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

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

Midweek Style Recap

Hello fellow caffeine lovers! I’ve decided that putting up a blog post every day of the week is a little ambitious. Not to mention that it discounts the fact that I have a real life, that (unfortunately) demands most of my attention. In line with this epiphany, here’s a midweek style recap of all the things I wore since the last time I posted. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen some – if not most, of these looks. If you don’t, well you should. I’m awesome. Click here to remedy that travesty. I’d love to follow you too.

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Wore this ensemble to a basketball game on Friday. The tee and pants are old faves from Old Navy. Ripped the tee myself.

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Top by ASOS | Shorts by Forever 21 | Shoes by Winners

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Dress by Forever 21. I worked there in my youth, most of the stuff still fits. Huzzah!

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LBD by Topshop | Plimsolls by Topshop | Watch by Fossil

 

 

I’ll post on Wednesdays and Saturdays henceforth, most likely at 10am in what ever I timezone I’m in. I think that makes sense. See you Saturday! xx

On Bespoke

Happy Monday! You know, today I was just musing on bespoke items and how I need more in my wardrobe. Shopping is all well and dandy but any style maven worth her salt will extoll – relentlessly I might add, the virtues of bespoke clothing. If like me, you have a hard time finding clothes that fit perfectly without needing a bit of a nip and tuck, bespoke is definitely for you. Now, it doesn’t have to be Savile Row (but hey, we can all dream!), it does have to be a good tailor who knows his/her onions. The pants in the outfit below are amazing for that fact alone, they were made especially for me.

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Bespoke pants

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Cropped sweater (thrifted)

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Shoes by Michael Antonio

These are my power pants, I wear them on days my confidence is dipping but I need to make a fantastic impression. There’s nothing quite as confidence boosting as knowing that your butt looks all kinds of amazing. So much strut, so little time.

Side Note: Pair with killer heels, put Beyonce’s “6 Inch” on your iPod and play it all the way to that meeting. Go forth, conquer.

Moving along.

I had a battle with my wardrobe for the past three days, trying desperately to prove to it that despite the overwhelming presence of black in my closet, green is actually my favourite colour. I lost that battle on the second day but like the stubborn human I am, I persisted. I have graciously given up now (read: I got bored with wearing green and moved along to other things, like this adorable butter yellow midi tank dress below!

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Shoes by Micheal Antonio

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Dress by Zara

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All the happiness and grinning is courtesy of the fact that I just rediscovered this dress. It had been buried in my closet for so long, I’d forgotten it existed, and the best part is it fits even better than it did when I bought it. Oh, happy day! *twirls*

Side Note: I got bored with my old theme as well and upgraded. I like this one much better.