How To Look Effortlessly Stylish No Matter Your Budget

The past year and a half has been transformational for everyone. Many of us have had to adjust to working from home – not much of an adjustment for me since I was already working from home pre-pandemic.

But our relationship with clothes have changed.  Whether you’re in your pyjamas all day or you buy clothes you don’t really need online, there’s no denying the change.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have decluttered my makeup collection and have done the same with my clothes. I have come to a less is more phase in my life. At the same time, my taste has become a  bit more refined.  I have also come to realise that I don’t need many things, I just need a few of the right things.

The thing is, you don’t need to wear head-to-toe designer clothing to look stylish or put together. Because style is a personal thing , it is an expression of self.

Personally, I think of real style as quiet. When I think of a stylish person, it’s less about what they’re wearing and more about their overall appearance and how they carry themselves.  To me, style is a quiet confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you only shop at Harrods , shop to the rich and famous, or at Mr Price like the rest of us. A stylish person has a Je ne sais quoi that money can’t buy.

My taste in clothes now is such that I would rather splurge on a quality jacket than have 10 cheap ones. I have learned that just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean I have to buy it.

I often say to my dad. who is the most stylish person I know, that my taste does not match my budget. It can be terribly frustrating when that happens but believe it or not,  it’s a challenge that has helped me. When you don’t have the luxury of buying anything you want, you think twice -maybe three times –  before you buy anything even if is on sale. No matter your budget, here are some of my top 6 tips to help you look effortlessly stylish.

1.  Have a yearly shopping budget

Are you an impulsive shopper? Keep a yearly shopping budget. Depending on what you can afford, allocate a certain amount to shopping for clothes. This budget includes any sudden wedding guest outfit purchase. Having a budget will keep you disciplined and discerning about what you buy. It will prevent you from buying clothes you may only ever wear once. Smart!

2. Create a personal style uniform

What’s an outfit that you can wear to work, out with your friends and maybe to your partner’s parents house? Make sure you have at least 3 of those. In different colours if you like. For me, that would be something like an oversize shirt and jeans or pants. Easy, effortless style.

3. Don’t wear an outfit that’s too tight

When your outfit is too tight, you are uncomfortable. Definitely not a good look. Comfort is always key when it comes to style. When you’re comfortable, you feel confident and that instantly makes you look stylish.

4. Avoid trends

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, avoid trends. I love a good trend just like anyone but since I started to pay attention to my style and after having gotten rid of many trendy pieces in my wardrobe, I came to the realistion that they just aren’t worth it. Opt for classics like blazers, an A-line dress and other pieces that fit your lifestyle and will remain a staple in your wardrobe.

5. Do iron your clothes

I know I said style is about how you carry yourself but unironed clothing is not a good look. Not unless it’s linen, and not everyone can pull it off. Ironed clothes make you look polished and commands a certain level of respect that creased clothing does not.

6. Let your clothes reflect your personality

Dressing like everyone is no bueno. Even if you shop at the same place as everyone, add a touch of your personality. For me, when I wear a monochromatic look like all-black, I tend to add a pop of colour. Because even though I love an all-black look, I also like bright, bold colours. So add your flair to an otherwise simple outfit that gives people a glimpse of who you are.

Remember that your style is people’s first impression of you so dress with confidence and shine sis, shine!

Dress – Mango on Superbalist

Coat – Danielle Frylinck

Beret – Chirpy Chix

5 Ways to Find your Style

When I asked my supporters on Instagram what they struggle with the most when it comes to style, quite a few listed finding their style as a challenge.

And so, today’s post is dedicated to you. If you struggle to find your style and need some help in that department then you are in good company. Because in today’s post, I’m sharing 5 ways to find your style. And by the end of this article, you’ll leave feeling more confident and in tune with your personal style.

But first, what is style?

  • “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn!” – Gore Vidal.
  • “Style is very personal, it has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.” – Ralph Lauren.
  • “Style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

These are just some of my favourite quotes defining style. Style is not about designer labels, it is an expression of self. It is an evolution of self. I dress according to varying factors like my mood, weather, occasion and so much more.

I don’t believe in limiting myself when it comes to my style. Today I may be modestly dressed, covered from head-to-toe and tomorrow I’m wearing the skimpiest outfit you’ve ever seen. I may wear all black today and tomorrow wear all the colours of the rainbow.  My style is just an extension of my personality which is adventurous- within reason – but consistently stylish.

I also want to stress that style does not buy into fashion trends. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good trend. I have in fact disliked some trends when they first came out and grown to like them.

The off-shoulder look, choker necklace and dad sneakers are just a few trends I didn’t initially care for but over time, I bought into these trends. However, trends come and go and it is why you shouldn’t give in to them if you are still trying to find your style.

 

Here are 5 Ways to Find your Style

1. Know your body shape

Are you pear, hourglass, apple, rectangle, athletic shaped or somewhere in between? There are quizzes online that you can take to help you find that out if you don’t know or you can just click here after you finish reading this post.  Knowing your body shape will help you in figuring out what is most flattering for your body type.

2. Identify which colours inspire you

Colour has a huge impact on our mood. It can inspire and uplift or it can do the opposite. Colour can also flatter your figure depending on the colour. Knowing the colours that inspire you can help you to feel empowered, motivated and confident. I love an emerald green colour and I feel beautiful, sexy and confident in it.  It also suits my skin tone. What colour(s) gives you that feeling and is flattering against your skin tone?

3. Define your personality

Are you reserved, outgoing or a little bit of both? Knowing your personality is key to finding your style. I mentioned earlier that I’m adventurous. I don’t like to be tied to a particular style or colour. Which reflects in my style. You may be the opposite, take Anna Wintour for example, she has her own unique style. It’s a uniform look consisting of a printed dress, a necklace and a pair of heels.  It is impossible for you to miss her even if you don’t see her face. Her uniform style tells me her personality is the direct, confident and straight-laced type. A uniform style, although boring to me, saves you a lot of time especially if you’re a very busy woman.

4. Make sure the fit is right

Have you been to the shops and saw something that caught your eye but it’s not in your size. You want it so bad because it’s on sale. You even make a promise to yourself to lose weight to fit into it. Rewind, pause.

Look at yourself in the mirror and look at the item again. Will you really lose weight to fit into it? Do you really want to put that kind of pressure on yourself, sis? Is it really worth it? Save your money, don’t think of the price of the item. If you can’t fit it now, there’s no point. Because even if you do manage to lose weight, it may not fit your curves right. It is important to wear clothes that fit. An ill-fitting item of clothing does not make anyone look stylish. Fit is everything when it comes to style.

5.  Keep a style board

Whose style inspires you? It may be one person or more than one person. Keep a style board of your style inspiration/s. I would even suggest creating categories. So gym, work, dinner etc. When you’re clear about what you like for different occassions, then most of the job is done.

What I love the most about fashion and style is the freedom of expression it allows. Be creative, have fun. If you were meeting someone for the first time, what would you want their first impression of you to be , before you introduce yourself or say anything about who you are and what you do? Now dress the way you would like to be addressed. 🙂 I’m sure I saw that somewhere.

I hope you found this article helpful and you can now go on to create your personal style which is unique to you and you alone. Remember, don’t copy. Be inspired.

Please leave me a comment if you found this post useful. Also, let me know what other style challenges you have so that I can a(d)dress them. See what I did there?

Thanks for reading. See you next week.

Attending My First SA Menswear Fashion Week 2020

Who knew SA Menswear Week isn’t just for men?! I sure didn’t.

Although it is a platform dedicated to the development and promotion of menswear within the African continent, it is open to everyone. This two-day fashion show took place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on 6 February and ended on 8 February 2020.

I must admit, even though I’m a fashion blogger, I don’t always know about some of these local fashion shows. And I wouldn’t have known about this one if not for a friend telling me about it. She’s the owner and creative director of unisex fashion label, Fashionsilueta, and was showcasing her collection on one of the days.

She invited me and not one to say no to a friend or to a free fashion show, I applied for media accreditation and my application was approved. The entry is free for all but there are perks to media passes like a backstage pass, VIP access, free drinks and entry to the after-party that you wouldn’t get from a normal entry ticket.

Sadly, I missed her show because I was late trying to find parking. Finding parking was a real pain, it was so frustrating I damn near cried. I drove around for close to 40 mins and still did not find parking. Eventually, some security guard at a hotel nearby took pity on me and let me use the hotel parking. It was all very covert and probably against company policy but hey, I won’t tell if you won’t.

I made a mental note to uber to my next fashion show.

Parking space secured, makeup melting with beads of sweat on my face, I still had to walk about 7 minutes – in heels – to the venue where the fashion show was taking place. I wore comfortable mules so walking in them wasn’t so much a problem as was the fact that it was a miserably hot day.

It was about 32 degrees Celsius and I was wearing an oversized blazer which I borrowed from my dad. Even though I was wearing a bandeau top underneath and could have taken off the jacket, I chose not to. The jacket made the look. Without it, I would have looked like I was running errands and not dressed for a fashion show. So I chose to suffer for fashion and remain uncomfortably hot. I am sure I’m not the only one who’s done this and I won’t be the last.

At the SA Menswear Week

I got to the venue, immediately spotted my friend and made a heartfelt apology for missing her show. Thankfully she didn’t give me a hard time about it. Feeling icky from sweat and an oily face, I looked around and was shocked to notice that there were just about as many women as there were men.

It looked like any other fashion show – there were men and women of all races and sizes stylishly dressed.

The one thing I most enjoy about fashion shows is the street style and beautiful people. I enjoy making connections, seeing some of your favourite influencers act ‘too cool for school’.

I took some pictures, drank 2 complimentary glasses of white wine, people watched and in the end, I only got to see one show by Red Thread Apparel before I had to leave.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed myself and got to meet some awesome people.

I wish the organisers would have allocated ample parking space.  It would also have been a good idea to have visible signs directing you to the show venue. But maybe that’s asking too much of a free event. It was very well organised except for those two things.

The next SAMW for Spring/Summer is in July – 09 to 12 July 2020.

For more information, visit http://www.menswearweek.co.za/.

She Is Me Collection by Jaymodiva

There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise – Bosa Sebele

Happy Women’s Month!

I’ve always been inspired by strong, ambitious women. Women who know what they want and go after it no matter what.

It’s incredible how much we can achieve when we put our mind to it. Can I get an Amen?!

What better way to commemorate women’s month than by featuring one of my personal favourite Nigerian designers, Jaymodiva’s recent collection.

The newly launched fashion collection, She Is Me celebrates the strength, resilience, courage and power every woman is born with but is oblivious to until she is tested.

She Is Me consists of 6 pieces with each piece representing the exceptional qualities we possess as women.

I designed 6 looks all together and named each look by a quality I know most women possess and may not be regularly acknowledged, Jaiye Akpokodje Owner and Creative Director of Jaymodiva says.

She continues,

Also in light of the events that has been happening in Nigeria. Each piece is speaking to every woman. You are confident, selfless, spunky, daring, courageous and radiant. Hence the name, She Is Me.

 

Dress – N18 000/R763.28
Pant Suit – N35 000/ R1484.15
Dress – N18 000/ R763.28
Top & Pants – N20 000/ R848.09
Dress – N18 000/ R763.28
Dress – N18 000/ R763.28

The collection features colourful and perfectly tailored occasion wear, pieces that can be worn to the office, a wedding or any formal event. And at such affordable prices, you can buy the entire collection without breaking the bank.

To order yours, visit www.jaymodiva.com. You can also order on Instagram @jaymodiva

Photography – @Laahstudios
MUA – @Tamabeauty
Model – @Jaiyeola_a

Images sourced from Stylemeafrica.co.

Winter Wardrobe Staples – How To Stay Warm & Stylish This Winter

Winter is coming… Is your wardrobe winter-ready yet? If not, you are not alone.

There are only a few items that you need to have in your wardrobe to be winter-ready and they are:

  1. Coat
  2. Boots
  3. Scarf
  4. Sweater

If you have these then you don’t need to buy anything else. Ha! If only I believed my own lies.

As many clothes as I have, I find that the desire to buy more and add to my already full wardrobe never ceases. I’m always on the lookout for something new to buy.

Polo South Africa just launched its winter range and if you love, quality, timeless and elegant styles then you will appreciate this range.

The new polo winter range affords you the opportunity to achieve different styles; from classy and sophisticated to simple and smart.

For dress lovers like me, the sweater dress from Polo’s winter range is THE perfect dress to get you feeling warm and looking stylish. After all, the one thing most of us want to be in winter is warm, am I right? And we also want to look stylish, let’s not forget that.

The best way to keep warm and look stylish this winter is with the “layering effect”. I’m sure we all know this by now and if you didn’t, now you do.

Layering works by retaining body heat and protecting your body from the cold. But there’s a fine line between elegant layering and “hobo” layering.

With layering, it is not about the number of layers you pile on top of each other. It is more about the material. You can pile on as many as 10 different layers of clothing and still be cold or, 2 to 3 layers and be warm and toasty on the inside.

A sweater dress can be worn in several ways. I just love its versatility!

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 10: Kelly Rowland seen in the streets of Manhattan during the New York Fashion Week SS19 on September 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Timur Emek/Getty Images)

I love Kelly Rowland’s styling of the sweater dress worn over a long, sleeveless dress.

Image Credit – Fashiongum

And then there is this way, the boho-chic way paired with a hat and ankle length boots – LOVE!

Image credit – Pinterest

Over the knee boots is a favourite of mine. There’s just something very classic and timeless about it not to mention that it is very easy to style.

“You can pull them over skinny jeans or leggings, wear with a skirt that falls below the top of the boot”- Polo South Africa.

Keep it stylish, classy and warm this winter.

Cover Image – The EveryGirl

Polo South Africa Social Media:

Instagram: @Polosouthafrica
Twitter: @Polosouthafrica
Facebook: @Polosouthafrica

1 Slip Dress Styled 6 Different Ways

When it comes to style, I love the idea of being able to style an item of clothing in several different ways.

I enjoy the challenge of thinking outside the box and coming up with more than one way of wearing a piece of clothing.

Everyone wants to look “brand new”, unfortunately, not everyone has the budget to do so.  But when you invest in quality, versatile pieces, there is no reason you can’t wear it again and again and look different each time you do.

It’s a lazy and expensive mentality to think you need to buy an outfit each time you have an event to attend. With the right clothing, you can transform from casual to formal by just adding accessories.

This simple slip dress is an example of a versatile piece you need in your wardrobe. I knew as soon as I saw it that it would take me places. I didn’t even have to think too much and I came up with 6, maybe 7 ways to style it.

Look 1

A simple, casual look

Dress – Cotton On on Superbalist

Look 2

Formal look, wedding guest inspired look

Corporate/professional look

Bag – Aldo

Shoes – Greencross SA

Look 3

Office/work wear

T-shirt – H&M

Skirt – Cotton On dress worn as a skirt

Heels – Superbalist

Look 4 

Another wedding guest inspired look

Skirt – Superbalist

Heels – Public Desire on Zando

Look 5

Casual/school look

Sweater – Mr Price

Sunglasses – Zululookbook

Look 6

Edgy, weekend look

Bag – Zara

T-shirt – H&M

Which is your favourite look of all?

Polka Dot Is Back At It Again – The Trend That Keeps on Giving

The Polka dot trend is back and she ain’t never going nowhere ever again.

Polka dot is one of those feminine trends that we girly-girls appreciate. And let me tell you, the black and white polka dot owned the Paris Spring 2018 runway. Whether it’s the oversized ’80s iterations at Carolina Herrera’s runway show or Jason’s Wu’s romantic dresses, this trend made quite the impression.

There’s just something about polka dots. I ain’t never seen a black and white polka dot outfit that I didn’t like – it’s just so reminiscent of the ’60s.

When I think of polka dots, I imagine a white lady in a ‘ 60s inspired polka dot shift dress.  Driving around the countryside in a vintage sports car, scarf on her head with the wind lovingly blowing her hair, red lips and her face a picture of pure bliss. Hey, I watch a lot of movies!

A dress with pockets is like a unicorn – impossible to find and loved on sight. 

 

You probably already know my shopping obsession with Superbalist. I buy the majority of my clothes from there, see more on that here. So, when I saw this black and white polka dot dress, I knew I had to have it. I also love the fact that it has pockets. A dress with pockets is like a unicorn – impossible to find and loved on sight.

What do you think of the polka dot trend? Love it or don’t care for it?

Polka Dot Dress – Superbalist

Knee-high heels – YDE

Sunglasses – Sunvoss

Runway image – Pinterest

Party Season Is Here – What To Wear?

Can you believe it is the last month of the year? Damn, me neither!  Party season is here and like most people on the planet, finding THE outfit can be challenging.

I personally do most of my shopping online these days and one of my favourite places to shop is on SUPERBALIST.  With over 500 local and international fashion brands, you are bound to find something for you.

And with party season around the corner, you don’t have to stress about going to different shops in search of an outfit.

At home or in the office, you can browse some outfit options on their website. The sweetest bit is that they deliver to you, and if you try on your outfit and you don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, they will collect from you for free. What’s not to love?

This fringe playsuit is a recent purchase from Superbalist. It is my top pick for a new year’s eve club outfit. It is comfortable, sexy and fun, all the things we love. 😉

Where’s your favourite place to shop and why?

 

Mules – Dolce Vita

Summer, Summer, Summertime – Swimwear Edition

Summer is here which means it is swimwear season. Queue the beach, yacht and pool parties.

But first, did you know that understanding your body shape is paramount to getting the right swimwear.

For example, I have somewhat of an athletic build, and petite sized boobs so if I am to wear a bikini top, I like it to be padded. I would most likely buy swimwear that flatters other parts of my body that I don’t mind being on display, like my back.

I also don’t like my butt cheeks hanging out in a bikini so you will most likely find me in fully covered briefs.

No matter your body shape, we all want to look hot and sexy in swimwear. Here are some helpful tips from Lauren Conrad on the best swimwear for your body shape: https://bit.ly/2qmLxSi

 

TipIf you can, buy your swimwear at the store ( so you can try it on) because buying online is always a gamble when it comes to fitting. There’s always a chance it will be too small or too big and most stores don’t offer exchanges or refunds on swimwear and underwear. 

Swimwear – InstyleCo Boutique

7 Personality Traits of Women That Love The Colour PINK

Did you know that the colour you like says something about your personality?

Pink happens to be one of my favourite colours. It is such a pretty, feminine colour.

Growing up, I always thought there were limitations to the colours I could wear, as a dark skin girl. Pink and red were two of those colours I thought I shouldn’t wear.

I have since discovered that that just isn’t true, but back then I didn’t know any better.

Maybe it is why I am so fond of pink now.

People that love pink are said to generally possess the following personality traits:

  1.  Sensual, romantic and sensitive.
  2. Friendly and approachable.
  3. They tend to be nurturers. They have a need to care for and protect others.
  4.  Calm and reserved by nature.
  5. They have femininity, naivete and sweetness to them.
  6.  Organised, great listeners and fashion-conscious.
  7. Insecure and attention-seeking.

I think most of the above if not all, describe me. And why wouldn’t it, after all, I wrote it! LOL.

Do any of the traits describe you?

Dress – MissGuided on  Superbalist

Heels – Public Desire on Zando

Clutch – Foschini