What, like its hard?

I never thought in a million years I would wear a Barbie/Elle Woods pink suit, but I gotta say thank goodness for evolving. I would have missed out on this fabulous piece. Suits are most definitely my favorite for work, they are easy to put together, look professional, and are mostly very flattering. I purchased this suit from Target, -their new line, A New Day. I cannot rave about Target lines enough, they are affordable and best of all the quality is so amazing for the price point!

This linen blend is perfect for the hot weather that is already here in North Carolina. I love that I can make this look causal if I wear the pants with a white or black tee and maybe some comfy sneakers. I can also wear the blazer over a black camisole and pair it with dark denim and heels – so versatile! Definitely see my self living in this for the next couple of months!

Pants (they are a relaxed fit so size down – I did small!)

Blazer

I wore a bodysuit under my blazer, which I purchased from h&m years ago. Bag is ElizebethandJames, heels are Valentino.

How would you wear this suit?

and of course have to mention my amazing photographer/friend! Who truly makes photoshoots so much fun. PorshiaHernandezPhotography

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mad for plaid.

Plaid is everywhere. On the streets of Milan, Paris, New York – and even my office. I am absolutely thrilled about plaid making a comeback to fashion. Forget just a plaid jacket, from matching sets – in true Cher Horowitz fashion- to even plaid shoes. I am here for it. I am a sucker for mod styled fashion. If I could live in any era it would most definitely be the 60’s, I have Mad Men to thank for that.

My plaid suit from Target’s new line “A New Day” (my new OBSESSION by the way)  is so comfy and it seriously takes out all the stress in the morning when I know I have a long day of work ahead of me, full of meetings, being out and about in the community, and have dinner plans later. It is extremely versatile, it takes me through the day.

So I bought my suit back in the Summer, early Fall – and ya girl has dropped some pounds – time to get it tailored! I didn’t even realize till I had my photo shoot – so much stress from work and life in general – but a good reminder you never get rid of such a classic piece! You must tailor it to you, every step of the way.

I let the suit do the talking, so I keep it simple with an off-white shirt and simple black sling-backs. The focus should always be YOU. Remember clothes don’t wear you, you wear the clothes – Ruby always taught me that as a kid and it is a very important fashion rule I do not forget. Clothes should compliment you and your structure, your personality, and you should always feel comfortable and confident in the clothes. If you don’t then the clothes ultimately wear you.

Can’t wait to add more plaid pieces to my wardrobe! How do you guys wear plaid?

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Spring Vibes

Spring is short lived here in the South, but lately we can’t seem to get rid of these frigid temps. I can’t complain too much, it is April and I was in New Jersey this past weekend and it started to SNOW! I’ll take 50’s any day. I enjoy a little chill in the air any ways, summers here get extremely hot, its nice to enjoy the in between sometimes.

Insert lightweight coats. I love a nice jacket/coat. I think it can really make an outfit come together. I own so many different variations of a trench coat – you can always depend on something extremely classic. Since the weather is very bipolar it also makes it easy to transition into the afternoon when the weather tends to get much warmer. Layering – to a certain extent can really help you look as if you put time and thought in your outfit.

And lets talk about transition. I live in my work clothes 8-7 typically, but to make it look less work attire-ish, I switch it up by changing my shoes and removing the coat for a more casual look. If I wear heels to work then I prefer a much more causal look when I just want to chill with my friends and put on flats. If I am more laid back at work and already wearing flats then I like to switch into heels and add some really nice earrings for dinner. You never want to waste a good outfit, even if it is just work clothes.

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the more causal look, ditch the heels and pair it with loafers or slides.

Outfit linked below – let me know if these tips helped you for ideas on work threads and being able to transition your outfit from day to night!

Classic Trench Coat

Top

Slacks

Slides

Thanks to my girl, Porshia Hernandez  for the amazing shots! You guys need her photography in your life, definitely check out her page!

QTDNA: questions that don’t need answers.

This blog post comes from an extremely vulnerable place, and I give this topic a lot of thought – unintentionally mostly and some days intentionally. Perhaps, with wedding season in full effect or the fact I will be turning 30 this year, everyone has one burning question for me, “so when are you getting married?” And although, MOST of the time I think it comes from a good place, lets talk about WHY this question is heartless and others like it.

First off, why things aren’t happening in someone’s life, such as, “you’ve been married for one year, now it’s time for children,” is NOT your concern. Then after one has their first child, it instantly becomes about having your second… “what are you waiting for?” Basically the questions never end. People have already jumped onto the next hurdle and you’re still trying to relish in the first one.

Is there a race I am unaware of? What do we get if we cross the finish line the fastest? And it’s not just annoying aunties anymore, in fact it seems to me EVERYONE is extremely curious. Married friends and family members who just can’t seem to understand why you aren’t leaping to the finish line. I’m not even going to talk about the turtle and the hare, because we all know the cliche story, but in this case, is anyone really winning if they cross the finish line the quickest?

Listen, getting married isn’t the issue, or you reminding me that I am single. Yes, I am single and despite my disposition on marriage, when you bring up such topics with people, it can feed some undesired emotion that you didn’t even know existed. Especially with bearing children, or anything really. You have NO idea how bad this person might want the exact thing you are suggesting, and to brutally remind them of their struggles is not okay.

I’m a secure person. Certain comments always throw me off such as, “but you’re so pretty how are you single?” This is NOT a compliment by any means. We are ALL well aware (I hope) that finding a partner has nothing to do with your looks, and to normalize this in any way, speaks volumes about our society.

Let’s take this thought a little deeper. I often have really close friends or family members say, “you’re so amazing, how is that you haven’t found someone?” This is a nice claim, but let me tell what’s wrong with it. You hear it so much you truthfully start to think, “damn I am amazing why am I single? Essentially, what the world is telling you is, “you have to be doing something wrong.”  But that’s just it, relationships are not that black and white, nor is the process that simple. We’re so used to delivering cliche remarks, I honestly think people don’t even comprehend how these statements can resonate.

My mother always says, “tume apne bare mein, badi galth famiyan hain,” a famous urdu saying which translates to, “you have A LOT of misconceptions about yourself.” Basically, I ain’t shit (thank you Ruby for always keeping me humble, it is SO NEEDED.) And that’s my problem with those sorts of compliments, it cultivates this idea that we DESERVE a significant other. Look, we don’t deserve anything, you have to work hard at anything and everything you want or need in this life, and that is especially true with people. Also, because I know some really horrible people married, so personality does not dictate whether or not you get married, it’s determined by MANY other factors, clearly.

Additionally, there are those who give their unwarranted advice. Now advice can be fundamental, but to start off with accusatory remarks such as, ‘don’t be so picky, be open minded’ or ‘just be straight-forward and approach the guy yourself’ are not intelligent ways to grab my attention. In my mind I’m thinking, have you met me?? Do I need to spell it out for the guy… but that is an entirely different topic altogether.

My favorite remark thus far has been, “you’re too strong willed.” (insert eye roll emoji.) To blame the very person of why something isn’t happening, is telling the person – ‘its your own fault.’ Don’t get me wrong, I am self aware of all my faults and I am all for constructive criticism but for all one knows, that person has tried everything in their power, and you think you’re being helpful by offering unsolicited opinions? It’s cruel to be honest. In order to be an effective communicator you must embody empathy, and as a human race, we seem to be losing that daily.

I love those who advocate for marriage. They get all cliche on me and say, oh it’ll happen when you least expect it. I’m sorry, are you telling me you didn’t know you were going decide a huge life factor and it *gasps* just happened? You’re trying to tell me that you put no effort or time into something SO monumental, as society teaches us… and it just happened? That entire proposal you elaborated on instagram just happened? Please, stop with this carefree facade. Its demeaning. Relationships are meaningful and they don’t JUST HAPPEN. They take time and patience and sure, for some it is through family and the time is put in differently, but it doesn’t JUST HAPPEN. This a very careful thought out act. I for one, put thought into EVERYTHING I do, and even if meeting someone is the unexpected part, everything that follows is CAREFULLY THOUGHT OUT. So please stop telling single folk, it just happened – I know what you mean, I do, but it is not the same thing, and we have stop perpetuating these false concepts.

If you are not ready to have an in depth conversation about the PROCESS, then don’t proceed with unnecessary suggestions or comments. It is not small talk, it is literally stupid talk. No, I am not bitter, nor am I sad that my timeline hasn’t aligned with your expectations. I have no desire to constantly indulge in the reality that is MY LIFE, I do that enough with my mother, thanks. I am already quite aware what is and isn’t my life.

SO PLEASE STOP:

Asking my married friends why they aren’t having children. (Or why they aren’t as eager as YOU are for their second.)

Telling people what they MIGHT be doing wrong in finding a significant other.

Inquiring about why someone didn’t finish or start med school (God forbid someone doesn’t want to be a doctor.)

Reminding people (or in this case specifically, me) that they are single.

Maybe, just maybe we prefer it that way and if they don’t maybe they have blind faith, that when it supposed to happen, it will. I’ll leave you with my favorite hadith because it is reminder to us all to be sensitive to others and their personal lives:

“Know that if the whole community were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

 

Elegant Jewelry

I recently just got back from Pakistan, and trust me when I say I shopped my little heart out. Even though time was against me I managed to find things I love and adore. Not gonna lie, jewelry was really hard to find. I mean yes, it was everywhere but with so many new styles it was hard to find jewelry I really wanted, like traditional, old school jewelry. I came back a little defeated in that department, but I also came back to a package from ElegantandJewelry. And I am SO thankful! The jewelry design is right up my alley, crafted so beautifully, simple, yet elegant, with a touch of old school that I love. They carry various styles, which is really convenient. If you know me, I love ANYTHING ferozi [turquoise] especially in the summertime! I love with these particular earrings I can make them pop with a simple outfit or make a lawn outfit fancier. And with Eid coming up and wedding season around the corner you can’t go wrong! Check out their Instagram page, and mention my name for a discount! You guys seriously won’t be disappointed and I can’t wait to show you more goodies from them 🙂

a new boost of confidence.

Make-up is an expression of creativity and a form of art. I believe that to be true, but this is what happened when I didn’t wear make-up for 30 days.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been experiencing some interesting changes. The things that once mattered to me, don’t. I can’t distinguish when the change happened but a part of me gathers it is because I am turning 30 soon. Eight months to be exact. Other components have been a deciding factor as well.

The idea came to me one day out of anger. I was angry that as I spoke about a topic that weighed remarkably heavy on my heart,  someone stopped me to ask me the color of my lipstick. I don’t know what made me more angry, the fact that out of EVERYTHING I was saying, they were more interested in my fake lip color or that I cared.

I am constantly torn between, how I want to be perceived by others, and not really caring and doing as I please. It’s a daily struggle to be honest. Naturally, I am not concerned with what people think about me, but I do carry some sort of burden of being represented correctly.

We live in a world where the word feminism is interpreted in various ways. I consider myself a feminist, in the true sense of the word. Both sexes should be treated equally – nothing more, nothing less. When people see me or speak to me, I want to be taken seriously MORE than anything in my life. In fact, I  want it so badly, I come off aggressive most days. I became aware of this thanks to my ex (they’re good for something I guess.) He’d always tell me to take it easy, that it was never that serious, and although he was right, I couldn’t help but to think, you’re not a woman, you’ll never get it.

I started to define these moments as losses. That if my hair was too polished and my outfit was too perfect then the matters I was speaking on or the important things I was trying to accomplish, were going to get lost. I became so obsessed with being heard that I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want any sort of distraction. I wanted my knowledge and intelligence to be the core of me. ‘What you see, is what you get,’ if you will. So I took away the pink lipstick and opted for a fresh face, discoloration and all. Tucked my curls away, and pulled back my hair. Needless to say, my sisters went on to tell me I looked like a walking zombie.

Initially, I hated the way my dark circles were the first thing you noticed and I absolutely loathed the, “are you tired?” question. As the days passed, I started to like the extra thirty minutes of sleep in the morning. I started to like my bare skin and my hair pulled back. I started to realize, I was still me. The strong willed person who doesn’t take any bullshit. Concealer or sans concealer. I know make-up doesn’t define me, it never had. That was never the question I battled with. I wanted to take away this superficial layer, and be my authentic self. I wanted people to ask me more significant questions. I wanted to engage in more meaningful conversations.

I concluded, it wasn’t necessarily the make-up that was the issue, but perhaps the people in my life. I was getting “rid” of the wrong thing. I also recognized, its all how YOU define it. Interest in beauty and fashion doesn’t diminish my intelligence BUT I will be damned if you presume that interest in such matters define me as person entirely. I just defined a new me.

I am MORE than my well thought-out outfits. I am especially MORE than my face. I am MORE with my pink lipstick and I’m also MORE with my dark circles, and I am REALLY more when we talk about the POTUS.

the art of layering.

If anyone has mastered the art of layering, its usually all the models with their street style. With their causal tees, a button-up (or a flannel tied to their waist), another layer, a really cool moto jacket, and that blanket scarf that pretty much devours them. The art of layering is all about the pieces you layer with.

firstly: pick a color palette and stick with it. It’s essential that the pieces match in some way.

second: it is important to pick thin layers to layer with. If you chose a bulky item, that is how one can look bigger than they really are. Pick ONE bulky layer, and that should be the layer that can be easily taken on and off – usually the coat.

third: layering with accessories is the best. it adds to your look without feeling or looking heavy. a winter hat, jewelry, or knee high socks under your boots that peek through, and of course the blanket scarf. I love how it can turn an outfit to chic in a matter of seconds. All of these items help with layering without the bulky feel, if you’re not into the multiple clothes thing.

I don’t know why, but I always wear a cami (especially during winter time) it keeps me warm and adds an easy layer. For my shirt, I chose my thinner denim shirt, a cardigan and threw on my pleather to complete this look. Of course sunny North Carolina forced me to take my scarf off, but thats okay because I am sure the temps will get frigid in no time and I can wear all my lovely scarfs.

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cami: Buckle | top: f21 | cardigan: h&m | pleather: Steve Madden | jeans: Big Star Vintage | boots: Naughty Monkey.

Happy Layering!

goodbye summer, hello fall.

To dress for the summer season is extremely difficult, for me anyways. I find that it is just too sticky in the south, so being cute is out of the question. Your makeup doesn’t last – no matter how many amazing setting powders or sprays you own, your hair (or MY hair in this case) never wants to stay put and WILL forever just want to curl and get frizzy. Welcome to Carolina heat. The weather is still rather warm, but we are finally gearing up for Fall with the chilly breeze in the mornings and cool nights- my absolute favorite!

But the way I stayed cool (pun intended) this summer was living in easy breezy dresses or jumpsuits. It made life SO easy and the thing about jumpsuits- they transition right into fall- all you have to do is add a cardigan for a causal look or a blazer for a more sophisticated one.

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jumpsuit: Tilly’s | cardigan: h&m | shoes: Buckle

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the dress of the season.

When my mother purchased this fabric, I honestly didn’t even care for it. She came home and said I bought this to take to Pakistan for an outfit. I didn’t pay it much mind, I figured my other sisters could have it. When she was actually leaving for Pakistan, we all handed her our lists: of things I wanted, how I wanted them – and I’m extremely particular, so I know she wasn’t happy with my list haha. I usually print her pictures so she has a better understanding of how I prefer my clothes to be. She packed this fabric and asked how I wanted it, and I told her to just make it into a dress. I figured if we kept it simple, she couldn’t really mess up. In this case, I am SO happy she disregarded what I wanted and did her own thing. My cousins wife helped her make this dress come alive. After constant texts through what’s app, regardless of time differences, I am glad they asked me for approval for everything. Forever thankful, that they understand my picky ways.

The dress was made in Lahore, by my cousins personal tailor. My mother and her went and got the neckline made and added pearls to the hemline and armholes. I absolutely love the way this dress came out, I get so many inquires about it! Ruby out did herself.

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