She’s Got Layers..Like an Onion

Finnnnnnnnnnnnaallllllllyyyy the season is changing and it’s getting a bit nippy in my neck of the woods-well, desert-so that means layering to keep warm, but not hot, is in order. The key is to team up garments that can be taken off when you’re inside or a little toasty, and add them when the opposite happens. I did a little shopping this past weekend and found a few awesome deals on layering pieces:

Tees + Tanks

Target, my favorite store, never disappoints when it comes to basic pieces. They almost always have great, quality tank tops and t-shirts in store, and if they ever don’t, they can be found even cheaper on their website: http://www.target.com/p/mossimo-supply-co-juniors-long-and-lean-tank-assorted-colors/-/A-12963162#prodSlot=large_1_3 And they’re inexpensive enough to stock up in every color.

American Apparel is also known for their consistent collection of basics. http://store.americanapparel.net/subCategory/index.jsp?subCatId=cat33770They are a bit more pricey, but they’re made in America! Always a plus!

Button-ups and Sweaters

JCPenney has some fantastic layering sweaters for fall too. I was pleasantly surprised by the styles and the prices put a smile on my face. http://www.jcpenney.com/dotcom/juniors-guys/view-all-juniors/clothing/tops/sweaters/cat.jump?id=cat100240015&deptId=dept20000015&cmJCP_T=G1&cmJCP_C=D5 The thinner fabrics and looser weaves make them perfect for wearing something over and underneath.

Another favorite is the button up denim shirt. It’s super versatile and comfortable and, duh, an ideal layering piece. It’s a classic that I’m seeing everywhere at a great price. In denim, it’s a hip alternative to the basic woven blouse and transcends the seasons. http://www.forever21.com/Search/Search.aspx?br=f21&category=top_blouse_shirts&keyword=denim%20shirt

Scarves

You can find scarves anywhere, but World Market is one of my favorite, unexpected places to find unique, beautiful scarves at great prices. http://www.worldmarket.com/category/gifts-accessories/clothing-and-accessories.do?nType=1Scarves make wonderful toppers[and holiday gifts] and can be worn like a big chunky necklace, really bringing a look together and making a statement.

I’m not quite ready for beanies, gloves, legwarmers or earmuffs yet, but give me a few weeks.

Layered, Like an Onion

Rep Yo Hoodie

I used to sport every color, style-cropped, screen-printed, short or long-sleeved hoodie ever made. That was back in high school and all through college, and now I’m feeling a little resurgence of my hooded jacket cravings. But my taste has changed. Now I fancy a hoodie with style, an air of sophistication if you will. Something I can rock with pumps and red lipstick and no one will give me the side eye. A topper piece that will enhance my appearance instead of making me look frumpy, workout ready or sleepover bound. With those requests, the chic hoodie answers.

It’s not just the styling and backdrop that make this photo chic. This hoodie delivers in a perfect 50% heather gray with an over-sized hood and unique, buttoned crossover neckline. It’s the meeting place of cozy and elegant.

This is the only zip up that makes the list. I could do without the drawstring too. Its military style and contrasting hood definitely do not describe your average hoodie. I can see this style in an array of colors, and with some skinny jeans and boots, you’ll look super stylish and keep warm.

Even in the traditional sweatshirt material, the asymmetry and neckline of this hoodie really modernize the piece. It’s very versatile and both sexes can rock it with the right teammates and accessories.

I know you can’t look at this without loving it. All that gorgeous thick hair under a hood or against your back in a jacket might create a great thermal effect but way too much bulk. I’ll probably never have beautiful flowing locs like this but if ever I do, I’m buying this hoodie!

Just a double breasted jacket with bell cuff sleeves that happens to have a hood and high collar for extra toastiness. I’ll take it!

Who can resist a dolman cut hoodie? It drapes beautifully, pairs well with a plethora of other chic pieces, transcends the seasons [in a jersey fabric], and, best of all, works on all body types.

Another dolman cut hoodie because one just wasn’t enough. This one has a great pouch pocket with over-sized buttons and a gorgeous cowl neck. Instant chic, even with flannel and denim.

It’s all bout the fabric, shape and styling. With this handy list, there’s no excuse to not look like while rockin a hoodie. And you won’t be sacrificing taste or warmth! Avoid the cold whips of wind and raindrops falling on your head with a built-in umbrella. It’s a classic style that will never die, so don’t be afraid to invest.

http://brass-hat.co.uk/10-chic-hooded-sweatshirts/ <<< another great collection of chic hoodies with shoppable links

Happy shopping!

Curly Girl Rock: Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne is a super- talented vocal artist with a beautiful voice, great style and a gorgeous head of curly hair. I fell in love with her sound when I heard “Like A Star” and fell in love with her hair shortly after. Today, I’d like to pay a small homage to my acoustic soul sister and her pretty locks:

not just a singer

Grammy award winner

just like a star

Just a headband and some edge control. Love it! I love a big curly crop. Corinne is always natural, effortless, never overdone, and doesn’t need a lot to look pretty much perfect.

stylin

Moisturizing conditioner -maybe a few essential oils- and bobby pins is all a curly girl needs sometimes.

Fall in Love: Textured Talons

As you may know [if you know me in real life of follow my blog], I’m a nail/nail lacquer freak. I love clean, neat, creative, manicured nails. They can be great conversation pieces, extensions of your personality and accessories to your outfits. Textured nails are trending for fall but they can work in any season, unless you’re planning on trying it on your pedicure too, which, in that case, you’d wanna show them off and not ruin them with socks or enclosed shoes. This lovely Humpday, I’m featuring some of my favorite fresh looks for nails:

micro beads

I love the micro bead trend because it’s feminine and hard at the same time, which makes them sexy. They’re a less “beady” version of caviar nails.

red caviar

rainbow caviar

Caviar isn’t actual caviar [that’d be disgusting] but they’re tiny tiny beads that resemble caviar. They’re super fun and speak [loudly] for themselves. Many brands now sell complete kits to create this look or you can buy beads and a small funnel at a craft store. Here’s a quick DIY tutorial: http://youtu.be/klVSSoB90ZE

satin stripes

Just like ribbon on a pretty box, this design makes a beautiful presentation. It’s simple to do with a matte base color and shiny polish for the stripes, or criss-cross, polka dots or whatever design speaks to you.

matte/stealth

 

black stealth

Matte is also a super cool look for your tips. I think it’s so classy, even in lime green and neon pink. They look so smooth and soft.

green velvet

black lace

pink crush

Fabric-coated fingernails are also taking center-stage lately. I’m not a huge fan of the velvet for everyday, although it could be great for a photo shoot. But I love the lace. It can be created with a stencil or small cuts of actual lace.

burn rubber

The rubber finish will make it look like you have go-go gadget nails. Love it!

glitter

crackle/shattered

The crackled look is still in, and more and more brands are carrying a version of this finish. And glitter is always hot. Like I’ve mentioned, I love the look of metallic with pastels, especially textured metallic. And it works wonders in a variety of colors and can be very festive for the holidays.

http://www.makeuptalk.com/beautyblog/the-evolution-of-textured-nail-polish/

So, ladies, there is no excuse not to try one of these trends. Invite a steady-handed friend help you apply a funky fresh finish if you don’t trust yourself, or have a professional manicurist hook you up. Happy polishing!

 

 

 

 

Gem Class: Anike Jewels

I’ve had the pleasure of encountering and having beautiful artists in my life. This time, I got insight from a designer/model/entrepreneur colleague of mine. Bunmi is a great inspiration as well as fantastic designer and businesswoman. Read on to learn more about her and the light behind Anike Jewels:

How did you get started?

Anike Jewels started with me purchasing jewelry supplies and sending them to my mother in Nigeria (she makes jewelry also…sadly I never picked up interest while I was around her to learn from her). I began to notice some tools I could use to repair my store-bought jewelry which had broken. After making some repairs, I figured, if I can repair a necklace, I can make a whole necklace and did. This was perfect because now I can make jewelry for me exactly as I desired (in my preferred color combinations, lengths and quality materials).

What inspired you to go down the route of accessories?

Being the type of person who believes the simplest outfit can be transformed into glamorous with the proper accessories, my specific interest in jewelry was quite inherent. My mother signed me up for sewing lessons while in junior high but I didn’t have interest in it at the time. I wish I did now. (Sorry for wasting you money,  Mom.)

Do you plan to expand? How?

I currently do not plan to expand as I prefer to keep the notion of personalized jewelry, knowing your designer personally hand-crafted an item specifically for you. I’m not interested in mass-producing.

In any case, you never know what the future may bring.

Who is Anike’s target market?

Anike Jewels’ target market is all races, it is the man and woman who understands and wants quality. The ones who understand it’s a far better deal to purchase a jewelry piece made with genuine materials which will hold its value and can be passed down to future generations.

What obstacles, if any, did you encounter during the production process?

The initial obstacles I encountered in the beginning phase is learning to makes sturdy pieces being that the materials being used are are genuine gemstones, they were heavy (not heavy as to cause discomfort but compared to jewelry made or plastic, resin, etc) so I had to learn through trial and error (thanks to patient and understanding friends and customers, especially a rock musician with whom I got a deal of practice with) to develop skills and discover better materials to make sure they held up, especially those for men who were not dainty with items as more women are. I later purchased books and did some more self-teaching to improve my skills.

What advice would you give aspiring designers and small business owners?

Always keep learning for ways to improve your skills/better your business. Do your best with everything..mediocrity is not acceptable because anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.
Anything you want to do, do it now because there will never be a perfect time or condition, only more time passed that you haven’t done what you wanted. Do what you can with what you have. Take advantage of now… no better time than now.

What’s next for Anike Jewels?

I’m currently enrolled in advanced jewelry making classes with the goal of acquiring better skills to enhance my designs and bring more unique designs to customers.

Thanks to Bunmi for sharing the history of Anike Jewels.  Support a small, Black and female-owned business and look fly at the same time! Sounds good to me 😉

All of the jewelry featured in the post can be viewed and purchased on anikejewels.net

And catch up on the latest from Bunmi on facebook.com/AnikeJewels.net

Un-Halloweeny Black n Orange

The trick [pun intended] is to combine a nontraditional orange [the 50%red + 50% yellow color] with black. Try a bright blood orange or subdued peachy tint to avoid looking like you’re ready to celebrate the holiday early. And a black backdrop with orange and other colors in its print always works.

Imagine a black and white hounds tooth pencil skirt, a sheer black blouse and some apricot-colored pumps. Or a killer leather jacket with an airy orange dress made of chiffon. Even an all black look with a pop of orange looks great and it’s not expected. Don’t be afraid to try it!

Un-Halloweeny Black n Orange

There Will Be Oxblood!

Oxblood is one of the hot colors trending this fall and it’s certainly dripping all over the place, from fur trims to shoes to scarves and jackets.

It’s a sultry deep purplish red that looks like burgundy or maroon to me, but just saying oxblood is so much more provocative! I find it to be quite sexy and great for both sexes to adorn.

[Glamour magazine’s oxblood trend report] http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/slaves-to-fashion/2012/08/the-anything-but-neutral-color.html

I especially love oxblood as an alternative to the usual gray, brown and black fur. And it’s perfection in leather, a skirt or belt perhaps?

Oxblood is Thicker Than Water