I’ve been milling around trying to wait for the muses to hit me with something I can write about and trying fervently not to force ideas out of desperation. Today I came up with this, a fashion and beauty segment. With a little luck and ingenuity, this may become a permanent fixture on 2KL!
In the last year or so, I have taken a long, objective look at my wardrobe and found that I was wearing and purchasing clothing that I wore in my mid to late teens on through early 20’s and being that I just turned 25, I felt it was time for a much needed and appropriate change. I didn’t feel like my wardrobe reflected my current state of mind, style, or my age. I decided to take a peek at what’s hot in the fashion meccas around the world from France and the UK to China, Korea, and Japan. What I found was that I have a fairly UK heavy sense of style, I’ve developed a love for geometric shapes and sharp angles, I need to up my “shoe game,” and that I need to stop selecting the same colors and cuts repetitively.
My brother Duran (we’re not actually related; we’re just THAT close) always asks me to help him with picking out clothes ever since I banned him from purchasing the same old cuts, patterns, and colors. Whenever he picks up an item I recognize as the same ol’ same ol’ I give him the side-eye and respond, “Uh-uh, put that $#!+ back,” and hand him something completely outside of his comfort zone. I now have to do this for myself, which isn’t quite as easy. It has proven exceptionally difficult to consistently step outside of myself in the dressing room and say, “Hey, you look like a 12-year-old. Put this $#!+ back.” As I have successfully begun altering my style while still maintaining the level of fly freshness I love, I want to share with you some of the things in both fashion and beauty that I like, a few I don’t care for, and several things I desire.
I would first like to share that when I am selecting a style, or mash-up of styles, that I wouldn’t normally sport I look at it as a costume change or an activator for a different facet of my personality. Some outfits will bring out my inner diva, others will bring out my sweet side, etc etc. It may not be noticeable to others, but it is noticeable to me in my overall mood. So when I step into an outfit, I step into character, I step into a certain attitude. I think we all do that a little, especially when we just know we look good and we’re feeling particularly FIERCE.
*****The majority of the images in this post can be clicked to purchase the item(s) pictured. Happy shopping, ladies. Live and let have.*****
See-through tops have made a huge comeback recently and before I was “in the know,” whenever I saw one I would laugh quietly to myself thinking, “So that’s what’s hot?” I equated the trend to sagging jeans, exposed boxers, and in some cases, butt crack! Yes! However, I’ve let it grow on me a bit. I’m not totally opposed to exposing my bra, but I’m not quite so comfortable that I’ll wear a shirt that is completely see-through. I want to be, though, and the reason that I’m not is because I feel some type of way about my midriff area since giving birth. It’s not a straight mess down there, it’s actually really good, but there are some light stretch marks and a small bit of loose skin around my bellybutton area. Omg I’ve never voiced that insecurity in any form until now. Truth be told, I haven’t fully adjusted to the permanent cosmetic changes. I’ve always wanted to show a little stomach, but that will be a lot harder to do now until I get my mind and body right. I have no issue with exposing the amount of stomach pictured in the first photo and the peek-a-boo look in the second, though. That part of my stomach as well as anything where I can still show a little stomach without highlighting my stretch marks, I have zero issues with. The way I see it, if Nene Leaks can do it, so can I. So I’m in the market for the right types of see-through tops. Stepping out of my comfort zone in order to be a little more fashion forward!
I’m in love with classic, vintage cuts like this. They’re so iconic of the time and elegantly accentuate the curvature of the female form. It’s an artistic medium of fabric and thread. This one reminds me of a young Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, or Dorothy Dandridge. I believe this dress, a pin up girl ‘do, and true red lipstick would transform my state of mind to that of Felicia Rashad; beautiful, witty, graceful, intelligent, charming, and above all, a lady.
Sometimes I need neutral colors, bold patterns, and/or asymmetry to serve me that New York chic realness after dark. The shirt and skirt combination below embodies at least two out of three and I especially love that gunmetal/pewter color of the skirt. See that naaasty pair a heels down there? At $68, I gots to get mine, I gotta to have it! lol They look like something RiRi or Baddie Bey would wear. They would pair unquestionably well the shirt/skirt combo. A few choice accessories, such as that seemingly African-inspired necklace below, added to the mix will make any woman look like a celebrity, in my opinion. These items are available on NastyGal.com, a site that houses a plethora of must-haves for my closet. The styles they advertise give me Fly Girl from In Living Color and early 90’s Janet J. Definitely check out their wares if you’re into those looks.
This is outfit is the lovechild of modern chic and classic vintage. The hip-hugging polka dot skirt matched with the lingerie-esque black lace top just drips of sexy-and-I-know-it! I only wish the top was red and the skirt was white and black with black polka dots.
The above outfit is something I put together the other day. I call it Safflower Safari! It’s a grown and sophisticated look with just a touch of edge added by those glasses (aren’t they fresh?). I feel this is the best representation of what I mean when I say age appropriate. Ideally, this is the type if thing I would like to wear when I go out with friends, special occasions, etc. I don’t normally wear such bright colors. I seem to be stuck in a perpetual whirlpool of black and/or white tops, dark skinny jeans, unimaginative flats, and a serious lack in matching accessories. In other words, it’s time to revamp and remix.
This blue is everything! Such a rich and vibrant color, I can’t overlook. I NEED to start incorporating more color into my wardrobe, but I feel if I’m going to do it, then it needs to somehow highlight my presence in the crowd. Duran didn’t like a shirt or two I picked out for him the other day because he felt the colors were too bright and he would feel like he stands out and people would be looking at him. I said, “That’s the point! Be noticed!” I have to reflect those same sentiments on myself. Being the social chameleon I am, I can’t bear to fade into the background. Not saying I need to be the center of attention, but I do need to be at the forefront. Otherwise, what was the point in dressing up and going out??
Now here is something I generally don’t like for the simple fact that when I was working as a hostess in a well-known and popular pub (ain’t no free advertising for corporate businesses ’round HEAH! lol) I saw this little playsuit on nearly every 20-something that walked through the door and not one of them properly accessorized to make the look pop, which is a fatal fashion mistake that can make any outfit look blasé. Finding these two made me reconsider. The use of the crop sleeved blazer, subtlety of the jewelry, and those cute open-toe, heeled boots on the black playsuit make me want the whole outfit, especially the shoes. I don’t wear blazers, but for years I’ve been telling myself I need to find a few online or through thrifting; they tend to add a little flare to an otherwise plain outfit. The peach one looks stunning with just the jewelry and the contrast of those thick, black strapped heels and purse; and her hair color, in my opinion, also compliments the style. Some people don’t realize that their hair’s style and color can make or break an outfit too. Mark my words; hair is also an accessory.
Of course, I could never go without my bohemian “hippie” outfits. Harem pants! Yes, I like them… now. When I first saw them all I could think was MC Hammer and those damn parachute pants! It’s another style I had to open up my mind to. When I saw this harem pantsuit above I was hooked. It fits so well with my alleged hippie style. When I get into that bohemian “gypsy” mood, I can see no other colors in my closet besides brown, saffron, red, olive green, saffron orange, black, pretty much anything in an earth tone, or colors in shades that can be found in nature. No other jewelry will do but those made of wood, gold, glass, polymer clay, hemp, faux leather, crystals, shells, and/or stones. Nothing else looks better with that style. I also absolutely LOVE wrap dresses and sarongs. Whenever I need to get out of the house quickly, but still look cute and fab, they are my go-to’s, but that may just be a whole other post in and of itself. 😉
I think these shoes are just plain cute and loud! Something that can be used to add a splash of color to my casual neutral themed outfits, such as my black-blue skinny jeans and a white tee. The fact that it has so many colors on it makes it creatively compatible with a plethora of items. If I can find matching accessories, it’s on, which brings me to my next topic: sewing.
I used to sew a bit back when I was of grade school age, but it wasn’t anything great because I felt like I was just in the class following instructions rather than learning a great deal. Fast-forwarding to now, I go to the mall or outlet, perusing, and I find myself wishing that a top looked more this way or dress that way and that I could find a store that sold exactly what I was looking for without having to pay an arm, a leg, and my firstborn. My fun aunt I mentioned in a couple of my Christmas updates saw a Facebook status I posted expressing my frustration over the problem and she bought me several yards of fabric and a sewing machine! I was SUPERHERO excited when she told me because now I can actually MAKE those clothing items I kept wishing someone else would! I have a list of ideas a mile long. I’ve already started looking at colors and fabrics, designing clothes in my head. I especially want to replicate the harem pantsuit above. I hope to share some of my adventures and triumphs of being an amateur seamstress with you guys in the future.
ELLE VARNER on the cover of Vibe Vixen looks astonishing!! I frickin LOVE that metallic violet-blue lipstick! If anyone knows where I can get it, PLEASE let me know! When the issue hit stands, people had mixed feelings about, but I think it’s fresh as hell! I love how the color perfectly matches the lip color of the woman printed on her dress. Speaking of, her dress is amazing and the cat eye glasses and high bun are gorgeous compliments. Elle is giving me life!
While we’re on the subject of lip color, have you seen the new lip stain line from L’oreal? There aren’t many colors available, but of what they do have, I want three three shades. I have to have the Endless Red (190), Coral Tattoo (188; that orange looking one), and Berry Persistent (186). I have only recently added true red to my lip color collection, but having orange lipstick is nothing new. Black Radiance has a metallic lip color and a gloss called Molten Bronze (?) I use all the time. I love orange lip color and gloss! Anyway, the next time I’m in Wally World (lol Walmart) I resolve to head straight to the L’oreal portion of the beauty section and pick up all three shades.
My friend from way back when (haha) Christina created a video review and I wanted to share her opinion of them.
OK, I’m going to cut this post off right here before I rattle on for another five paragraphs. If you haven’t already, click on the items pictured and take a look around the stores. You’re bound to find something you like, regardless of personal style. Peace & Love.
P.S. You know I have to do it. There are only TWO days left in the Jane Carter giveaway we’re hosting (sponsored by SwapSack). If you haven’t entered for your chance to win, honey, don’t miss out! Click the Jane Carter post in the featured slideshow on the homepage for deets! Good luck!