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Cranberry Spice Latte

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Fall is in full effect and I’m not a big pumpkin spice fan. Don’t get me wrong pumpkin spice lattes are tasty but I can take them or leave them. What I am here for this fall is adding cranberry and burgundy items back into my wardrobe. I totally plan on doing a totally monochromatic look and matching my lip color with my outfit.

 

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When I saw this top from Simplybe I had to have it because it looked like the perfect sophisticated alternative to a fall sweater. I can layer it under a jacket or wear it alone. I think it’s sexy enough to wear on a date when it’s cold outside or dress it down on the weekend with denim.

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What color do you plan on incorporating into your fall wardrobe?

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How to Style Yourself on Stage

You know what we never talk about? That I am a poet and a spoken word artist and  I have performed nationally since 2009. I feel like I often get a deer in headlights look when I tell people that I perform spoken word, it’s almost as if they don’t know how to react. I have performed in large stage productions and I have always been responsible for styling myself.

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I was recently a cast member in the spoken word stage play Coochie Chronicles. The stage play speaks to the narrative and of the issues that women of color. I wanted to make a statement when with my wardrobe. I wanted to present myself in a very sexy way to juxtapose the strong pieces that I would perform. I wanted to show that a black woman can be sexy, smart, socially aware. and sure of herself without having to downplay the way she looks.

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Are you a stand-up comedian? Are you a singer? Are you a public speaker? How you present yourself on stage is a part of your performance. I can tell you first hand that when my outfit doesn’t photograph well it haunts me. I have been styling myself on stage and have learned the tricks of the trade. Here are my three tips on ensuring you’re ready for the hot stage lights.

More is More

Bright lights tend to wash out minor details. If you have a subtle understated style some of the more intricate details may not be seen from the back row. If you will be in a dark theater or club performing with a bright spotlight shining down on you be sure to up the ante. Bold jewelry, bright colors, and shiny details. Play with color and contrast to create visual interest in your look just keep in mind that sometimes a busy print may not be as appealing on stage as it is close up.

Bird’s Eye View

Before I wear something on stage I take a few pictures in the outfit. Looking in the mirror is not the same point of view as seeing it in a picture. Think of this picture as a first draft you will be able to edit the look before you hit the stage. Wrinkles are photogenic consider having your outfit pressed at the dry cleaners or iron it yourself. Once you are on stage and people post pictures of your performance there are no take backs, maybe you can untag yourself, but social media lives forever.

Show Your Truth

My on-stage look may be different than yours but these tips still apply. I can not stress this point enough bright lights tell no lies. Whether you want to admit it or not the moment you step on stage you are representing yourself. What do you want people to walk away with after they experience you or the character you are portraying. Your on stage look speaks before you do. Your performance and your on stage look need to speak your truth.

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Sheer Duster: Old Similar (Here), Top:Forever 21, Pants:Torrid

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My 7 Fashion Rules I Broke This Summer

 

I feel like I dress better in my thirties than I did In my twenties. Which is ironic because I think I had a better body in my twenties. Maybe it wasn’t better but I was definitely smaller. The moment I embraced my true self I started being nicer to myself. I started giving myself permission to try things that I would have normally been too scared to try. In my thirties, I started breaking my own rules and preconceived notions of what I should and should not wear.

I’m sharing my favorite looks from this summer and how I broke all of my fashion rules from my twenties:

Rule #1: If Mom Doesn’t Like It, Don’t Wear It

My mom is my fashion guru. Seriously she is a fashion genius and an incredible seamstress. When my mom doesn’t like something she is usually right. If my mom tells me to change I do because there’s a chance she is seeing something that I didn’t. So about this tulle skirt, my mama hates this skirt! I had to accept that I couldn’t talk her into liking it and I had to accept that her opinion didn’t change the that I like this skirt. It is what it is sometimes you just have to take a chance and be the only person who likes what you are wearing.

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Rule #2 :Attempt to Dress Your Age

While all of my childhood friends wanted to be cartoon charicters I really wanted to be Anita Baker. Can you imagine a five year old who’s hearts desire is be an adult contemporary jazz singer. It’s pretty funny now but dressing mature in your twenties is kind of frowned upon I mean you’re young you should be naked! I would get anxiety if I thought something looked too old. You never want a look to age you but a classic never goes out of style. Don’t be affraid to be understated. Dress for your mood and not your age.

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Rule #3: Firm Fat

It must be jelly because jam don’t shake like that, that is my firm fat rule.  I often peffer for my round areas to be confinded to materials that smooth out my shape. If a swimsuit promises to make me appear 10 pounds slimmer chances are I’m buying that swimsuit. This summer I finally wore a swimsuit that had no promise of slimming me down and I didn’t die. I actually thought I looked pretty good. My firm fat rule now fluctuates depending on my mood.

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Rule #4: No Ankle Pants, Ever!

My body shape is between an apple and an inversted triangle. Which means the lower half of my body is noticably more narrow than my upper body. I can’t be the only plus size woman with narrow hips, can I? I am all about semitry and creating visual lines when I am styling a look so I have a no ankle pants rule. No leggings, no crop pants, the answer was no! I want to say I had some big magical moment of self acceptance but really vanity made me ease up on my no ankles pants rule. I legit just wanted the top of a pair of shoes to be visible so I had a pair of pants hemmed above the ankle and the rest is history. Shoes trump body insecurity.

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Rule #5: Flowers are for Gardens

This isn’t really my rule, I have to be honest, I curate what looks I share on my blog. I try to have an understanding of what will translate well and what won’t. Then I remembered it’s my blog and my style isn’t for everyone. I love flowers and I often feel like I am a flower, constantly in bloom. Maybe one of my readers will be brave enough to wear a floral print one day and realize that gardens are beautiful and there is no shame in looking like one.

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Rule #6: Don’t Wear Bold Prints

The older I get the more I  embrace my own style and let go of dressing to please other people. It’s funny how a comment from one person can change your style. I was dating a guy and it felt like everytime I wore anything with a print on it he didn’t like what I was wearing. To avoid the conversation all together I just started wearing solids. Even after we broke up I still kept gravitating to solids. Eventually I thought why am I still dressing to appease a guy I’m not even dating anymore? Needless to say prints have made their way back into my wardrobe.

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At The End of The Day

If you have gotten away from your true sense of style just remember yourself. I try not let myself not to get too far away from my classy free spirit. I love music, film, color, and nature and those elements reflect in my style. Don’t be affraid to break your own rules that you have put on yourself. Finding freedom in your personal style will trickle into other areas of your life. I defeinitely feel a sense of fearlessness everytime I step outside of my comfort zone.

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The Best Way To Style Your Jean Jacket This Season

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Let’s Put A Pin In That

Denim is my cure all, anytime I want to tone down anything sleeveless my immediate remedy is to throw on a denim jacket. When I want my individuality to shine through in my personal style brooches are a chic way of adding flair to a jean jacket. Adding a few sparkling broaches to a jean jacket add great juxtaposition to the casual element of denim. It also gives a youthful vibe to a broach.

I have a small collection of pins that I have accumulated over the years. I recently added a vintage ice cream cone broach to my collection, it was a rare find from a vendor at the Ohio State Fair! I often score broaches at thrift stores and second-hand shops it’s a really affordable way to breathe new life into jackets, coats, hats, and cloth handbags! The next time you come across a broach that catches your eye definitely consider adding it to your collection of accessories because the possibilities are endless.

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Style Sunday | #NoShapewearZone

 

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My family recently requested my presence and I thought what do you mean we’re together all the time. They quickly rebutted by letting me know it’s not often they see my face without the blue glow from the light of my laptop. The 100-degree temperatures this summer have put a stop to two things makeup and shapewear before 7pm. It’s too hot and ain’t nobody got time for that! When Gwynnie Bee sent me this Melissa McCartney two toned chambray dress I knew it met all of the qualifications for the #NoShapeWear Zone.

If a dress fits well and it made out of fabric that doesn’t cling to my skin I just entered the no shapewear zone. I am all about being confident but I know what I do and do not feel comfortable wearing and if a dress is going to hang on to every curve I would prefer to wear shapewear. That is my personal preference if other women still feel confident without it, good for them. The plus size community is moving away from clothes that would be traditionally considered “flattering”. In a traditional sense, this dress isn’t “flattering on me, it doesn’t highlight my waist nor is it designed to make me appear smaller.It’s all about how you prefer to look and I prefer not where shapewear between the hours of 11 am and 6pm until late September.

 

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I can’t tell you how much of a lifesaver Gwynnie Bee garment rental is to my life. I’m never in a panic about what I’m going to wear because I get something new from them almost every week. After I wear what they sent I sent it back in my prepaid shipping label and Gwynnie Bee sends me my next box. (I’m buying this dress!) Everything they have sent me has been high quality and it all has FIT!! You can try Gwynnie Bee today for a FREE 30 trial by going here http://goo.gl/4Rin84 . Try it today and tag me on social media and let me know how you like Gwynnie Bee.

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Style Sunday | Black Does Not Make You Look Thinner

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I have nothing against a little black dress. I think black can be powerful and sexy. I also know women who wouldn’t dare wear another color because black is slimming. Can a darker color camouflage a problem area on your body? Yes, it can. Will wearing head to toe black make you look thinner? Nope! I don’t believe in hiding behind black for the sake of appearing thinner. I do believe in complimenting the shape of your body to highlight your best features and that can be done without wearing any black.

Skin Is In

Anyone can wear black but black is a harsh color and doesn’t work with every skin tone. Women with cool undertones look fantastic in navy blue and chocolate brown. Women with dark skin radiate in eggplant. Give your wardrobe some versatility with other dark staple colors and give head toe black a rest.

It Ain’t The Color, It’s The Fabric

Don’t limit yourself to dark colors for the sake of looking thin it’s a crutch. Let me just be honest because, well, it’s my blog. If a garment is made of thin unflattering fabric that sinks into every crevasse buying it in black won’t make it look better.Any body type can wear any color if the fabric is a heavy weight. The silhouette and the cut of an item will determine if the item makes you appear smaller.

What’s Black, White, and Red All Over? Print!!

I know some people shy away from prints because they fear the print will make them appear larger than they really are. I have even had friends tell me that they won’t wear floral prints because they will look like a garden. I remember thinking but aren’t gardens beautiful? The wrong print can do you an injustice and the wrong print isn’t a specific print it is the direction of which the print goes or the size of the print. I’ve worn stripes. polka dots, checks, and florals. You name it I’ve worn it, some prints are intentional and silhouette the body. New adventures and clothes have something in common you won’t know until you TRY!!

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Style Sunday | Style Inspiration

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Whenever I get dressed I get into character. I get my inspiration from films, magazines, actresses. Believe it or not, my sense of imagination helps me get dressed all the time. Getting dressed is my happy place and since it’s so much fun seeing a great outfit on a shape that’s smaller than mine is not intimidating, nope, my size isn’t a factor. My source of inspiration doesn’t have to wear a size 16, my inspiration only needs to be fabulous. I can play, I can pretend, my size will not affect my sense of play.

This look is inspired by Carmen Jones the movement in the wide leg cropped pants just felt flirtatious and sassy much like Dorothy Dandridge in the movie.

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Top: SimplyBe, Crop Pants: SimplyBe, Shoes: Aldo

Hell, my clothes are my toys. Men buy sports cars and I buy outfits. If clothes are the food of life wear them well! Real style has no size so if you see something you would like to wear don’t make an excuse on why you can’t wear it. A color won’t make you look fat, a silhouette can be altered to compliment your shape. don’t be fooled you can wear what you want to wear.

Don’t Be Afraid To Play

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The Perfect Outfit for the Office

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Cheaters always prosper or at least they do when it comes to what to wear to the office. I have managed to wear a dress in the office almost every day. I make the most out of my wardrobe so the dresses I wear for play also need to have a dual function so I can wear them to work. When I am short on time in the morning I throw on a dress and pair it with a jacket (sometimes I keep a blazer or a blue jean jacket in my car, just in case.) Adding a blazer is the perfect cheat it makes everything look more professional.
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If you are looking for a new job this summer getting dressed can be a challenge. It’s too hot to look stuffy and traditional suiting actually looks aged. Especially when you stand a chance of being more dressed up than the person interviewing you. Don’t underdressed just keep in mind that a maxi dress will always look too relaxed and just say no to anything sheer. Here is the formula one traditional piece plus one relaxed item plus tailored details equals success. If you wear a flowy midi-length skirt I would pair that with a collared shirt with a belt and a closed toed shoe.

 

Too Hot For Business

 

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The Barbecue Rules of Engagement

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Whether you are hosting your own cookout or you are attending someone else’s there is something you want more than food this holiday weekend. Independence Day feels so casual and it’s the perfect time to reconnect with friends, meet your new boyfriend’s parents, or vacation for the long weekend. I know what you want and it is to show up looking “crisp”that effortlessly chic look that says. “I just threw this on.” You could just put on some cutoffs and a wrinkled t-shirt or you can take an extra five minutes to enhance your casual look and leave everyone mesmerized at how casually fine you are.

Don’t Go Overboard

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Don’t turn yourself into the American flag! I know it’s tempting but remember that teacher who always had a sweater to match every holiday that is the type of vibe you will give if you wear the American flag from head to toe. Do play with red, white, and blue it is a classic color scheme that always works. Notice how in this look my dress has red and white stripes and I accented the look by pairing it with blue sandals. Even if you go with a monochromatic look and wear one color from head toe you can still accessorize with red or blue.

Just as Cute in Flats

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Yes, girl, you are just as cute in flats. If you know for sure that you will be in someone’s backyard or in a park don’t be the one woman wearing stilettos. You will just ruin the heels on your sexy shoes and you will look pretentious. Save the heels for the after party or a the very least wear a wedge.

The 25th Amendment

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The month of July marks the beginning of the 25th Amendment, where you can legally wear beach wear as street wear. A) because it’s hot! B) How do you know that I’m not going to a pool party? The answer to B is, you don’t. I think a swimsuit coverup or a beach dress can easily pass for street wear. I am however conscientious of how a sheer an item is because some things are more appropriate when you are standing next to a body of water.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!!

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Style Sunday | Style in the City

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When you think of destinations for fashion you the New York, Paris, Milian, I’m sure Cincinnati, Ohio never comes to mind. It should the University of Cincinnati has highly rank fashion design programs and with more millennials staying in the city after graduation a scene is emerging. I can’t give the millennials all of the credit for shining a light on style in the city there are established outlets like Cincy Chic that have always held the torch for style in the city.

This weekend I attended the Red, Pink & Blue Event the night focused on women’s health and of course fashion.I loved that fashion had a theme of little black dresses, which were all much sexier than expected which I appreciated.  Cincy Chic regularly holds fashion events at excited and hip venues if you need fashion inspiration follow them on Facebook to find out about their next event. 

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More Style, More Cincinnati

Did you know there is a mobile boutique in Cincinnati?? Trouvaille Mobile Botique has everything you need to put a stylish look together from accessories, clothes, and shoes. The best part is they will come to you! You can book them for a bridal shower, birthday party, or just because. Just get your friends together and shop. You can also find out where they will be next on their Facebook page. Fashion Trucks are the new food trucks!

 

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