On Date Nights and Slip Dresses

I believe wholeheartedly in the power of a good entrance, in a drop-dead outfit – Yes, I’m that girl. I mean, it makes sense that I’m that girl, I make an effort with what I wear, my payoff is the inevitable “oooh” when I walk into a room.

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Fun fact: I don’t advocate lateness to any event, however, whenever I am late, 9 times out of 10, it’s because I couldn’t decide what to wear. Also, I make up for being late by looking extra wow because I strongly believe late and gorgeous is forgivable, but late and still didn’t even try? You can piss right off.

Disclaimer: If you have children (esp. toddlers), showing up at ANY time wearing ANYTHING is perfectly fine. Heck, phone it in. I’ll take it.

Moving on, let me tell you about this dress. I bought it from Zara and it came with a cropped t-shirt attached to it. I cut out the tee and now I have this dress that is easily one of my absolutely favourite pieces. My husband is a huge fan too (well, duh), and I won’t even lie, this dress moves and hangs better than some of the more expensive counterparts in my wardrobe. Just look at it, look at this beauty. The sequence below is me on an imaginary super swanky date night with le bae:

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Step 1: Dramatic entrance because what’s the point of dressing up if you can’t be extra?

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Step 2: Strike a pose for no reason because we’ve established I’m extra

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Step 3: Pause for effect, Queen of Zamunda drawing on the regalness of all my ancestors

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Step 4: Finally sit down, promptly resume being extra

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Step 5: Yas baby, I’m this hot and you’re that lucky.

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Step 6: So… we gon’ eat or nahhh?

Bae (After Step 2): “Nne biko me’enu ihe a osiso ka anyi rie nni”
Cue me dissolving into laughter and ruining the rest of the dramatic sequence. LMAO! I will attempt this regardless, let’s see how far I get into the sequence before either of us makes a joke. I digress though, moral of this post is invest in a slip dress. Put it on, throw on some heels and you can’t be told nothing. There’s just something about slip dresses, maybe it’s all the extra breeze, I don’t know, I can’t describe it, but trust me. Shhh, just trust me. Below are some links, go forth and prosper.

Dress 1: ASOS Ultimate Strappy Cami Mini Dress

Dress 2: H&M Slip dress

Dress 3: Miss Selfridge Cami Slip Maxi Dress

On Wonderful Tailoring

Update: The pants are sold out at Nordstrom (sad face!) BUT, I did some sleuthing for the ladies who asked, and found them online (and they’re on sale!)

For those in Canada click here to shop the pants at The Bay. For those in The States, I got you too boo, click here to shop them at Vince Camuto. You’re welcome my sisters, I do it for the culture.


I fell in love with these pants at Nordstrom the minute I saw them, but true to my petite body, they had to be altered even though the size was XS. Nordstrom stepped up like champs and for a minor fee, altered the pants to perfection! They fit great, look great and hey, I must have done something right with the styling because the wonderful people at Vince Camuto were impressed. Click here to check your girl out on their Instagram page.

Vanity aside, I believe in the power of wonderful tailoring. Just like a classic button-down white shirt, perfectly tailored pants and suits are a staple in any wardrobe. They are the items you can and should splurge on. Personally, most of my pants are bespoke (get you a good tailor darling!), however in the absence of a tailor, I strongly support spending the extra cash to get pants that fit right. As a girl who owns several pairs, I can tell you they are well worth the investment.

Pants: Vince Camuto
Sandals: Ralph Lauren
Coat & Top: Zara

Happy Monday! Serve up some slay. xx

On Loving Yourself

It’s MAY! Summer is around the corner, woohoo! Are you ready for the slay? Because I was born ready. Yusssss! LOL. I have no anecdotes or cute stories to tell about this outfit. The only thing I have to say is that it made me feel wonderful. You can tell too! Look at me revel in my cuteness. Juslookadit! Love it. Never mind the fact that it was way colder outside than we thought it would be on that day, so I was freezing half to death. Didn’t matter; I was adorable, I loved my outfit and those sneakers were all the sunshine I needed!

Sneakers, skirt & coat : Zara
Blouse: Sears

Images by the incomparable Aminaz K. Have you followed her on Instagram yet? Do it! @loveoverlenses

Happy Monday! Don’t let anyone steal your sunshine. xx

On Headwraps and Blue Jeans

As a proper Igbo girl, I’ve always had a thing for a perfectly executed headwrap. Whether it’s a simple turban or a complicated double-decker style worn by a full-bosomed Igbo woman, the headwrap or ichafu as we call it, has always been a huge part of Igbo tradition. Any event that calls for dressing up, would see an array of very colourful, very intricate (and sometimes very precarious) ichafu perched on every woman’s head.

Growing up in Nigeria, I remember watching every Sunday morning in complete awe as my mom twisted any particular ichafu she had selected to match her outfit, into a complicated crown in a matter of minutes. Said crown/headgear/piece of art would sit atop her head and not flinch all through mass! Bear in mind that Catholic mass in Nigeria runs anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours depending on the service, and there was usually a lot of very vigorous dancing. I concluded then that my mother was (and still is) a magician. You can’t tell me otherwise.

Now, we all know I love me some fashion – clothes and shoes are my Prozac, purses meh, don’t care for them. Thing is, as fabulously fashiony as I am, you can always cash me ousside in a comfy tee and a well worn pair of jeans. Why? Because life is complicated (read: I’m lazy) and jeans make life a little easier okay? (read: I’m REALLY lazy) When I say jeans, I mean proper jeans by the way, not jeggings because those are just impostors, but I digress. Put a pin in that jeggings comment though, because I feel a rant brewing in me for much later.

So, I love jeans, love tees, and love me some nice ichafu, so imagine if you will my complete joy when putting together this outfit which combines all three things. Check me out stylin’ and wildin’ below:

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Jeans: Vintage Tommy Hilfiger

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Headwrap: My mom’s (obvs)

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Flatforms, Tee, Coat (Sold out): Zara (TRF)

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Awkward laugh sold separately. Kidding! I know I’m cute. 

Half my wardrobe is from Zara, so unless otherwise stated, just assume it’s Zara. Why? Well, most of their stuff fits me wonderfully. Emphasis on most, because not everything is great but at least they’re trying. See my post on shopping while petite to understand why this REALLY matters to me. Thank you Zara! (No, this is not an ad, Zara doesn’t advertise. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, now, you know. You’re welcome!)

All that said, shoutout to Aminaz K, my awesome photographer for these amazing shots! This is a shameless plug because she’s great, I LOVE her work and she can have ALL my money. Follow her on Instagram (@loveoverlenses). Heck, since you’re there already, follow me too! (@thenoellae)

Happy Monday, Happy Easter! Go forth, prosper and be as colourful as all the chocolate eggs we will all be gnawing on all week.

xx.

 

On Shopping While Petite

Full disclosure: This is a rant. You have been warned.

I used to love shopping. Walking in and out of stores all day, trying on clothes, falling in love with adorable things, I could do that all day. This was adorable back when my style was super teeny bopper and Forever 21 was my mecca. Then I grew up. My style evolved and now, I hate shopping. The stores have remained the same, nothing has changed, except I’ve realized much to my chagrin, that retailers haven’t yet figured out that grown ups also come in small sizes. I’ll expand on this.

You see, I’m a grown ass woman. I want to buy nice, staple pieces for my grown ass woman wardrobe. I want to walk into a store with my size in mind, pull out the clothes that correspond to my size, try them on and have NO problems. Alas, at 5ft 3 and 97lbs, this will not happen because I am not just petite, I am a TINY petite.

Note: Before you tell me to eat a sandwich, or try to tell me that I don’t have issues because they at least have my size in stores, allow me to remind you to kindly shut the fuck up. This is MY space to talk about the world as it affects ME. If you have your own issues, you can add them in the comments and we can fight the power together, or you can go away. I’m fine with either, but what you not gon’ do is try to diminish my problems to highlight yours, because I’m not here for it. I just need pants that fit. Honestly. Truly.

So what are these issues I’m maudlin and a-wailing about you ask? Pull up a chair nwanne m, nodu ani, and I’ll tell you all my woes, starting with:

Pants – Need to be hemmed and taken in at the waist. Every time. If it’s jeans I just have to make do with whatever length they are, and give up circulation in my legs if I want the waist to be snug. Below is an actual image of me trying on size zero pants. E V E R Y  T I M E.

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Dresses – Always look like bags and are usually several inches longer than they look on the model. Don’t EVEN get me started on maxi dresses.

Blouses & Tees – Too big. Too baggy. Too much. Like, why is my “perfect tee” a dress, people? It did NOT look like this on Victoria Beckham. Ihe a aburo ihe anyi kpaa.

Bras – Nobody makes bras for me. I’m a 30C and La Senza used to have my back until they just up and changed their minds one day. And to all the nice, well-meaning ladies at Victoria’s Secret/La Senza/Winners that I’ve complained to, please know that 32B does not fit right. I know because I have several at home to prove it. Telling me that it does, doesn’t make it true.

Swimsuits & Two-Pieces – UGH! Just, ugh. Le struggle! If it fits on top, the bottom is a bag, if it fits on the bottom, the top is too tight. If it’s a one piece, the waist/stomach area just has random space. When I manage to find that unicorn one that fits snug all around, guess what else is really snug? Yup, wedgie. Fun stuff.

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I own this. It does NOT look like this when I wear it.

Shoes & Belts – This is the only place I’m lucky more often than not. Then again, being tiny means tiny ankles/tiny waist which means the last buckle hole is usually two notches above the point where it’s comfortable for me. How sway.

Side note: My “aha!” moment on this issue came very recently (hence this rant, obvs). I used to walk around thinking this issue was me specifically, with my tiny proportions and tiny self, until a very kind salesgirl at Nordstrom, when I asked for the petite section responded by telling me they don’t have one, then giving me a litany of issues she also had while picking out clothes. She’s a chubby petite and she has the same issues I do. I then remembered that one of my friends and coworkers, Josie, is a regular sized petite and she too, has the same issues. My dear friend, Chrissie is a curvy petite – full on hourglass body packed into a 5 ft 2 frame – and she too, has the same problems! So finally, it clicked – NOBODY MAKES ANYTHING FOR PETITE PEOPLE, PERIOD. It’s not just me, and it’s not just because I’m tiny, it’s simply because adults stop existing after 5ft 5 in the fashion world.

The thing is, everyone seems to have accepted this general pretence that all adults are above 5ft 5 as the norm BUT I REFUSE to. I’m just over here with so many questions. Like “Yeah, that’s cool, but WHY though?” cos I really don’t understand how this is a thing. Especially here in Canada where the average woman is 5ft 3. You would think this would be petite Valhalla, but no! Retailers are still making and selling clothes for these fictional tall people, that none of us seems to be or even know.

So, what then? Should we petite people just walk around swaddled in scarves, cos those usually fit perfectly. I really don’t understand it. Petite people are people too. Grown up people. Grown up people who want nice pants and mixed separates and co-ords, and cute dresses that they don’t have to break the bank for (see my lament on the Tibi Dress). We just want nice things and adult wardrobes, that’s all. Is that really too much to ask? Why can’t we have nice things?

sigh I’m sad now. Sad and just tired.

If you’re petite and you’re reading this, have you found a life hack? Help me sis. Help me. If you haven’t found a hack, and just want to rant, giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl, I am here for ALL of it.

 

Gallery

Things I covet – The Tibi Dress

 

Tibi Floral Gothic Dress

So, I went to Nordstrom. After months of having the store literally next door to me in Toronto, I finally found the time to stroll in this weekend and take a look.

And. I. Loved it!

I fell in love with a colossal mannequin they had on display by the elevators (I wasn’t sure I was allowed to take a picture, so I just stared instead), I fell in love with the airiness and the lovely fitting rooms – didn’t much care for how dry it was in the store, static electricity is no fun when you’re changing clothes. I fell in love with a pair of pants from Vince Camuto, (bought them, styled them in a shoot, will wear them till they fall apart); but most importantly, I fell madly in love with this Tibi dress that clearly did not love me back. The dress fit like a dream – which is amazing considering all the issues I have shopping while petite; so imagine my pain when this Tibi dress did not get along with my bank account. At $495 USD ($655 CAD) I could not justify it to myself – I tried, honestly. So, I twirled many, many, MANY times in front of the mirror, hugged the dress, kissed it goodbye as I took it off, then handed it to the sales lady who watched all this with a wry amusement. I didn’t care, I love you Tibi dress and I am not ashamed of our love! But since this love is completely unrequited, I have made do with my VC pants, even though they were a size 0 and I STILL had to get them altered, but it’s okay. I’ll survive.

On Borrowing Fashion

I love my fashion old. Whether I’m digging furiously through thrift store racks for the coolest finds, or watching an old movie on Turner Classic/Netflix, old fashion is my fashion of choice. There’s so much inspiration to be gleaned from all the decades past -except the 2000’s, let’s never do that again please? In any case, I have found that fashion is cyclical. Every 10 years – give or take, things come back into style. Fashion then becomes a tussle for (s)he who can predict accurately when these things come back in style, or can put together the outmoded stuff in a fresh new way with absolutely no fear (Iris Apfel is living breathing proof of this theory). In view of that, I have always borrowed fashion. As a teen I remember trying to copy my mom’s style when she was in university, she had a bunch of pictures I would dig through – so stylish and my, what a figure! I never quite nailed it because as a teenager you’re torn between wanting to fit in, and desperately needing to be your own person. I wish I could say I never tried to fit in, but that would be such a lie.

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Rare picture of me as a teenager

In any case, I’m grown now (cue Beyonce) and I can wear what the hell ever I damn well please, which means I can borrow all the fashion I want and not be scared to look foolish. Also, even if people do insist I look foolish, I can strike a pose and invoke the unbeatable power of osondi owendi. (Shout out to my Igbo people who got that reference!)

Moving along, my decade of choice right now is the ’80s. I have been overdosing on The Fresh Prince and A Different World, the latter of which inspired the look below.

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Hat and glasses by Big it up | Top by Urban Planet 

Head to toe black, reflective glasses and fringe boots. The look was actually inspired by Lisa Bonet’s outfit in the piano scene of the opening sequence in Season 1 of a Different World. Glasses and hair are courtesy of Slash naturally, because he outcools everyone’s cool.

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Necklace (thrifted) | Jeans by Old Navy | Boots by ASOS

I could wear this all day everyday. Thank you Lisa Bonet, you fabulous perennial beauty you! And Slash, keep rocking!

PS: Here’s a style recap from this week:

Ciao!

xx

On why you should curate your wardrobe.

Let me start by saying that a carefully curated wardrobe is a LOT of hassle. It really is, especially in this age of fast fashion when nothing is made to last and it is an absolute pain to find wardrobe items that won’t be thrown out in a year. I mean you could, but you’d probably have to spend a ton of money and I am so not about that life. So yes, curating a wardrobe is a hassle. I would know because when I shop it is a carefully planned exercise. Sure, I have impulse buys now and then, however I make a point of ensuring that everything in my wardrobe, impulse or not, has a use. The trick is to make sure, they don’t have an expiry date i.e, they stay fashionable your whole life.

Before we get into this, let me be direct about my beliefs in fashion, I have three very strongly held and unassailable beliefs that govern my fashion religion:

  1. If I like it, I will buy it. I do NOT care what you feel.
  2. The idea of dressing your age is complete and utter bullshit.
  3. I wear what I want, whenever I want, to wherever I want.
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I will never stop wearing crop tops. EVER.

Now, within my fashion religion, I also have one steadfast rule that governs my fashion purchases and this affects everything from shoes to bras:

  1. If I do not see myself wearing this item forever, I am not buying it.
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I am going to be buried in these Jeffrey Campbell boots.

Notice that both rules are firmly entrenched in what believe? Exactly. My wardrobe is about me. Just like yours should be about you. When you shop, buy what you like, buy what you feel fabulous in, buy timeless pieces but also spend on a few trends because no one likes a boring wardrobe. The two important things to note when it comes to wardrobe curating:

  1. Always have a good pieces that pair well with everything.
  2. Never, EVER buy cheap shoes.

Your feet are the most important part of your body -assuming you’re not in a wheelchair, if you are, spend your money on great shirts/tops. Your arms will thank your for it; however, if you aren’t in a wheelchair, your feet ARE the most important part of your body and might I say, the most under-appreciated. They carry you everywhere and balance all your weight, even after you go to an all you can eat buffet? Come on. Put some respeck on les pieds and buy some well made shoes dammit!

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Beautifully made shoes are life.

In any case, I was saying something? Ah yes, curate your wardrobe. You will spend way more time shopping than other people, and buy way less things. Also, shopping will become less fun because you will be more pragmatic when making purchases (BORING!), yes, but you will also have less buyer’s remorse (CHA-CHING!) Is this even worth it? Did I just read this long ass post for this girl to try to ruin shopping for me? Ze horror! Nah, it is totally worth it. Why? Because if everything you have is fantastic, you will always look fantastic without trying. Plus, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation where most of your wardrobe is stolen and most of your shoes destroyed by a really horrible petty little person (story for another day), you can still be stylish with what’s left behind. Trust me on this one, I have firsthand knowledge.

Whew! This was a long post. Ya made it! How are you doing? Drink some water. Here are some pictures of what I wore these past few weeks to take the edge off. These are in no particular order.

Happy Monday!

Ciao. xx

 

Denim on Denim (Updated)

I never thought I’d find a use for this skirt. I bought it on a whim, years and years ago and never quite found something to pair it with. Then I bought this fabulous denim crop top and bam, match made in heaven. I had to casually retrieve the skirt from my sister’s wardrobe, seeing as I had given it to her two years ago but details, details. Mi skirta su skirta.

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Top – Asos | Skirt – Forever 21 | Socks – Happy Socks | Boots – Jeffrey Campbell

I’ll have to update this post later with shots of the different items on their own, right now I just need to post something on this blog to prove to myself that I haven’t forgotten how to write. And, would you look at that? I did it!

[UPDATE]

As promised, here are the detail shots for the outfit.

My precious Litas, oh the places we’ve been! These shoes have crossed oceans, attended Pride parades, played pool and danced the night away so many times. They have also gotten me more compliments than all the shoes in my wardrobe combined. And yes, those are actual steel spikes. Stylish and can double as a weapon, these shoes are pretty much me in a nutshell. Haha!

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Product shot of the full outfit (Can you tell I spend a lot of time on Polyvore? LOL)

I can’t find my Happy Socks, which is just as well because I stole them from my sister in the first place. I shall steal them back at the earliest opportunity because we’re siblings dammit, what’s hers is totally mine.

Ciao. xx

The magic of accessorising

Great accessories are the key to a great outfit, I learned that early. Whenever I find an outfit too blah, I throw on some kickass accessories and it takes the outfit from blah, to bam. Case in point today’s outfit. Casual comfy jeans and a tie crop top, pretty basic stuff. However, add some reflective sunglasses with animal print sneakers and voila!

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Tie crop top – Romwe | Jeans – Rag and Bone | Sunglasses – Big It Up

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Bag – Thrifted | Sneakers – Reebok

Honestly, I just went to run some errands and I looked fabulous. Quite proud of myself. Also, this is my second blog post in a row in months, even more proud of me!

Ciao. xx