Style Diary: Florals + Sequins

I really adore this skirt (last seen here) but for some reason, I struggle with how to style it. My default thought it just to pair it with a black or white blouse and some vibrant shoes but... I can't wear it that way every single time, right? I love this floral blouse and have only wore it once so I went on a limb and decided to wear it with this sequin skirt. I think I like how it looks paired together but I struggled with how to accessorize it. I settled on a navy clutch and nude pumps and, 2 days later, I'm still not sure if it was a good idea. Perhaps nude heeled sandals would've been a better look? A few bracelets and rings to accentuate the luster of the skirt?

This look reminds me of just how essential the right accoutrements and accessories are in mastering a look. Its not that the styling is bad... I just think it could have been executed better with the right accessories. Nude sandals, 2-3 gold rings, 3 stacked gold necklaces, and a simple gold necklace. The icing is equally important as the cake, wouldn't you agree?

It's all about trial and error.  I'm sure I'll figure this thing out soon enough. Which means look forward to more pictures of the skirt.


Style Diary: Street Sights

In my previous post, I discussed my struggles in not knowing how to combine my personal dress aesthetic with normative work wear. And then I wore a cropped top and maxi skirt to work the next day. In my defense, the cropped top was tucked into the skirt so I wasn't showing skin. And I wore a cardigan on top while at work. Its just that the high was 85 degrees and there was a nice breeze in the air and Game 7 of the NBA Finals were here and I was about to witness my team win their 3rd Championship and... well ... I really just had to do something nice, ya know?

And my skirt was blowing in the breeze and the Heat won their ring so yesterday was a good day. Well, sort of good because yesterday was the also the day Instagram decided to update their service by integrating video capabilities and we all began to realize just how long 15 seconds really was. Am I now subject to a 15 second video of you tying your shoe? Or is it 15 seconds of kissy faces in your bathroom mirror? Will people just read their tweegrams? How many relationships will go throw a hard season when boyfriends refuse to post videos with their girls? Why couldn't we just leave the videos to Vine and let the X-Pro II photographs flourish on their own medium? Is it really better to combine the two? I'm just a little skeptical. I sort of liked the compartmentalization of keeping my videos in one service and pictures in the other service. I'm just not sure I want VHS tapes in my photo albums, ya know? It'll be interesting to see how the kinks work themselves out over the next few months. And I, honestly, I hope Vine doesn't just die out because of this integration. Adding a feature to edit videos would be dope but I  like that there were no filters on that service. They're a young network that has a lot of room for improvement so I really do hope they just make changes and continue to grow. Because, from a girl that is really apprehensive when it comes to embracing new technologies, Vine is pretty dope. And, I will just have to deal with 15 seconds of your 10-year old splashing about in an above ground pool, I guess. The times are swiftly changing and I don't know if it's for the better or worse.


Style Diary: I'm Still Not Sure How to Dress For Work...

I don't get office/work wear. I'm surrounded by an endless sea of ill-fitting gray, navy, khaki, and maroon and I don't know why. I go to the shops and see mannequins and magazines displaying fabulous prints, patterns, pearls, and wedges but the reality is more New Balance trainers, frumpy white Henley, tattered gray cardigan, and a black skirt that is two sizes too big. Or tee shirt over tank with slacks and Vibrams. Every once in a while, a faded wrap dress and wedges floats around and I get a little ecstatic because I realize that someone woke up this morning and decided to care. How did we get here as a people?

Personally, I'm not sure I understand what I'm supposed to wear. When I first started, I'd dress as what I thought was regular cute office wear. I'm talking pleated skirts + leopard tops, tapered trousers + striped blouses, and plaid shirts + high waist leather skirts. I soon found out that I was deemed (well, sort of dismissed as) the "new fashion girl". Most conversations with coworkers always ended up gravitating towards where I bought something or how I got into fashion. And, this kind of bothered me. Cause I work in public health! Let's focus on what I deliver not what I look like, right? So I attempted to tone it down a bit. Except, I don't know what "tone it down" means. Surely, one can't expect me to wear a pant suit and sandals but I promised to compromise on some ends and do what I can. Do I wear jeans now? Why does everyone where those ballet flats when they're not actually comfortable? Are you sure I have to commute in sneakers and a pencil dress? What happens if I don't believe in "frump"? I don't need to wear makeup anymore? Do I just let my eyebrows grow out? What is the protocol? Is there a manual to this?

I still have no clue what to wear to the workplace. I did end up finding ONE pair of comfortable ballet flats that I wear more often than not. I still wear makeup but I do more glasses and less contacts during the work week. And I to try stick to a muted/neutral color base. A lot of blacks, tans, navys, and olive greens (I still sneak in the occasional chambray though *shrug*). These are strange and murky waters I am navigating.
Someone send me a compass!


Styling: The Zara Striped Sheath Skirt

Zara Striped Sheath Skirt
Horizontal stripes, especially on the bottom half, often receive a bad rep - many shy away from wearing it in fear of appearing too wide. I'm a firm believer that anyone can wear anything, especially when you pair it with the right dose of confidence and attitude. Remember, 95% of pulling off any look is believing you own the look. Clothes only make up the other 5%.

With that being said, let's move on to some styling! From time to time, people seek me out to give them fashion ideas for items they lust for but had no clue how to wear. A few days ago, someone reached out to me on Tumblr and asked me how I would style the Zara Striped Sheath Skirt. I came up with 5-6 looks and decided to put a couple of them on here and garner some feedback from you. Check out the looks and tell me what you think!

Zara Striped Sheath, Pt 1

This look is reflective of the first things I thought of when I saw this skirt. An easy chambray top plus bold red lip and nude sandals. I paired the skirt with a cropped chambray top in this pictorial but I think a boyfriend chambray with the top 3-4 buttons unbuttoned would be a delightful twist. The chunky crystal ring and snow leopard clutch bring an unexpected twist to a pretty normative look. I think its much so classic and chic.

Zara Striped Sheath, Pt 2

I love the idea of wearing a high-waist midi skirt with a cropped top and showing a slight hint of skin. In the previous set, I paired the skirt with a cropped chambray top but this time I liked the idea of pairing it with a loose cropped tee for a more casual look. It reminded me of a summer concert or movies in the park. Maybe brunch and window shopping on an international vacation. I am increasingly obsessed with that lucite box clutch. It's the perfect summer accouterments. 

Zara Striped Sheath, Pt 3

This look is a more work or church friendly look for this skirt. I liked the idea of pairing complimentary yet mismatched striped prints. The mint is a give the perfect bomb of color and the the snakeskin bag is a bold yet classic statement piece. Midi finger rings are all the rage these days so they're a definite must for this look.

Zara Striped Sheath, Pt 4

Zara Striped Sheath, Pt 4 
This last look is a fun date night look. Or maybe just a night on the town filled with cocktails and friends. Vibrant neon, water color heels, and the most jaw-dropping crystal necklace piece to top it all off. This is definitely the look that most describes my personal style.

So... what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Make some slight changes? Let me know what's on your mind!

For more styling points or tips, shoot me an email or send me a message in my Tumblr Ask.


Roots Crew + Snarky Puppy

This past weekend, The Roots came to DC as part of one of the closing acts for the DC Jazz Festival. I became a Roots fan in 1999 when I first heard You Got Me. Between Black Thought's storytelling, Eve's response, and Erykah Badu's hypnotic voice flowing in between the two, I was hooked in a matter of minutes to the legendary Roots crew. Thanks to Groupon, I was able to get some well-priced seats for the show. The seats weren't my ideal spot for my first ever Roots concert but, the set up of The Kastles Stadium made every seat a pretty decent show. And, for $20, I couldn't really be mad.

Snarky Puppy, a Dallas/NYC Jazz collective, opened up the show. I had never heard of them before this event but they were pretty cool. Their sound is part jazz, part-rock, part-funk, and all fantastic. I'm definitely going to have to check out some of their work. And, perhaps, try to catch another one of their shows before the summer lets out.

The Roots were... better than I could ever dream. Hip-hop and live music are only two of my favorite things in the world so, as you can imagine, I was in heaven. Sousaphonist Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson was probably one of my favorite part of the performance; his on-stage dancing really just made my heart happy. Questlove and Frank Knuckles on drums and percussion were everything you dreamed off. I didn't realized Cap'n Kirk was touring with The Roots so he was a definite pleasant surprise. He lent his vocals for the hook of "You Got Me" and did an amazing job. Of course, Black Thought was just as cool as cucumber and flowed in and out of every track with magic. The Roots put on an unbelievable show and I admonish everyone to experience it as much as possible! My phone died halfway through the show so I couldn't get a good recording of any songs but.. check out this snippet of my first favorite Roots song, 'You Got Me'.

I can't wait to attend my next Roots show!

Ulah Bistro Gets Some Retail Therapy

Yesterday, I attended Simone Butterfly's Retail Therapy: Fashion Out Loud event at Ulah Bistro. This happy hour fete brought together the fashion bloggers, retailers, designers, and enthusiasts from all across the DMV to celebrate the burgeoning fashion industry on DC's historical U Street as well as Simone Butterfly's monthly 'Retail Therapy' column.

Simone Butterfly is a "fabulous freelance fashion investigator" that is the brain child of fashion attorney/blogger/marketer/enthusiast Mariessa Terrell. Every month she sleuths through the streets of DC to find all the fashionable fetes, boutiques, and events in the city and reports back in her monthly "Retail Therapy" column for MidCity DC. In celebration of the happy hour, there was actually life-size Simone Butterfly Barbie Doll. Well played, Ms. Terrell. Well played.

Throughout the event, Simone Butterfly raffled off tons of awesome prizes from local retailers. I won this collection of fabulous bracelets from Elaine Luxe. This may have been my first time ever winning a raffle prize so I was extremely geeked.

It was definitely a great time last night. Be sure to check out monthly 'Retail Therapy' column and follow Simone Butterfly on Twitter for updates on all things fabulous and fancy in DC.

Roy Hargrove Quintet at The Hamilton LIVE

The DC Jazz Festival is an annual 2-week event that brings nearly 100 jazz performances to various venues all across the city. Since its inception nine years ago, Roy Hargrove has put on a show every single year. This year, I was finally able to attend the show and... man, oh, man. RH is spectacular.

I was first introduced to Roy Hargrove when I hard Q-Tip say his name right before the bridge of the Q-Tip x Erykah Badu track entitled Poetry a few years back. The way his trumpeteering caressed the beat of the song was absolutely flawless. I decided to research him a little bit and soon learned that his talent was behind some of the horn sounds on many of my favorite records, including D'Angelo's Spanish Joint and Send It On. I soon fell in love his albums so I was really excited to be able to check out Roy Hargrove at The Hamilton LIVE over the weekend. The Roy Hargrove Quintet is amazing and the show was absolutely spectacular. Check out a snippet of their performance below:

Now, go get some Roy Hargrove in your life. You will thank me later.

Flare, Flare Everywhere

We've been in Skinny Jean Season for so long that I can't even remember when the trend began. With the nostalgia of the 60s and 80s heavily impacting modern fashion as of late, I knew it was just a matter of time before the 70s began to infiltrate. And, just like clockwork, flared jeans starting appearing left and right on all my favorite street style blogs. Are you excited for the return of the wider leg into your wardrobe?

To be honest, on most of us, flares and wide-leg pants are way more flattering than skinny jeans. Flare and wide leg pants tend to hit the highs of your figure with a slim, flattering waist and the wider legs bring a sleek, balanced look. I got my favorite flared denim pants from from Gap over 5 years ago and I'm actually quite surprised that they look EXACTLY the same as when I got them. I wear them with everything to boyfriend racer back tanks to silk blouses to chambray shirts + bowties. Since they are longer in length, I tend to always wear them with heels. One of my favorite pair of jeans.

Flare jeans are a flattering fit for everyone. I love how they bring a bit more cool flamboyance when compared to the the sleek look of the skinny fit. Check out these cool styling ideas from Chictopia on how best wear your flares below.

Stripe La Flare

  1. To go for a complete ‘70s look, pair your flared jeans or trousers with wedges, platforms or clogs. Take note that a slightly pointed toe will give you a better line than a rounded one, in order to continue the idea of length. 
  2. Pair with tops that are tucked in with a sleek, skinny belt for a more waist-defining look. Wear them with sheer & chiffon tops that flow just right for a polished look. 
  3. Update your look by wearing your easy flares with a crisp blazer. 
  4. Try a floppy hat & some oversized ‘70s sunglasses for a bohemian look. 
  5. If worn right, petite women can use flares to their advantage. Make sure to buy your flared friends at a floor-sweeping length so you can hide your sky-est high heels underneath! 
  6. For women who are top-heavy, flares are great for balancing out to give a more hour-glass look, giving a poised silhouette. 
  7. The ‘70s high-waist style can give the impression of a slimmer stomach & narrower hips. If bought in the perfect size, you can say goodbye to your muffin tops!
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REVEL x Annya Kai

This weekend I ventured out into Alexandria to see the Annya Kai Art Show at REVEL boutique. Located on the second floor of a converted brownstone, REVEL is a great shop filled with a mix of LA's signature edge and fearlessness and dope local designers. I was greeted in front of the shop by Jolleen (of Simply Jolleen) who was hosting the event. The delicious sugar cookies she was handing out was just a small precursor to the wondrous spread of cookies, cupcakes, chocolates, and lemonade waiting for me when I walked up to the shop. My tummy was super ecstatic.