Wedding Day…and Dress Bliss!

“Goin’ to the chapel…”

Well, I didn’t go to a chapel, but I did go to Power Plant Productions on June 27th and married Eric Smith!

These last few months have been devoted to wedding planning, work as a social worker and working on my clinical social work license, but style was never far away. With a venue like Power Plant, we were able to bring in all of our own vendors and decorations, add our own personal touches and of course learned a lot with the whole process.

It has only been a week, but I could not resist sharing a sneak peak and some candids of our wedding day style. Once we receive the photos (Clever Girl Photo, who did our wonderful engagement photos, was amazing!) and go on our reshoot (it rained so hard all day!), I will definitely give you my style summary, how I saved, where I splurged, what went wrong that didn’t have to, which vendors saved the day (Diverse Catering for one) and which expenses I could have avoided.

Until then, a few shots of our awesome day and a few style tidbits! More to come!

Rings

Ivory & Tea Rose Lace Trumpet Wedding Dress  David Tutera for Mon Cheri

Swarovski Crystal Belt Fantastic Finds  ($380)

Wedding Bouquet of Peonies Kate Farley Design

Latvian Flats in Silver Glitter Steve Madden ($42)

By buying my dress outside of Philadelphia, back home in Lansing, Michigan at Fantastic Finds, I was able to get more for my money out of a wedding dress. Dresses in Lansing were more than half the cost of the ones I looked at a local boutiques. This was the first dressed I tried on, but I still tried on seven more dresses, purchases a different one only to return it thirty minutes later for my first one. I didn’t wear a veil, purchase jewerly or splurge on shoes and instead decided to accessorize my hair and dress. 

Clever Girl Photography

First Look 2

Leda Swarovski Crystal Headband Bride LeBoheme ($152)

Wedding Hair By Tamika  Sianni Salon ($125)

I am so happy I went with Sianni for wedding hair. They are a multi-cultural salon and did a great job on all of our hair types, including Tamika blowing out and styling my natural hair. They also provided a room for lunch and gave us a surprise treat. They even provided a chair for our make-up artist! I only had to place a small deposit down for my nine appointments. They were definitely a vendor hero! 

Wedding Make-Up  Raymond from M.A.C. (varies on party)

Raymond was another wedding vendor hero! He did custom blends for bridemaids and is one of the few make-up artists who I have seen with the ability to easily transition among women of color and get that perfect (read: not ashy) look. He did 11 faces in record time, did two make-up trials and kept in constant contact for my wedding. He placed everyone at ease and was everyone’s favorite. Raymond and I met when I begged him to squeeze me in for The Geek Awards last year when my make-up artist and stylist canceled last minute. Investing on everyone’s make-up as part of my bridal gift definitely was one thing I would invest in again.

First Dance

Nena and Dad

With Auggie

If you are having your furry family member in your wedding, than I really suggest you hire Mandy! She was so amazing with taking care of Auggie in all of the chaos and making sure he made it down the aisle as ring bearer! She dressed him, picked him up from home and even saved us by grabbing our marriage license all while having Auggie tucked in while we danced the night away! 

Photography by our Groomsmen

Big Hair and Work Wear!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! It has been awhile, but I have a good reason: I am back to working full-time! Back to the social worker life, which I love. I am still learning my job and still trying to figure out my own work style. I know that takes a back seat to learning my position, but as I said in my About Me, bringing my own style to work makes me feel more confident and shows a bit of my personality.

Do you have a work style and what is it? Do you have a go to piece? Sound off in the comments below!

grey dress

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Polka Dot Cardigan  H & M  ($25)

I absolutely love cardigans and I wear them to work a lot, both at my new job and my old job. It seems every office I am in the temperature is never consistent, plus it is an easy way to transition a dress along with tights. Though I am wearing solid flats and black opaque tights with this outfit, I would easily mix it up with these tights and these shoes. What do you think?

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Grey Dress with Pleather Detail  H & M ($40?*)

West Loop Opaque Tights Walgreens ($8)

*I lost the receipt for this dress, but I bought it recently and it should still be in the store. I won’t pay more than $50 for an H & M dress, so I think it was between $35 and $40.

This dress is a little more fitted than I like. I bought it without trying it on to wear to my interview, so I didn’t have time to exchange it for a more flattering fit. I do love it, but I definitely wouldn’t wear it without a sweater to assist with the back slit riding up a bit.

In colder weather, I wear two pairs of tights for added warmth. Though two pairs can start to get uncomfortable after awhile, I love these tights! They are super cheap and last a long time. I found them when I couldn’t get lint off of my tights before an interview and had to run into a drugstore to see what they had. Surprisingly, they have an amazing selection!

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Big hair, don’t care! I wear my hair natural to work and have been switching it up with a few simple styles. I pulled it back once and everyone missed it in its usual fantastic fro-ness. I actually went back to using Shea Moisture for my shampoo and conditioner due to cost and how much product I use, but I found a perfect mix with Miss Jessie’s Leave-In Condish and Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. The Pillow Soft Curls is a bit much in cost, but I use a little more than a size of a quarter on my hair (and my hair is thicker than it looks).

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 Lion Necklace Wilbur’s Vintage  716 S. 4th St, Philadelphia ($25)

Express Gel Manicure Yuya Nail Spa, 624 Market St, Philadelphia ($25)

I absolutely love my necklace from Wilbur’s Vintage! I don’t know what else to say about it since it speaks for itself. It gives me a little vintage style to take to work (other than my engagement ring)!

I love my new nail salon by my work. I didn’t realize how much cheaper it is to get gel done in Old City than by my house. The punch card is a dangerous thing, because I love a good deal! I have been twice so far!

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glasses

These glasses were issued to me from the Philadelphia VA Medical Center (love ya’ll!), but this style ALWAYS breaks pretty quickly. The arm gets all wonky, so I am now wearing my back up pair. They have some cute women’s frame options and it is easy to find out if you qualify for low-cost or free glasses and eye care; start here! My Warby Parker glasses lost under a pile of clothes in my bedroom. I will send an SOS.

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 Breckelle’s Flats  Eternity Shoes 1522 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia ($14)

These shoes look way more blue in this photo than in person! These flats are run of the mill, cheap, but get the job done. I go through flats so much that I really stopped looking for shoes with supports, but I probably should start. I see you, bunion!

polka dot cardigan, grey dress

Photography by Eric S.

Adding Some Glitter With Gold

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day! I came back from Michigan and walked right into this heat! Even though it is hot, I still love everything about Philly. Especially now that I have more time to wear my summer dresses.

This week, I decided to accessorize with gold! I love how great jewelry can jazz up a colorless dress. I love white dresses, and gold seemed like the perfect addition to this one. How do you use bold accessories? Sound off in the comments below!

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 White Structured Cut Out Dress  Smak Parlour ($85)

I love the detail at the bottom of the sweetheart dress. It gives it that little extra push of coverage, with it not really being there. The top has boning and I am wearing a strapless bra with it.

white dress, gold necklace

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  Gold Bib Necklace   Wilbur’s Vintage  716 S. 4th st, Philadelphia ($40)

I adore this necklace! I feel like it gives a good optical illusion like I am actually filling this dress with cleavage. It fits perfectly between the detail and is surprisingly light. I decided not to wear earrings due to how bold the necklace is. My nails are gold glitter gel shellac, so they fit right into the shoot!

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I ended up doing two buns in my hair after I had a twist out go completely haywire the night before. I think next time I will use black clips and make the back into a French roll instead of a bun. I switch over to using Carol Daughter’s Hair Milk Styling Butter ($12) since I ran out of my Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream ($18) and I needed something to take in my carry-on that didn’t cost a lot in case it was confiscated (it wasn’t). I really like it!

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bracelet

Gold Tiger Eye Bracelet   Wilbur’s Vintage  716 S. 4th st, Philadelphia ($35)

I can never find a bracelet that fits me, but I actually found two this week! This vintage bracelet is light and I love the Tiger Eye detail. I can’t wait to find earrings so I can dress this down.

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SAYNT Open Toe Sandals  Nine West, Liberty Place, Philadelphia ($30)

I love these shoes, but they are definitely a half size too big (I bought a pair in black that are the right size)! I bought them on clearance for the Geek Awards and the wonderful team at Nine West added a few holes in the strap to make sure they were snug. With my evening gown, you couldn’t see how big they are, so I may save these shoes for when I am wearing something long again. Just found out if you buy online, the second pair is half off!

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It was awesome checking out A & G Labs and learning more about MVSE, a new app to improve the dressing room experience. Read all about it on Geekadelphia!

 Photography by Eric S.

Finding Your Own Vintage Style

I hope everyone is keeping cool! It is so hot out here in Philadelphia!

Just this past weekend, I sent my little brother back to Michigan after his two week vacation here… but not before he could do one more men’s look for me, which will be featured at the end.

This is going to be my last entry with me modeling for a few weeks, because I’ll be going behind the camera for a few entries. My good friend Dorothee will be taking my place as a model for a while. I loved her in past entries, and I look forward to shooting with her soon!

I’m currently in full swing working on my new site, Down To Utopia, which launches August 8th. It is a site dedicated to mental health and wellness, and though it is for all women, it will be heavily written from the perspectives and viewpoints from Women of Color. Writing about a serious topic, but de-stigmatizing and rewriting it so it is not all one voice while making it feel welcome… well, that’s a challenge! But I hope you like it.

One more shameless plug, before I get to today’s entry: I was in a great article where I talked about the behind the scenes of Beauty & Britches! I am so fortunate that Mikey is now the EIC of Geekadelphia, so our Sundays have changed a lot since the article. We are actually going paddle boating this Sunday!

Any who, with summer time, for me, comes summer dresses, but this time I wanted to go for an easy look that is colorful, vintage and easy to pull off. My vintage style is still being developed, but I have come to like color, clothes that breathe (no corsets or anything too rigid or stiff), patterns and if possible- easy care. Dry cleaning gets expensive, so I only go to places that offer anything that has the words ‘Get One Free’. I love seeing other people’s vintage style, especially if they are dedicated to only one era, style and work every aspect of their outfit into it.

When shopping vintage, my biggest pieces of advice are:

1. Try everything on! Don’t go by the sizes, because sizing has changed drastically over the years. Also, if you love a dress or top and it is made well, letting it in or out may be easily done and worth the investment.

2. Don’t go by the brand, go by the fit! I love vintage Sears dresses, only because how they fit and how well made they are, but I will never buy something vintage solely on the brand name. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but you will feel so much more confident and love the garment if you look great in it over it being vintage Dior… who am I kidding, you can love vintage Dior all you want!

3. Don’t force yourself to love it! You find a dress and it looks ‘eh’ on or you find some pants, but they are just a tad too short, just keep moving. I use to be guilty of this and trying to fix something I wasn’t totally in love with. Imagine my horror of what came out after trying to alter a pleated skirt. There are tons of beautiful finds out there and hunting is the fun part!

What advice would you give for vintage shopping? Sound off below!

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Honeycomb Zip-Up Dress 708 Antique, 708 5th St. Philadelphia ($45)

I bought this dress at a little shop two doors down from Philly AIDS Thrift. The shop had no official name and asked me not to review it on Yelp (but they are on Four Square) since they liked their low profile. They are a Mother-Son owning duo and even when I tried to look up the shop on Google Maps, all I could see is an insurance store, so either the shop is no longer there or the Google Car hasn’t updated that block. They mainly sell dishes and great kitchen items, but if you go into the back they have a secret and AMAZING section of well, everything! I only left with one dress-surprisingly.

Green Vintage Sunglasses Heaven Gallery, Chicago ($10)

If you live in Chicago and love fashion and art, than you should definitely check out Heaven Gallery in Wicker Park. I haven’t gone in a few years, but they use to have vintage clothes for sale in their space every Sunday. I have also been to some amazing fashion shows from new artists and checked out so much awesome art! It is a non-profit and provides a space for new artists show their work. Also, it brought on some awesome nights in Chicago! I might have to dig up my ‘going to runway show for free wine’ look one day, ha.

Earrings Hello World (gift)

I still don’t know the price of these earrings, but I LOVE them and these cute leaf earrings are $14!

My hair becomes extremely dry in the summer and it grows out of shape. I need a protective style or I need braids, but for sure I need a hair cut! I found out about an awesome salon and stylist on Lauren Mechelle’s blog where she shows videos, has tutorials, giveaways and all sorts of awesomeness!

Turquoise Sandals Moda on 1523 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia ($16)

I usually hate any sandal that shows my foot or has a bar like this, but I love the color of this sandal and I wore these under an evening gown last year. They add a fun pop of color and the price isn’t bad either. I buy a lot of cheap sandals and flats with little support and walk forever in them, but this may not be good for other people who need that arch support.

I am wearing my regular blue shadow and added a blue eye shadow using a thin brush half way around my eyes. That is about as technical and creative as I get with my make-up.

Cream Woven Clutch Nova Ice, 441 South Street, Philadelphia ($16)

I usually hate walking down south street, just because I am not a large crowd person and you have to spend too much time in some of the stores to find something, but I loved that I found this purse and love how easy it is to add some pattern and texture to my outfit. As usual, I love the price!

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Here is Ali again, modeling a summer look he put together from stores here in Philadelphia. I love his risk taking with mixing up patterns! What do you think?

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Hawaiian Shirt  Wilbur Vintage ($25)

Blue Wave Shorts H&M ($25)

Navy Ditmars Steve Madden ($100)

Photography by Eric S. (last photo by Nena B.)

Flea Markets & Splurge Items

Hello from Michigan! I return to my hometown of Lansing almost every year, but this year is special. I picked up my wedding dress, I’m looking at venues for my wedding next June, and I’m celebrating my birthday in Chicago over the weekend with my cousin, Jessica (who is a lifestyle blogger)! Most importantly, I was able to spend Mother’s Day with my Mother and Grandmothers.

Before heading back, Eric and I were able to check out all of the various festivals going on and I found some great items to create one of my favorite vintage looks. I went with a mixture of flea market finds and small boutiques along with affordable purchases and splurge items. It took awhile to find each item for this look, but was definitely worth it.

So, my questions this week are… what is your favorite look and where do you shop to find a piece to complete your look? Do you have a favorite splurge item?

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1960s Vintage Refurbished Sheath Dress Things I Like 1038 Pine Street, Philadelphia ($90)

I love this dress! Nazareth, the owner, use to work for Urban Outfitters refurbishing their t-shirts. She has awesome refurbished shirts I will feature in the future and I’ll definitely talk to her about her process. She found this dress and decided to alter the silhouette a bit to give it shape. It is a beautiful textile and isn’t as heavy as it looks (though will easily transition into the fall). This dress is made to last, so I don’t know if it counts as a true splurge item.

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Threading  Anju Threads 1126 Walnut Street, Philadelphia ($13 eyebrows $7 lip*)

I was invited to come to Anju Threads to try out their threading services. I jumped at the chance because I used to get my eyebrows and lip threaded at the salon I went to in Chicago. Threading, though it takes a bit more time, lasts longer and can create a more defined arch and pull those small lip hairs wax seems to miss (I have no shame in my lip waxing). Kabbone did my eyebrows since she specializes in what I like: fuller brows! She was amazing to talk to and puts you at ease. I can’t wait to return. Helpful hint: your skin is more sensitive before and during your cycle, so book your first appointment after if you can!

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Broke Down Sandals Steve Madden ($40ish?)

I had a close up photos of these sandals, but I am going to spare you looking at the reason why I stay in sandals. I use to buy my sandals at the Wicker Park Steve Madden store, but DSW has a low price and amazing selection. I like sandals to cover my whole foot and the sides over, but a full back. I have owned these sandals since 2010 and wish I could find another pair. They have been through a lot! 

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60s Cardigan  Edna’s, Philadelphia ($20)

I found this sweater at the Philadelphia Flea Market, which is every weekend in different locations around the city. Edna’s is a vintage stand with tons of great clothes for men and women including accessories. You can find out where she will be by asking to be on her mailing list at donnaschaeffer@gmail.com. It is just a blank email listing the location. She had tons of great items and as I walked up she said three little words I love, “I have Sears!” It was a treat taking this sweater home and my Grandma saying she remembers it and had one the same color back in the day. I also learned you can’t wash wool (a different sweater taught me that).

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Grandma’s Buttons Desert Grandeur Necklace  Tselaine 1927 Walnut Street, Philadelphia ($64)

I may be a few dollars off, but you can actually still buy this exact necklace on their website. I love the look of this necklace, but didn’t know it was made of buttons found by the owner (the buttons she started the company with were her grandmother’s). Now, as a family business, she looks all over the world for new buttons to create new pieces. I love Tselaine and have the most beautiful necklaces from there including a lot of local one of a kind pieces. I can go in there and shop and talk for way too long!

My hair is just a messy twist out. I sit and twist it in sections without parting and tie it up at night and then untwist in the morning. I don’t use any special twisting creams, just whatever was in my hair that day for my wash and go. I might spray it with a bit of water, but I try to keep my hair as low maintenance as possible.

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*services were provided gratis with no obligation to promote or write of the experience; the views expressed are completely my own.

Photography by Eric S.

What Gives You Style Inspiration?

So much happened in these last two weeks! I had the mole under my chin removed and got my septum pierced. I went to a corset fitting, tried out a new beauty routine with Anju Threads, joined Indy Hall to start work on a new project, and now I’m in Baltimore on a surprise vacation with Eric.

Fortunately, during all of this, I still have the second part of the photo shoot from Edny Photography in one of my favorite outfits! I really appreciate Nathaniel and his assistant and great photographer in their own right, Mel, for taking the time to take my photos and teach me a few tips about lighting and getting better photos. They did a breathtaking job and I really hope to work with them again. It was a huge fun favor (there needs to be a word to mesh those together) and I will forever be appreciative!

Now enough gushing! On to what we did!

I usually mix my era of clothing and just go with whatever looks good. I favor the 60′s and 70′s, but after watching American Hustle, I just had to run over to Wilbur’s and see if Daniel had anything a bit Jennifer Lawrence. Of course he did! I loved my end result, but Nathaniel pointed out that it looked more WWII inspired. I never thought of that!

What do you think and do you ever look at movies for inspiration?

Red Yoki Pumps Ragstock ($8)

I bought these at Ragstock so long ago while going through their basement, that I wouldn’t  be surprised if I convinced myself I bought these in Ragstock instead of some other vintage & new shop, but Yoki heels are so easy to find and cheap, that I am not going to sweat it too much. You can find them on Amazon, Sears, Kmart- they are all over. I just started wearing mine recently since I have more dresses to match them with and have a nice vintage look, unlike my patent leather red stilettos that have a ‘I bought these in my early 20s when was able to wear heels non-stop and didn’t know what a bunion was’ look. Yes, I said bunion.

Cream Vintage Dress  Wilbur Vintage ($20)

Daniel said ‘all the dresses 20 percent off except for that one. The dress was $20! I repeat,$20! I can’t remember if it was labeled 70′s or 60′s, but I want to lean more toward 70′s based on style and material, but I will find out. Every time I go in there, I am either told by another customer that if I put the dress down that they will take it or I am trying to talk someone into giving me their dress (I tried very hard one time to no avail). Wilbur’s I love since I don’t have to dig, but definitely try everything on no matter what the size looks like or says.

 Vintage Scarf  Wilbur Vintage ($10)

I collect vintage scarves. They are perfect when my braids are growing out and I wore them non-stop two summers ago, but I thought about how would it look with a bang? Daniel has a great collection and I love the scarf I found- I just need more practice tying it, but I still look the look!

 Hair James Brown Studio ($100)

Cheetah Necklace  Smak Parlour ($34)

This necklace is actually not heavy, which I like and I have been really digging the thick curb chain look.

Here are a few 40s inspired and vintage dresses that made me see what Nathaniel was seeing. I only have one 40s dress because it starts getting pricier and harder to find once you start going that far back, but the quality of clothes are killer.

See you next time with my curls back in action, some eyebrow talk and with spring back, warmer photos and flea market finds!

 Photography by Endy Photography

Making Trends Your Own

Before getting into today’s post, I would like to thank everyone who is reading and has taken the time to comment.

In the last few weeks I have had to step away from this blog a few times and scratch whole entries due to larger health issues and all of the things that go into that. Eric and I would take photos for a shoot only to notice that the quality wasn’t as good as it could be. I always want to come across as thrilled about what I am wearing and sometimes, even when I love my clothes, my face just isn’t cutting it.

For me, style isn’t just about wearing something fashionable or expensive, but feeling good about yourself and in your own skin. It is also a way to say what you can’t say with words, and bring on the confidence you may not have at the time.

So, I am curious to know… what is style to you? What makes you wear what you wear? For now, Beauty & Britches will be posting style on Tuesdays bi-monthly, but hopefully, you love the looks more! Now on to what you read this for!

I saw a commercial about Mod coming back (didn’t it just return not too long ago?) and I was not thrilled. My hair can’t take too many blow outs and I just don’t know how I am going to pull off the bold looks. I needed help to see if there was anything about this 60s style I could groove with and I needed help on multiple fronts.

I headed to fabric row to my favorite vintage shop, Wilbur Vintage, which has been featured on this blog a few times before. Daniel showed me multiple looks, but I decided to focus on one look I usually write off: the shift dress. I feel like they are too short on me and I don’t wear knee high… well, knee high anything. With Daniel’s stern opinions and ideas on embracing simplicity, I ended up loving my results!

If you follow me on Instagram or know me in person, then you know how much I love Nathaniel Dodson’s Endy Photography. I follow his Instagram and he was one of the photographers at The Philly Geek Awards last year. Eric and I have a beautiful black and white he snapped in one take (impossible for us to do). I mentioned how much I love his photos and only a few weeks later, on his break, him and his assistant Mel were in Fitler Square taking photos. The results are beautiful and I appreciate him taking his time off to help me out. It was amazing and I learned about lighting!

So, does the shift dress work and what do you think of Mod?

60s Party Dress Wilbur Vintage ($65)

Pantent Leather Mary Janes Carvela Kurt Geiger (100 GP)

Bracelet Macy’s

Usually I can find a replica or who made the dress online through the dress tag, but the only dress this tag has is a International Ladies Garment Workers Union tag, which is pretty awesome, but I don’t know who made the dress. The dress was folded in the bag a few times, but will be fine with a good dry clean and is light enough for spring and fall weather.

I bought these pumps in London in May 2009 at a Stuart Weitzman store, which is ridiculous since I was in London, but I made a lot of ridiculous choices that year. Fortunately, these shoes weren’t one of them. I have worn them enough to pay for them ten times over.

The gold bracelet is just a random bracelet I have owned for years. I am sure a different bracelet in a color would have looked great with this dress, but I don’t like wearing bracelets or watches.

Hair James Brown Hair ($100)

James Brown probably would hate me for saying I got my hair done there and then posting photos of my week old blow out, but I can’t resist. I have been talking about getting an appointment with James for at least six months. He is well known in Philly for his ability to cut natural hair and reshape a ‘fro. I went in to get my hair cut and he gave me a cut (I had a lot cut in to balance the length), blow out and flat iron all in 1 hour, 11 minutes. Yes, I timed him because I am curious how fast I can get out of a salon. I made my appointment online and was the only one in the salon until his assistant stylist was applying highlights to someone else. He did teach me a trick to avoid heat damage: blow it out once and do not apply to heat to your hair again for the duration of press/blow out. This seems like common sense, but I always break out the flat iron to go over my edges or curl my ends, but this is my hair only wrapped, with no heat a week after my blow out. I am not amazing at wrapping, so I am sure someone who wraps every night and actually does it correctly could push this out longer than I did. The curls came back on the first wash and I love my cut!

Earrings Smak Parlour ($16)

You can’t see in the photos, but one earring is gold and the other is silver. I wanted these earrings so so so so so so (did I say so?) much to coordinate with when I want to mix metals or add a soft edge. The detailed embroidery around the neckline didn’t call for too much jewelry, so I opted for these to go with my gold bracelet.  

Photography by Endy Photography

Staying Warm In… Dresses?

I am back in time for tons of Philadelphia snow! If one thing hasn’t changed, it is not wanting to look like I am wearing a ton of layers when I actually am.

In Michigan, we use to have snow suits, tons of socks, boots, these boot insert things, gloves, hats and everything else my Mom could fit on us that would make the prospect of having to use the restroom cringe. As I became older and my hair styles began to change, the prospect of putting anything other than satin on my head became a huge no-no.

Well, dressing warm for the winter and yet still feeling warm, became an art form. I am still learning, but here are a few things I have picked up along the way.

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Paradox Wool Dress  Wilbur’s Vintage ($75)

When I found this dress at Wilbur’s, I had no idea how much I would love it and wear it. It is 100% wool, extremely warm and super comfortable

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Owl Necklace  Forever 21 ($10)

This little owl necklace was actually less than $10, since I was doing one of those buy five million, get one free deals. I love everything owls (blame Temple), so if I see something cute with an owl on it, I will most likely buy it. This didn’t turn out so well when I came home with four ceramic owls one day

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DKNY Active “Hi-Speed” Leather Moto Boots Macy’s (over $100)

I usually know what I paid for things either through receipts, finding it online or through memory since I return to the store five times to decide on something or the price is so low that when someone asks where I got it, I automatically include how little I paid for it (yet another way my Grandma has rubbed off on me). When it comes to these boots, I remember buying them at Macy’s Water Tower (2009) at the same time I bought my favorite Naturalizer ‘Cerenia’ boots.

The total was under $200, but I can’t remember which boots cost what. I would usually wear the Cerina boots with this, but the zipper broke today. The thing I like about these boots is they hold up in snow and have seen two Chicago winters with not too much damage. Also, they aren’t bulky, but extremely warm. When it comes to my legs, I wear tights under everything and when wearing a dress, I put on two pairs of tights saving all of my worn out or torn tights to use as insulation.  Amazon has limited sized of a different DKNY boot that I like for well under $100, but isn’t descriptive on materials

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Havana Twists using Marley Hair by Briana

My curls are gone for the winter and I have gone into full protective style. After 7.5 hours (1 hour of me nodding off and her still braiding), 7 bags of Marley hair, lots of laughter, Dr. Phil and Lifetime, these are the results. If you spent hours looking for someone to braid your hair in the Philadelphia area and like mine (mine are usually tied up, so ignore my ends) feel free to email me for her info

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Photography by Eric S.

 

Jumping Into Jumpsuits

Eric was on vacation last week, so I thought this would be a great time to break out one of my vintage finds and get some assistance from my good friend and guest model, Dorothee, and a talented guest photographer, Chris Urie. He can be found at chrisurie.com.

With the thought of vacation comes the thought of summer and flea markets! The Center City flea market always had a booth of the best vintage clothes. Though, being outside, you have to make some guesses regarding your items based on three important pieces of criteria: wearability, fit, and alteration worth. I always decide if I can fit it, if I like it (and what/how I will wear it), and if alterations are worth the time / cost.

I love jumpsuits. They are easy to style in multiple ways while giving you a feel of funk and timelessness, all at the same time.

Red Outfit 5

Red Sears Jumpsuit Center City Flea Market ($26)

I found this jumpsuit at the huge flea market at 6th & Pine-ish area. There are tons of booths, but all summer there was this one booth selling tons of clothing ranging from the 1950s-80s with numerous brands. I bought this jumpsuit thinking it would be an easy fix to drop the crotch to add length, but my tailor said clothes were made a little more reinforced then. Fortunately, Dorothee looks great in it and she had her own style to make it come to life

Red Outfit 3

Up-cycled Pencil Case Barnes & Noble ($18)

I love Dorothee’s pencil case; it never crossed my mind that it wasn’t a clutch. I decided to look on Barnes & Noble to see if there is anything similar and this pencil case, though not the same style, is another way to get creative. 

Red Outfit 4

Blue I.N.C. Pumps Macy’s ($40)

Red Outfit 2

Vintage Herringbone Necklace Dorothee’s Grandma’s Jewelry Box

Red Outfit

Photography by Chris Urie

 

Fun With Vintage

Back when I went natural, I started to move my style more towards clothing that complimented my hair.

I don’t know if this is fashionably ‘right’ or ‘trendy’, but when you have a big ‘fro like I do, it makes sense to add a seventies vibe to it. Once I started looking for seventies era clothing, I fell in love with everything between the forties through the eighties.
When you’re going for any kind of ‘vintage feel’, you don’t have to be exact. Not all of the pieces have to be from the same decade. Just let your outfit tell a great story.

Andrea Gayle 60s Dress Wilbur Vintage ($40)

I found the exact dress online here as well as other Andrea Gayle items

Purple Tights My Grandma (gift)

Bronx Taste Ankle Boots Akira ($65)

Cowrie Earrings Wilbur Vintage ($5)

 Photography by Eric S.