Are men better at packing luggage than women?

Last week I was staying with a friend who had to head off to the airport early in the morning for a flight to the US. It wasn't any kind of usual holiday – he was meeting his partner there to get married.

Ninety minutes before the taxi was due, he still hadn't packed! He was perfectly calm but I was a bundle of nerves. What about a suit for the wedding? Why was he still folding his washing? Did he have all his chargers? I couldn't help it – his casual approach made me feel like a mother sending her child off to camp for the first time.

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I wonder if this is a male-female thing. Certainly my husband is way more relaxed than I am when it comes to getting ready for a trip. I might prepare weeks ahead, but for him, it's hours.

But perhaps female packing is a more complicated thing than male packing? Just putting it out there. Consider the choice of footwear. I normally have three times as many options as my husband. Will these flats work for day as well as night? Should I bring heels for this cocktail evening dresses? Do I really need five pairs?

Anyway, the shoe issue is one of the reasons I pack early. Shoes weigh a lot and I have to be ruthless. I need time to work out the pants and dresses I'm taking before matching them with shoes. And then I need time to make sure everything I want to take has been cleaned and repaired. I need time to get my toiletry kit in order, to refill the travel-sized bottles and check if I'm getting low on something.

And then there is my travelling iron and the devices and batteries that have to be charged and the usual mad hunt for the electrical adaptors that I've misplaced since the last time that I went to that particular country.

I need time to select the right book for the plane and refill prescriptions for the sleeping pills and probiotics I always carry with me. Not to mention making sure passports and visas are correct and the departure card is filled before I leave home.

But still I panic that I won't be ready, that the taxi/car will be at the door before I've found everything I need. I'm afraid I will sleep in the day of the flight, even if it's in the afternoon.

I keep a checklist in a top drawer, in case of any last-minute emergency, which will render me temporarily senseless and unable to tell a skirt from a scarf.

Sound familiar?I believe the world is divided into premature packers and procrastinating packers with few practical packers in between.

My behaviour might be nutty, but I'm not alone. But I've heard of people who go so far as to keep packing spreadsheets on their computer, divided into lists for the type of trip – resort, ski, cold weather, summer, etc.

Why start packing weeks ahead? Many people say they do this because it enhances the excitement around the trip. Having an open suitcase in a spare room is a reminder that the holiday will be here soon. Slowly filling it prolongs the pleasure. It's a bit like those people who love Christmas and start shopping for the next one on Boxing Day.

I find that a 20-kilogram limit focuses the mind. If it were the old days and we could travel with trunks of clothes and have porters to carry them everywhere, it would be a different matter. But I quake at the thought of those excess baggage fees, lost luggage and dragging a heavy suitcase around. Usually five pairs of shoes are out of the question. And I'm careful not to pack my very best stuff or anything of sentimental value.

You see – it has to be a military strategy. Few armies go to war without weeks of preparation.

On the other hand, packing too far ahead is possibly even crazier. Clothes develop creases that can't be easily smoothed out. Worse still, if you change your mind about something, or find the weather will be warmer than you thought, adding something or taking something out creates havoc. And in that havoc there is the possibility that you'll remove something you really do need to take.


Women in popular culture: dressing for success

In Scandal,” lawyer and fixer Olivia Pope urges her colleagues to be gladiators, to remain unbreakable in a hostile professional world. Implicit in being a gladiator is having the right kind of armor.

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For women attorneys, our armor is our wardrobe. Pantsuit Nation, the vast Facebook network that emerged to support Hillary Clinton, references Clintons signature wardrobe choice as a symbol of competence, power and resilience. But while there are positive connections between our sartorial choices and our professional identities, the dark side is that, more often than not, our appearance matters more than our words and actions.

Media and popular culture often zoom in on women lawyers appearance and clothing. Media portrayals of prosecutor Kathy Ruemmlers advocacy in the Enron fraud case emphasized her four-inch high-heeled shoes. She was labeled a litigatrix,” and subsequent coverage of her (concerning her position as White House counsel) paid additional attention to her designer shoe collection. According to David Lat, the journalist responsible for both the litigatrix term and its application to Ruemmler, the litigatrix knows how to crack a whip. Making men feel pain is part of her job description.”

The litigatrix concept, even in its tongue-in- cheek nod to campiness, painfully reminds us that, unlike men, women lawyers must survive in a culture that conflates professional competence with appearance.

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The Woman Who Dresses the Men of Brooklyn

Jennifer Mankins took over the boutique Bird in 2004 and has since expanded it to include three Brooklyn outposts. When she opened her Williamsburg shop in 2009, she included mens wear to complement her womens selection. I felt like the male counterpart to my female customers didnt have any place to go,” she said.Recently, Ms. Mankins remade Birds website, and she plans to open a store in Los Angeles next year. Being a retailer in New York, even an independent one, I always tell my staff that were competing on the highest stage,” she said.

Even though were a little store in Brooklyn, we compete with Barneys, we compete with Bergdorf, because our customers can go there.”Is there something that you could buy a million units of and youd always sell out?Lately, its the Isherwood, a style of shirt from Acne Studios. Season after season, I buy more and more variations of it, and we sell all of them, whether I buy it in chambray, a novelty print or a classic Oxford broadcloth. Guys cant get enough button-up shirts in general. You can wear them with jeans, you can wear them with a suit. Its funny, I find with men that they may not want to prom dress shops the same as other people, but once they find their thing, they want to buy six.

They want a uniform.Is there a difference you see being a Brooklyn retailer rather than a Manhattan one?I think so. Practical is a word that people in fashion hate. But one thing Ive always incorporated into my idea of fashion is that it has to perform. It has to work. This is very general, but if youre in Union Square, you can walk outside your door and get a taxi. You dont need a big old parka. When people move to Brooklyn, theyre willing to make that extra step, literally and figuratively, of wearing boots and a parka.What do you love about being a retailer, and being one in Brooklyn?The thing that always comes to mind first when I think of having my stores is the relationships Ive been able to cultivate over the years.

Its obviously the relationship with my customers, but also the relationships with my staff, the relationships between the staff and the customers and the relationship with the designers.Have you seen a difference in the way men shop since 2009?Absolutely. As mens wear has exploded over the past decade — and if not a full decade, at least the last six or eight years — I do see more men willing to take chances. People who were buying a Steven Alan button-down, and that was their first step into fashion, maybe theyll move on to Our Legacy, and from there theyll move on to Dries. And were going to add Marni next season. Were really developing the designer end of the spectrum. Its sort of the next step. Once theyre comfortable in one thing, its human nature to seek out whats new, especially in New York.

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Woman, 25, found hanged after her treatment for depression was delayed

Dionne Corbett, 25, was described as the life and soul of the party” – but was allegedly let down by her local hospital and mental health services.

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An inquest into her death found that there were delays in her treatment, which meant that her GP did not have the paperwork on her latest hospital visit when he saw her three days before she killed herself.

Ms Corbett, from Breightmet near Bolton, was found hanged at her Winchester Way home on February 26.

Four days before she died she injected herself with adrenaline and was admitted to hospital – but left before a doctor first called for her 40mins later.

The next day she visited her GP, which resulted in him arranging further contact with specialists, but she killed herself before those meetings could have been arranged.

The single mothers family say not enough was done to support her.

Assistant coroner Rachael Griffin, sitting at Bolton Coroners Court said that she could not understand why in this day and age” an email had not been sent when a letter failed to arrive.

It was revealed that if a patients practice had joined a data management hub – like those located in Bolton – their hospital attendance notes are automatically transferred within four hours of discharge. Otherwise they are printed and posted to GPs.

It meant that when she went to discuss her mental health with a GP the day after her hospital visit the important medical notes had not yet arrived by letter.

The GP faxed a referral form to the local mental health trust under an urgent classification but said in hindsight his assessment would have been the same even if he had had the notes.

Miss Griffin said: In this day and age digitally is a lot quicker and for the care of a patient and prevention of a death or a missed opportunity of treatment electrically would be safer.

This concerns me, and it concerns me the there could be the death of somebody in the future.”

However Royal Bolton Hospital gave assurances to Miss Griffin that their system was undergoing an overhaul that started in Manchester, and that steps would be taken” in the meantime.

Miss Griffin found that there was no evidence of neglect” with regards to Ms Corbetts death and she recorded a narrative verdict that Dionne died as a consequence of self-suspension by ligature in circumstances where her intention remains unclear.”

Speaking at the inquest her aunt Debbie Wilcock, said that the death of her mother and father within weeks of each other in 2013 had a significant impact on her life.

The fit and healthy” single mum loved going to the gym, and planned on a future in health and beauty her aunt told the court.

She said: I feel that she was let down. The NHS failed in their duty of care to Dionne, they had every warning sign there.

On two consecutive days shes gone and tried to get help.

She must have been desperate for the help.

How bad do you have to be to get a mental health worker to help you? Its unbelievable.”

The last time Dionne was heard from was at around 12pm on February 25 2016, before she was found hanged from the banisters of her home the following day.

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How The Good Wife Taught Women to Dress for Work

The Good Wifes costume designer Daniel Lawson and the shows star Julianna Margulieswere jointly recognized as style influencers” at the Accessories Councils ACE Awards on Tuesday. At the event, the two (who have become close friends) described how looks fromThe Good Wife have influenced what the rest of us wear, and particularly what women wear to work.

The Good Wife

Margulies said she has felt the shows sartorial influence in a direct way. I get a lot of people stopping me and saying Thank you, and Im like, 'Why? I always think theyre about to say, Because I loved your show, and they say, Because I learned how to prom dresses 2016 for work,” she told the Cut. And I take that as such a compliment, because it is hard, when you have a powerful job, as a woman, to still be able to celebrate your femininity, and not be called — I dont want to be rude, but a slut, because your skirt was tight. But to look streamlined and feel sexy, and still be powerful, I think, is important.”

Lawson specifically mentioned peplums, which his team started showcasing in season two. There were jackets that we used on the show by LK Bennett or Dior — we used a lot of Dior pieces that actually had peplums on the jackets, which I loved, because it emphasized Juliannas tiny waist on camera, and just gave her such a gorgeous silhouette,” he said. I also think it harked back to, like, the old Hollywood style and feeling, and I love that. Im very much about the classic, but put in a modern way ... By season three it was like peplum-palooza,” he laughed. I feel like after using the peplums on the show, we started seeing it more out there.”

Lawson recalled that one of his assistants, Jenn Rogien, who now designs costumes forGirls and Orange Is the New Black, came into work one day and said, I think theyre noticing what youre doing on these women, because Im seeing it more and more when I look at these runway shows, or Im seeing it out on the street or in the stores.”

He said the increasing popularity of styles from the show also benefited his staff because they were suddenly available — previously, they occasionally had to hunt down looks or completely recut jackets for the right effect. Another example: long jackets ending about an inch above Diane Lockhart's 2016 prom dresses on the show. Obviously, somebody was doing it somewhere, because we found them,” Lawson explained. But it became more and more popular, I felt, out there. And then it became easier to find them.”

Diane's big statement necklaces also became popular: I started using those more and more the second half of the series, because I felt like she was just stronger, and more confident of herself," he said. "I started to see it more and more, people wearing big pieces. Not even necessarily outside their clothing, but sort of inside, as like an under layer, what I call secret jewelry to kind of add depth to a look.” (Which is why he used it on Diane.)

Even inside show business, he found people were noticing what Kalinda wore. I peppered in leather jackets at very key moments, and shorter skirts, and knee-high leather boots, and that became really all the rage out there,” Lawson said. And I had costume designers calling me, actually, saying, Okay, can you stop, because every actress comes in and says, I want to look like Archie Panjabi.”

A visual beauty aid for women of color

When it comes to the makeup industry, women of color such as beauty and fashion blogger Ofunne Amaka can grow tired of being left on the sidelines. Although some strides have been made toward diversity, the majority of ad campaigns for leading cosmetics brands continue to feature mostly white models.

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So in March 2015, Amaka created Cocoa Swatches, an Instagram account catering to makeup enthusiasts with underrepresented complexions. Following the success of the account — which now has more than 36,000 followers — she furthered her mission by launching the Cocoa Swatches app (free, iOS and Android) on Feb. 29. It has been downloaded about 30,000 times, says Amaka, 26.

The app features a frequently updated collection of images, created by Amaka, showing swatches of lip, eye shadow and blush products as they appear on darker skin tones. It also offers videos of the week, recommendations and makeup product comparisons. A comment button allows users to pose questions or add their thoughts on products.

ADVERTISINGLike that friend who knows the best beauty bloggers you should be following, Cocoa Swatches introduces users to popular makeup gurus, such as ItsMyRayeRaye (Raye Boyce), the Style and Beauty Doctor (Danielle Gray) and Jackie Aina. Under Makeup Experts We Love,” users can follow links to the experts Instagram posts and YouTube videos, where they offer tips and tutorials on things like applying liquid lipstick, contouring and creating the perfect cat eye, especially helpful for makeup novices.

Im a bit of an amateur myself when it comes to makeup — the other day I had to ask a friend the difference between liquid lipstick and lip gloss. Knowing that this app was designed to meet the needs of women who look like me made me comfortable turning to it to up my game. The videos of the week and links to makeup experts are among my favorite features, and Im excited to see how the app expands to represent a greater variety of black womens skin tones.

Because Im the one creating the original content, it obviously starts with me, and I have a darker complexion,” Amaka says. She hopes the app will eventually feature the skin tones of women of African descent from throughout the world.

As Amaka wrote on her website,, makeup can be used as a creative extension of personality.”

Whether youre like me and arent sure where to start, or a makeup fan tired of guessing how products will look when they meet your skin, this app pairs convenience with inclusiveness.

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