Rockin’ Out With Hard to Style Must Haves

I am so excited to be back in Philly! Not that I didn’t love being in Lansing, MI and Chicago. I loved seeing some of my oldest friends in Chicago and my wonderful cousin, but I am glad to be back home with Eric and back into my regular and quieter routine. This week, I decided to not only shop in my closet again, but to see what I could match with a top that I bought without thinking about how to style it.

When I buy clothes, I usually try to have some sort of idea of how I’ll style them using clothes I already own, or at least figure out what I’ll need to make the look complete. I break this rule seldom, and usually when I do, it doesn’t go very well (see: clothing with sale tags still on them in multiple colors). The only time I always break this rule is if David Bowie (excluding him as the Goblin King, even I have my limits) is anywhere on… well anything. I am obsessed with David Bowie. Obsessed! I have been in love with him since I was about nine or ten. Not for his music at first, but because of a conversation I had with my Mom.

Even though Lansing was quite progressive when it came to interracial relationships and biracial children (my brother and I weren’t the only kids in our class, though you go about twenty minutes outside of Lansing, that is another story), I still went through being super embarrassed over my parents not looking alike. I was nine, cut me some slack. So my mom, as usual, directed me to every example she could find from The Color of Water to one of the few couples she could find: David Bowie and Iman. I was in love! The couple was my everything and as I aged, I still can’t help but buy a David Bowie shirt. I am sure I can’t be the only one. Well, maybe when it comes to David Bowie, but I am sure someone out there buys something all the time they have no idea how they will style. What is your must have item?

pink blazer, david bowie, tulle skirt

David Bowie Boyfriend Tee (Aladdin Sane)  Smak Parlour ($42)

The David Bowie top is actually a hand made halter. Smak Parlour made a line of deconstructed halters in-house of different bands they love. The back has multiple knots and the top is knotted. I don’t usually wear halters, but I like how this covers my whole front and can be worn with a bandeau and jeans. I am more of a ‘Thin White Duke’ fan, but ‘Ziggy Stardust’ definitely has more color to work with.  If you ever want to karaoke with me, I do a great ‘Space Oddity’. I also do way too many knee slides.

david bowie, rayban aviators, pink blazer

 Hot Pink Blazer H & M ($35)

I have a love/hate relationship with H & M blazers. My arms are always, and I mean always, too long to fit into them, so I roll or push up the sleeves. I love the colors and cost, but you get what you pay for comes with paying for not a whole sleeve. I can no longer find this exact one, but here is a similar cut.

pink blazer, david bowie, tulle skirt

Black Tulle Dress Philly AIDS Thrift ($22)

This actually isn’t a skirt- it’s a dress! I usually try to find my gowns for The Philly Geeks Awards either at vintage/consignment or second hand stores; I just don’t wear black tie enough to invest. I went to Philly Aids Thrift last year and found this all black dress. The top is a sparkly tank, nothing fancy. It wasn’t dressy enough for the awards, but it definitely was a must buy for some other occasion. I am still on the hunt in Philly for an actual tulle separate skirt for the summer. If you know of anywhere, please share!

Also, if you have not gone to Philly AIDS Thrift to shop or donate, than you are truly missing out on an amazing organization and store.


14g Septum Piercing Infinite Body Piercing ($48 with jewelry)

Twist Defining Cream As I Am ($13)

I had my septum pierced by Kali, who is very professional and knowledgeable, about four weeks ago. I have gone back and forth on it in the past and since I can hide the piercing easily, I decided to go for it and see how it would turn out. I like it a lot and it doesn’t hang very low. It didn’t hurt, but it does require a bit of care while healing. Would I have been fine with not getting it? Sure, but it is easy to hide and won’t scar when removed, so why not?

I have switched over to As I Am products (I bought the care package at Walgreens) and used their Twist Defining Cream for my two strand twists. I am not a two strand twist aficionado. I couldn’t two strand twist myself out of a paper bag, but I do like how my hair remained moisturized throughout the day and the twists were easier to do. I twist into sections at night, cover with a silk scarf and then untwist and pull in the morning.


spike earring, septum

Two-Tone Earrings Smak Parlour ($16)

PIXI Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush BirchBox ($10 for monthly box, $8 for lip balm)

You can’t really see, but one earring is silver and the other is gold. I love having at least one pair of earrings to match multiple metals since it makes layering necklaces a bit easier. Best purchase ever!

I received this lip balm in my birchbox and the first time I wore it I wasn’t a fan. The second time I really do love the color. I still wish it was a bit more long lasting, but I might just put a chapstick under it or use my M.A.C. Lipglass over it next time.

Pennsylvania Necklace  Smak Parlour ($16)

Love Necklace  Smak Parlour 219 Market St, Philadelphia

Silver & Bronze Custom Initial Necklace  Tselaine 1927 Walnut Street, Philadelphia ($98, but varies on options)

Gel Manicure with Glitter Gel Accent Top Nails ($58 with pedicure)

I collect a lot of ‘Love’ and necklaces or clothing that have to do with Michigan or Pennsylvania. I don’t know why I don’t collect anything from any other state I lived in, but I guess I don’t want my wardrobe looking like a sad map. Not a map of sadness, but a map where someone gives you two minutes to name as many states as possible. Anywho, I love my Pennsylvania and Love necklace as part of my collection. The top necklace, is one I had made at Tselaine. It is a necklace with Eric and my initial (I hear the groans) and got the idea when Tselaine posted a different customer making an engagement necklace. For Mother’s Day, I made my mom one to match mine with her children’s initials.

Don’t hate, my nails are fly! I use to only go to Top Nails in Logan Square when I lived there, so I decided to stop in and say ‘hi’ to Aileen. When I was going there, I was always on an OKcupid date or some miserable equivalent, so you can imagine the surprise of my engagement news. I use to be extremely outgoing in Chicago, so Aileen couldn’t believe Eric talks more than I do. Aileen will soon be on the market as a theatre interior designer after her internship, so someone scoop her up in Chicago!

black textured pumps

Black Dumond Pumps AKIRA Chicago ($100)

Aviator Sunglasses Rayban ($150)

Another way to find Rayban Sunglasses is go to the many Philadelphia festivals and see them all over the ground once everyone has had too much to drink. I have no idea how people lose their glasses when alcohol is involved.

Oh, wait, I do…

Photography by Eric S.


  1. devaney says:

    love these pics, looking fierce!!!!!!!!!

  2. Adorable! I’m also on the hunt for a tulle skirt! If you find them, tell me!! Otherwise, I’m thinking of taking a fabric store trip and buying a bolt of tulle to make my own… you’re welcome to it too ;)

    • Nena says:

      Thanks,Katie! I can barely sew a button on, but I may be up for learning how to make one! I wonder if the ballet supply store would have one that is functional?

      • I’ve never been there, but I wonder, too!! My sewing machine is from the 70′s and therefore only works when it feels like it (& I refuse to get a new one!) but I am happy to show you how to use it!

        • Nena says:

          Thanks Katie! I might have to take you up on that! I will let you know what I find when I go to the dance stores too!

  3. Love the tip on how to find Raybans! I’m in the market for a new pair of sunglasses…time to hit a festival :)
    Great blog – thank you.

    • Nena says:

      Thanks Angel! I always ask friends where they get their glasses and everyone seems to find them, but no one wants to admit it! Thanks for reading!


  1. […] know I love my Bowie from my Rockin’ Out post. I love this ring, though I rarely change my rings out. I ended up forgetting I had this ring […]

Speak Your Mind