Here Comes Christmas!

I love Christmas. I do. I’m a December baby, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with my love for the most festive time of year. My birthday is exactly two weeks before Christmas, I know, you’d think I would get double presents but NOPE! All my loved ones are cheap so  I get the ONE present and I’m supposed to make do because “OMG you got a present two weeks ago!” So? I didn’t choose my awesome. Side eye at ALL. OF. YOU. >_>

Anywho, cheap people in my life notwithstanding, I still love December. The month gives me so much energy and life! So, in keeping with that, I thought why not do a Christmas themed shoot, that’s popping but not corny and regular. No trees, no tinsel, none of that Santa stuff cos I’m cooler than Santa (and way more stylish, thanks). I took a walk into H&M, spied the perfect outfits for my shoot, took a look at my girl Lala’s cheekbones and knew she was the perfect candidate. I reached out to her with the plan, she brought the dream team of Lano & Jevaughn together and this awesome foursome made some seasonal magic! Check it out.

 

Those boots though! Right? I know, I know. I’m so proud of me. Proud of my friends and the dream team at Reel Urban Entertainment for pulling this together and shout out to my girl Lala Dale for bringing that bawse attitude and diamond-cut cheekbones to the party!

Follow the team on Instagram here –> Reel Urban Entertainment.

Follow Lala here —> ItsLalaDale

Follow the bomb photographers Lano and Jevaughn (who pulled all this together in under 3 hours) here —> D3Sylva and here —> Jay Spades Photography

Annnnnd follow me, (if you don’t already) here —> TheNoellaE

I already have a birthday shoot planned AND a Christmas party shoot planned because OMG Christmas! Are you excited yet? Well, get excited. IT’S DECEMBER!!!

Yeah, I’m excited.

xx

On Jumpsuits

I’m grateful for a lot of things in my life – family, love, blonde hazelnut lattes, shoes with the perfect platform to heel ratio, jumpsuits…man, jumpsuits! The answer to every lazy fashion girl’s prayer. The fashion gods’ solution to days when you really need to look great, but don’t have the energy required to rummage through your wardrobe. I could go on and on about jumpsuits (and rompers but that’s a different post).

I don’t remember my life before jumpsuits because I never had a life outside of them. My earliest memory of my absolute favourite outfit to wear as a child was a polka dot jumpsuit. I wore the crap out of that thing. There was once a picture of me in it (it’s long lost now) I was at my uncle’s convocation ceremony in Nsukka, and from the look of pure contentment on my face, you could tell that my outfit was comfy. The look was very similar to this one:

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Okay, there were no flailing hands – I was a very stoic child, but I know I was feeling that way! I could extol the virtues of one piece outfits all day, especially stylish ones, and you know what, I will. Here’s why jumpsuits are fantastic:

  1. You get to look great and you don’t have to match two separate items of clothing.
  2. Jumpsuits flatter every body type. They’re basically giant upside-down stirrups for your body and we all know stirrups aren’t picky, just helpful.
  3. Jumpsuits transition effortlessly through the season – Winter? Throw on a coat. Spring? Throw on a cardigan. Summer? Throw off everything (heck, underwear is optional). Fall? Throw on a cozy knit sweater (and a latte!) #winning
  4. Jumpsuits pair well with everything – flats, heels, sneakers, sandals, clogs, boots, mules, wedges, peep-toes, maryjanes, slingbacks, slip-ons, flip flops… you name it! (See what I did there? Thank you, I’m here all week!)
  5. As a petite woman, jumpsuits and rompers are Jesus’ answers to my #shortpeopleproblems tears. Can I get an amen from a fellow petite sis?

Disclaimer: The only time jumpsuits are annoying is when it’s time to pee – but come on, the trade off is worth it. It’s pure, effortless chic. Need I say more? Everything is just awesome in a jumpsuit (even the lego dude wore one!), so sign me up every time please. Bonus points if it has pockets.

Now that I’m done singing the praises, check me out in this jumpsuit from H&M, looking all ready to party and what not, highlighter popping, looking like I did the most, when I didn’t even do much.

Okay, I did the complete and utter most with those spring blossoms, lmao. But hey, I had a great time, and I regret nothing. Go forth this Monday and do the same!

xx

PS: Yes, Aminaz shot these. Go follow her on Instagram (@loveoverlenses) and use her services before she becomes famous and you have to get on a waitlist. You’re welcome.

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 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 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

Gallery

Unique Tunic

This is my new favourite tunic of all time (that’s right, ALL time). I love it because it was crafted from a little over 1.5 yards of fabric. My late aunt happened to have bequeathed my uncle (her brother) this great fabric, and after he’d made his own outfit, he had a tiny bit of the fabric left. I asked him nicely for it, and he so kindly obliged but he doubted I’d be able to make much out of it, I mean, 1 yard of fabric really. However! I put all his doubts to rest when this wicked little tunic came out of it.

Note: Click on images for a better view.

 

The tunic is lightweight, lightly lined, and I was the coolest chic on the block pairing it with these bomb platforms. I had whole too cool for school, wild african queen thing going (yasssss) Totally here for it.

Shoes: WithChic

Watch: Fossil

Perks of being petite: Made a tunic with such little fabric.

Shoutout to my very creative tailor @omacollins for making this magic happen. Check her out on Instagram, she doesn’t post much but man she’s good! Go forth and get you some awesome. xx

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Style Recap

After a long hiatus, I am back home in Toronto. I’m so grateful for the adventures of the past two years, culminating in one final bungee jump of an adventure – I found my bestfriend and married the heck out of him; so yeah, it’s been great.

That said, I am jetlagged, I am sleepy and I’m several weeks late…with this post. Better late than never eh?

Outfit 1: Dress by ASOS

Outfit 2: Top by ASOS, Vintage thrifted pants, headwrap by me.

Outfit 3: Dress by H&M

 

I’ll be more regular. I promise. xx