Month: January 2017

Marble Fur + Bronze Boots

Rise and grind loves! If you’re anything like yours truly, you’ve watched the New Edition Story about three times and NE greatest hits have been in heavy rotation on your Spotify playlist. Now that all the older millennials have come home from our trip down memory lane it’s back to our regularly scheduled programs.

Since I spent most of the weekend trying to avoid this cold/flu/plague that’s been circulating snatching everyone around me, I’ve decided to bundle up.

Today’s entire outfit was planned with this coat in mind. This “marble” faux fur is about ten years old and holds a special place in my heart since it was purchased from Daffy’s, one of my all time favorite stores.

Although they’re no long in Philly, this coat will forever bring back great memories. Underneath, I’ve kept it simple with a camel turtleneck and black skinnies. Bronze over the knee boots put the final nail in the coffin.

Who else is ready to “kill it” on a Monday?

Coat// DKNY , Top&Pants//H&M , Boots//Dudes , Handbag//Rampage , Watch//Jacot

Sequin Turtleneck + Brown Maxi

Hello loves, was the BET New Edition story not everything last night?! Young Ralph’s voice was flawless. A trip down memory lane that I’m sure we could all use right about now. Awesome casting for the boys and great job on the vocals. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series! How about you?

Now onto fashion… Some days you just wake up and feel like doin boss things like wearing sequins and fur – so you wear sequins and fur. You know what I mean ladies?

Today’s look is all about being a boss. Never one to pass up an opportunity to wear sequins, I’ve decided to sparkle in this gold sequin turtleneck. It’s the perfect top to add some flare to my vintage chocolate maxi skirt.

With such a fancy top all I needed were my brown knee boots and a pair of gold studs to accessorize. Winter cold has given me even more reason to bust out my favorite coats, extra and all so it was only right I add my shearling to top it off.

Here’s to lavish layers and slaying your looks every day, XO!

Top//Architect , Skirt//Vintage , Boots//Dollhouse , Coat//Zara 

Yes We Did: Obama Farewell

Well folks, today it hit me. To quote Kevin McCall’s verse from Deuces, “like Tina did Ike in the limo it finally hit me”… the Obama family has left the White House. President Obama served two terms, so we all knew this day was coming but I think many of us hoped time would somehow slow down a bit. The 2016 presidential election was one for the history books as we saw unprecedented mud slinging and media frenzy, especially between the two primary candidates. In the two months following Donald Trump’s victory, I seemed to begin taking mental inventory of all the things I either liked or disliked about the Obama administration. What resulted is exactly what lead me to vote for Barack Obama a second time, I genuinely trusted his judgement and ability to lead our country.

By January 10th when he gave his farewell address to the American people I most definitely had to come to terms with reality and let him go. To be honest, I felt like I was being dumped; rather kindly and eloquently but dumped nonetheless. I’ve been with this man for as long as I’ve been with my fiance. How dare he leave me – leave us? The 22nd Amendment prohibits any American president from serving more than two terms (thanks FDR), so as I and many of you cope with this break up of sorts, I’ve decide to list a few things I’ll take away from Barack Obama’s presidency.

  1. Always Go High – Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2016 DNC was one of the most memorable political speeches in history, given by anyone, not just a first lady. She spoke of the challenges she and her family have faced their entire political career. Challenges won because of the many unknown battles she and Barack faced as individuals and as a young family in Chicago. She reminded America that the White House itself was built on the backs of her ancestors, enslaved Africans whose descendants would be oppressed for centuries. Finally, she instructed us that “when they go low, we go high”. A peak into her family’s motto, even in the midst of an ugly campaign. A call for us to take the high road and err on the side of integrity and dignity, even in politics. Something we’d seen her husband do continually since his 2008 campaign when bullies screamed for his birth certificate, published racist cartoons of his family, and labeled him a terrorist.
  2. Keep Your Word  – From the very beginning President Obama’s mission for the country was clear and his intentions were made known. Whether you agreed with his proposed policies or not, at least you knew what they were and how he planned to implement said policies. National health care, Gun control, and Economic Stability were the three major goals of Obama’s entire eight year presidency. Each of these goals represented a bench mark achievement for our nation. Inheriting a country going through what is now called the Great Recession and coming off the clutches of both an Iraq and Afghani war (which ultimately lead to the elimination of Bin Laden), Obama managed to stay focused on the long term. Although congress refused to pass stricter gun control laws, we have raised employment levels to 52% and 95% of the country is medically insured.
  3. Family First – In a culture where the most popular tv shows include shows where Black couples are violent, Black children are disrespectful and poor students, Black fathers are absent or uneducated, Black mothers are angry and belligerent – the Obama’s have dismantled these perceived norms. Some say they’ve represented what Black America aspires to be, I say that represented what we already are. Yes, we seem to live up to some stereotypes, but this is true for every ethnicity in this country. However, Barack and Michelle have shown America that a Black family can indeed be the nation’s first family without the shame, scandal, treason, and dishonesty of the many who’ve come before. Better than the Huxtable’s, the Obama’s as a true power couple have shown us all how to love and lead. Michelle modeled how to be an independent, educated Black woman but embrace the title of Mom-In-Chief. She talked early on about insisting that the president be done his duties by 6:30 to have family dinner or how they make a point of date nights… even in the White House. Sasha and Malia have grown into beautiful, intelligent young women, carrying themselves with dignity and grace. Finally, Barack has shown us all that being an affectionate, loving husband and father is not a weakness. It doesn’t subtract from his manhood that he cried over the Sandy Hook shootings or admitted to being unable to be his best self without Michelle.

This was a historic presidency for so many reasons, but if nothing else the Obama’s brought dignity and grace to the oval office. They won the hearts of the American people and as a result they’ll forever hold a place in my heart!

Puffer Vest + Camouflage

Three day weekends are a gift from God and I thoroughly enjoyed this past weekend. I attended an awesome church conference, had fish tacos on Sunday, spent quality time with my dad, and laid in bed catching up on my favorite shows.

The best part is that I have today off as well to celebrate my fiance’s birthday. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also First Lady Michelle Obama’s birthday! Before I get choked up talking about Mrs. Obama, let me distract us by focusing on the outfit of the day instead.

I should tell you that these black riding boots have currently become my favorite shoes. They are just so freaking comfortable! I wear them every chance I get and decided to pair them with an old standby for this weekend lay.

I started with one of my go to turtlenecks and layered this olive green puffer vest. Can you believe this is actually my first time styling one? Down feathers make it extremely light and warm. The camouflage pants are a year round staple and perfect for this look.

A few gold accents and a dark lipstick mean I’m ready to take on the day in style!

Top//Uniqlo , Vest//Old Navy , Pants//Zara , Boots//Clarks 

Ivory Turtleneck + Black Velvet

The snow has just about completely melted and rain is coming to wash the rest away. This has been very busy week for me with appointments during the day and projects at work in the evenings. As a result I’ve found myself skipping the daily beat face in favor of some moisturizer and Blistex. Not to mention my hair is in desperate need of a trim and a good deep condition.

Thankfully, I have an appointment on deck for this weekend; until then it’s time to improvise. One of my favorite accessories is a scarf. I literally wear them all year round. Possibly because I’m a singer, but more than likely because I’m anemic. This leopard scarf served as a headwrap for today’s look.

It was the perfect way to add some flare to this simple outfit. I purchased this ivory turtleneck  (and three others) for ten bucks (a piece) last fall. I chose to pair it with black velvet pants and my comfy riding boots to brave the cold weather.

I added some statement earrings and a chain cuff because… leopard. To finish the look I chose a rich red lip. Something about a red lip instantly makes me feel fabulous. If you’re feeling blah grab your favorite lippie and it’ll change your mood!

Here’s to adding a little flare to the simplest outfit, XO.

Top//H&M , Pants//Uniqlo , Scarf//H&M , Coat//Kenneth Cole, Boots//Clarks , Jewelry//H&M 

Golden Globes 2017: Best Dressed

Happy Monday beautiful, I hope your weekend was as relaxing as mine. I’ve literally been looking forward to last night’s Golden Globes for the last month. I can’t explain why I love this particular awards show so much but I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fabulous fashion. Unlike the Oscar’s the Golden Globes allow for a little more freedom and whimsy in terms of celebrity fashion. Here are my top five celebs from last night’s event

5.  Evan Rachel Wood – In a literal sea of ball gowns and fitted sheaths Evan completley stands out in this perfectly tailored Altuzarra tuxedo.    When asked about her fashion choice Evan stated that she wanted to show young girls that they don’t always have to wear dresses to be feminine.

4. Ruth Negga – As a fellow petite woman I know firsthand how challenging it can be to wear floor length gowns and not have them consume your frame. At only 5’3 , Ruth was an absolute vision in this custom Louis Vuitton metallic gown. The hair and clutch made this absolutely brilliant.

3. Traci Ellis Ross – Quirky, silly, kind, and genuine all describe the forty-nine year old Golden Globe winning star of Black-ish. The first black woman to win an award for lead actress in a television series in over 30 years, Traci shined, literally, in this embroidered Zuhair Murad midi. Traci kept the accessorizing light… unless of course you count her twelve rings, lol!

2. Blake Lively – I know what you may be thinking, “Seriously Kira, she’s overrated”. I hear you, I do – but you guys, c’mon… Blake Lively is one of the most consistent women on the red carpet. She literally slays at every show, baby bump or not, and in my opinion she’s a young SJP in the making. This velvet Atelier Versace gown with sequin detail and pockets made me sit straight up and say “yasss boo”. Therefore, she’s my number two.

1. Olivia Culpo – Until last night I’d never even heard of Olivia, nor do I remember her winning the 2012 Miss USA pageant. However, after last night’s awards, fashion houses all over will be dying for the chance to dress the twenty-four year old star for the next show. This Zuhair Murad Couture ball gown is literally covered in jewels and embroidery. The criss-cross bust add a flirty peek-a-boo whimsy to such a serious gown. This has to be one of the best dresses I’ve seen in a very long time. Her hair and makeup are also spot on, well done Olivia, this is perfection!

2016 Style Star: Zendaya

This year I am introducing a new annual post in which I reveal my personal choice for overall style from the previous year. While 2016 is a memory some have chosen to forget, the year saw some fabulous fashion from the likes of Rihanna and Alicia Vikander, both of whom made my final four. However, it was First Lady Michelle Obama who stayed at the top of my list as I reviewed top fashion moments from last year. The First Lady’s style has always managed to be modern yet classic, but in this last year of the Obama administration she came to slay (see this fabulous sequin gown below).

Apart of me feels like a low key traitor for not simply crowning the First Lady as queen if for no other reason than I may never see such a graceful Black woman in the White House again… but I’ve chosen to go with my gut. My choice for 2016 Style Star is none other than 20 year old Oakland, California native Zendaya Coleman.

The young former Disney star is a true tripple threat: actress, singer, and dancer who has managed to gracefully evolve from child star to millenial fashionista, all while staying fashion forward and socially conscious. Long time stylist Law Roach has described Zendaya as fearless, one who doesn’t follow trends; which is precisely why I love the young muse. In a sea of purchased parts and bra and panty sets beneath sheer bodycon dresses, Zendaya dares to dress deliberately.

Miss Coleman is known for paying homage to the style icons that have come before her and as a result, I often find myself secretly looking forward to what she’ll wear on a red carpet or (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) to an event like the Teen Choice Awards. Zendaya’s method is actually very  common among those hailed as stylish women: wear what you like. In her case it tends to be clothing that allows her to express her emerging adulthood without being too risqué.

It also doesn’t hurt that her statuesque figure is a favorite among designers like Ungaro and Vivienne Westwood. At such a young age I am sincerly looking forward to her continued style evolution and may even purchase a few pieces from her clothing line Daya by Zendaya. There you have it, my choice for 2016. Comment below and tell me who’s your personal favorite style star!

Green Argyle Skirt

Happy Hump Day beautiful people! Is anyone else still have vacation brain at the office? I honestly could’ve taken Tuesday off just to mentally prepare myself to go back to work. Well, such is life; besides, bills don’t pay themselves. I pray you’ve all had a great holiday with those you love.

I’m proud of myself for sticking to my decision to skip the gift giving this Christmas. I certainly felt like a Scrouge at first, but it was a necessary form of financial self care. Instead I focused on acts of service toward those around me.

Now that the holidays are over it’s back to the daily grind. Since this is the first outfit post of the new year I figured I’d go for a little color. The only thing I love more than the soft feel of this midi sweater skirt is the preppy argyle print. I saw this skirt back in November and had to snag myself two of them. I am always leary of midi length skirts and dresses due to my petite stature. However, this was a worthy exception.

In order to keep the focus on the skirt I decided to pair it with a simple white tee and black cardigan. Instead of a simple pendant I opted for this chunky statment necklace, which I rarely wear. Next, I added patent accessories to add dimension to the entire look.

I wore this skirt to church and I lie to you not, it was more comfortable than my favorite jeans. I love a good skirt and this baby will surely become one of my wardrobe favs!

Skirt//New York & Company , Top//Uniqlo , Cardigan//H&M , Shoes//Nine West , Bag//Vintage 

It is Well… Making peace with 2016

If you’re reading this congratulations, you are among the extremely blessed individuals to physically cross over into 2017. You are alive. No, it’s not a churchy old head cliche thing to say my G, I’m dead serious (pun intended). So again, let me remind you: YOU ARE ALIVE! If I stop this blog post right now that fact should fill your heart with overwhelming gratitude and happiness. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that many of us are physically here in 2017 but our hearts and minds are still reeling from the global, local, and personal tragedies and/or disappointments we’ve encountered over the last twelve months.

I began 2016 overwhelmed by financial strain. In February my boyfriend proposed and it was one of the happiest days of my life. Excited and ready to finally take that next step, we set the date for January 7, 2017. In April we had a death in my family while preparing for my siblings graduations. By May I’d made the hard decision to move back home with my parents in order to save for the wedding and at the start of summer my fiance and mother both had great new jobs. My family’s collective season of hardship seemed to be over. Then in July while at a concert with my sister, she had a grand mal seizure. We spent the entire month at various appointments with neurologists as they determine if she has epilepsy. August 1st my fiance was abruptly let go from his job and by the end of the month the same was true for my mother. I must say, this nearly crushed me. I felt like what was supposed to be my happiest year was turning into my worst. In September another death in the family on my mother’s side and Thanksgiving weekend her brother had a massive stroke.

If you’re feeling battered by the events of 2016, trust me I understand. Many of you have buried loved ones, lost jobs, and ended relationships. It may seem like the positive affirmations, declarations, and decrees have been null and void over the last year but PLEASE hear this: God is sovereign! Proverbs 16:9 says “A person plans his ways but the Lord orders his steps.” I spent the last three weeks of this year reflecting and talking to God the father. Lord, what was the purpose for ___ , what was the lesson in ___ , how could I have handled/responded to ___ better, is ___ your will for my life or am I forcing something unintended for my destiny? These questions have yielded answers, some I honestly didn’t like so much. However, there is peace in knowing that my times and seasons are in God’s hands.

The calendar year has no bearing on the spiritual seasons of our lives. 2017 will be exactly the same as 2016 unless my perspective changes. Even if the circumstances don’t change immediately, my understanding of them can produce the fruits of long suffering and patience. If I let myself go there, I could be devastated that I won’t be getting married in 5 days. I could feel like a failure that I live with my parents again at age 33 and become angry with myself and God. Instead, I choose to see God’s plan unfold. I don’t always understand or agree with his methods but because I trust him and I know his plans for me are good, I can take comfort in knowing he’s with me. Purpose has a process! This process is unavoidable. It may include some heartbreak, embarrassment, and discomfort but ALL things are working for your good and pain is never wasted with God. 

Somewhere in the fall of 2016 God reminded me that life is not always going to be peachy, but it can be victorious. Many days I would get into prayer and worship, pouring my heart out to God. Writing in my journal and reading his holy word. In times of trial and testing we must learn to hide ourselves in him and let the joy of the Lord be our strength!  As we journey into 2017 the word of the Lord for me is change – maybe that resonates with you also. Change in perspective, attitude, thought processes, mode of operation, etc… My only goal for 2017 is to finish what was divinely inspired and to learn from the challenges of 2016. Let’s implement the lessons learned from the hardships of last year and make 2017 a year of visible change!

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