Style & Beauty

Stripes, the quintessential style staple

Stripes, the quintessential style staple

Stripes, the quintessential style staple

Peas and carrots.  Tom and Jerry.  Stripes and fall. These things just go together! Anyone who is the least bit familiar with me and my style aesthetic knows I have a deep and abiding love for all things black and/or white. Stripes in particular (although lately, I’ve been a little sweet on olive green). No matter what though, it’s the black and white stripe that will always hold a special place in my heart. There’s a reason this simple, yet masterful pattern has been a mainstay on the fashion scene for well over 150 years. They’re simultaneously flirty and sweet, steadfast and edgy, elegant yet casual. In a word, they’re  perfect. And the fact is you can never have enough in your wardrobe. Stripes are the perfect pattern for adding a little something-something to any ensemble. Tell me what you think. Do you agree that stripes are the quintessential style staple?

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Elevate your shoe game with these black beauties

Elevate your shoe game with these black beauties

Elevate your shoe game with these black beauties

Helloooo, lovelies!

Today, I’m introducing the first in a series of posts that will chronicle the top 10 personal style staples according to … well … me! And, I’m kicking things off with one of my absolute faves; the basic(ally bangin’) black pump. When it comes to versatility, polish and sass, it doesn’t get any better than this. I mean we’re talking fashion’s holy grail here, people! Want to make a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans look runway ready? What if you’d like to take a pair of culottes like these I’m wearing from casual to classy? Or, maybe you want to feel like a million bucks in your favorite thrift store find? Then, trust me, you need these shoes in your life! They’re the one fashion staple that can transform your look from frumpy to fabulous in roughly 2.5 seconds (or the guesstimated amount of time it takes to slip a pair of these bad boys on). So, what do you think? Do you agree that these black pumps are anything but basic? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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Wear it now and wear it later. How to transition your look effortlessly from one season to the next

Wear it now and wear it later. How to transition your look effortlessly from one season to the next

Wear it now and wear it later. How to transition your look effortlessly from one season to the next

Like most people, I don’t have a few extra thousand dollars lying around that I can earmark for buying an entire new wardrobe each season. So, ensuring the bucks that I do spend deliver the bang that I want sometimes requires a little planning and a lot of creativity.

When I’m searching for new wardrobe additions, I ask myself one very important question: How will it transition? In other words, can I wear it now while the weather is warmer and later when things (hopefully) begin to cool down? If the answer is no, then back on the rack it goes!

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, Florida weather is fairly predictable. There’s only going to be about a month and a half of actual colder temperatures. Which means most of my wardrobe could be categorized as transitional.

It seems that 2015 has been the year of the jumpsuit. And, I totally get it. They’re cool, comfortable and very easy to dress up or down, which are all great attributes of most transitional pieces.

While I’m proud of my curvy body, I’m not super comfortable with having my “assets” on display, so I’ve typically steered clear of jumpsuits. But, this wide-legged beauty from The Loft made me rethink my position recently. The cut of this particular piece, I thought, really worked for my body type. The wider pant leg provides a bit of visual balance by helping reduce the appearance of curviness through the hip area.

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The light, tailored jacket I added is perfect for those cooler days. And, when the weather is steamy, I can pair this jumper with some open-toed gladiator heels and minimal jewelry for a nice after-work ensemble.

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Do you have some favorite transitional looks for fall? Tell me about them in the comments below.

JACKET: The Loft | JUMPSUIT: The Loft | GLADIATOR HEELS: BCBG | PUMPS: Steve Madden NECKLACE: Tiffany & Co. | BANGLES: Coach | WATCH: Coach | PURSE: Oldie buy goodie

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There’s nothing plain about this white tee

There’s nothing plain about this white tee

There’s nothing plain about this white tee

By far, one of the best wardrobe investments I’ve ever made is this simple white t-shirt. I call it an investment because that’s exactly what it is. It’s one of those staple wardrobe pieces that no woman should be without.

In a previous post, I shared that the mark of any good wardrobe staple is it’s function as well as it’s versatility. I think the simple white tee meets both of those standards beautifully.

I’ve heard lots of people describe the white t-shirt as plain, but there’s nothing further from the truth as far as I’m concerned.

When I think of the white tee, words like crisp, simple, and comfortable come to mind. But, plain? Never!

And, did I mention affordable?

Depending on taste, white t-shirts can be had for a variety of price points ranging from the very low to the moderately high. I picked up this 14th and Union v-neck for around $13 at Nordstrom Rack.

Overall quality is something I definitely value, so when necessary, I will spend a little more to make sure that what I’m buying will stand the test of time. This shirt that I bought about a year ago turned out to be a great buy because it was extremely affordable and it has held up surprisingly well.

On a recent “date night” with the hubby, I decided to pair this v-neck tee with my favorite pair of khaki cargo capris. In the end, it turned out to be the perfect outfit for a casual night out.

What’s your “go-to” piece when you’re out on the town? Let me know in the comments below.

T-SHIRT: 14th and Union (Nordstrom Rack) | CARGOS: SeanJohn | SHOES: Shu Shop | PURSE: Louis Vuitton | WATCH: Coach | BANGLES: Coach, Alex & Ani

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3 ways to style your favorite game day gear

3 ways to style your favorite game day gear

3 ways to style your favorite game day gear

In just a few short days, I’ll be attending my first college football game of the 2015 season! To say that I’m excited is the biggest understatement ever!

I love my college alma mater, Florida A&M University. I mean, I bleed orange and green! Well, not literally, but you get the picture. So any opportunity I get to rep my team’s colors, I’m all over it.

As I was scrolling through one of my social feeds the other day, I saw that FAMU is participating in the inaugural College Colors Challenge, which is part of the 11th annual College Colors Day celebration.

Since I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, I decided to share my take on how to freshen up my game day gear and cheer my team on to victory in style.

What do you think? Did I meet the challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

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One fashion essential for fall: The black blazer

One fashion essential for fall: The black blazer

One fashion essential for fall: The black blazer

There’s a short list of fashion essentials that every woman should have in her closet and at the top should be the fitted black blazer. Having one means you never have to utter the phrase, “I don’t have anything to wear,” ever again.

The blazer is not just functional — think of it as the first cousin to the little black dress because it works well in almost any situation — it’s also incredibly versatile. Pair one with jeans, shorts, a skirt or even tights and the odds that you’ll walk away with a polished, contemporary look are quite high.

In this version of the office suit and tie, I styled my blazer with a pair of patterned pumps and a very girly bow detail on the shirt. I’m a big believer in the fact that you don’t have to compromise your femininity to be powerful.

Get the look on the job—BLAZER: Ann Taylor | PANTS: Loft | SHIRT: Old Navy | SHOES: Nine West

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And, coupled with a pair of casual pants and a graphic tee, I’ve got an effortlessly stylish look for a great night on the town.

Get the look on the town — BLAZER: Ann Taylor | PANTS: Guess | SHOES: BCBG | CUFF: Oldie by goodie | T-SHIRT: Forever 21

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There’s no piece that transitions as well as a fitted black blazer. And, isn’t that the hallmark of any good wardrobe staple?

It’s all about the journey: The best pieces for traveling in style

It’s all about the journey: The best pieces for traveling in style

It’s all about the journey: The best pieces for traveling in style

Traveling is one of the things I enjoy most in life. But there are many aspects of the journey – like the pre-planning plan, packing and confinement to tight spaces – I could seriously do without.

I am meticulous when it comes to travel prep. I think my overly-developed attention to detail is enough to drive even the most passive person to contemplate pulling a knife on me. I take the phrase “I just want to make sure,” to a whole new level.

One seemingly benign, yet terribly worrisome aspect of any trip for me is figuring out what my “going away” outfit will be.  It has to be comfortable and it has to travel well. I don’t want my clothing to inhibit me, nor do I want to look like I’ve been traveling all day. I want to look impossibly fresh when I arrive at my final destination.

That’s why these linen pants were the perfect choice for a recent trip we took to transport our daughter to college. Granted, the trip is only four hours by car, but the “accordion” look isn’t one I typically go for when I travel. Linen is a material that’s made to crease and wrinkle. So, the longer it’s worn, odds are the better it will look.

That was very true of this simple, yet chic black and white combo I chose for the ride. The elastic waistband in the wide leg pants made sitting for long periods a breeze without any discomfort around the waist area. And the sleeveless shirt made the August heat bearable … but only just.  The cutout detail in the back, as well as the high-low hem also took an otherwise unimaginative black shirt to a different level.

Overall, I was really pleased with the way this minimal ensemble turned out and most of all how well it held up. What about you? Any secrets you want to share for traveling in style? Let me know in the comments below.

SHIRT: Abound | PANTS: Loft | SHOES: Old Navy | WATCH: Coach | EARRINGS: Coach | BRACELETS: Alex & Ani

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A little black magic: Leggings are a fashion essential for every woman

A little black magic: Leggings are a fashion essential for every woman

A little black magic: Leggings are a fashion essential for every woman

I’m a woman, so it goes without saying that I have the prerogative to change my mind. On more than one occasion, I’ve shared my dislike for leggings with just about anyone who would listen.

Well, I stand corrected. I absolutely love them. They’re incredibly versatile, not to mention comfortable. Pair them with a jacket and some heels for a more sophisticated look. Or, take a more casual approach by throwing on some flats and a shirt.

If that’s not the definition of a staple piece, I don’t know what is!

Check out how I decided to style mine during a recent jaunt around town. Admittedly, it’s taken a little while for me to jump on the leggings bandwagon. Now that I have, I’m really happy about it. What about you? Are leggings a staple in your wardrobe? If so, what’s your favorite way to style them? Tell me about it in the comments below.

SHIRT: Ralph Lauren | LEGGINGS: H&M | SHOES: Converse | PURSE: Aldo | BANGLES: Alex & Ani | WATCH: Coach

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5 easy summer outfits to get you through the work week

5 easy summer outfits to get you through the work week

5 easy summer outfits to get you through the work week

This time of the year is so full of irony. Its summertime, but lately, it’s ALWAYS raining. When it’s not raining, it’s just downright hot! People in the fashion industry are gearing up for the fall. But we regular folk are still trying to make it through the summer!

For me, figuring out an appropriate outfit for work, especially during the summer months, is a process. I find dressing for fall and winter a little simpler. With some creative layering and a few well-placed accessories, I can pretty much rock any look.

But, summer work wear is a bit trickier. For instance, I have to consider what kinds of meetings I’m in and with whom. Will I have to go offsite or stay inside? Will I be on my feet for most of the day or at my desk? And, when the weather isn’t cooperating, it makes planning even more important.

That’s why I spend a few extra minutes each weekend to think through my schedule and what outfits will get me through each day. I’ve put together this small gallery of some of my favorite looks. What do you think? If you have any favorite looks you like to rock at work, tell me about them in the comments below.

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JACKET: Windsor | SHIRT: White House Black Market | PANTS: Loft | CUFF: Oldie but goodie | NECKLACE: BCBG | SHOES: Marc Fisher

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SHIRT: Max Studio | PANTS: Loft | SHOES: Guess | NECKLACE: Gifted

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SHIRT: Dillard’s | PANTS: Loft | SHOES: Divided by H&M | WATCH: Coach

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SHIRT: Divided by H&M | SKIRT: Ann Taylor | JACKET: Loft | SHOES: Candie’s

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DRESS: BGBGMaxAzria | SHOES: BCBG | NECKLACE: Tiffany & Co.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? How to style one dress for multiple occasions

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? How to style one dress for multiple occasions

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner? How to style one dress for multiple occasions

Anyone who’s ever read my blog knows I’m a huge advocate of staple pieces. They’re the foundation that my entire wardrobe is built on.  For many people, the mere mention of a “fashion staple” brings to mind the LBD (little black dress).  And, they’re right. It’s a classic, and in my opinion, no woman should be without one (or maybe two … okay, three, max)!

When I’m considering a staple piece to add to my closet, I always ask myself a couple of questions:

  • Is it versatile? Meaning, can it be styled for numerous occasions?
  • Is it timeless? In 5-10 years from now, will I run the risk of hearing, ‘I remember when people used to wear that’.

Yes, a fashion staple should be dependable. But, one thing it should never be is unimaginative. That’s why this BCBG dress is one of my absolute favorites! It’s comfortable, flowing and most importantly, it’s not boring.

Staple pieces don’t have to be limited to blues, blacks and browns. With a little imagination, most well-crafted pieces will qualify.

What about you? What qualities do you look for in a staple piece? Please, do share in the comments below.

DRESS: BCBG | SWEATER: Target | NECKLACE: Tiffany & Co. | BOOTS: Target | WATCH: Coach | BANGLES: Alex & Ani | HEELS: Steve Madden | SHIRT: Ralph Lauren | CORAL NECKLACE: Oldie but goodie | PINK HEELS: Guess

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