Friday, December 26, 2014

Beautifully Flawed...Imperfectly Perfect

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I wanted to write a post of a different sort and just speak from the heart....

I have thoroughly been enjoying my holidays of time spent with loved ones. For my family and friends, that usually involves FOOD! This is the time of year when I like to take a little time off work, fellowship and dine. Unfortunately, there is a draw back to this period of decadent indulgence... 

I'm not ashamed to say I've gained a few holiday pounds that don't always have me feeling my best.  "I feel like crap." "I don't care today." "All black it is." "I can't fit this anymore." "I'm fat." We've all had those days of feeling fat or unattractive, prompting us to put little to no effort into our outward appearance. These are phrases I have found myself saying recently, specifically in the morning while dressing for work. It's also been the reason for my limited picture and blog postings. 

BUT I want to share a very helpful tip that counter acts these negative thoughts. I pick one thing to highlight about myself, that is not body related, in order to move the focus from areas I feel less confident about. If I don't like the way a dress is hitting my thighs or the muffin-top that is waiting to rise in those trousers (lol), I pick out a dope piece of jewelry, bust out a sexy pair of shoes, try a different makeup look or style my hair in an interesting way to take the attention off my body and help me get excited about something else. When I'm self conscious about my outfit (and ultimately my body), I don't feel my most confident nor do I operate at my best. So this little trick shifts my perspective.

Let's be honest, you may not ALWAYS love the skin you're in, but realize that you are a wonderfully, multifaceted human being. And that loving yourself does not mean highlighting the best parts of you only, but it's celebrating the parts that are a challenge...the parts that require work....the parts that aren't perfect. That's what is beautifully flawed.........imperfectly perfect about YOU!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Body Con and Bandage

Some people feel the "body con" and "bandage" dress craze is played out now. I say BRAVO! *clapping hands* What could be played out about something that sucks you in and displays all the best assets of being a woman? This is my only bandage dress and I pull it out when I want to feel sexy. It's funny how we can adopt the characteristics of our clothes. Dress to kill, and you'll feel an inner self confidence you didn't know existed.

I've offset this look with a gorgeous black and gold necklace that I had the creative notion to where as a headband (clever girl). There is something that I absolutely LOVE about headbands worn around the screams Grecian goddess. I kept with that color story and paired gold and black accessories. Simple, but sky high, Jessie Simpsons carry the sexy all the way to the floor and tone those less-than-toned legs LOL! Lastly, I added a bit of lux with my fur stole (was super excited to pull this piece out the closet again for the winter).
"Body Conscious fosters self confidence."
-- Maya Gatewood

Click the jump link below the

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Handled! Olivia Pope Inspired Look Book

I am such a huge fan of the tv show Scandal and insanely inspired by Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, whom I also love! Olivia Pope is such a strong, powerful and beautiful Black woman, how could I not be inspired by her style. Quintessential chic, with clean lines, neutral color palette and simple accessories, she is also sophisticated, confident and classic. She doesn't need to turn to gimmicks, tricks or illusions to look stylish. Her clothes are understated but by no means boring; she dresses so her personality can shine through. You look at Olivia Pope and say "Wow! She's good at her job."

Anywho, enough of my love affair with Olivia :-) on to the look book. I have been wanting to do an Olivia Pope inspired look book for the longest but something about this season has really been inspiring my everyday looks, for the office especially and now that it's Fall, fueling my love of coats (click here for my Coat of Arms post). An exciting find is The Scandal Collection by The Limited. Where The Limited has pieces seen in Scandal episodes available for purchase! I mean how perfect is that? Click here for a video from Kerry Washington about the inspiration behind the collection.

I put together three looks (it was hard to choose only three!), that I feel embody the spirit of Olivia and incorporate my own style. By the way I used the same H&M black slacks in each look (similar here), proof of how to extend your wardrobe with basic/classic pieces.

First thing's first! Olivia will ALWAYS have a banging coat or jacket! The color palette is restricted to camel and black, but I've created visual interest with the lines and collar of the coat and zipper detail on the sweater. Olivia enjoys a relaxed fit to her more causal pieces.

Click below to read full post...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

OOTD: All Black Everything

Hi Islers...hope you are all having a fantastic day today!

Really quick Outfit Of The Day today...All black everything...Black on Black on Black! I've worn head-to-toe black for the past three days and no, I'm not in mourning. It's just been so easy to throw on without having to worry about what color goes with what, which accessories, print? Solid? Blah, blah blah! Sometimes it's nice to just, rest my "style mind", throw on all black and jet out the door. Plus today's look will easily make the switch from day to night when I go out for dinner this evening.

But black doesn't have to mean boring snooze fest. You can still look stylish, chic and in some cases...FIERCE HONTY!!

"They say black is the void of color, maybe that's where you begin to shine through." --Maya Gatewood

Ciao for now!

#1: Slacks: H&M, Shirt: Strawberry Stores (NYC), Nude Pumps: Nine West, Necklace: H&M, Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Studs: H&M
#2: Shirt: Forever21, Cardigan: DeJanero (NYC), Cords: Joe Fresh, Pumps: Ralph Lauren, Necklace and Belt: Strawberry Stores (NYC)
#3: Silk Blouse: Joe Fresh, Cords: Joe Fresh, Pumps: Ralph Lauren, Black and Gold Necklace: Strawberry Stores (NYC)


Monday, September 22, 2014

Baby Pink and Thrift Shopping

Happy Monday Islers,

Would you believe my dress and necklace and bracelet set are thrift store finds? This is why I love thrift shopping. You can buy inexpensive clothing without sacrificing style. I love when a color combination come together...I purchased the dress and jewelry set at different times from different shops but they look as if they could have come from the same collection. This blazer is New York & Co. and I decided to keep the footwear "barely there" with some nude peep-toes. Definitely feeling chic, sophisticated and feminine today. I'm such a huge fan of thrift and vintage shopping, below are a few tips that I've learned while scanning the racks.

5 tips for thrift shopping:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A-Line of Coral and Canvas

I'm back from vacation and I've missed the blog! 

Do not adjust your computer and/or phone screens, I really am like four shades darker thanks to a week of fun in the sun :0) 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Music and Soul Food

This weekend was one filled with laughs, friends, church, ice cream and chill mode. Saturday was especially cool because I got to hang out with my boyfriend (he's a bassist) at his gig. Music and soul food are probably one of my favorite things to do...especially with him!

I felt my recent purchase of this slouchy, cropped knit sweater was PERFECT for the venue (Delta's Restaurant) and event. It's super comfy and breathable so I was happy I could get away with it in the summer (although it was kinda cool in Jersey this weekend). The ONLY negative to this sweater is that the threads got caught on absolutely EVERYTHING and I found myself pulling, stretching and tugging little fibers back into place all night :-/ The style was so cute I didn't really pay attention to the material when I bought it; and although it wasn't cheaply made the nature of the material doesn't lend itself to carefree wear. Ahhh the concessions we make for fashion! This sweater would work on sooo many body types. I simply adjusted the tie in the back so it would fall off the shoulder and reveal a little midriff, but it can be worn to cover the tummy as well...the loose fitting shape is very forgiving (especially on those yummy nights out :-]) I was also glad for the tip in weather because I could wear my FAVORITE cords...even though they were a backup because for some reason I couldn't find a specific pair of jeans (don't you hate that?). One arm pushed up to showcase my favorite stack of arm-candy. Funky tribal print wedges and my miniature Aldo bag (isn't it cute?!) provide pops of color.

Sweater: DeJanero (NYC), Cords: Joe Fresh, Wedges: Strawberry (NYC), Necklace & Earrings: H&M, Cuff: Thrifted, Mini Satchel: Aldo (couldn't seem to find online, but similar here)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"The Devil is in the Detail"

So you've heard the saying, "The Devil is in the Detail"? Well, this holds especially true for my OOTD today. While there is nothing particularly fabulous about my outfit, I really like the small details of texture, print and color that make up the whole. There's something to be said for just dressing smart (as in polished) and casual, with no hidden agenda.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend!!

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans!

So this weekend will celebrate all things Americana, counting and recognizing all the freedoms and traditions that make this country great...and a 4 day weekend doesn't hurt either! I must say I've had a very uneventful holiday weekend so far...just chilling and relaxing with some of my favorite people and my very "special someone" :-D I hope your weekend has been filled with just as much fun, love, family and friends!

Apple pie, baseball, our red, white and blue flag and denim are just some of the things recognizably Americana, sooooo I very appropriately styled 2 denim looks that incorporate the colors of our great nation's flag. This is the one day of the year where you are actually allowed a pass to be as cliché and overtly cheesy as you like. I didn't go the overtly cheesy route but I definitely kept to a thematic color story. Remember to have fun, keep it breezy and make your outfits your own.

"Happy freedom in body, mind and spirit day!"

LEFT: Skirt: H&M; Denim Shirt: Joe Fresh; Sneakers: Ralph Lauren; Bag: Kenneth Cole; Ring: H&M; Dream Necklace: JewelMint; Stacked Necklace: Strawberry (NYC)
RIGHT: Tank: Forever21; Cardigan: Tommy Hilfiger; Jeans: Joe Fresh; Wedges: Payless

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

OOTD: Teal Shift

What's up Islers!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far and has some fun plans for the 4th of July Weekend!

I wanted to share a quick Outfit of the Day before heading out to lunch. I was really feeling this teal shift dress when I tried it on a few months ago but hadn't pulled the trigger on styling an outfit yet lol. So today's the day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Stripes

Hey Islers!

I'm happy to be back and even happier to be enjoying some consistent warm weather with the official "First Day of Summer" this passed weekend! 

In the spirit of summer, and all things nautical, I'm starting off my Monday with this striped sheath from Joe Fresh. I literally had enough time to bathe and throw something on if I didn't want to be late for work. This dress is a perfect and easy stress-free outfit. Of course I had to sinch in my waist and add a pop of color, and so opted for this light lemon-colored woven belt from H&M. Classic black pumps finish off this look for the office but you could easily pair sneakers or sandals for a more casual look. 

Dress: Joe Fresh; Belt: H&M; Pumps: Ralph Lauren

Thursday, May 8, 2014

OOTD: Formal Aquestrian?

Happy Thursday Islers! Quick Outfit of the Day...

Besides having an AWESOME hair day, I'm loving today's aquestrian inspired look. There's ALSO something formal about it with a subtle nod to the "tuxedo inspired" pants from H&M. A peplum top is ALWAYS flattering and polished in my book, and I love this blazer version. I just tugged up the sleeves and flipped up the collar...which is how I wear 99% of my blazers. This is a little trick for all my tall women out there. Blazers/Jackets rarely fit my arms all the way to the wrists (a sleeve 1-2 inches short of the wrist gives the appearance that your blazer/jacket is too small) so I usually roll them up my forearms, which happens to look coolier and edgier anyway so SCORE! And of course it wouldn't be ME without a belt ;-)

Although not pictured here, I DID wear riding boots while commuting into work, so I literally felt like all I needed was a bag of carrots and a stead named Morning Star lol.

I kept my accessories simple with my fav black booties and a few silver/black bangles, but added a little pop of color with this goregous bracelet from H&M.

Pants: H&M, Blazer: Old, Booties: Bakers, Bracelets & Bangles: H&M

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ootd: Black and White

Just a quick Outfit of the Day....What's more classic than black and white? Chic, fresh and polished you can't go wrong. I'm loving this textured white skirt from H&M. I paired it with a simple black V-Neck tshirt and this moto inspired black jacket that I've had for years (also from H&M). Simple black and white accessories complete the look. 

This look will be perfect with flats when I meet some friends after work later :) but it's also totally office appropriate as I've styled it here. 

What are some of your favorite black and white pieces to pair?

"Stand out in a simple way." --Maya
Ciao for now. 

Skirt: H&M, Tshirt: Forever 21, Jacket: H&M (old), Pumps: Ralph Lauren, Necklace: JewelMint, Bracelet Stack: H&M

Monday, April 28, 2014

OOTD: Colbalt Cool

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

I've been dying to style these amazing cobalt blue pants I picked up at H&M last Friday. When I tried them on...oooo weee...they sucked in and hugged all the right places, the price was right at $19.90 and I knew I had a winner! Considering the fact that they don't have belt loops and still fit my waist AND hips (a frequent problem I have with my pants) was a PLUS PLUS PLUS!! There are so many ways I foresee styling these pants. I'm definitely inspired.

"Let your imagination inspire a multitude of outcomes." --Maya Gatewood

Ciao for now!

Pants: H&M, Basic Tee: Strawberry, Pumps: Ralph Lauren, Necklace & Watch: JewelMint, Earrings: H&M

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Street Style: Harem Pants

I have been wanting a pair of harem pants for as long as I can remember, but I never did because I didn't think they were particularly flattering for my body type. But FASHION FIND these totally are!!! I picked up these beauties in one of my favorite NYC boutiques...DeJenaro. The clothing line is called ChancesR and I loved them so much I bought a black and white pair as well. 

First, let me start off by saying these are the most comfortable pants I have ever worn! They're so versatile, you can dress them down as I have done with a T-shirt, classic denim jacket and sneakers. Or pair them with a sheer top, blazer and strappy heels for a dressier look. 

The print takes it from a lounge pant silhouette to something more sophisticated, but the key to wearing harem pants is to incorporate structured pieces into your outfit otherwise you will look like you're going to bed lol 

"Cool is a state of mind." --Maya
Ciao for now!

Pants: ChancesR; Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger; Denim Jacket: Old Navy; Sneakers: Polo Ralph Lauren; Hoops: H&M; Ring: H&M 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wedded Bliss

Love is in the air and what's better than a Spring wedding! 

Two weeks ago I had the priveledge to witness two beautiful friends join together in holy matrimony....everything was beautiful from the ceremony to the venue to the food to the music; I had an amazing night *sigh*

I wanted to wear something fairly simple yet elegant and so paired this light gray (my favorite color) one shoulder dress with my fav blush pumps and blush earrings. I bought this dress a few years ago on sale from H&M for a whopping $10!! With the neckline of this dress, statement earrings is all that was needed. 

A great way to conceal problem areas and hug the right places is a dress with rouging. Though I'm not a huge fan of my arms, the rouging offered enough visual interest to distract from wearing them out. Of course my phone died during the festivities so I didn't get to capture as many moments as I would've liked but you get the idea lol

Dress: H&M; Shoes: Anne Klein (thirfted); Earrings: H&M: Cuff: JewelMint, Bracelets: H&M