC mandated that importing countries must integrate a specified minimum portion of their textile and garment exports based on total volume of trade in 1990, at the start of each phase of integration. In the first stage, each country was required to integrate 16 percent of the total volume of imports of 1990, followed by a further 17 percent at the end of first three year and another 18 percent at the end of third stage. The fourth stage would see the final integration of the remaining 49 percent of trade.

Global Trade in Textile and Clothing

World trade in textiles and clothing amounted to US $ 385 billion in 2003, of which textiles accounted for 43 percent (US $ 169 bn) and the remaining 57 percent (US $ 226 bn) for clothing. Developed countries accounted for little over one-third of world exports in textiles and clothing. The shares of developed countries in textiles and clothing trade were estimated to be 47 percent (US $ 79 bn) and 29 percent, (US $ 61 bn) respectively.

Import Trends in USA

In 1990, restrained or MFA countries contributed as much as 87 percent (US $ 29.3 bn) of total US textile and clothing imports, whereas Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and ANDEAN countries together contributed 13 percent (US $ 4.4 bn). Thereafter, there has been a decline in exports by restrained countries; the share of preferential regions more than doubled to reach 30 percent (US $ 26.9 bn) of total imports by USA.

The composition of imports of clothing and textiles by USA in 2003 was 80 percent (US $ 71 bn) and 20 percent (US $ 18 bn), respectively. Asia was the principal sourcing region for imports of both textiles and clothing by USA. Latin American region stood at second position with a share of 12 percent (US $ 2.2 bn) and 26 percent (US $ 18.5 bn), respectively, for textiles and clothing imports, by USA. In most of the quota products imported by USA, India was one of the leading suppliers of readymade garments in USA. Though China is a biggest competitor, the unit prices of China for most of these product groups were high and thus provide opportunities for Indian business.

Import Trends in EU

EU overtook USA as the world's largest market for textiles and clothing. Intra-EU trade accounted for about 40 percent (US $ 40 bn) of total clothing imports and 62 percent (US $ 32.5 bn) of total textile imports by EU. Asia dominates EU market in both clothing and textiles, with 30 percent (US $ 30 bn) and 17 percent (US $ 8 bn) share, respectively. Central and East European countries hold a market share of 11 percent (US $ 11.3 bn) in clothing and 7.5 percent (US $ 4 bn) in textiles imports of EU.

As regards preferential suppliers, the growth of trade between EU and Mediterranean countries, especially Egypt and Turkey, was highest in 2003. As regards individual countries, China accounted for little over 5 percent (US $ 2.8 bn) of EU's imports of textiles and over 12 percent (US $ 12.4 bn) of clothing imports.

In the EU market also, India is a leading supplier for many of the textile products. It is estimated that Turkey would emerge as a biggest competitor for both India and China. However, with regard to unit prices, India appears to be lower than both Turkey and China in many of the categories.

Import Trends in Canada

Amongst the leading suppliers of textiles and clothing to Canada, USA had the highest share of over 31 percent (US $ 8.4 bn), followed by China (21% - US $ 1.8 bn) and EU (8% - US $ 0.6 bn). India was ranked at fourth position and was ahead of other exporters like Mexico, Bangladesh and Turkey, with a market share of 5.2 percent (US $ 0.45 bn).

Potential Gains

It may be noted that clothing sector would offer higher gains than the textile sector, in the post MFA regime. Countries like Mexico, CBI countries, many of the African countries emerged as exporters of readymade garments without having much of textile base, utilizing the preferential tariff arrangement under the quota regime. Besides, countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia emerged as garment exporters due to cost factors, in addition to the quota benefits.

It may be said that countries like China, USA, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey have resource based advantages in cotton; China, India, Vietnam and Brazil have resource based advantages in silk; Australia, China, New Zealand and India have resource based advantages in wool; China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Turkey, USA, Korea and few CIS countries have resource based advantages in manmade fibers. In addition, China, India, Pakistan, USA, Indonesia has capacity based advantages in the textile spinning and weaving.

China is cost competitive with regard to manufacture of textured yarn, knitted yarn fabric and woven textured fabric. Brazil is cost competitive with regard to manufacture of woven ring yarn. India is cost competitive with regard to manufacture of ring-yarn, O-E yarn, woven O-E yarn fabric, knitted ring yarn fabric and knitted O-E yarn fabric. According to Werner Management Consultants, USA, the hourly wage costs in textile industry is very high for many of the developed countries. Even in developing economies like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Mauritius, the hourly wage is higher as compared to India, China, Pakistan and Indonesia.

From the above analysis, it may be concluded that China, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt would emerge as winners in the post quota regime. The market losers in the short term (1-2 years) would include CBI countries, many of the sub-Saharan African countries, Asian countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The market losers in the long term (by 2014) would include high cost producers, like EU, USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan and many east Asian countries. The determinants of increase / decrease in market share in the medium term would however depend upon the cost, quality and timely Review of Indian Textiles and Clothing Industry The textiles and garments industry is one of the largest and most prominent sectors of Indian economy, in terms of output, foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. Indian textile industry is multi-fiber based, using delivery. In the long run, there are possibilities of contraction in intra-EU trade in textile and garments, reduction of market share of Turkey in EU and market share of Mexico and Canada in USA, and thus provide more opportunities for developing countries like India.

It is estimated that in the short term, both China and India would gain additional market share proportionate to their current market share. In the medium term, however, India and China would have a cumulative market share of 50 percent, in both textiles and garment imports by USA. It is estimated that India would have a market share of 13.5 percent in textiles and 8 percent in garments in the USA market. With regard to EU, it is estimated that the benefits are mainly in the garments sector, with China taking a major share of 30 percent and India gaining a market share of 8 percent. The potential gain in the textile sector is limited in the EU market considering the proposed further enlargement of EU. It is estimated that India would have a market share of 8 percent in EU textiles market as against the China's market share of 12 percent.

Review of Indian textiles and Clothing Industry

The textiles and garments industry is one of the largest and most prominent sectors of Indian economy, in terms of output, foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. Indian textile industry is multi-fiber based, using cotton, jute, wool, silk and mane made and synthetic fibers. In the spinning segment, India has an installed capacity of around 40 million spindles (23% of world), 0.5 million rotors (6% of world). In the weaving segment, India is equipped with 1.80 million shuttle looms (45% of world), 0.02 million shuttle less looms (3% of world) and 3.90 million handlooms (85% of world).

The organised mill (spinning) sector recorded a significant growth during the last decade, with the number of spinning mills increasing from 873 to 1564 by end March 2004. The organised sector accounts for production of almost all of spun yarn, but only around 4 percent of total fabric production. In other words, there are little over 200 composite mills in India leaving the production of fabric and processing to the decentralised small weaving and processing firms. The Indian apparel sector is estimated to have over 25000 domestic manufacturers, 48000 fabricators and around 4000 manufacturer-exporters. Cotton apparel accounts for the majority of Indian apparel exports.

Textiles and Garments Exports from India

The share of textiles and garments exports in India's total exports in the year 2003-04 stood at about 20 percent, amounting to US $ 12.5 billion. The quota countries, USA, EU and Canada accounted for nearly 70 percent of India's garments exports and 44 percent of India's textile exports. Amongst non-quota countries, UAE is the largest market for Indian textiles and garments; UAE accounted for 7 percent of India's total textile exports and 10 percent of India's garments exports.

In terms of products, cotton yarn, fabrics and made-ups are the leading export items in the textile category. In the clothing category, the major item of exports was cotton readymade garments and accessories. However, in terms of share in total imports by EU and USA from India, these products hold relatively lesser share than products made of other fibers, thus showing the restrain in this category.

Critical Factors that Need Attention

Though India is one of the major producers of cotton yarn and fabric, the productivity of cotton as measured by yield has been found to be lower than many countries. The level of productivity in China, Turkey and Brazil is over 1 tonne / ha., while in India it is only about 0.3 tonne / ha. In the manmade fiber sector, India is ranked at fifth position in terms of capacity. However, the capacity and technology infusion in this sector need to be further enhanced in view of the changing fiber consumption in the world. It may be mentioned that the share of cotton in world fiber demand declined from around 50 percent (14.7 mn tons) in 1982 to around 38 percent (20.12 mn tons) in 2003, while the share of manmade fiber has increased from 44 percent (13.10 mn tons) to around 60 percent (31.76 mn tons) over the same period.

Apart from low cost labour, other factors that are having impact on final consumer cost are relative interest cost, power tariff, structural anomalies and productivity level (affected by technological obsolescence). A study by International Textile Manufacturers Federation revealed high power costs in India as compared to other countries like Brazil, China, Italy, Korea, Turkey and USA. Percentage share of power in total cost of production in spinning, weaving and knitting of ring and O-E yarn for India ranged from 10 percent to 17 percent, which is also higher than that of countries like Brazil, Korea and China. Percentage share of capital cost in total production cost in India was also higher ranging from 20 percent to 29 percent as compared to a range of 12 to 26 percent in China.

In India, very few exporters have gone in for integrated production facility. It is noted that countries that would emerge as globally competitive would have significantly consolidated supply chain. For instance, competitor countries like Korea, China, Turkey, Pakistan and Mexico have a consolidated supply chain. In contrast, apart from spinning, the rest of the activities like weaving, processing, made-ups and garmenting are all found to be fragmented in India. Besides, the level of technology in the Indian weaving sector is low compared to other countries of the world. The share of shuttle less looms to total loomage in India is 1.8% as compared to Indonesia (10%), Bangladesh (10%), Sri Lanka (12%), China (14%) and Mexico (29%).

The supply chain in this industry is not only highly fragmented but is beset with bottlenecks that could very well slow down the growth of this sector. As a result the average delivery lead times (from procurement to fabrication and shipment of garments) still takes about 45-60 days. With international lead delivery times coming down to 30-35 days, India needs to cut down the production cycle time substantially to stay in the market. Besides, erratic supply of power and water, availability of adequate road connectivity, inadequacies in port facilities and other export infrastructure have been adversely affecting the competitiveness of Indian textiles sector.


It is believed the quota regime has frozen the market share, providing export opportunities even for high cost producers. Thus, in the free trade regime, the pattern of imports in the quota countries would undergo changes. The issues that would govern the market share in the post quota regime would eventually be productivity, raw material base, quality, cost of inputs, including labour, design skills and operation of economies of scale.

It is believed that quotas, by limiting the supply of goods have kept export prices artificially high. Thus, it is estimated that there would be price war in the post quota regime, with competitive price cuts. The price and quantity effects would depend on the efficiency in production process, supply chain management and the price elasticity of demand.

Due to the expected fall in prices, developing countries with high production cost have little choice but to compete head-on with the biggest low cost suppliers. In this process, it is presumed that there would be better resource reallocation in these economies.

It is assumed that quota restrictions would continue beyond 2005 in various forms. It is also widely recognized that removal of quota may not directly provide easy and unrestricted access to developed country markets. There would be non-tariff barriers as well. Standards related to health, safety, environment, quality of work life and child labour would gain further momentum in international trade in textiles and clothing.

Strategies and Recommendations

Cost competitiveness in Indian garments sector has been restrained by limited scale operations, obsolete technology and reservation under SSI policies. While retaining its traditional cost advantages of home grown cotton and low cost labour, India needs to sharpen its competitive edge by lowering the cost of operations through efficient use of production inputs and scale operations. Besides, there are needs for rationalization of charges, levies related to usage of export logistics to remain cost competitive.

As fallout to the quota regime, there would be consolidation of production and restriction on supplying countries, which would necessarily mean improved scale operations. Indian players should also integrate to achieve operating leverage and demonstrate high bargaining power.

It is reported that Chinese textile firms have already invested heavily to expand and grab huge market share in the quota free world. In India, organised players in this sector would require huge investments to remain competitive in the quota free world. These players need to expand and integrate vertically to achieve scale operations and introduce new technologies. It is estimated that the industry would require Rs. 1.5 trillion (US $ 35 billion) new capital investment in the next ten years (by 2014) to lap the potential export opportunities of US $ 70 billion. It is estimated that USA and EU together would offer a market of US $ 42 billion for Indian textiles and garments in 2014.

Technology would play a lead role in the weaving and processing, which would improve quality and productivity levels. Innovations would also be happening in this sector, as many developed countries would innovate new generation machineries that are likely to have low manual interface and power cost. Indian textile industry should also turn into high technology mode to reap the benefits of scale operations and quality. Foreign investments coupled with foreign technology transfer would help the industry to turn into high-tech mode.

Internationally, trading in textile and garment sector is concentrated in the hands of large retail firms. Majority of them are looking for few vendors with bulk orders and hence opting for vertically integrated companies. Thus, there is need for integrating the operations in India also, from spinning to garment making, to gain their attention. This would also bring down the turn around time and improve quality. Indian players should also improve upon their soft skills, viz., design capabilities, textile technology, management and negotiating skills.

Garment manufacturing business is order driven. It would be difficult for the players to keep the workforce full time, even in lean season. This calls for changes in contract labour laws.

Logistics and supply chain would also play a crucial role as timely delivery would be an important requirement for success in international trade. The logistics and supply chain management of Indian textile firms are relatively weak and needs improvement and efficiency. China has already created a world class export infrastructure. Given the volume of projections for exports by India, it may be necessary to create additional export infrastructure, especially investment for modernization of ports. In addition, India needs to invest for creating brand equity, supply chain management and apparel industry education.

To sum up, the ability of Indian textile industry to take advantage of quota phase-out would depend upon their ability to enhance overall competitiveness through exploitation of economies of scale in manufacturing and supply chain. The need of the hour therefore is to evolve a well chalked out strategy, aimed at improvement in the levels of productivity and efficiency, quality control, faster product innovation, quick response to changes in consumer preferences and the ability to move up in the value chain by building brand names and acquiring channels of distribution so as to outweigh the advantages of competitors in the long run.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014 Mercedes Benz E-Class Car Review

Tracing its roots since the W124 sported the 'E' name for the first time in 1986 in the form 200E and later in 1994 when the 'E' moved to appear before the nomenclature to what we know today such as E250, the E-Class remains the pride of Daimler. The new E-Class epitomizes the midsize luxury car segment with its elegant furnishings and exacting workmanship, and even though its neither as sporty as the C-Class nor as luxurious as the S-Class, it straddles the line between the two in a retro yet stylish approach with a distinctive aura that speaks softly yet resoundingly to its peers, "enough of the staring contest; daddy's here."


For 2014, the E-Class exudes what might just be the most robust facelift in its history. It boasts myriad changes, most noticeably being on the front fascia where a new nose with more refined headlights has been employed, with its signature quad-lamps now merged into two, the sort of facelift revamped on the Lexus LX570. Grille choices have been extended from its simplistic nature to appear more chic, with the AVANTGARDE version bearing two horizontal bars while the coupe and cabriolet types have a single one cutting the grille halfway and branding the Mercedes logo at the middle. The ELEGANCE trim reserves its fashion with simple chrome bars like in the C-Class. The bumper remains without any lights and rises towards the ends with a smooth line running from end to end that swoops down at the middle giving it a sublime cutting-edge appearance. Changes to the rear include the smoothing of the lines in the rear fenders but this hasn't applied to the coupe and cabriolet versions. Other changes to these versions also include downsizing of the E350 to an E250 four-cylinder engine while AMG models now embrace a standard all-wheel drive.


One E-Class is not another E-Class, well, empirically speaking. This is because there is an E-Class at almost every point of the performance curve, starting from E250 to the E63 AMG. The most common engine is the base gas-powered 3.5-litre producing 211 kW (302 hp) and accelerates from 0 - 100 km/h in about 7 seconds. This engine is very efficient, with its fuel economy ranging at 5.5 - 6.0 litres per 100 km on a broad range. The hybrid version is more economical for it sips a meagre 4 litres for the same distance. The E63 AMG has a 385 kW (550 hp) bi-turbo V8 engine which does 0 - 100 km/h in 4 seconds. (This was the fastest saloon up to 2006.) Available transmissions for the E-Class include a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed automatic referred to as the 7G-TRONIC, which is similar to VW's DSG that made the CC a remarkably fuel efficient car. An interesting innovation here is the M mode which allows some thrill since the driver can shift gears like in a manual for a pre-defined time after which the system reverts to the default automatic mode. Also standard is the ECO start/stop mode similar to Mazda's i-STOP. This switches off the engine when you stop during traffic jams and restarts when you open the throttle. This function can however be disengaged at the press of a button for the individuals who will find the switching on-and-off disconcerting.


Change is as good as rest, and in the business world organizations that keep up with the changing world always have a competitive advantage over their competitors. But while drivers of change busied themselves on the exterior panels, few of them saw their way to the inside of the 2014 Mercedes E-Class. There is still plenty of space for five adults to sit in comfort and the front seats are among the most comfortable in its segment, with the interior fit and finish in general being without reproach. I however found it as a let down by Mercedes to use vinyl seating upholstery in the base model while lesser cars like Kia entail leather seats with heated options. For models beginning with the ELEGANCE trim a choice of aluminium or carbon-look trim is available. In the base and ELEGANCE trims the instrument cluster features a black outline on each dial while AVANTGARDE versions have a silver lining about the instrument panels. The most visible change here is that the gear shift lever is nowhere to be seen. And if you think it employs the telescopic function of Jaguar's shift knob then that's not the case. Instead, gear operations are handled at the multi-functional steering wheel through the DIRECT-SHIFT lever with paddle shifters. The shifters are firm and responsive, but the COMAND system can get a bit fizzy. Rear view camera is optional on the base models but Bluetooth streaming and power sunroof are standard. Other luxurious appointments include adaptive sport seats, surround-view camera, voice-controlled navigation and a larger-than-life 1200-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen® audio system.


Key updates to the 2014 E-Class come on the electronics side, enhancing safety through an array of sensors and algorithms. It offers a blind-spot information system to monitor cars driving in the blind area of the car and a front-mounted stereo camera to monitor obstacles and traffic. Mercedes' PRE-SAFE technology is standard with an add-on: DISTRONIC-PLUS. This is essentially a system that 'detects' an oncoming accident and automatically closes windows and sunroof, tightens seatbelts, fills up air cushions and moves the seats to a safer position for example if you were reclining. Another safety innovation that was in the S-Class but is now included in the 2014 E-Class is the ATTENTION ASSIST. This system monitors your driving for the first twenty minutes so that should you start to show drowsiness or signs of fatigue it will beep alarmingly and if your attention doesn't meet required standards then it will stop. The car can also maintain a set following distance to avoid hitting the car in front and helps you keep in lane by indicating if a car is in a lane you want to change to. Together with these and other sensors the 2014 E-Class can even steer itself in limited circumstances and at a low speed.

To sum it up, the 2014 Mercedes E-Class not only has sleek aerodynamics that define visual perfection, it also entails a super smooth ride with the cabriolet variant being the quietest car in its class thanks to the windshied-mounted Aircap system and rear wind deflector technology. The E-Class has always been the reserved member of the Mercedes family, but it's grown to be more oriented towards a driver's needs. The family is growing, and the E-Class only gets better. That is why when you look at the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class you realize it's not just the work of a group of people - it's the result of a constantly refined tradition.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prom Dress Trends for 2014: Look Like A Princess On That Special Night

By P K Martin

If we take a look at what designers have prepared for the prom dresses of 2014 then we find that the prom trends of next year seem to be the formalwear interpretations of street style and high-end fashion. Many celebrities like Selena Gomez, Vanessa Gomez, Chloe Moretz and Carly Rae Jepsen sparked these fashion trends this year by wearing such dresses at premiers and award ceremonies. Some most notable trends are being mentioned below:
  1. Peplum: Over the course of last few months Peplum has exploded in the market of prom dresses. Peplum skirts, tops and other dresses are available at almost all locations and for all budgets. In the next year too we'll find Peplum making its mark in the formalwear sector. It's an age appropriate, fun and flirty way to make yourself standout from the crowd.

  2. Usage of Lace in amazing ways: Lace seems to be making its comeback once again, but this time in more dramatic and amazing ways. Its super feminine style gives you the look of "princess" on a special day. A highly notable trend in the lace designs is that they're being used as striking designs this time. In the past they were used just for smaller details, but this time it's not like that.

  3. Brighter hues: Brighter is better for prom dresses in 2014. Keep this fact in mind whenever you're about to purchase a prom dress. Generally colored dresses used to dominate the space of prom dresses but this time designers have been shifting to the neon hued designs. The most awesome thing about this trend is that it can be easily combined with other trends (i.e. peplum or lace) for making an outstanding prom dress.

  4. The rise of High-Low: This trend gives designers an opportunity to innovate with multiple colors, prints and design trends. Whether it's a pop of a different color's lining or a printed underskirt, designers have more choices in their work due to the rise of this trend. It also combines amazingly with the interests of teenagers who want a dress that gives them princess like feel but still looks fun and flirty.

  5. Ombre: This thing is the hit of this year, and it'll continue its rise in the next year too. You can find ombre everywhere - from nail polishes to hairstyles to prom dresses. It can fade from one color to the other or can show up a variation of only one color.

  6. Short dresses with sheer overlay: If you want to look sexy on that prom night then this trend is coming out just for you. Short dresses with sheer overlay give that elegant look for prom, but with a bit of sexier twist. Dresses like these look like a combination of gown and party dress.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Trendy Hairstyles That Will Dominate 2014

Whether clothing or hairstyles, each new year ushers in new fashion trends. What is popular today becomes obsolete tomorrow. With 2014 only a couple of months away, it's time to catch a glimpse of those edgy hairstyles and cuts that will dominate the fashion scene in the coming year.

So, what's going to be the "next big thing" in women's hairstyles 2014? Will the chic, effortless bob make it to the top or will the no-fuss, simplistic ponytail win hands down? You can find out below.

Hairstyles 2014: Long and Medium Length hair

1. Braids:
Braid hairstyles will be carried forward into 2014. We are not the only ones saying this; leading hair stylists share our opinion too. The specialty of braids is their versatility. You can wear them in umpteen styles - crown braids, cornrows, herringbone or fishtail braids, the school girl braid, the loose messy side braid, the waterfall braid, the braided top knot, the side swept braid etc.

2. The Ponytail:
For the girl-next door look, make the elegant, humble ponytail your Hairstyles 2014 pick. Ponytails suit almost all face shapes and hold well on all types of hair. They are low maintenance styles and perfect for days when there is no time to spend in front of the mirror. There are different ways to transform a plain, boring ponytail into a chic and stylish one that will turn heads wherever you go. Gather your hair in a sleek, high ponytail for a sporty or professional look. You can soften this look with a puff or side swept bangs. Side ponytails lend a very feminine and romantic feel. A ponytail, not too high not too low with Cleopatra bangs looks good too. A ponytail at the nape is the best match for casual wear.

3. Loose Waves:
The long loose waves are here to stay. This 90's inspired hairstyle never seems to go out of fashion. It includes big bouncy curls to loose waves that give the impression "I just got out of bed". If you have naturally curly hair, play up the curls on your hair. If you have a straight and sleek hair, create the look with curlers or a curling iron.

Hairstyles 2014: Short hairstyle
The three hairstyles mentioned above apply to long or medium length hair. You needn't worry if you have short hair, as there are impressive options for you as well. In fact, even women with long tresses can refresh their look by going short in the coming season. Shorter cuts have several advantages. Short hair is easy to maintain. Short styles make one look younger. Not only this, they suit straight and curly hair.

When going short, there is one precaution you must take - you should choose a haircut that compliments your face shape and does not highlight facial flaws. The longer bob or a blunt cut is the safest. The longer bob only grazes the chin; is 1-2 inches below the chin. It can be cut straight or at an angle; parted at the side or center. An extremely short bob looks best for a round face. Bangs and bobs gel well. Try different types of bangs - fringe, Cleopatra bangs, side swept bangs or asymmetrical bangs.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Popular Evening Dress Design Trends for 2014

An appropriate expression that summarizes the evening fashion trends of 2014 is "elegant luxury." This time designers have been forgetting the color palettes, textures, shapes, pathos in the cuts and all other innovations that remind us of the past seasons. This time they're bringing back the traditional old-fashioned styles.

The purpose of evening dresses is to tempt and seduce by highlighting the true seductive curves and lines of female body. So the evening dresses of 2014 have been designed by keeping an emphasis on chest, hips and waist. Deep cuts and open shoulders were chosen as the neck designs for designing the most seductive chest area. Given below are some popular trends that you can expect to see in the designs of evening dresses in 2014:

Vivid and spectacular color choices
Noble and elegant color schemes are the future of fashion in 2014, so they've been used in evening dresses too. Flashy or too much elaborative colors (i.e. acidic or neon) have been excluded and natural, lighter colors like blue, green, purple and red have been used as the primary choices. White and black dresses are also the traditional classics which are further strengthening their position in 2014.

Enlightening folds on the dresses
Folds, pleats and drapes are some common designing tactics used in the evening dresses of 2014. Every designer seems to be finding his/her own unique solution with these tactics by doing numerous experiments.

Focus on the upper chest and shoulders
Deep cuts in the form factor of V shape are no longer the only way of driving focus to the chest area. Now designers are doing even franker experiments like fitting the neckline and welcoming open shoulders. However, since that traditional V shape is still the love of many women, some designers decided to do a bit of modification to the existing design. So V shaped designs with some modified form-factor can also be seen in the evening dresses of 2014.

Some even trickier experiments have also been done here - For example, in a design known as "Fake Nude", at first glance anyone seeing will feel as if the upper chest part is almost entirely open. But when seen closely, you'll find a transparent or semi-transparent fabric at that place. By this technique designers tried to complete the two main accents: opening the shoulders and the chest area.

Usage of fringes and fills in the designs
Usage of fringes and frills gives even more romantic look to the dress. By seeing the collection of 2014 we can say that couturiers were used in an abundance of frills. Decorative stripes of couturiers have been used in the designs of next year. Some brands are entirely replacing frills in 2014. This is a splendid job, but it decreases the romantic effect of dresses.