Category Archives: Day By Day Style

Being Young a Woman and Color Blocking

Color Blocking and Being Colored

Fall is gone and we have come to another Minnesota winter so I thought it appropriate to end with one last color filled, fun fall post before the cold and dark toned winter takes over our lives. I absolutely love color-blocking! I remember as a little girl my mom always saying any solid could go together, I didn’t know what she was talking about and it didn’t really make sense to me then. All I knew was I wanted to match, but that was the 90’s. Solids are the key to color-blocking. Taking simple solid pieces and pairing them with others of a different color can create a look simplistically dynamic.                               For this look I kept it real simple but between the colors, accessories and hair i wouldn’t call this overall look simple. I had fun wearing this, very relaxed fit all over which is what I prefer. But because of the colors this look can go from very casual to chic, easy. V-neck, pink t-shirt paired with a pair of mens sky blue dress pants and mint green dress belt to add the division necessary for color-blocking. The accessories also helped take this look from casual to chic, featuring black, cream, and gold beaded necklaces to meet casual chic right in the middle.          Hair:These yarn braids were done by Anita Hutchinson, a good friend of mine and young lady who truly does wonders for natural hair. I choose to get these braids after several months after the big chop and going natural in an attempt to help grow my hair. I had reached a very awkward stage in length and I wanted something different, something other than the micros, kinky twist and sew ins. I wanted a hair style that still reflected a natural state of black hair, I was quite pleased with the results.

Contact Info: hutchina@augsburg.edu

This is an insert from a short essay written by Marita Bonner in 1925, it’s one of my favorite pieces of the time because it addresses the negative situations blacks went through during that time period especially women. It challenges women to dwell on these situations but to also outsmart them, which is what we still have to do today. I thought it would be nice to introduce literature as I continue with this blog and connecting beautiful style with beautiful words. 

On Being Young, a Woman and Colored                                                      By: Marita Bonner (insert)

“… Why do they see a colored woman only as a gross collection of desires, all uncontrolled, reaching out for their Apollos and the Quasimodos with avid indiscrimination? Why unless you talk in staccato squawks-brittle as seashells-unless you “champ” gum-unless you cover two yards square when you laugh-unless your taste runs to violent colors-impossible perfumes and more impossible clothes-are you a feminine Caliban craving to pass for Ariel?

An empty imitation of an empty invitation. A mime: a sham: a copy-cat. A hollow re-echo. A fruit, a foam. A fleck of the ashes of superficiality?

Everything you touch or taste now is like the flesh of an unripe persimmon.

. . . Do you need to be told what that is being . . . ?

Old ideas, old fundamentals seem worm-eaten, out-grown, worthless, bitter, fit for the scrap-heap of Wisdom.

What you had thought tangible and practical has turned out to be a collection of “blue flower” theories.

If they have not discovered how to use their accumulation of facts, they are useless to you in Their world.

Every part of you becomes bitter.

But—“In Heaven’s name, do not grow bitter. Be bigger than they are” –exhort white friends who have never had to draw breath in a Jim-Crow train. Who have never had petty putrid insult dragged over them-drawing blood-like pebbled sand on your body where the skin is tenderest. On your body where the skin is thinnest and tenderest.

You long to explode and hurt everything white; friendly; unfriendly. But you know that you cannot live with a chip on your shoulder even if you can manage a smile around your eyes-without getting steely and brittle and losing the softness that makes you a woman.

For chips make you bend your body to balance them. And once you bend, you lose your poise, your balance, and the chips gets into you. The real you. You get hard.

. . . And many things in you can ossify . . .

And you know, being a woman, you have to go about it gently and quietly, to find out and to discover just what is wrong. Just what can be done.

You see clearly that they have acquired things.

Money; money. Money to build with, money to destroy. Money to swim in. Money to drown in. Money.

An ascendancy of wisdom. An incalculable hoard of wisdom in all fields, in all things collected from all quarters of humanity.

A stupendous mass of things.

Things.

So, too the Greeks . . . Things.

And the Romans. . . .

And you wonder and wonder why they have not discovered how to handle deftly and skillfully. Wisdom, stored up for them-like the honey for the Gods on Olympus-since time unknown.

You wonder and you wonder until you wander out into Infinity, where-if it is to be found anywhere-Truth really exists.

The Greeks had possessions, culture. They were lost because they did not understand.

The Romans owned more than anyone else. Trampled under the heel of Vandals and Civilization, because they would not understand.

Greeks. Did not understand.

Romans. Would not understand.

“They.” Will not understand.

So you find they have shut Wisdom up and have forgotten to find the key that will let her out. They have trapped, trammeled, lashed her to themselves with thews and thongs and theories. They have ransacked sea and earth and air to bring every treasure to her. But she sulks and will not work for a world with a whitish hue because it has snubbed her twin sister, Understanding.

You see clearly-off there is Infinity-Understanding. Standing alone, waiting for someone to really want her.

But she is so far out there is not way to snatch at her and really drag her in.

So-being a woman-you can wait. …”

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Distressed

Distressed – Still Here

This is a rather old post, caught a bit of writers block over the last month. Even the simple stuff I couldn’t get out but here it is. For this post I wanted to do something that connects with what’s going on over north Minneapolis and add an element of design that’s more custom and creative. One part of design I really enjoy is being able to manipulate fabrics, dye fabrics, and distress them. The look in these photos focuses on a pair distressed shorts, I did all the work to them myself and was ultimitely pleased. I originally pulled the inspiration from a homeless man I had seen who’s pants were so ripped they were actually aesthetically pleasing minus the dirt of course. So I decided to create a pair of long distressed and shredded shorts.

  

With the tornado hitting north Minneapolis this summer, the government shut down that sent many low income families in a frenzy, raised stress levels and not to mention all the everyday struggles that come with living in this economy alone. The tornado definitely helped to create an image that reflects the times. With the winter approaching and many areas and homes still in ruins its important to remember the difference between man and man-made. As a man you have the power to create, so that’s exactly what I did. In doing so you have to remember that after every storm is a blessing.

    

These distressed shorts are the  focus of this look, and they were fun creating. Each aspect of these shorts are symbolic to what happened over north.They started off as a regular pair of DKNY mens jeans then I simply just cut them and did a distressing techinque to create the fringes by ripping away cross grain threads, which is kinda what tornados do; rips things apart.

                

                

The jeans were originally darker so I bleached them but not a complete immersion i bound them first to create cracks and different shades of blue. This represents how after the tornado seemed to have stripped certain areas there was still many other areas still in tact, still full of color and life. It also represents the lack of trees in these areas and how now more light can be let in.  I had some different styled studs laying around that I decided to add to them for style purposes, redesign is key. Take something that may appear flawed, torn and distressed and add style to it to enhance its beauty.


Here I wanted to take the time to recognize a group of artist and professionals who did an amazing job of finding the light in a dark situation, and also was able to find beauty in what appeared to be a distressed situation, Juxtapostion Art (for information on what they’re about and other amazing projects of theirs you can click the link above). I absolutely adore the artwork they did over the summer but this one is my favorite. It managed to capture a great deal of the key elements that make up the north Minneapolis community. Elements any north-sider have grown to love and appreciate and remind us all that no tornado, or any other situation for that matter can take away the fact that we are still here. The tornado is considered minor to all of the great things/ people that have come from mpls and the great things to come.
 

“Ruin is a gift, Ruin is the road to transformation.” – Elizabeth Gilbert.

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Cool, Calm and Culottes

DBS: Cool, Calm and Culottes 

Piggybacking off of my last post about using a basic t-shirt as a canvas for your accessories this is what I also did for this look. I told you I like to wear t-shirts in the summer time, the effortlessness of it is what I like but unfortunately it can read unfashionable and lazy. That’s why it is crucial to ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE!!! You must draw the eye somewhere, the purpose of this is to show other ways I wear a t-shirt. How something as simple and basic can be presented chic. Accessory Details: Ethnic style beads were my necklaces of choice this time around, specifically for the colors and patterns. Since this look lacks color and prints I choose to highlight my necklaces. What I love most about these beaded necklaces is they pretty much go with everything, they’re easy to mix and match with each other and the color choices are always nice. Paired with a red clutch purse from H&M and matching earrings make deep red the accent color. (Makeup by: Anita Hutchinson)

   

Later that day I wanted to switch the look up for a boat ride. This is where the clothing became the focus, Nothing specific about this look but what I like most about it is how it feels. Sometimes when dressing I go for a whole look that makes me feel a certain way, for this I wanted to feel modernly old fashioned. Like it could work in the 60’s as well as today. It presents a very tailored look but still remains relaxed because of the styling. 


Fit Details:

Vintage Culottes: The star of the show are a pair of vintage culottes I came across thrifting. A style of pant (and I can be honest) I never thought I’d wear let alone awe over. These pants are impeccably tailored with a front box pleating detail so simple and perfect.

Ralph Lauren Shirt: What I love about this shirt is not only does it present ease and a great fit (well after taking it in a few inches) but the color and print. A simple navy polka dot speaks volumes and joins crisp and fun together.

In contrast to the photos above this is where you would keep your accessories to a minimum, if you want your clothing to be the statement. Paired with a matching vintage purse and of course making the accent color red the look was finished. Tailored, relaxed, chic and all the way modernly old fashioned. 

   

FOR MY MOTHER

The thing is, I owe a great deal of my fashion sense to my mother. Even though I was born in the late 80’s my mom clung to the 30’s, 50’s and 60’s her old soul was passed down to me. Growing up you hate to hear those words “you look just like your mom,” but since I looked more like my dads side I never really heard them. Now it’s “girl you dress just like your mom when she was your age.” I CRINGED. Now looking at my sense of style. I smile. Knowing where it comes from, even before a seed and before I was thought of the essence of me formed deep in her ovaries. Where the faint smell of Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds lingered. And in her heart beating in unison with The Jackson 5’s Who’s Loving You, Green Onions and smooth jazz music notes danced their way down to her fallopian tubes, around and with her ovaries. Seeped in and formed me on purpose by accident. I believe this ovary was purple. Feeling her every move from the tilt of her foot to slip on a shoe to the reach to pick out the earrings to match and 8 months later on June 8th I was born already knowing me, already knowing my own heart beating in unison to a few jazz notes beating in unison to her heart my eyes danced all the way up to hers. She is my heart. This is me saying thank you now for what my eyes expressed but could not say with my mouth. Thank you mom for everything, I LOVE YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

(My mom in the early 80’s)

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Details Details…

Embellishing the Basics: The T-Shirt
So it’s hot out and when it gets hot I stray towards keeping things very simple. The t-shirt becomes my best friend in the summer, embellished the right way it can become a very fashionable piece. Varying in colors from plain white to solid colors and prints it becomes all about the accessories to take this shirt from blah to BAM! Here I wore a rust orange t-shirt and decided to accessorize with brown and natural colored accessorize to keep a relaxed look but bring it up a notch to create versatility. 

          

Essential Subtleties: Accessorize: When it comes to the accessories you must pay attention to detail and use discretion. There is nothing more tacky then someone who is over accessorized but when pairing the right pieces with a t-shirt you don’t have to worry about that. If you look at the t-shirt like a blank canvas and the accessories as decoration each piece plays an important role. They must be cohesive, create dimension, and lead to a focal point. 

Accessory Details:                                                                                                                                   
Vintage stone and gold earrings: These earrings are mood earrings, they change colors depending on the temperature. They turn from green to blue to deep purple, in this photo they are deep purple which I was pleased with. It added a surprise element of color to the look.                                                                                  
Buckle bracelet: This bracelet was attached to some winter boots of mine I never wore I took them off the boot, placed them on my wrist, and buckled them.                                                                                      
Vintage necklaces: I decided to pair a few necklaces together; I put a green stoned necklace to add some color, a square pendant with a dynamic tribal necklace that added dimension to everything.          
Giraffe Print sunglasses and Vintage Braided belt: I found these thrifting 

         

What is Love?

Love is the extent of just living to fulfilling ones destiny, to embracing every perfect flaw. Love is not being suicidal at the very least but enough to be the ultimate love. Waking up hating your life but loving yourself just enough to live it. True love prevails and overcomes even the deepest seeded hate and keeps your eyes open through the toughest times. Love will not let you kill yourself. In all honesty the worst bum on the street should have your upmost respect. For waking up to life, still being here and not giving up when their lives have seemed to hit rock bottom. Lacking motivation to lift ones self up, a lifestyle even the “strongest” man may not be able to handle. Woke up and lived another day. Didn’t take his/her own life, that is love. Maybe a grim, dim love but love none the less. And in the end probably fulfilled their destiny regardless, to inspire another to do better. That is love, the slightest amount having a greater effect. That is God. 

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