sweetofstyle

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn – Gore Vidal

Style I’d Snag

Summer is just around the corner and I’m excited for one (or two) new pieces to wear to the beach this year :)

Recently, I came across this super chic piece from Ryan Chan’s Goddess Reign collection and I absolutely love it.
Here’s a swimsuit I’d snag!

Goddess Reign Swimsuit

Goddess Reign Swimsuit

Lovin Lupita

Yesterday, when I began writing this post, I figured it was safe to say that until she dons another show stopping gown, gives a brilliant speech or wins a new award, the furore over Lupita Nyong’o has calmed. Only to discover that she is now the newest face of Lancome – the first feat to be accomplished by a black woman!

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Actress Lupita Nyong’o

So while I worried that my musings might be considered a little too late, I proved myself correct in that ‘I’m never on schedule, but always on time’ ;)

After I saw the movie Twelve Years a Slave, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Lupita. I searched for an interview on YouTube in order to discover more, and after the first video I was hooked. Many videos later, I was mesmerized! Sure she is lovely to look at; what with her flawless chocolate complexion, unique hairdo, and fabulous sense of style. But what piqued my interest, no, commanded my attention, was how profound she is as a person!

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Lupita in a bewitching blue dress by Gucci

Lupita Nyong’o makes me proud to be a black girl from the ‘Third World’. She is a woman with a story to tell. She is one of those people who forces you (in the gentlest manner) to ignore skin deep beauty and take note of more lasting qualities like perseverance, humility, inner strength and intelligence.

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Lupita dons a brilliant white dress by Prada

Nyong’o is an eloquent speaker and I feel as though every time she speaks, she reminds us all – but especially black children and minorities – to dare to aim for big things, things they say you can’t do, things you don’t think you can do. She reminds us with every award, every strut down a red carpet and every magazine page on which she is featured that despite our beginnings, no dream is impossible to achieve.

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Lupita in a cape dress by Ralph Lauren at the Golden Globe awards

Saving the Economy a Sandal at a Time

I love Jamaica. I adore the culture, enjoy the people and am mesmerized by its bewitching beauty. But the economy sucks. In fact, it’s the only thing that would make me want to leave. Believe it or not, a sucky economy impacts many other important things in a nation.

So… I have to do what I can to make some improvements. According to a popular Jamaican saying, ‘one one coco full baaskit.’ This means, ‘every little bit adds up.’ And when I bought my latest pair of sandals from a craftsman who has a cute little shop tucked away in a little corner of Mobay, I did just that. The store is callled Klass sandals. All the sandals are made from leather and each one is individually hand crafted.

I love that. I love the feeling I get when I know that  a bit of care and  extra attention to detail has been put into something I purchase. I also feel good because instead of running online to go buy sandals (that probably wouldn’t last long anyway), I supported a small and local business. And the icing on the cake is that people LOVE my sandals. I get compliments everytime I wear them! :)

because…

because...

When Fashion becomes Frivolous

In the United States of America, it is common fashion knowledge (or whatever) that one should not wear white after Labour Day. The reasons for this are varied, but below is an excerpt from the most widely held belief as to the origin of this rule.

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already “in” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Of course it could get extremely hot in September, and wearing white might make the most sense, but if you wanted to be appropriately attired you just did not do it. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

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Things have gone so far that this tradition has been touted as a matter of etiquette… I would beg to differ. In fact, I believe that is utter rubbish and I consider the rule to be unnecessarily archaic! For me, the only justifiable reason for not wearing white after Labour Day is the fact that fall welcomes colder temperatures and black is said to attract heat, thus keeping one warmer.

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Coco Chanel

Renowned style icon Coco Chanel wore white year round and as for me…Well anyone who knows me knows that I will never subscribe to any fashion or even style rule if it makes no sense to me. I had a white turtleneck sweater that fit like a dream and I used to rock all hell out of it in the winter when I lived in New York! Thank God, I have an independent and well functioning mind!

That said, I must mention a most ridiculous caption I read below a photo in a Jamaican newspaper (The Jamaica Observer). Making reference to a woman who was dressed in white, the caption stated that though she had flouted the rule of not wearing white after Labour Day, she looked great (unfortunately I can’t find the link). To say I was seriously irritated is a gross understatement! What’s worse, I’ve seen similar references in the same publication repeatedly.

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The Jamaica Observer’s Page 2

Why I’m extremely irked to see garbage like that in a Jamaican paper is that:

1. Labour Day in Jamaica is in May!

… and we have no fashion rule as it relates to same. All the captions I’ve seen in said paper have been after September (Labour Day in the US), so clearly reference is being made to the above mentioned American rule – which is just plain DUMB!

2. We live in a tropical climate!

While it generally gets colder from November to about January (Christmas breeze) and plants blossom heavily in April and May, we have no seasons. It is pretty much always warm!

I should perhaps pen a letter to the lifestyle editor of the Jamaica Observer, so that if she is not cognizant of the fact that it is ludicrous to allow such hogwash in the paper, she may learn!

white-clothes

I don’t know why people think that every trend or idea that pops up in Europe or North America must be copied on this island. We need to put things into perspective, emulate what is practical and allow common sense to be our guide in knowing what to leave by the wayside.

Hair Me Out!

Since the disintegration of her parents marriage, she’d only loved two things: The first was her long dark hair; the second was how easily she could cut it off… and feel nothing.

For some particularly strange reason, when I decided to write a post sharing my hairventures, this line from 5OO Days of Summer popped into my head. I have been cutting my hair since university, however,  I’ve never cut my hair and not felt anything; instead it is always like a lovely continuation in a great series for me!

I love hair, because it is so diverse and such an easy way to express oneself! You can perm it, curl it, straighten it, wear it it’s natural form, lock it, sport an updo, or crop cut…the possibilities are endless.

Being a restless soul, changing my hairstyle is something that I have done often over the years and I sure do enjoy it! In the past five years (random number), I’ve had so many different hairstyles that it’s a little uncanny! I’ve gone from dreds to a short perm! Below is a little lookbook of all kinds of phases and stages (I have a hardcopy of me sitting in a barber’s chair, that I will one day share)!!

To me it’s really cool that I can express myself and what I’m feeling through my hair and that it doesn’t have to be permanent.  After all, we only have one life to live – I say we need to do what makes us happy!

Channeling Rihanna: Decent egg gone bad

We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

~ C.S. Lewis

As for this egg. It hatched…and then went bad.

I am no stranger to change, and I’ve found that one thing that I can change easily is my hair! Since I’ve had a say in the matter, I’ve been no stranger to cutting, big chopping, braiding, colouring, going natural and lately, trying a weave! Nothing about the latest hairdo is normal for me, but sometimes, we must hatch. Must we not?!

So, as this story goes, I was recently browsing the net for a photo of Rihanna’s skrillex inspired cut. I like the ‘toned down’ version and figure I’m gonna get it done one day. Of course, since my hair is shaved down already, Skrillex hair wouldn’t be hard for me to achieve!

Rihanna channeling Skrillex

Rihanna channeling Skrillex

So I looked for photos of Rihanna’s skrillex cut and lo and behold I saw a photo of her with another style and thought. ‘Heh! I like that! or perhaps it was ‘Heyy, I’m gonna try that!’

the style that caught my eye!

the style that caught my eye!

My hair was seriously due to be done,so I decided to find out from my stylist whether or not she could pull it off and of course, she said yes!!

At some point, the indecisive, wimpy part of me started to get cold feet.  ‘Maybe I should just ask her to comb it down on one side’;’ I’m gonna tell her make it look as flat as possible’; ‘I don’t know if this is ok for work.’ but in the end, I went and let her do her thing!

The Result:

The sides of my head are shaved so low, I look like cassie! (I can think of something else, but to write it may be offensive to some ;)

I kinda have a Janelle Monae thing going on… and since I like her, that can’t be too bad!

A plethora of compliments!

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Lessons Learnt:

Rihanna probably got her hair done like that for an event. For a simple chick like me, it’s a bit much for the daily grind. Especially because it draws so much attention. So next time, I’ll need to be taking environment in mind!

Overall, while I think the next time I’ll do anything remotely close to this is New Year’s Eve night, it’s been interesting and I’m ok with being out of ‘the box’ for a bit.

Lace Again!

Summer fashion seems to be revolving a lot around lace and crocheted looks and I am loving every minute of it! Not one for trends, I simply can’t help but feel the need to cop myself something that fits into that bracket!

I absolutely adore the cool, laid-back look of the pieces that I ‘ve seen so far. I think those particular features make them perfect for the summer as well!

Here are a few that have caught my eye recently!

Summer Shirts

At some point in my life, I decided that I was too old to be wearing basic tees and camis on a regular basis and so I switched my wardrobe and got all these fab oxford shirts. Because, let’s face it, they’re perfect in any weather, for any occasion. Easy to dress up or down and the easiest way to make a sophisticated statement.

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Me in an olive green oxford shirt couple summers ago

But it’s now almost summer and it’s hot as hell out here! and I’m done with that. Luckily, there are a few that I’ll be able to have in rotation such as my H&M boyfriend shirt which is made of veeery light cotton and fits loosely enough for you to feel the wind!

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H&M White boyfriend shirt – really light and makes summer feel like a breeze!

But for the most part, I am wearing crop tops and tank tops this summer. Yea, I said it. I aint ’bout to sweat out my life, burnin’ up in the sun in these close fitting, cotton, long sleeve shirts. And here are a few I’ve been looking at…

Express (one of my favourite clothing stores) has some cute little graphic tees as well.

 

Eve Style ‘Tun Up

Tun Up – Modern Jamaican slang meaning great, exciting, awesome and the like.

Example of usage: A very sexy lady is wearing an awesome outfit and you wish to complement her. You would say ” yuh ting tun up” meaning she looks unbeatable, stunning, like a million dollars.
[Definitions taken from Dancehall Reggae World & Urban Dictionary]

That said, let me declare that Eve is back and her ting tun up! I am referring to her style as well as her music (or what I have heard of it thus far).

I was surfing the net and somehow got to looking at interracial couples when I saw a photo of a white guy and a gorgeous, spiffy looking black chick. I couldn’t identify either of them readily and set about sleuthing.

Eve and boyfriend Maximillion Cooper

Eve and boyfriend Maximillion Cooper

To my surprise said woman was Eve (of Ruff Ryders and sitcom/Barbershop fame) . She was looking quite fab; I was impressed!

I'm sorry about the poor quality; but I liked the way her top was captured in this photo.

I’m sorry about the poor quality; but I liked the way her top was captured in this photo.

I then learnt that Eve has a new album out, it’s called Lip Lock. I watched a few interviews she has done since launching the album in May and let me tell you – the girl’s style is on fire!!! She has the look of chic elegance down pat and I am loving it (please click the link in sentence above to see her black and white suit in Hot 97 interview)!

Eve's Cuff Necklace

Eve’s Cuff Necklace

I listened to the first three singles that she’s released and it’s good stuff. I’m loving the beats &  lyricism on Eve and She Bad Bad. The single Eve  gives off an upbeat vibe laced with confidence and reminds you of authentic rap. I’m also lovin’ her style in the video. The shades, chains, bangles, outfits – all fly and fab!

Eve truly embodied the punk theme at this year's Met gala; but you know the media never highlighting what's right! -_-

Eve truly embodied the punk theme at this year’s Met gala; but you know the media, never highlighting what’s right! -_-

So you see, I had to get my Jamaican Creole on and ‘loud up di ting’, cause her style ‘tun up’!

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