Khalilah's Kloset

Khalilahs Kloset Style Inspiration

By September 22, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style
style-inspiration-1

Hey chickadee! Quite a few of my fave bombshells have inquired about a style challenge. It has been several months since I had one so I thought, sure, why not? I am actually preparing to hop on a plane for a trip to upstate New York right now but I wanted to go ahead and get the “challenge” posted before I left. Generally speaking, a style “challenge” is an opportunity to develop fun new and exciting looks from your current wardrobe. However, I personally think that the word “challenge” tends to intimidate people. I do not want anyone to feel intimidated. Ultimately, the goal is to have fun shopping your own closet and getting great new outfit ideas in the process. Therefore, I am going to call this style “inspiration”. See how that sounds more inviting and positive? The power of words, I tell ya!

Anyway, there are really no hard and fast rules. Well, except, you really should not go out and buy anything. That is unless you were intending to do so already or you really like the concept and do not have the piece in your closet. I would like you to think of this as a word association. So, when you read the description for the day, whatever outfit idea pops in your head, go for it! There is no right or wrong. I also feel that people get intimidated when they see 30 whole days of outfit ideas. So, I am going to try something different. I will give 5-7 style inspiration descriptions. I will then post an update for the next style inspirations. I hope these changes will make this easier for more people to engage and try some different styling options. Please  feel free to comment here or email Khalilah.Jones@chicandclassyimage.com if you have any questions. I love hearing from you chickadees! I would love to see your execution of the style inspirations. Feel free to tag me on facebook or IG using #khalilahskloset. Easy peasy, right? Have fun and happy styling! Stylishly yours, KJ

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8 Tips to revamp your fave outfit

By September 19, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, ootd, self esteem, style
striped-skirt-with-leopard

Hey sugar pants! People often tell me that they have never seen me in the same outfit twice. This is not necessarily true because I do you have my favorites that I keep in regular rotation just like everyone else does. Plus, it’s just easy-peasy when you go for your tried and true, good old faithful standbys. However, as good as you may look in that outfit, it gets boring quick, fast and in a hurry. We have to keep them guessing! Besides, don’t you want to flex your creativity muscle? Here are a few of my tips for revamping an outfit! I think these subtle little outfit life hacks are why people think that I have a plethora of wardrobe options and an endless closet. Admittedly, I do have more clothes than the average woman but the key to an exciting and customized personal style is developing your signature look with the pieces you have!

So, I was super excited when I found this black and white striped neoprene crop top and circle skirt on sale for five dollars apiece at Charlotte Russe last fall. When I tried it on I knew that I wasn’t likely to wear the set alone because the top is a little low cut for my taste and my girls were screaming “give us free!” The outfit can stand alone for someone who is not as busty as I am so of course that is one option in and of itself. Here are some additional options for those who are experiencing a wardrobe brain fart.

8 Tips to revamp your favorite outfit

  1. Add a print or pattern! I know leopard and stripes seems a little wild (no pun intended). However, mixing prints works! If leopard scares you, opt for a print in the same color family, for example, in this case, a black and white polka dot top would certainly work. The main accessory you need to pull this look off is CONFIDENCE!
    Outfit Inspiration (I could not pull of the large stripes as they make me look like a small recliner)

    Outfit Inspiration (I could not pull of the large stripes as they make me look like a small recliner)

    striped-skirt-layout

    Chambray top: Thrifted Skirt: Charlotte Russe Shoes: Charlotte Russe Bag: Jazzy B's Boutique

    Chambray top: Thrifted
    Skirt: Charlotte Russe
    Shoes: Charlotte Russe
    Bag: Jazzy B’s Boutique

    unused-pics-3 unused-pics-4

  2. Pop! Go ahead and add a bright color for contrast. I rocked kelly green and hot pink, respectively with this outfit. If you are feeling super sassy add 2 fun colors! I love cobalt blue and sunshine yellow together so for one look I opted for blue pumps and a cropped yellow jacket.
  3. Add a fitted tee. Just because the manufacturer suggests you wear the pieces together that doesn’t mean you have to stick to this formula. I like the idea of trying a graphic T-shirt for an unexpected pairing.

    Cropped jacket: Body Central Tee: Own Your Blackness Skirt: Charlotte Russe Shoes: Nine West

    Cropped jacket: Body Central
    Tee: Own Your Blackness
    Skirt: Charlotte Russe
    Shoes: Nine West

  4. Chambray top. It’s no secret that I am a fan of chambray with very good reason! It pairs with so much, seamlessly. For this look, I actually pulled inspiration from this adorable look!
  5. Simply style your hair differently. If you normally rock your hair pulled back, go ahead and let those luscious locs free and vice versa. You would be surprised how different your persona feels. I know I feel like a new woman with a new coif.
  6. Add a blazer, cardigan, duster or vest. Wearing a blazer is one of my all time ways to add a refined but edgy touch to just about any look.

    Same outfit; different hair! Whole new feel! Blazer: Thrifted Skirt & Top: Charlotte Russe Shoes: Charlotte Russe

    Same outfit; different hair! Whole new feel!
    Blazer: Thrifted
    Skirt & Top: Charlotte Russe
    Shoes: Charlotte Russe

  7. Swap your bottoms. Instead of wearing your typical bottom, go for something different. Jeans, slacks, ankle pants, flared pants, a pencil skirt, pleated skirt, gauchos, your options are endless!
  8. Layer. Play with layering by wearing a fitted top over or under your normal top (if applicable).


These are just a few of my fun tips for revamping a single outfit. What are your tips for remixing an outfit? Which of these looks is your favorite? Stylishly yours, KJ.

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5 Essential Pieces for a Fab Fall Wardrobe

By September 16, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, ootd, self esteem, style
fall-outfit-1

Hey chickadees! I hope all is well this week. Can you believe that September 22nd is the official first day of fall? I absolutely live for fall fashion! My love for fall fashion most likely stems from the fact that I spent the majority of my life in sunny Arizona. I just did not have too many opportunities to rock chunky, knit sweaters or my fave over the knee boots. The layering is also a huge part of why I love the fall season. Today, I thought I would share a few fall essentials that every fabulous fashionista’s wardrobe should incorporate.

10 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

      1. Faux leather circle skirt – Listen, there is nothing like a leather (or leather look) circle skirt to make you feel super chic. Not only that, this skirt affords you so many options. For the fall, your circle skirt can be paired with a slouchy sweater, a fitted long sleeved waist-length top or your choice of outerwear.fall-outfit-2
      2. Eye catching booties – Booties are always super fun to me. However, add extra snazzy details like studs, texture or a bold hue and you have got yourself a party sugar! Booties can be super comfy if you opt for a chunky heel and hidden platform (if you desire a little extra height like I do). I have found awesome booties at Charlotte Russe, JustFab and Burlington.
      3. Trench Coat – I cannot be the only person who thinks trench coats are uber sexy. Not only that, I feel super powerful when wearing one. It does not even necessarily need to be a heavy weight coat. The trench coat is the best outerwear option for those days that aren’t too brisk. My fave trench coat is a gem I found on ASOS.com.
      4. Utility vest – Well, more accurately, any vest. I am partial to faux fur, colorful down and utility vests myself. I recently purchased an olive green wrap dress by Who What Wear from Target. I fully intend to wear the dress as a vest layered over other fall essentials.
      5. Buffalo plaid – Nothing says “fall” more loudly or clearly than buffalo plaid. As a matter of fact, that was the theme for our most recent family pics. I have flannels in black and white and also the red and black buffalo plaid. The flannels can be worn layered over a top, or tied at your waist. I am not the biggest cheerleader for leggings, but if I do wear them, a plaid flannel tied at the waist does double duty as it covers your derriere and lends an air of effortlessly chic style. dscf1395 dscf1492
      6. Tights – When I want to pull out a pair of shorts or a dress to wear in the fall, I usually add a pair of footed tights on cooler days. Texture, patterns or colors add loads of visual interest to any outfit!
      7. Goldenrod – The buttery, mustard hue is a key fall staple. It pairs so well with navy blue, burgundy, gray and plum. An extra added bonus? It looks awesome when worn with leopard or houndstooth prints!fall-outfit-3
      8. Chambray button up top – So, I know chambray has been trending for quite awhile. Personally, I wore it just about every week this summer…and spring. I honestly do not foresee that changing this fall…or winter. Obviously, it works so well because it is a neutral, pairs so well with absolutely everything and it is another effortlessly chic piece.
      9. Knee boots – While I am partial to over the knee boots, I know they are not the most practical shoe of choice. Knee boots are the next best thing. I love that they can be worn with a skirt, dress, leggings or skinny jeans.
      10. Scarf – Choose an awesome fall weight scarf to complete your day to day look. There are so many amazing options. An adorable scarf can be the difference between a boring run of the mill outfit and a great fall look.

I know I am uber excited about wearing my (over the) knee boots and vests! What is your fave fall essential? Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Teacher Gate

By September 14, 2016 bodycon, business, confidence, fashion, general, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, ootd, self esteem, style
teacher-outfits

Hey Friends! So, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you have probably seen the pictures floating around of Patrice Brown/Paris Monroe aka #teacherbae. If not I’ll bring you up to speed, #teacherbae is an extremely attractive and shapely fourth grade teacher out of Atlanta. Of course she has numerous fans and whatnot, however a big point of dissension seems to be her choice of work attire.  I would like to discuss her attire and give my thoughts on it.

teacher-bae-3 teacher-bae

 

One instagrammer has gone as far as to conduct a side by side comparison of #teacherbae with another less shapely woman in a similar style of dress. What do you think?

Photo Credit: IG Ubon

Photo Credit: IG Ubon

I personally have been a victim of overzealous dress code compliance cops. It’s super frustrating and annoying not because I feel like you should be able to wear what you want but because I personally feel like if you have been blessed with a little extra curves a little extra sugar in your tank (#boop)  we tend to get overly sexualized. I have written on this topic before because it seems like it is a long-standing battle. There have been times where I have worn the same exact dress as a member of leadership and was called into question for dress code. Also there are certain things on the dress code that are not addressed with certain people based on sensitivity issues. Say for instance, leggings…if you are really petite or if you may have a little more padding on you, you’re not likely to be questioned. However, if you have shapely legs, curvy hips or a nice derrière you are more likely to be called in quick, fast and in a hurry because it is a “distraction”.

teacher-bae-2

Listen, I work with teens and for the most part I dress the part. Meaning, I meet them where they are at. I like to think I have a healthy balance of age appropriate and whatever’s on trend as a way to build rapport quickly. My wardrobe is usually a welcome icebreaker with my teens. At the same time, I really make an effort to avoid any unwanted or inappropriate attention. But guess what? It really doesn’t matter if I come to work in joggers, sweats, a dress, tutu or overalls. Sometimes there’s that one kid who just has a little crush. That happens. I promise it even happened when we were in school. Heck, you may recall your own crush. I can! It was 7th grade and I had a kind of love-hate relationship (in my mind), with my teacher. Yes, he was attractive by my prepubescent estimation, but it was more so his intelligence, dedication and how stern he was. So, if those were things that attracted me to my male math teacher, what could’ve been done to monitor him?

Lavish Alice Collarless Cape Blazer

Lavish Alice Collarless Cape Blazer Aubergine Size 12 [More]

Price: $47.99

 

My thoughts:

  1. Teacher crushes are going to happen #hotforteacher.
  2. If you are curvy and have a voluptuous body you’re not likely going to be able to hide it under clothes.
  3. As a parent, I would be more concerned with credentials, accolades and proven success rates. BTW, this teacher has been awarded for her work as an educator.
  4. If there is no cleavage, no spaghetti straps, no bare midriff, no butt crack showing and the attire is of a decent length I see no problem with it. The only things I personally would consider are maybe wearing a blazer, cardigan or possibly a chambray shirt tied at the waist as finishing pieces for my overall look.

Recently, an image of FLOTUS and POTUS was floating around. FLOTUS derrière was the topic of conversation for both men and women alike. Admittedly, Mrs. Obama has given me some body envy, as well as many other women since she hit the scene. Like #teacherbae she received flack for her style while working over the past 8 years. For example, her bare arms and opting for designer Alexander McQueen when America at large felt a homegrown designer was more appropriate. As women, how we choose to present ourselves will likely always be an issue. It’s either too dowdy, too homely, too modern, too old fashioned, too tight, too loose, too sexy, and the list goes on and on. I personally believe one should just outwork everyone else with a smile, positive attitude and donuts on Mondays…then the only thing they CAN talk about is your work attire. Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Cute Appreciation vs. Cultural Misappropriation

By September 12, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, lifestyle, ootd, self esteem, style
Top: Thrifted
Skirt: http://www.jazzybsremixx.com
Shoes: Charlotte Russe

Hey chickadee! There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding appropriation. The chatter was really amped up with Rachel Dolezal’s perceived shenanigans. During the summer of 2015, Dolezal’s white parents publicly announced that their daughter was indeed a white woman acting as black. Rachel Dolezal has served as an Africana Studies instructor and notably as the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (The Guardian). Of course, there was a huge backlash to say the least. Social media was out of control amidst the scandal. I will admit, I was not nearly as upset as some of my peers seemed to be. Listen, the woman embraced our culture, took the time to learn and educate others and even went so far as to take on a role as president of her local NAACP chapter to exact change together with the black community. Why would I be upset behind that? Clearly, she has an immense appreciation for the black culture.

Busy, busy day this day! I had several site visits and then 2 work place readiness classes. Got to visit with one of my absolute favorite interns and my fave site supervisor at Project Discovery. It has been such a pleasure working with my interns and getting to know local organizations and networking with the supervisors. I rocked this colorful dashiki from Jazzy B's Remixx. I had been searching for shorts like these for quite awhile. I finally found them in the men's section of JCP. I really love how they fit. I don't know what man has the hips that fill these bad boys out like I do but all I know is I am here for it.

Busy, busy day this day! I had several site visits and then 2 work place readiness classes. Got to visit with one of my absolute favorite interns and my fave site supervisor at Project Discovery. It has been such a pleasure working with my interns and getting to know local organizations and networking with the supervisors. I rocked this colorful dashiki from Jazzy B’s Remixx. I had been searching for shorts like these for quite awhile. I finally found them in the men’s section of JCP. I really love how they fit. I don’t know what man has the hips that fill these bad boys out like I do but all I know is I am here for it.

DAISHIKI BLACK N WHITE

Am I fully onboard with the whole “I identify as black…” card? No, ma’am. But hey, I hear people all the time lament about how non-minorities neglect to understand other cultures. Why get upset when someone takes an interest in who we are? I know there are other nuances associated with the story. I am in no way saying that I do not understand why some may feel that she took advantage of a situation she crafted herself. I am just saying the appreciation (albeit extreme), is a far cry for the general lack of appreciation most of us feel in regards to being black. The whole story got me to thinking. I mean, I personally love learning new things, I love diversity and of course I am obsessed with fashion. Turbans, kimonos, various headdress and African ensembles are just a few cultural offerings that I personally rock. So, when does appreciation cross the line into misappropriation?

5 Ways to know when your style is cultural misappropriation as opposed to cute appreciation

  1. You have not taken the time or effort to learn the significance of the geisha girl attire you are adapting. According to dictionary.com, a geisha is “a Japanese hostess trained to entertain men with conversation, dance, and song.” Ultimately, if your sole reason for adapting another culture is for a costume or just to be cute with no regard for the implications on that culture.
  2. Who made your African garb and who is selling it? As I have mentioned before, I absolutely adore African fashion. A particular fave for me is the dashiki. When I attended African Fashion Week DC as well as the Chihamba African festival I made a point to speak candidly with several designers about the history of fashion and authenticity of the pieces. Admittedly, I have to say the quality, creativity and beauty is glaringly different when it is the real deal. You are absolutely going to pay a pretty penny for an authentic piece. Of course, if you are rocking a dashiki, one would think you would like for someone of that culture to benefit from it. Purchasing a West African dashiki from an Asian designer or a commercial chain is misappropriation at its finest, my friend. Try a mom-and-pop shop, a street vendor or a up and coming designer as opposed to “native inspired” wear from H&M or Charlotte Russe.
  3. How true or accurate are you being to the culture? One of the biggest errors I come across as far as fashion is when different styles are erroneously mixed together in a hodgepodge of cultural misappropriation. Say for instance, mixing elements of Chinese (traditional Han clothing), Japanese (Harajuku) and Asian (anime inspired) cultures all in one look. One may think, the more the merrier. However, the problem here is that this smorgasbord type of styling minimizes the beauty of each culture, in essence destroying the overall individuality.
  4. Taking on a style that has been developed and perfected by a minority and claiming it as something new with no regard or credit given to the original creators is another gross misappropriation. I personally take no issue with adapting another culture’s offerings. The key here is to ensure that it is done so out of a genuine interest and appreciation for the culture. Not a desire to simply look cute. I personally am ok with non-minorities rocking cornrows or afros or any other fun part of our culture they genuinely like. I am not on board with a non-minority rocking cornrows and calling them by some newfangled name and passing them off as though it were something they just happened to create. It is very insulting, offensive and it minimizes the creativity that generations of minorities strived for. Give credit where credit is due and keep it moving.
  5. Failing to acknowledge the not so great aspects of various cultures but happy go luckily embracing the fun-rainbows-and-butterflies aspects of those same cultures. Listen, it boggles my mind that a person can claim that they are a hip hop head yet does not take note or acknowledge that some of the challenges these artists rap about are very real problems that need to be addressed. They may be showcased with a bangin’ beat…but guess what? The violence, drugs and crime are a real thing! Don’t just buy downloads, attend concerts and rock Run DMC shirts. Get out there in the communities, attend peace rallies, do what you can, where you are with what you have. If you are going to “embrace the culture” do it on a meaningful level!
This was the outfit I chose to wear for the fashion show. I was a little hesitant because I do not really "do" leggings OR sets. However, the colors, the dashiki inspired top and how the ensemble fit, sold me! You should definitely check out Fabulously Fierce Boutique. I am so glad that I went ahead and got the outfit because I was really pleased. Others really seemed to appreciate the outfit as well. Moral of the story is, try things outside of your comfort zone. You may just slay #boop

This was the outfit I chose to wear for the fashion show. I was a little hesitant because I do not really “do” leggings OR sets. However, the colors, the dashiki inspired top and how the ensemble fit, sold me! You should definitely check out Fabulously Fierce Boutique. I am so glad that I went ahead and got the outfit because I was really pleased. Others really seemed to appreciate the outfit as well. Moral of the story is, try things outside of your comfort zone. You may just slay #boop

These are just a few thoughts that I have about appropriation. I know that I have such an immense appreciation for other cultures and fashion in general totally evidenced by these African inspired outfits HERE, HERE and HERE. I never want to unwittingly disrespect anyone. What are your thoughts about appropriation? Stylishly yours, KJ

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Productivity is Poppin’

By August 24, 2016 business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style
UNUSED (21)

Hey there, Sugar Pants! I hope all is well your way. If not, please know that I appreciate you reading in spite of and I am always sending love and light the direction of all of my supporters known or unknown. You know how you feel like you try to do everything right and always bend over backwards to help others but then wonder, when is it going to be “my” turn? Those were the nagging and unproductive thoughts that were plaguing me this weekend.If I am being completely honest, I was actually experiencing some self-pity and on the woe-is-me boat for a hot second. Now, I am not one to succumb to that fooleywang nonsense, so of course she was not down and out for long. Welp, I thought I would share with you one of the ways that I squash those pesky, purposeless thoughts. I like to stay POSITIVE and PRODUCTIVE. If you are in need of tips to help with your productivity, read on!

Blazer: Target Tank: Walmart Skirt: Target Shoes: Steve Madden Necklace: Exotic Hush

Blazer: Target
Tank: Walmart
Skirt: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden
Necklace: Exotic Hush

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Can I just say that I am so glad that I gave the blazer-capey deal another shot. Initially, I was not here for it. When I saw this one on clearance at Target, I thought, ehhh why not? I am not disappointed with that decision! Some times you have to get yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new.

5 Tips for Productivity

  1. Stay motivated! Easier said than done right? Well, you want to start with figuring out what motivates you. For me, I get the brunt of my janky tedious work done with upbeat music blasting. Also, I am not above getting my snack on to help motivate me through my work.
  2. Limit distractions! I am not a person who can work through idle chatter and conversations. Therefore, I will play my music (as previously mentioned) except I will bust out my handy dandy Beats by Dre headphones to totally zone out. If I do not have my headphones on deck, then I simply take a plain sheet of paper and write something to the effect of “on a deadline, please do not disturb”. Seems rude, however, I am there to work and I need to limit distractions so I can do just that!
  3. Get organized! Alphabetize your files, clear out your email boxes, de-clutter your desk/office/room/social circle (okay?!?!). Once your life is organized you will be amazed at how much more productive you will be. Your mind is free to plot on ways to execute your plan for world domination. At minimum to ensure your productivity is poppin’ #boop!
  4. Establish a routine! I will be the first to admit, I am a creature of habit. As a matter of fact, my husband’s nickname for me is “Bot” which is short for robot. He recognized in me that I had to have a routine for everything. With that being said, I prioritize my to-do-list and break my day down into 2 hour increments. I have to factor in snack breaks and mental breaks.
  5. Take mini breaks! Taking a break when you’re super swamped seems counter-intuitive. However, giving yourself the opportunity to re-charge and grab a quick second wind might be just what the doctor ordered.

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These are my tips for making it through each day as productively as possible. What are your favorite ways to keep your productivity poppin’? Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Custom Slayed Part II

By August 19, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, networking, ootd, self esteem, style
DIVINE CREATIONS FASHION AFFAIR 2

Hey chickadees! A few weeks back, I posted here about a custom made outfit that I was anticipating. I actually received the piece a few days after that post was made (YAYYYY!). Today, I wanted to share the ensemble with you and the details of my experience. Can I just say that having your outfit look like it was made for you is one thing but knowing your ensemble was crafted expressly for you is a whole other ballgame!

Pick Your Poison

The first thing that you want to do is figure out what it is that your wardrobe is lacking or it might just be something that you would like to see and haven’t been able to find in the ready-to-wear world. For me, I love jumpsuits and rompers but I wanted to find something that had a peplum with a whimsical train detail. Although I have seen them pop up more recently, I had been pining for an ensemble such as this for years. Literally, I was planning my 10 year vow renewal in my head and I was wearing a white jumpsuit custom-made with a peplum and train. That was around 2012. A few years later I did broach the subject with my mom, Betty Bop, who is one of the most skilled seamstresses that I know. She had been out of the game for a while but now that she has retired from work I thought she may be interested in picking it back up. Fortunately for me, she was!!! Anyway, she had made me several dresses for fashion shows that I was coordinating but we never got around to hashing out the details for my jumpsuit. Until now…OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ!

Jumpsuit w/ removable peplum: Divine Creations Fashion Affair Lace Bralette: Charlotte Russe Necklace: Exotic Hush Boutique

Jumpsuit w/ removable peplum: Divine Creations Fashion Affair
Lace Bralette: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: Exotic Hush Boutique                                                                                        Shoes: Charlotte Russe

 

Measure Up

What I did next is take my exact measurements. Now, I’ve had a few custom-made pieces this year but I always take my measurements and send the most accurate numbers to each designer. Due to some overzealous eating this summer my waist had actually gone up an inch so I’m glad that I did re-measure myself, SMH. Ugh measuring is such a pesky annoyance. However, it is key to ensure your end product meets your fit expectations. I am very hippy, very busty and very butt-y. So, you see my concern with finding a jumpsuit that fits like it was made for me? A custom-made jumpsuit is the perfect option for a woman like me.

Perfect Pattern

I will admit I do not know much about patterns or sewing for that matter, much to my mother’s chagrin, I’m sure. What I do is ramble on about all these finicky minute details that I like…piecing a fashionista’s conglomerate Frankenstein of a mess together and she kind of takes it and runs with it. I was fortunate enough to have my mother and father here visiting for a week this summer and although I had to work during their visit my mom and I did visit 2 local fabric stores. But when we were there we were actually looking for fabric and patterns and closures for yet another piece she’s working on for me, wait for it (teehee). We got the opportunity to discuss what I really wanted in my jumpsuit and she planned to look for patterns and fabric on her visit to Atlanta a couple of weeks later. I received several jumpsuit options via text message. I will be honest, because of my love of jumpsuits I really didn’t think that the style of the actual suit mattered because if it was custom-made for me I was going to love it regardless. I have never really met a jumpsuit I did not love! I selected two different patterns, one for the peplum and one for the jumpsuit. Guess what?!?! I was very pleasantly surprised when I received the finished product and it consisted of a detachable peplum! Ummm SCORE! I seriously can create about 50/11 different looks because of that detail…thanks, Mom! But I digress, when searching for your perfect pattern, pay keen attention to the types of fabrics and the details associated with that pattern.

Crop Top: Thrifted Goldenrod shorts (not shown): Target Detachable peplum: Divine Creations Fashion Affair Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Crop Top: Thrifted
Goldenrod shorts (not shown): Target
Detachable peplum: Divine Creations Fashion Affair
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Les Fabriques

Fun fact, Les Fabriques is the name of one of the sites that hosted one of my interns this summer! Yes but fabric! Ohhhhh my ggggeerrrssshhh! There are so many options! It is a good idea to have in mind what you’re going for before you actually shop for your fabric because you can be sucked in. I knew I wanted something elegant, regal and colorful with a pop. I knew for a fact that I wanted something that I could wear to fashion week and stand out. I wanted something that was purple or eggplant with gold accents. I didn’t want a solid I wanted a pattern… possibly an African print. African prints are extremely hard to find, at least in Arizona where my mom lives, and they’re also expensive. She found a couple of African prints while in Atlanta and sent me text messages of them. I did not think that they would be flattering on my figure as the size and scale of the patterns were not going to be friendly on this body over here. She later found and sent me more swatches and I eventually chose this beautiful paisley print. She mailed a swatch to me and asked me to pick a contrasting color for a lining. I knew immediately that I wanted something gold or goldenrod to really accent this lovely print.

 

Go Time

Once we had all of the pieces in place and we knew exactly what we wanted it was time to make it happen Captain! Did I mention that I text my mom Sunday saying that I had an event to go to the upcoming Friday and it would be awesome to wear the piece to that event and I believe I had it by that Thursday!? That is absolutely unheard of! I can barely think of an outfit to wear in two days, let alone actually sew and ship it!

Denim top: Target Obi belt: The Limited Shorts: JCP Shoes: Charlotte Russe

Denim top: Target
Obi belt: The Limited
Shorts: JCP
Shoes: Charlotte Russe

Final Thoughts

Due to the silky material that we chose, I was very concerned that it would wrinkle and that it wouldn’t fit as well because there was no stretch. Let’s be honest, being over 30 and and having a child, stretch and I have become great acquaintances. Once again, I was very pleasantly surprised that there were minimal wrinkles and where there were wrinkles (in the crotch after sitting) they were pretty undetectable because of the pattern. I can’t really express to you the different personas that were associated with each outfit like I said I felt very regal almost royal in the jumpsuit and peplum. But when I wore the detachable peplum with denim shorts and a denim top I felt like the queen of an urban jungle. I received numerous compliments and so many people were blown away by the outfit AND the styling…score for team Divine Creations Fashion Affair and Chic & Classy Image Consulting! #boop

DIVINE CREATIONS FASHION AFFAIR 4

One might think that I would be biased because it is my mother who made this piece for me. However, keep in mind that I am a fashionista at heart and I totally give credit where credit is due. The craftsmanship, professionalism, the turnaround time and attention to detail are phenomenal. By the way, please keep an eye out for Divine Creations Fashion Affair! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my love for fashion is totally a result of the amazingly talented mother I was blessed with. I believe we all have talents and a lot of times those traits that make us good at what we do came directly from our parents or our lineage. Be sure to recognize and acknowledge the talents that make your parents awesome because as children sometimes we tend to overlook that! So, have you considered having a piece custom made? Stylishly yours, KJ.

DIVINE CREATIONS FASHION AFFAIR 5

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Mellow Yellow 5 ways to pull the hue off

By August 16, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, networking, ootd, self esteem, style
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Hey chickadee! The other day I wore yellow and I noticed people seemed to treat me more warmly than normal. I thought about it and any time I wear any shade of yellow, saffron, goldenrod, sunflowers, mustard, ripe lemons, canary, it is always well received. Such a bright and fun shade can only elicit positivity and smiles right? Yellow is associated with friendliness, amusement, free-spirit and spontaneity. What is funny is the fact that although the majority of my clients gravitate toward the color, they are too intimidated to incorporate yellow in their personal wardrobe. In their defense, yellow IS a bold color and it certainly is not a color that a person who typically plays it safe. I think we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives. Therefore, today, I would love to share tips to help make that happen.

5 Tips on How To Wear Yellow

    1. If your biggest concern with wearing yellow is that it isn’t flattering on your skin, guess what? There are still options for you. Simply keep the hue as far away from your face as possible i.e. you would not want to rock the brightest yellowest scarf around your neck. You should definitely shy away from a yellow top.yellow pants
    2.  I would recommend wearing your pop of yellow in a fun print. This is especially style friendly for those who are leery that the color may be too bright or obnoxious.

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      This funky print in sunny yellow, teal and white is an awesome way to incorporate yellow in your wardrobe.

    3. Add colorful accessories in primary colors for a color block look. Kelly green, cobalt blue, deep purple, Sunkist orange all look amazing paired with yellow. If you want to get your feet wet, find a basic yellow tee, your best fitting jeans, a statement necklace in a contrasting color and your best pair of vibrant shoes. The shoes do not necessarily have to match the necklace, as a matter of fact, the look reads more “effortless” if they do not.yellow tee
    4. So, you know your fave crisp, neutral outfit? How about adding a yellow finishing piece to up the sass factor? Cause, you know, #sass. A nice yellow blazer or cardigan can be just what you need to transform an otherwise boring outfit. Resist the urge to match your shoes to your blazer. Allow the blazer to take center stage. All other elements of the outfit should be kept neutral.

5.Go for yellow shoes! I swear I think I have hit the style jackpot when I stumble upon a haute pair of yellow shoes (no pun intended). They give me endless pleasure, not to mention endless opportunities to #slay.yellow shoes

These are my little sneak attack tips for rocking yellow. How do you wear yellow? Stylishly yours, KJ.

Denim top: Target Skirt: HandM Shoes: JustFab Necklace: Divinisty Charms

Denim top: Target
Skirt: HandM
Shoes: JustFab
Necklace: Divinisty Charms

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4 Reasons why I refuse to criticize Gabby Douglas

By August 12, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, mentor, mentorship, networking, ootd, self esteem, style
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Hello there! I’m going to jump right in. Today, I want to talk about all of the ridiculous criticism that Gabby Douglas has received surrounding her hair. No, I’m not going to touch on the topic of her not crossing her heart during the ceremony that’s for another day. Yes as ridiculous as it sounds I’m going to talk about her hair.

So I want to start with discussing hypercriticism. Hypercriticism is definitely different than being hypocritical. They’re both horrible but I have to say hypercriticism is so toxic. Have you ever noticed that when someone reaches certain ranks or certain notoriety even in their everyday lives, not just necessarily celebrities…we tend to nitpick every little thing. Hey girl did you hear that Tamika is finishing school with a high GPA? That’s all well and good but do you see that hoopty she’s driving? The only GPA she should be concerned about is getting a presentable automobile. I know we’ve all heard criticism along these lines. I personally have shut it down on numerous occasions. So what is the deal with hypercriticism? Let’s break it down.

Hat: Forever 21 Top: H and M Skirt: H and M Shoes: Steve Madden

Hat: Forever 21
Top: H and M
Skirt: H and M
Shoes: Steve Madden

First and foremost, I have never in my life met a hypercritical person who was living a full, happy and satisfied life. With that being said their criticism never comes from a helpful and loving place. Oh, they might try to disguise it as if it does. If they’re called on it they’re likely to say they meant well and it came off wrong because they were joking. In my personal experience their criticism usually comes from a place of boredom, a desire to dominate, discrimination, envy, ego and/or more often than not, extreme dissatisfaction in their own life. These people may not even realize it but their soul purpose is to knock you down a couple of notches. It is easier said than done but you have to recognize the toxic people and eliminate them from your life or at least their influence. Please realize even if these are people that are close to you that no one who is grounded and secure and truly wants the best for you would work so hard to sabotage and minimize all of your hard work!!

How awesome are pockets on skirts?! I love a good pocket moment!

How awesome are pockets on skirts?! I love a good pocket moment!

It’s so weird to me when people are doing great things, they are realizing their dreams and have done their due diligence to be a force to be reckoned with only to be dragged through the mud for silly inconsequential things! Here are my reasons why I refuse to criticize gabby Douglas’ hair.

4 Reasons why I refuse to criticize Gabby

  1. I can barely flip the bird without almost spraining my finger, let alone my entire body at an Olympic level. We have heard the long-standing challenge for years about black women and the struggle we deal with with deciding if we want to work out, be healthy and have an amazing body with less than desirable hair or if we want to have amazingly flawless hair at the expense of our body. We know that sweat wreaks havoc on our hair and we know how much work, time and money it takes to maintain our hair. Guess what else takes work, time and money? Getting to the point of Olympic gold status in gymnastics. Listen I would rather be flipping across your television screen doing what most could never even fathom than sitting on the couch with perfectly coiffed hair criticizing and watching from the sidelines. I’m sorry not even the sidelines in another country. You have to choose your struggle boo.
  2. Not only am I unable to do a decent flip I am just barely getting to a point where I can do my hair presentably and I’m damn near 40 years old. It’s not something that everyone can do. I thank God everyday that he blessed me with Myles instead of a daughter. I think he’s given me more time to figure that whole thing out so that my child is not subjected to mommy’s hot mess hair styling techniques. Give Gabby-Girl a break!
  3. I understand how groupthink, this beast called social media and how superficiality has ran rampant in our society. I remember when Pam Oliver received so much flack about her hair. I didn’t really even know who she was because I don’t follow sports. When I looked her up I’m like wait how many black female sports journalist do we have and this is what you’re talking about?! Why isn’t she being lauded for her accomplishments?!
  4. I am genuinely and truly proud of her POINT. BLANK. PERIOD.

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So there you have the reasons why I refuse to criticize Gabby Douglas. We have so many bigger fish to fry. I really hope that this gives you some insight into the damaging effects of hypercriticism. Here’s to collectively achieving more in our lives than a perfectly slick fried, dyed and laid to the side hair-do. Stylishly yours, KJ.

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Put some respect on it

By August 10, 2016 brand ambassador, business, confidence, fashion, general, life hacks, lifestyle, ootd, self esteem, style
DAISHIKI BLACK N WHITE

Hey chickadee! Long time no see! I have something on my heart so I felt like I should share it with you guys of course. I usually don’t get super racial, controversial, political, religious any of that fun stuff, although I do have strong opinions about them. I had a recent conversation about baby names and how people choose to name their children. This is a long-standing debate particularly in the black community. I would like to just share my thoughts on the topic.

 

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First and foremost, I think that parents should be able to collaborate and come up with the name that they deem fitting for their child without input from others. I remember when I was pregnant the two factors of having a child that weighed heaviest on my mind was the whole breastfeeding beast and how Chris and I were going to agree on a name! This was a special time for us we had waited seven years to have a child and he was on his way and once we determined that it was a boy we had fun trying to figure out a name. Actually, I take that back “fun” is not the accurate word because we were very serious about this and we’re not really a “serious” couple per se. I think we had the same expectations. We wanted our son to simultaneously command respect but be open and engaging to others, all in a name. We proudly chose Myles Xavier. Surprisingly we agreed on a name before he hit kindergarten. No seriously, I was very surprised that we agreed on a name fairly easily. For the record my husband has a fairly common name, Christopher and of course my name is Khalilah, hi, welcome to my kloset! I will say this, we kind of have a weird dichotomy going on. Of course we embrace our culture and are secure and confident in who we are as people. But we have also experienced our fair share in the world and know what obstacles can be expected for an African American. Even still we didn’t choose his name based off of how commercial it will be. As a matter of fact, that thought never crossed my mind. We don’t expect his name to sell him. We expect his skills, knowledge, abilities and overall marketability to sell him! We work to instill in our son that you should be so good they can’t ignore you. People should clamor to pronounce our names correctly and get each and every syllable out, be it two or 22!

Tee: Aptly this tee is from Own Your Blackness Shorts: JCP Shoes: Lolas Shoetique Clutch: Body Central Earrings: Body Central

Tee: Aptly this tee is from Own Your Blackness
Shorts: JCP
Shoes: Lolas Shoetique
Clutch: Body Central
Earrings: Body Central

The biggest argument that people have for naming their children common, European, regular or as said in the hood: “white” names is it makes it easier for them to get callbacks for interviews, to ensure that their resume isn’t screened out and ultimately to get jobs. This is a valid concern evidenced by a study which was conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback.” To put that in perspective that 50% gap is an indication that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience (National Bureau of Economic Research).

I just have a few issues with this approach. But the biggest being why are we OK with working for a company that would not give you the opportunity to interview simply because your name has more than two syllables? Next what do you plan to do when you come into your interview? Wear your lightest concealer and foundation? Are you going to come in white face? I’m sure a paper bag covering your face is not going to complement your snazzy interview attire. Here’s a thought: why not cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in your children and put them in the position of hiring?! Teach them that hard work, an amazing work ethic and doing your best can all be done and it doesn’t have to be at the expense of embracing who you are. Individuality can be an amazing thing. Not to say that a common name doesn’t afford you that but again it’s the background of the decision to go with the common name. I have said this before and it bears repeating, the only combination of letters on my resume that anyone should be concerned with are those that follow my last name, which are MBA or they may take a little interest in my GPA which is 4.0.

I have a real issue with the fact that people are OK with systematic racism and feel that instead of addressing that issue, you need to conform and try your hardest to assimilate. I have to say that I am totally for naming your child whatever you genuinely choose to name your child. However, that choice should not be based on what you feel will garner them the most white acceptance. I am sorry sugar pants, but naming your child a European name in a misguided effort to give them a leg up in this rat race is a temporary solution to a long term problem. Now if you choose to name your child a European name because it’s a family name or you just really like the name, it rolls off your tongue easily, it’s melodic or you always had a desire to name your child this particular name, then more power to you! But if it’s for any other reason you have taken the power out of the name (which ideally they would carry with them for the rest of their lives) before they’re even born in some cases. Kunta Kente vs. Toby. So, you’re telling me that because one rolls more easily and readily off of the tongue that means that that person is more competent, a better worker or has a better work ethic? Well I don’t know, let’s ask the Oprahs, Condoleezzas, Quvenzhanés, Baracks, Denzels, Beyoncés of the world.

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Again, my issue is not with a common name. My issue is with the ideology that sometimes comes with it. With the biggest and most problematic being the generational and long-term effects that basically say “…lose yourself so you can win”. I have always loved my name. I personally appreciate the fact that my parents did not give me an ordinary moniker. Why? Because I aim to be extraordinary, silly. My name is Khalilah, pronounced like Delilah with a “K” and I approve this message. Stylishly yours, Khalilah Jones #boop

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