Khalilah's Kloset

5 Ways to Style Your Utility Vest

By November 7, 2016 bodycon, brand ambassador, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, networking, ootd, self esteem, style, Uncategorized

Hey chickadee! Can I just say that I am obsessed with my utility dress?!  Listen,  if you have not gotten yourself one yet, what are you waiting for friend?  If you are unsure of styling options, please read on.

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This Who What Wear gem came from the clearance rack mecca at Target. The price point for this brand is higher than what I normally commit to.  However, once it hits the clearance rack, I am no longer a commitment phobe. So far, I have worn this dress several different ways.  Ironically enough, I have not worn it as a dress yet.  I have always worn it as a utility vest. It is a perfect piece for the fall.  I am excited to wear it as a dress…eventually.

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Utility dress: Target Nautical body con dress: Thrifted Skinny Jeans: Forever 21 Wedge sneakers: Shoe Dazzle

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5 Ways to Style Your Utility Dress

1) Layer over a jumpsuit
2) Layer over a sweater dress or bodycon with knee boots
3) Pair it with prints/patterns…my favorite so far are red and black buffalo plaid, leopard and nautical stripes!
4) Wear it with liquid leggings and chic booties.
5) Wear it with a hoodie and boyfriend jeans.

Free BabyLeggings

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These are just five of my styling ideas but the options are really endless especially for a fun fall look. Which is your fave? Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Neutral Newbie

By April 18, 2018 business, confidence, fashion, general, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, ootd, self esteem, style

Hey chickadee! Today’s challenge was brought to us by my beautiful sister-in-law Danielle. She has been in my life for at least 15 years. We are so connected that we call each other Frist (friends + sisters). Even though we are very connected and we do have quite a bit in common, we probably couldn’t be more different in our personal styles. Hence, her being one of the few people I asked to challenge me. Dani is definitely more conservative and modest than her big sister.

Neutral Newbie

I will be the first to admit that I love color. Neutrals and nude aren’t typically my go-to. Dani says “I wanted you to try it because I know you don’t typically wear it. I wanted to send you at least one real challenge”. With that being said, she sent me this image. This is certainly right up my alley with the vibrant pop of color. I have at least 5 pairs of red haute heels. It would have been easy for me to strut in my neutral ensemble with any of my red heels. You know I could not do that though, right? I opted for these fun mint heels I bought brand new from Plato’s Closet. They just feel very springy! I did have this oversized longline kimono style duster in my closet. I bought it on clearance two years ago. Luckily, I also had this nude camisole to pair with the kimono. I wore them with thrifted jeans that I distressed. This faux snakeskin bag from Justfab completed the look.

Kimono: Charlotte Russe

Jeans: Thrifted

Heels: Thrifted

Handbag: Justfab

Grows: Even though neutrals are not my first choice, I do get tons of compliments anytime I do wear them. If I am being totally honest, one of the big reasons why I do not wear this particular color is because I have a hard time keeping it clean. I am doing very well if I make it out the house without mocha brown on my face and on my top. I am learning that some of the things I do not choose to wear, it’s not so much about the way it looks on me, it’s more so practicality for me.

Glows: My everyday looks are pretty extra. This was a welcome departure. It feels fresh, classy, modest and approachable. I will wear this outfit and with different variations of shoes and handbags. I can be worn to lots of different types of events which is always a plus.

I can honestly say I feel more inclined to consider neutral pallets. Do you normally gravitate towards neutrals? By the way, feel free to contact me if you have an outfit challenge you would like me to attempt. In the meantime, I shall return next week with another style challenge. See you then, friend! Stylishly yours, KJ

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Paper Declutter Challenge

By April 16, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style, Uncategorized

Hey, Sugar Pants! How are you?! Aren’t we just super excited about spring? These past two days have been so lovely! The weather is giving me all my life. Naturally, I shirked all my responsibility and did not get nearly as much done as I had hoped. In my defense, I know I have some time to really declutter and purge,merge and splurge over the next couple of months. My family has some big changes coming up which will include an overhaul at our home. The next area we will focus on organizing is the mounds and mounds of paperwork everywhere. In this age of electronics, I do not have nearly as much paperwork laying around everywhere as I used to when I first ventured out and moved out on my own. I typically throw away any unnecessary papers immediately. But lawd, this husband of mine holds on to some of everything. It is actually confusing because there are so many random unopened pieces of mail all over the place. I mean, if you are not even going to open them, just throw them away, right? But, I digress. Let’s talk about the paper declutter challenge.

On Myles:

Art of Class (Target) longline tee with side zipper detail; Art of Class (Target) hat; Calvin Klein (thrifted) camouflage cargo shorts; Jordan sneakers

On Mommy:

Haus of Delani statement shades; Art of Class (Target) graphic tee; Ecko (JcPenny’s) camouflage cargo shorts; Steve Madden heels

Paper Declutter

  • Receipts and bills
  • Warranties and manuals
  • Insurance, tax and legal papers
  • Clippings
  • Business cards
  • Notes
  • Children’s assignments/art work
  • Other

Tips for paper decluttering

  1. Go paperless with your bills and bank statements
  2. Utilize a scanner app to scan and store documents online. I prefer Tiny Scanner
  3. Shred any personal documents, especially those with social security numbers or other crucial identifying information.
  4. Start a filing system.
  5. Store coupons in a binder.
  6. Store receipts in a binder.
  7. Instead of saving flyers and invitations, record the information on a calendar, preferably, an online calendar (like Google calendar).

Listen, you will feel about 100 pounds lighter once you have eliminated all of the paper clutter in your home. As always, I am wishing you love and light in your decluttering efforts. Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Crossing the Legging Line

By April 11, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, networking, ootd, self esteem, style, Uncategorized

Hi chickadeess! So as promised, wanted to post a quick and fast update on the last look Tasha challenged me with. If you missed last weeks post, several people sent me challenge looks to execute and I started with my good friend Natasha’s suggestions. See her other two suggestions Tech-Support Chic and Denim on Denim, here. Due to weather and time constraints, I was unable to post her last look last week #wompwompwomp. If you’re interested in seeing my execution for her third and final look, please read on!

Crossing the Legging Line

Listen, I will be the first to admit that I am not a leggings girl, per se. I will wear them occasionally but they have to be super cute and I have to have a top that will cover my behind situation. My friend is fully aware that I don’t do leggings. According to her, “…the all black is out your norm but I never see you in tights and I love your hair up”. This casual, all-black outfit featuring leggings was my challenge. I opted for this fun cropped Hella Secure sweatshirt from Mess in a Bottle. Don’t you love it?! I was mildly surprised that I did not have a single pair of all white tennis shoes. To be honest, I think all white sneakers with an all black outfit would’ve been a little bit more than my fashion obsessed mind could take, anyway. I paired it with black leggings with faux leather panels and black and white wedge sneakers from Rock n’ Republic. Of course, I wanted to wear my hair up since Tash did mention she likes when I wear it that way. I tried a top knot and looked entirely too dang basic for my liking, hence, the curly little doowop bop situation. Naturally, the round the way (ish) girl hoops completed the outfit.

Grows: I cannot say that I know of a single place on God’s green earth, other than the insides of the Joneses four walls, that I would wear this outfit. I just do not like to have my butt out all willy-nilly.

Glows: The highlights for this look are that my husband really liked it and the pants really are super comfortable. An extra added bonus is that they definitely make me look more in shape than I am. Yassss gawd!

There, she did it! I am wearing leggings with a cropped sweatshirt for the world to see. What are your thoughts on rocking leggings? By the way, feel free to contact me if you have an outfit challenge you would like me to attempt. In the meantime, I shall return next week with another style challenge. See you then, friend! Stylishly yours, KJ

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Book Declutter Challenge

By April 9, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, ootd, style

Hey chickadee! Last week I started decluttering. I will be honest, I am still in the trenches. I totally overestimated my free time and underestimated the beast that is my wardrobe. I am still working at it. While this week is pretty busy, I do have Friday off. I plan to really dig in then. Whatever the case, I do not want to hold you guys up to the next step in this declutter challenge.

On Myles: Cat and Jack Japan 🇯🇵 Bomber; Cat and Jack Joggers; Crazy 8 Velcro Sneakers; Thrifted Chambray Top

On Mommy: Limited Burnt Orange Jacket; Thrifted Mesh Top; Old Navy Corduroy Pants; Charlotte Russe Wedge Knee Boots

The next process is decluttering books. If you’re anything like me and my family (to be honest), we have tons of books strewn about the house. Allegedly, we have a single, sad excuse for a bookcase. It is certainly time to organize our books and magazines. As I mentioned with last week’s challenge for clothing, I do find that it’s easier to divide and conquer. The following is how I recommend splitting up this challenge.

Book Declutter

  • General Books
  • Cookbooks
  • Magazines
  • Coffee Table Books
  • Reference and Instructional Books
  • Educational and School Books
  • Other

  1. Gather all of the items from a given category from each room. Please note, that can get overwhelming. If you have several rooms in your home, if you prefer, you can do it room by room.
  2. Allot enough time to go thru all the items in each category. This is where I failed majorly last week! Please be realistic with what you can and cannot do.
  3. Be deliberate about your decision making process, as far as what to keep, donate or trash.
  4. Be sure to complete a full category before moving on to the next.

How do you feel so far? Hopefully, you fared better in last week’s challenge than I did. Wishing you love and light in your decluttering efforts. Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Tech Support Chic and Denim on Denim

By April 4, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, ootd, self esteem, style

Hey chickadees! Some genius had the idea of asking friends and family to send looks that they would like for me to re-create or try and today I will show my execution of a couple of those looks. This challenge did not necessarily fill me with dread as it would probably 99% of most people. Besides, I trust the people who are challenging me. I honestly saw it as a challenge and there are no rules necessarily. I knew I could tweak the looks so that it still represented me. I told myself I would wear the looks in the order I receive them… not just rock out the easiest for me to execute. I would say that my signature style is classy but still edgy. I can be youthful, but my style still says “I take care of business”, if I do say so myself. I will be honest, I was 100% expecting overtly sexy, overtly matronly, maybe a little quirky and possibly boring (sorry, love you, mean it)! Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe you will be too. If you are interested in finding out what they came up with and how I faced the challenge, keep reading!

Today’s looks are brought to you by my A one since day 1, my friend Natasha! She is one of my most stylish friends and definitely someone I could talk fashion with for hours on end. However, we do have very different style aesthetics, so I thought it would be interesting to see what she came up with. You should know that Natasha is the owner of Haus of Delani boutique in Atlanta, Georgia and FYI it is Black, Woman and Veteran owned #boop. Many pieces that I wear come from her boutique so you absolutely should check her out!

Tech-Support Chic

This first look, I like to call, Tech-Support Chic. It is definitely out of my comfort zone so much so that I did not even have a shirt and borrowed this one from the hubby’s closet. He has the same shirt from Express in black-and-white but that shirt was larger than this one. I did not feel that the proportions would be right and opted for the blue and white checked shirt. Also, I honestly think that the black-and-white would’ve been boring for me, personally, and I really wanted to have a nice pop of color which is a signature element for me. Therefore, this top worked out. Surprisingly, I did have these olive, multi-pocket cargo pants from Mossimo that I had forgotten I had. I am not totally sure what my intentions were for these pants when I bought them. I will say that I love different silhouettes and well fitting pants. I also gravitate towards boho looks often and I have several tops that can be worn with these pants to support that style. These cobalt blue pumps from Nine West are easily one of the most comfortable pair of heels that I own. Lastly, to accessorize, I wore big gold hoop earrings and this obnoxiously large cognac and ivory tote from Target.

Grows: This has nothing to do with the selected outfit per se but it’s now evident why I had not worn these pants and it’s because they’re a little snug in the bug.

Glows: The highlights of this creation, for me, are the colors and the balance of masculinity with femininity. The heels are a sassy little sneak attack. The quirky hairstyle helps add a little more personality to the overall look. I could certainly see myself wearing this outfit to work.

Denim on Denim

This look is not necessarily a stretch for me because I do actually love denim on denim. An overall distressed kind of look is not one that I normally go for. I usually opt for distressed jeans with a neat top. To achieve the look, I had to resist the urge to iron my clothes. This distressed denim button up is a favorite I picked up off the clearance rack at Target. Old Navy has these distressed cut offs that are comfy and super reasonably priced. I so fell in love with these tropical inspired heels and matching crossbody when I went to South Beach last summer. I own two hats that are a lot like Rihanna‘s however neither of them fit. I do wear hats fairly often, although not necessarily the trucker style. I did not feel that swapping the hat for another style would really constitute a challenge for me. The execution of the look is not exactly what Tasha was looking for as she desired a more edgy denim on denim style for me. Also, after explaining the difficulties I have had procuring a denim skirt that fits this hip situation, Tash and I begrudgingly agreed denim skirts just aren’t our thing (HMPH).

Grows: These sky high heels are for sure my thing. But dot dot dot, I am not sure I would be my full confident self wearing them with this get up. I am much more comfortable in a flat or wedge with these shorts.

Glow: Listen, when I say I felt young, feminine and flirty wearing my Rihanna denim on denim inspired look. I do not know where exactly one plans to wear this outfit but I know she is going wherever the hayell she fancies #boop

I want to mention here that Tasha did send me three looks. However, I did not get the opportunity to photograph the third look. I will make do on the challenge. Please stay tuned for a follow up post. I will share the inspiration picture and my execution. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on these looks? By the way, feel free to contact me if you have an outfit challenge you would like me to attempt. Stylishly yours, KJ

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Clothing Declutter Challenge

By April 1, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style

Hey chickadee! It’s a new month and a new season! Spring always motivates me to get organized. Please do not get it twisted. I am not an organized person. Well, that is not 100% accurate. When it comes to planning and organizing for work or projects I am pretty spot on. But organizing space and stuff is not my strong suit. With that being said, I decided to challenge myself to get organized and declutter! Perhaps you are like me and could use a kick in the pants to get moving. If that is the case, please read on.

On Mommy: Rue 21 Run DMC long sleeved crop top; Fashion Nova Faux leather overalls; Rock n’ Republic Black and white wedge sneakers

On Myles: Lids Black NY Yankees fitted cap; Old Navy Run DMC tee; Walmart Buffalo plaid flannel; Old Navy Jeans; Timberland boots; Batman watch (from who knows where)

Knowing myself, I need to kind of compartmentalize the project so as not to get overwhelmed. My closet, well my wardrobe to be exact, is for sure the biggest beast to tackle. Therefore, I will be starting there. In the vein of compartmentalization, I will be breaking up this task by clothing type. Of course, this is merely a guideline or a suggestion. You should absolutely do what is going to be most feasible for you. The important part is that you start, right? That’s where we’re at. So, here are a few tips to help out. Please keep in mind each week for the next 3 or 4 weeks, I will share another challenge to be achieved hopefully within a week. Happy Decluttering!

Here’s how I break it down for clothes

  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Dresses
  • Underwear
  • Outerwear
  • Socks/Stockings
  • Seasonal Wear
  • Bags/Purses
  • Hats & Belts
  • Scarves
  • Jewelry
  • Shoes
  • Active wear
  • Sleepwear/Loungewear
  • Swimwear
  • Formal Attire
  • Other
  1. Take before and after pictures! For me, this helps with tracking my progress and feeling like I really accomplished something. Snap your before picture of your clutter. Throughout the declutterization situation you can refer back to that picture and see what you’ve done so far and have a sense of pride!
  2. Make sure you have plenty of time to go through a category completely before you start the category. If you don’t have time to complete the full category then maybe try one with less items until you have the time available to dedicate to a larger category.
  3. Be deliberate and purposeful about making decisions of what to purge or keep! Do not spend a ton of time on this. Come on now, we all know if we really should be holding onto something or getting rid of it. Remember your end goal and be intentional in this process.
  4. This is probably the key point to remember: if you touch or see an item and it does not elicit good and happy vibes, if you’re not feeling the juju for said item, it’s time to get rid of it. Give it away, throw it away, repurpose or donate it.

Doesn’t seem too complicated, right? I think starting with clothing will undoubtedly make all the other challenges a breeze. At least in my case! I am going to go through this for myself and then my son. My husband holds on to everything so I won’t likely be able to get to his things. We shall see how it goes. Oddly enough, I am a little excited! Are you ready for the challenge? Stylishly yours, KJ

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Because I am HAPPY

By March 28, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style

Listen, we are not going to talk about my slacktastic ways. Let’s leave the past in the past #boop. Lots and lots has happened, the majority FABULOUSNESS and the rest not worth mentioning. There’s always so much going on and most likely there always will be…I would likely go crazy otherwise. Anyhow, it’s Spring (allegedly) and what is a more fitting time to focus on HAPPINESS? Pastels, florals, rejuvenation, blossoming, softness, feminine strength cloaked in deceptive frailty and just cuteness, right?! This is a quick and dirty on 10 things that make me happy!

You can’t pay this girl to run but I absolutely love me a pair of tear way track pants. These are from Target and have a little peekaboo situation at the ankle so you can see a sneak preview of the shoe. I paired this mustard and ivory striped pair of track pants with a black peplum top with a surprise lace panel in the back and leopard print pointy shoes. Of course, nothing says “track pants” like a chunky strand of pearls.

When I wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning with all missiles firing and sleep seems like a very distant and elusive memory, I take a melatonin sleep gummy and I’m knocked back out within 10 minutes… that’s my favorite and legit makes me happy! Okay, I was proofreading and realize that sounds a smidge drug addiction-y. Let me clarify, I do not take sleep aids nightly. But on those nights where I am physically exhausted but mentally stimulated, I am grateful something works!

Morning affirmations with my 5 year old son every day. I tell him he is a brilliant Black Boy the purest and most appreciated source of my #blackboyjoy. He tells me that I am his favorite mother. We speak positivity, power and prosperity over our day. We dance to Can’t Stop The Feeling and/or Alvin and The Chipmunks 12 Days of Christmas (DON’T. YOU. DARE. JUDGE. ME.) Monday thru Friday.

You guys, I love wigs!!! It makes me super happy when I purchase a wig and I am able to manipulate it enough that it mimics the texture of my natural hair. I get bored with hair quite quickly. I love that you can kind of have a fun new persona for each wig you own.

Finally saving a decent amount of money and not immediately blowing it on stupid crap. Cute, stupid crap, but stupid crap nonetheless.

As corny and cliche as it may sound, random acts of kindness and paying it forward, genuinely make me happy. I keep a few dollars in my car. Admittedly, this cash is there for my crappy days when I just need an ice cream cone from McDonalds or a piece of Texas toast from Raising Canes. However, I find that I more often than not end up gifting it to the homeless. It makes me happy when I am low on money and I reach in to find those few dollar bills and I have them to give. I recognize my privilege. The only difference between the giver and the recipient is a flip of the wrist.

Do you see yourself trying this trend? The key factor for wearing track pants, in my opinion, is balancing the masculine and feminine by adding ruffles, pearls, lace, polkadots and a stand out shoe!

Snacks! Well, more accurately, sweets make me happy. Mike n’ Ike Zours, ice cream, Coca Cola cake from the Cracker Barrel, homemade peach or blackberry cobbler and sour cream pound cake. Happy happy joy joy!!

Hotel slumber parties with my husband and son! Room service, swimming, jumping on the bed, playing on the phone, running in the halls, sleeping in and room darkening curtains. Yes. Yes. Yes!

The scent of freshly laundered clothing. Especially with tide and downy unstoppables. I sniff each item, undies excluded (ewww). There has to be one silver lining in doing loads of laundry weekly.

The sound of my Bambino’s voice as he reads a chapter to me nightly. First of all, he has the most adorably melodious voice ever. However, more importantly, he is such an advanced reader just at 5 years old. This not only makes me proud, it makes me unbelievably happy.

My handsome and hardworking husband! Forehead kisses. Gray joggers. Surprise Beyoncé tickets. When he remembers that I love the chocolate chip cookies from the Southern and snags one for me. His unwavering and intentional effort dedicated to our family.

There you have it in a nutshell! So what’s your 10? I ask my clients often, what makes them happy and it really breaks my heart that 90% of the time they are unable to tell me. I think it is very important to take inventory and recognize what makes you happy. It helps you to appreciate and be grateful for all that you have! These 10 things came easily to me. The fact that others struggle with finding one reason is not lost on me. I’ll ask again, what’s your 10? Thanks for reading, chickadee!

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Beautiful for a Black Woman

By March 25, 2018 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks

Hello chickadee! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Today I want to share something that someone told me about myself that stuck with me.

If you have followed me for awhile, I am sure you have seen me share this before. I worked in a corporate office and was riding in the elevator when someone of the executive team stepped in. He looked at me, gave me elevator eyes (no pun intended) and proceeds to state that I was beautiful for a Black Woman. What in the backhanded compliments kind of fooleywang mess is that? I have never been a woman who wished for lighter skin, or a perky cute little nose or straight hair or blue eyes. I have always loved my skin. So, when he said that, I was thinking “…wait I must have heard him wrong because she’s for sure just a beautiful woman?”. Why did this statement require qualifiers? You know that I quickly got him together letting him know, in no uncertain terms, that this was not a compliment.

Mommy n’ Me Mondays
Myles: Plaid button down top & sweater thrifted; Old Navy jeans; Timberland boots
Mommy: Charlotte Russe bodysuit; Walmart duster; Charlotte Russe jeans; Alter Ego Boutique fringe heels

 

All women and girls are subjected to unrealistic beauty standards. But I can say as a Black Girl growing up with no dolls that looked like me, I saw no Black Women modeling the clothes I liked in the catalogs, sadly, even within my own race, where colorism plays a significant role and the darker you are the less attractive you’re considered, this “compliment” hyper focused those harsh realities forcefully back into my face. Mr. Perfectly Polished Executive, sir, you do not realize that this “compliment” validates all of the things that are negative and associated with being a young Black Girl or woman. Glaring issues come to mind, such as the fact that such a large number of black men do not date or marry black women. The fact that wearing my hair in its NATURAL form is considered unruly, unprofessional and unkempt. Just to clarify, this boils down to I am unruly, unprofessional and unkempt. These nuances are ultimately saying you are not good enough, Black Girl… not only for society, but by the way, even for your own Black Men.

Change the way you talk, change the way you style your hair, change the way you dress, change the way you eat, change the music you listen to, change the way you dance, change the places that you go…hell, change your name (a suggestions I received in real life) then and ONLY then will we consider fully accepting and embracing you. But, spoiler alert, your skin will still be BLACK soooo when you change THAT then we can talk. Until then, bottom of the food chain, barrel and the totem pole you go. For the record, complimenting a woman at the expense of all the women of her race, ancestors, her family etc. is probably the single most uncomplimentary and disrespectful thing you could do.

Please understand that this right here is why Black Girls Rock (BGR) is a thing. This is why there was so much unbridled excitement and pride for the release of the Black Panther movie. A movement like BGR, that suggests that you are OK and should be recognized and appreciated just the way you are? Those intelligent, beautiful, warrior women being appreciated and shown in an unconventional role THAT LOOK LIKE ME?! This was epic and I was here for all of it. Well, I was there for it 3 times.

On that note, to you I say, while I am sure you are beautiful by anyone’s standards (even society’s unrealistic ones), there is more to you than meets the eye, you are amazing and the world needs more of what you have to offer #boop. Until next time…and I promise next time won’t be a year later!

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How I Came to Be Khalilah: My Birth Story

By February 28, 2017 business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, networking, ootd, self esteem, style

Hello chickadee! Guess what today is? Today is my birthday! I don’t know if you know this about me or not but I freaking love birthdays… especially mine! The feeling that you get around spring or even the new year, you know the feeling of rejuvenation, new opportunity, a fresh start…I feel those feelings every year around my birthday. I am a little disappointed because I do not get to take a birthday trip this year and I was really kind of looking forward to that because I like to get away for my birthday with my friends. But I digress. Today, I will talk about what plans I DO have for my birthday and my birth story.
I was dead set on attending a VIP fashion week event I was invited to for D.C. fashion week because I knew I wouldn’t be able to take my trip. I also knew that my birthday fell on a janky Tuesday (no offense Tuesday) this year, which coincidentally is one of my late work nights as well. So, with that being said, I was going to make this DCFW event come hayell or high water. I had scheduled the day off in advance but ended up having to do a couple of site visits and seeing a client. On my way home (to get myself together for the drive to D.C. and the show) the child development center called saying Myles had a fever and needed to be picked up. I picked him up, made him lunch of chicken noodle soup, saltines and oj. I attempted to get him to nap but apparently his body did not get the “you’re feeling icky” memo. That means I did not get the nap I had painstakingly planned out OR the extra pampering time I had intended to get fashion week worthy. Luckily, when he got home from work the hubster graciously offered to drive me all the way to D.C. for the event. This is an enormous favor because I despise driving in D.C. Anyway, we navigated the absolutely bananas traffic that characterizes downtown D.C. I hopped right out the car onto the red carpet for my little step and repeat paparazzi moment (cause #photoop, duh).

Blazer: Target Dress: Charlotte Russe Earrings: Charlotte Russe Clutch: Gifted Shoes: Steve Madden


The venue was the always awesome Madam Tussuad’s Wax Museum in downtown D.C. I retrieved my VIP band and swag bag and descended the stairs to a dark abyss. Ok that may be a stretch, but those wax statues make everything seem uber creepy. They were super impressive all the same! Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel, Brad Pitt and the King of Pop greeted me with stoic indifference (#rude). I rounded a bend, fully on alert because I for one did not plan to be accosted by a walking human shaped candle. Alas, my Fairy Fashion Godmother in all her splendor was waiting for me. More accurately, an amazingly statuesque model in a sugary confection of brilliant white satin and a headdress that in no uncertain terms says, “I won at life”. I was enchanted henceforward. The male models traipsing around in banana hammocks (speedos) and crowns were only slightly off putting. Listen, I got ALL of my life. Starting with an amazing DJ, who played an eclectic mix (including some dancehall, so you know I got my groove on, yasssss!), the gorgeously fashionable attendees and the jaw dropping designs of course. I was equally as impressed with how open and friendly everyone I met was. I exchanged business cards and contact info with several new fashion bff’s. That’s always awesome…I love these events for the networking. Afterward, there was an impromptu photo shoot outside that shut a part of Constitution Avenue down.


Anyway, this event was the Saturday before my birthday. It was just the fashion fix I needed! I do not really have plans for my birthday-birthday per se. But I have an interesting little birth story for ya.

How I styled my birthday tee last year…Jacket: Thrifted Shirt: The Purple Owl Skirt: Target Shoes: Steve Madden


I attended a conference about Trauma Informed Care in November. There was an amazeballs speaker there who spoke about birth stories and how they can form who you are as a person. I was thoroughly intrigued. As soon as I heard his presentation I knew I would write a piece on my birth story for my birthday.


There are two interesting points that stand out regarding my birth. One: my size and Two: how I came to be named Khalilah.
Although I am a thickums now, many, many moons, go I was a widdle-bitty teeny-weeny little thing. It was the first moon, but still. I was born full-term at 4 pounds and 10 ounces. All of my organs were fully developed and functioning as they should. I had no challenges. Although, extremely tiny, I was perfectly healthy. Typically, in order for a newborn to go home the bundle of joy had to be at least 6 pounds. The doctors were super surprised that I was so strong and healthy, albeit small. Since there were no issues the medical team allowed me to go home with Betty Bop and Rodimus Prime after the normal three days required for a healthy full size full term bambina.

Blazer: Thrifted Shirt: The Purple Owl Store Pearls: Forever 21 Skirt: Haus of Delani Shoes: Steve Madden

So, how does this part of my birth story play into my life now? The quote “…though she be but little she is fierce” comes to mind. I started my life determined to exceed expectations despite extenuating circumstances. I can just hear my sassy little infant self in my mind saying “…oh, 6 pounds to go home? Hold my similac while I do it in less than 5!”. My fave quotes “if your ship doesn’t come in swim out to it” and “bloom where you’ve been planted” are what I have pretty much lived by my entire life, truly embody that same spirit. My overall philosophy is that you must use what you have, right now to be successful and make it happen, captain! Grew up in less than stellar circumstances? Succeed anyway. Had some big hiccups in your life that have knocked you off your “A” game? Succeed anyway. Your candidate didn’t win the election? Fight the establishment. Spite the establishment. Defy stereotypes and succeed anyway! Okay, so, I feel like things could go ranty or soapboxy so let’s talk about how I came the be Khalilah.

The parentals had a list of names that they wanted to “try on” for size. As I lay in the bassinet, daddy would call out this random list of names in his deep resonating baritone to see what kind of reaction that it elicited from me. Mom said that I would cry or grunt on all of the names except one. Every time they would say the name “Khalilah” I would distinctly coo and light up. Each time my parents tried the names in various lilting and melodic voices I cried for every name and only cooed for Khalilah. When I asked my mom to share my birth story, I thought it was so cool when she told me that I pretty much named myself.
Thank you so much for sharing a piece of my birthday with me today. The best gift anyone could ever give is their genuine support, in my opinion. You reading this right now means the world to me. So, thank you, chickadee! I hope to see you here this time next year! Stylishly yours, KJ

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Unfudge your closet cluster fudge

By February 6, 2017 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, networking, ootd, self esteem, style

Hey, chickadee! I hope the tips that I shared over the last couple weeks have helped organize your life in some way, shape or form. I know one of the biggest areas that people struggle with when organizing their live is the closet. Today I would like to share some tips to help tame that beast. Trust me I know how daunting it can seem. I’ve been slowly re-organizing and purging my closet over the past couple of weeks in between work and other obligations. As a matter fact, I had to treat my bedroom pretty much like a quarantined area while my sister-in-law and her husband were visiting because of this massive overhaul (oh for shame)!! If you need some tips to help you get your closet together, please read on. 
Ride On Faux Suede Moto Jacket 


First of all, I want to start by saying do not for one second be embarrassed or ashamed about the condition of your closet! I have been in all kinds of different closets for consultations and while I have seen several pristine perfectly organized closets, I would say 90% of the closets that I have entered have been a complete and total closet cluster fudge (including mine at times). The 2 most important things to remember is to 1) maximize your space and 2) if you can’t see it you won’t use it! The following tips will help you to do both!
Ride On Faux Suede Moto Jacket


Un-fudge of closet cluster fudge

  • Hang handbags on hooks. Doing so will keep them organized and help them maintain their shape. 
  • Utilize boot hooks, hanging shoe racks, skirt and/or slack hangers. 
  • Fold jeans and knit sweaters that may stretch or lose shape when hung on hangers and store them on shelves. Use a label maker for easy organizing (i.e. skinny jeans, boot cut, flared or turtle neck, cropped). 
  • You can go one step further and employ shelf dividers to prevent a leaning tower of denim. Also, drawer dividers are lifesavers. Check out the containerstore.com or Bed Bath & Beyond for endless organizing options!

    Bed Bath & Beyond has awesome shelf and drawer dividers

  • Categorize your clothing in whatever way makes the most sense for you. I personally color coordinate my closet from light to dark. However, you may choose to put all of your pants together. Then all of your skirts, shirts, dresses etc. 
  • Think outside the box and get creative with space. For example, we have an armoire in our guest room that we have no real use for. The space allotted for a tv can be used to store shirts or slacks by adding a hanging rack. You may also use baskets to store odds and ends. 
  • If you purchase a step stool or ladder to keep in your closet it allows you to maximize every inch of your closet…from the tippy top to the fur slippers on the floor. Hang command strip hooks along the top shelf of your closet and store your hats or belts on them. Having the stool on hand allows for easy access. 
  • Always ensure your entire closet is “ready to wear”. Separate out any pieces that need alterations or need to go to the dry cleaners. In a perfect world, seeing those collective items that need attention may light a fire under your tush to actually do it!
  • Take advantage of the space a door may offer. I use over the door shoe hangers to store my flats. It holds about 24 pairs of shoes. I cannot imagine where I would put those shoes if it weren’t for the hanging shoe rack. 

Here is a similar option…it’s currently on sale!

  • I lied. There’s also the under the bed shoe storage option. I do utilize this storage option, however, I will caution you because out of sight may very well mean out of mind. I use an app (Stylebook) to plan my outfits. So, in essence I can see all of my wardrobe at any given time but if you don’t have a tool like that, just be aware that when you put something under your bed you may forget about it. 
  • In general, you want to store your less used items up high and your more often used pieces at eye level in a grab and go spot within hands reach. 
  • Lastly, I try to go thru my closet at least every 4 months to purge and donate which makes keeping organized throughout the year just that much easier! My general rule is 12 full months without wearing it say toodle-oo!!! It’s just taking up space babe!


Still need some help? Check out Tanesha at Discard to Distinct 

Are you ready doll face? Take a breath and dive in. Chances are you will feel overwhelmed…probably more than once throughout this process. Think of how this will alleviate that underlying nagging feeling you have every single time you think about that fooleywang closet of yours!! What’s your fave closet organizing tip? I will catch you soon. In the meantime you may want to check out the freaking adorable and drool worthy pieces at Tobi! #youarewelcome. Stylishly yours, KJ
Half Thought Sweater Dress

How sassy is this sweater dress? Definitely want to make your way over to Tobi.com for this and other amazeballs pieces!!! I paired this soft, heather gray dress with black liquid leggings from Exotic Hush, a gray fedora from Express, gray Steve Madden pumps and the perfect pink pop in a quilted handbag from Haus of Delani #boop

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