All Black Everything…

When it comes to getting dressed wearing all black is one of my favorite things to do the color looks good on everyone and it makes you look effortlessly put together even if you really took two hours to get dressed. Like most New Yorkers I love a good all black ensemble but some people may find it boring and feel like they can’t express their personal style but I disagree. Here are three easy ways to wear all black.

1) Play with texture. The beauty of wearing all black is that you can experiment with textures without feeling overwhelmed since black is what I like to call a “safe” color. Most people will buy an item in black before they try it in the other available colors because they know it will go with what they already own and it is known to have a slimming effect. When wearing all black I love pairing things like leather and lace, velvet and knits, or sequins and denim because they add interest to an outfit.

2) Add a pop of color! Another one of my favorite things to do when wearing all black is to add a pop of color, my favorite color to add is red I don’t know where my obsession came from but black and red will always be a favorite color combination of mine. Recently I’ve gotten back into pink but more blush tones because I think they look more elevated and add a feminine touch to an all black look which can sometimes feel more masculine or harsh to some people. You can add the color with a pair of shoes, a bag, a hat, a coat, or even your jewelry the choice is yours.

 

3) Add a pop of print! As we all know by now animal print is huge this season and all black is the perfect palette to show off any head turning prints. If you’re not into full printed looks this is the easiest way to show off your statement pieces without them clashing, unless your that kind of girl then I say DO YOU!

xoxo Ash

More Than 1…

Over the past couple of years the topic of diversity and inclusion across all industries has been at the forefront of so many important conversations. When I chose to pursue a career in fashion I was aware that the presence of people who look like me wasn’t felt and definitely not seen, whether it was on runways or at the offices of magazines people of color have not been represented the way we should. I wanted to be part of the change I wished to see in the fashion world I was just as well versed in fashion history (if not more) than my caucasian peers, my passion burned hotter than any flame, and creativity ran through my veins so why wouldn’t I want to have a career doing what I love while representing my people? Recently celebrity stylist Law Roach (@luxurylaw on Instagram) posted a picture of the Essence magazine cover featuring Kelis and in his caption he spoke about the fact that this was only the second time in his career that he worked with an all black team. Considering how long he has been styling and how many clients he has this is kind of crazy and is a great example of why diversity in the fashion industry is so important. In the caption he also invited all creatives to use the hashtag #morethan1 to challenge the norm of there only being one black person in the room, I was immediately inspired because there have been several times where I was the only black girl in the room. Whether it was at an internship or in a classroom while pursuing my degree I know what it feels like to acknowledge the fact that you are the only one in the room.

As a young black woman who is pursuing blogging and has had great interest in the industry for many years I am well aware of the lack of diversity in the blogging community. Whether its a blogger award or a press trip there are always one or two black bloggers that have managed to reach a level of success that has allowed them to be recognized or included, but one or two is not enough especially when there are hundreds of talented black bloggers all around the world. Instagram is a prime example of how white washed the blogging world can be, if you go into the style section on the explore page it is 90% white and I’m not saying these women aren’t talented and don’t deserve to be there I’m just saying that there are plenty of black women who should be there also. Women who have dedicated uploading schedules, amazing style, unique content, and pristine pictures and yet they don’t receive the same acknowledgment.  When I decided to take blogging seriously I told myself I want to be part of the change that needs to happen I wanted to be someone who pushed for the necessary conversations to be had and to ultimately represent black women alongside others who feel the same way I feel about the lack of diversity. I’m a pretty small blogger I don’t even have 1,000 followers yet but I know I’m going to continue to grow as a brand and I promise to always use my platform to represent black women in this community. I will be using the #morethan1 hashtag on my posts moving forward and I hope that my fellow creatives of color do the same. We can’t only depend on celebrities and people in high places to speak for us and do the work we have to do it ourselves.

xoxo Ash.

The Imaginary Race…

As I approach the end of my 20’s I have to be honest about the amount of pressure I am feeling but the pressure isn’t really coming from anyone else but myself. Growing up I used to imagine what my life would be like by the time I was 25 and you couldn’t tell me I wouldn’t be this big career woman with ALL of my shit together, well 25 came and went and I’m still trying to figure things out. My life has definitely been a rollercoaster (I swear I’m going to write a book!) and I’ve had to deal with things on a daily basis that most people never even have to think about and yes I know life isn’t easy, and yes I know everyone has problems so I’m not complaining. I just know there were some things I could have done differently over the years and even though I hate to dwell on the past it is hard to not think about how things would be if I made different choices. In addition to things happening in my personal life I’ve also allowed fear and doubt to stop me from starting or doing things  that I should have done a long time ago and now 30 is right around the corner and I’m low key ( ok.. high key) panicking because so many people around me are hitting these milestones like starting their careers, getting married or having children and I’m just here trying to keep my shit together.

The past couple of weeks I have found myself in this weird space because I feel like I’m being left behind but I had to ask myself who the hell are you racing to the finish line? And what’s at this finish line? The first thing that comes to my mind is success but success means something different to everyone and I had to remind myself that this is MY path and MY story no one else’s. Now this isn’t an excuse to be lazy and not work towards my goals it’s just a reminder that everything happens when it is supposed to and I need to trust the timing of my life. If you’ve been feeling the same way remember that we all have our season when we come into our own, for some people that season comes earlier than it does for others but as long as we put in the work we will definitely reap the benefits. I have so many plans and goals for 2019 and I’m excited to see where life takes me. To anyone else who has been feeling the way I have been feeling don’t let your thoughts and fears consume you, use the feeling that you should be or could be doing more give you motivation to smash all the goals you have for yourself moving forward!

xoxo Ash

Dynasty Vibes…

I wasn’t even a thought in my parents mind when Dynasty aired on television in 1981, the popular soap opera was known for its over the top characters and looks (think sequins and shoulder pads on steroids) and it is a major fashion inspiration for me. I love anything that sparkles or makes a statement which is something I definitely get from my mom, so when I saw this jacket on one of our thrifting trips I had to have it! As I slipped the jacket on I prayed to the fashion Gawds that it fit. They must have heard me because it was perfect, slightly boxy fit with shoulder pads that gave a hint of drama in copper, gold, and black sequins that were perfect for day or night. And it only cost me $8! I damn near skipped out of the store I was so happy. I’m probably going to be wearing this jacket to death so sorry in advance (but not really) for the constant looks featuring my new favorite.

 

Where do you find your fashion inspiration from? Comment down below and let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wardrobe Essential – The Blazer

There are certain pieces that I think everyone should own and I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to each of my personal wardrobe essentials. If you know me then you know that number one on the list is a blazer, I don’t care if you like them oversized, boxy, tailored, printed, or solid in color just get one if you don’t have one already. A blazer can elevate your look instantly if you need to take a outfit to the next level or it can dress down a more formal outfit, a t-shirt and jeans combo with a blazer thrown on top has become my fashion uniform. When I don’t know what to wear that uniform always saves the day, its foolproof and guarantees that you look like you have your shit together. On this day I wore my blazer with shorts and heels (another easy combo) because its the perfect outfit for the transitional weather that we’re having here in New York.

When buying a blazer the fit should be on point, if you want it tailored pay attention to the fit in the shoulders and make sure the arms are the correct length for your height. However if you’re like me and always wear your sleeves rolled up you can get away with the arms being a little too long or too short.  If you’re going for an oversized look be mindful of the sizing you want a cool relaxed look not I’ve been playing dress up in my parents closet.

If you need more styling ideas check out my Instagram page @thestylishlocal for more inspiration there will always be a blazer look.

XOXO ~ Ash

Thrifted Gems..

I’ve always loved the idea of reinventing things to make them my own, especially when it came to clothes. Vintage and thrift shops appealed to me because I knew I could take something old and make it new again by mixing it with my own personal style, like I did with this printed blazer. I believe that garments tell a story and when a piece is passed down someone else writes a part in that story through their experiences while wearing that piece of clothing, this probably sounds hella cheesy and dramatic to some but its the way I think.

To me thrifting is like a mini treasure hunt and if you get excited about clothes the way I do then you should definitely google thrift shops in your area and take a trip. I guarantee that you will find some gems to add to your wardrobe that won’t break the bank, and if your someone who cares about the environment thrifting is the way to go because your basically recycling a garment and giving it a new home in your closet. And I can’t forget the exclusivity factor because I can assure you there won’t be 100 people walking around in the same piece you thrifted, I get countless compliments on this blazer when I wear it because its a unique piece. If you guys would like another post on my favorite thrift shops or tips and tricks on styling thrifted and vintage items please comment down below and let me know. I would be happy to write a post all about it.

Do you guys own any vintage pieces if so what are they? Comment down below and let me know!

 

Florals for Fall…

There are still a few more weeks of summer but my mind is already on the fall season because its my favorite to dress for, I love layers, boots, chunky knits, and leather jackets! For those of you who are trying to hold on to warmer weather a little longer you will be happy to know that your floral prints (a spring/summer staple) are welcomed in the new season as well.

Florals are equally on trend for the fall/winter season. I love the more moody romantic feel of florals during the colder seasons the base color of the print is usually black and the colors are deeper and richer than the florals that are worn in warmer weather.

Florals are so versatile they can be feminine and sexy, sweet and girly, or bold and dramatic. Designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Phillip Lim, Dolce and Gabbana, and Giambattista Valli (all personal faves) sent beautiful floral looks down the runway for Fall/Winter 2018.

Are you going to try florals for fall? Comment down below and let me know!

All Mixed Up..

To clash or not to clash? That is the question. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t always brave enough to mix prints the way I’ve seen in magazines and on street style stars but the more I saw it being done the more I fell in love with the look of mixing multiple patterns in a outfit. I’m still new to the print mixing life but I do have a couple of tips for beginners who want to try the look.

1) Stick with the same colors and tones. Keeping your prints in the same color family helps to create a cohesive look. Start out with neutrals if you want to ease into this style of dressing.

2) Size Matters. Playing with prints of different proportions adds interest to a look, so pair bigger bolder prints with smaller daintier prints. Also sticking to the same print (floral, checked, polka dot etc..) in different sizes and tones helps you to not look overwhelmed by your clothes.

3) Find a common color. When mixing prints find a base color in both prints thats pulls the look together. Seeing the same color repeated in both prints is another way to bring the look together. Here the black in the leopard print and the shoes are the common color.

4) Forget the rules and do what you want. You only live once! 

Are you into mixing prints? If so which ones are your favorite to pair together?

Meet my new love…

If you told me last year that I would become obsessed with Jordans I would have given you the side eye. Me? The girl who owns more heels than practical walking shoes? You have the wrong one. Don’t get me wrong I love sneakers as well and I always kept a few in my arsenal for when I wanted to switch it up, but I wasn’t downloading apps and counting down until release dates either. It wasn’t until I met the sneaker king himself “Finesse” whose love for a good pair of kicks matched my love for things like blazers and leopard print, his sneaker collection is pretty damn impressive and I’ve only seen some of it. We’ve spent hours talking about fashion and during that time he taught me a lot about the sneaker culture and before I knew it I fell in love with Jordans, specifically the Air Jordan 1.

The first pair I got were these Retro High OG’s in black, white, and gold with the gum bottom (I love gum bottoms), black and gold is also one of my favorite color combo’s so when I saw these I fell in love. I buy my sneakers in kids sizes because I have smaller feet and its cheaper! I also got the black and gray “Shadows” that came out a couple of months back which I think I might love even more. The shape of the Air Jordan 1 is part of the reason I really like these sneakers I can wear them with anything from jeans and cargo pants to skirts and dresses and it looks dope, at least in my opinion and that’s the most important one. I definitely have plans on growing my collection going forward I’m a girl who likes to switch it up regularly and I think I found a style thats going to be a staple in my wardrobe.

 

What kind of girl are you? Do you prefer sneakers or heels? Or do you wear them both? Comment down below and let me know.
Happy Friday!

Clothes encounters..

We’ve all heard the saying “when you look good you feel good” and that goes for your health and how you look physically as well as what you wear. It sounds a little shallow but what you wear can say a lot about you, it helps express various moods and individuality. I’ve been struggling with my body image for the past few months after losing 27 pounds due to kidney failure and being on dialysis, needless to say I haven’t been feeling like myself and this feeling often translates to how I dress. Sweats, leggings, hoodies, and t-shirts have pretty much been my go to choices due to the overwhelming need for comfort (as well as camouflaging the catheter in my neck) but to be honest I am still uncomfortable. My clothes don’t fit and I don’t feel like myself. Getting dressed is usually my favorite part of the day because my style is heavily based on my mood but most days I’ve been serving sweatpant realness and to be honest I’m over myself.  And to be even more honest I HATE getting dressed now which makes me sad because fashion and style is everything to me and my clothes shouldn’t feel like the enemy. I swear it takes me hours sometimes days just to find a outfit I feel somewhat comfortable in for blog posts and even then I’ve adopted the “fake it till you make it” philosophy and take the pictures even though I think I look like shit. Having this negative relationship with my clothes right now sucks and I’m sure we’ve all felt insecure about our body image before but the important thing is to not stay stuck. I see people like fashion blogger Kyrzayda Rodriguez (@kyrzayda_ on Instagram) who is battling stage 4 cancer and through everything she continues to push through her struggles with her own body image and does it so gracefully. We both love fashion and she has refused to let her health stop her from getting dressed and looking her best and she is a major inspiration for me to really push myself as far as my blogging is concerned.

I need to get back to who I am when it comes to my personal style and I’m going to do that by focusing on the pieces in my closet that make me feel comfortable and confident. Whether I am 140 or 113 I need to love my body because I only get one and self love is so important. If you’re struggling with your body image focus on the positive and make a conscious effort to change the things you don’t like, and remember the change won’t happen overnight but it will definitely happen.

I’m going to push myself to get back to the old me and I hope you guys push yourself out of your fashion comfort zones or any comfort zones moving forward. Happy Friday!