December 8, 2014

Christmas Wishlist 2014

Christmas 2014
Every year now it seems like My Christmas Wishlist gets shorter, and this year was no exception. 

iPad Air 2- The number one item on my wishlist this year is an iPad. I've never been too enthused about the iPad but now that I belong to the workforce it's an almost critical tool. 

Misguided Carrie Feather Strappy Heel - How fab are these shoes!? They are super feminine and currently sold out in the nude color, though I'm hoping another shipment will arrive before the Holiday Season comes to an end. Update: This shoe is now available in a Size 9, which just so happens to be the size that this girl needs it in... ;)

Michael Kors Fur Pom Pom Key chain- I'm not sure what's sparked my new found fascination with fur but, I think we can all agree on how cute this little pompom is. 

Frends Layla Headphones - My sister and dad both have a pair of beats and while I can appreciate the quality of sound from beats, I can't get into them because of how clunky they are. The Layla headphones from Frends provide the feminine and stylish alternative. 

Hijacking the Runway by Teri Agins - This past summer I read "The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever" by Teri Agins and gained so much knowledge that I have been able to apply on my job, so you can understand why I'm itching to get my hands on her latest book. 

November 26, 2014

A Sophisticated Traveler's Guide to Atlanta

It's no secret, Atlanta is probably my favorite city in the South Eastern United States. I love the culture, I love the landscape, the make it plain and simple, I love it all! A couple weeks ago I made use of a few vacation days and took another short road trip to the ATL. This time the occasion was for some relaxing, a little shopping and believe it or not two birthday celebrations. So, let me break down my trip. 

How'd I get there?: Me and a friend gassed up the car and drove. Depending on what city your in, the trip from North Carolina to Atlanta is between 5-6 hours. Plus, once you hit 85 it is literally a straight shot! 

Where'd I Stay?: Our hotel of choice for this trip was the W- Midtown Atlanta. Every other time I've been to Atlanta, I've always stayed downtown. This time I thought it would be cool to experience another borough of the city. As for the W-Midtown, my friend and I were initially attracted to the hotel for its modern and swanky decor-- it just seemed like the place where hip young people stay (There is a club inside the hotel). We had a great time here, but I will say that perhaps it is time for some sprucing up in some of the rooms. There was definitely some noticeable wear on some of the furniture in our room. One plus about the hotel though was valet. In the past I've stayed at places where it takes FOREVER for valet to bring your car around... this was never the case at the W-Midtown! 

Where'd I Eat?: The real question is where didn't I eat!? On our first full day in the city we went to ZinBurger at Lennox Mall. There I tried "The Ringer" which is a hamburger complete with applewood smoked bacon, hot sauce and onion rings. I ate the entire thing plus my friend and I split a side of sweet potato fries. I also ordered a Pumpkin Pie Milkshake, which I didn't end up loving...but, it was pretty and made for a cute prop in my picture. 

Other spots we dined at included Thrive, an upscale Southern food restuarant/ lounge in downtown Atlanta and the Sun Dial at the Westin. Funny story about when we went to this restaurant. When we walked in I was so focused on finding my friend Jamilla who was celebrating her 23rd birthday here, that I didn't notice Kandi Burris and Todd Tucker who ended up being seated RIGHT smack dab behind me, filming for the reality show, Real Housewives of Atlanta. It wasn't until I was seated with my back to them that I heard Kandi's voice and turned around and saw them! 

Southern Fried Springer Mountain Chicken

The experience of dining at the Sun Dial was a tad scary at first, but once I got my barrings about me, absolutely amazing. Once you arrive at the Westin you take a glass elevator up 72 stories to the restuarant. Once you arrive you are seated at a table and as you dine, the floor beneath you rotates giving you a birds eye view of the entire city of Atlanta. I do not like heights, so the ride up I was literally terrified with my eyes glued shut, but on the ride down I managed to get myself together enough to admire the beauty of it all. I ordered lobster tail for the first time and overall was satisfied with my meal. 

My view from the elevator
Lobster, Shrimp and Grits
Where'd I Shop?: I spent some time at Lennox Mall mostly window shopping....$1200 Chanel sneakers anyone? 

 I also took sometime to check out the Men's store at the Macy's in Lenox.


The following day I went to Perimeter mall. I wanted to make it to the new outlet stores in Atlanta, but didn't have the chance. 

What'd I Wear?: I did't get too many pictures of my casual looks but I made sure to capture my night time looks. Yall know I love to unleash Flyy Kiki!

It was extremely cold and windy while I was in Atlanta, so as much as I wanted to be cute, my main focus when getting dressed was warmth. This is what I wore to dinner at the Sun Dial. A gold sequined dress that I threw in my suitcase at the last minute, my new favorite Ivanka Trump faux fur coat and Enzo Angiolii suede zipper back heels. 

My favorite look from the trip however was this my Parker New York beaded jumpsuit. I splurged on this beauty months ago and was waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring her out of the closet. A night out with my cousin to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday seemed like the perfect occasion to me, though I'm sure I will be showing this beauty off again for the Holiday season! 

October 29, 2014

Life is a Beach

Romper: Maison Jules / Flats: Steve Madden / Jacket: Old Navy / Purse: Zac Zac Posen / Sunglasses: The Limited 
Four days shy of November and some how I managed to find myself in a sleeveless romper splashing around in the ocean. I purchased this romper by Maison Jules for $12 bucks and thought I was going to have to wait until next summer to wear it, but the 80 degree weather at Myrtle Beach made for the perfect opportunity to show a little skin in these Carolina blue and cream stripes. I played around with a little pattern mixing pairing stripes with my favorite leopard print flats. I also threw on my denim jacket and over-sized shades to complete the look. 

October 13, 2014

Transitioning to Fall with Julep

Fall Transition w/Julep
Dress: Express / Jacket: MICHAEL Michael Kors/ Shades: House of Harlow / Sneakers: MICHAEL Michael Kors 

All Summer long I stalked this asymmetrical jersey knit dress from Express but was never quite willing to pay full price for it. As fate would have it, I was in Express a few days ago and happened to stumble across it on the clearance rack for $29.99 plus an additional 30% off the clearance of course I bought it! Though it is clearly a dress made for the summer, I am super excited to spruce it up and transition it into Fall. Though this leather MICHAEL Michael Kors jacket and camo print slip on sneakers will help, it's these three shades of Julep nail polish that will really add the finishing touch. 

So many people think that transitioning a summer look into fall involves actual articles of clothing, but in reality your beauty regimen has a significant impact as well. Weekly manicures are my guilty pleasure and these new fall colors from Julep only give me more of a reason to indulge.Check out more fall polishes from Julep here

October 8, 2014

Bare Naked Fall

Coat: Ann Taylor / Shirt: Haute Society / Jeans: American Eagle / Flats: Steve Madden 

Fall is in full force here in the Carolinas and I must say that I'm loving the fact that it's finally cool enough outside for me to wear my new trench coat. I searched high and low for the perfect trench and finally settled on this leather accented one from Ann Taylor. Though I typically think of a trench as something to be worn with  dressy attire on this particular day my appearance was casual to say the least. As much as  I love a bold lip, on this particular day a splash of Mac Oh Baby lip gloss on my lips, slouchy boyfriend jeans and cheetah print flats was the winning combination for a day filled with errands and relaxing. I have a feeling that I'll be embracing a bare naked face a bit more this fall too. 

September 25, 2014

Land of the Snakes

Blouse: Old Navy / Pants: Jones New York / Pumps: Rainbow / Shades: House of Harlow / Wallet: Zac by Zac Posen 
Labor Day has come and gone but I still have no problem rocking white, especially these fantastic winter white Jones New York pants.What I love about these pants, besides their color is that they are fitted without being too tight. Nothing is cute or classy about skin tight slacks! I've talked plenty before about the frustrations of being a pear shape, among them finding pants that fit your smaller waistline and larger hips. These pants do just that for me! 

For a business chic look I paired with these slacks a sheer snakeskin blouse from Old Navy with pumps I found on clearance at Rainbow. My MAC Lipstick in Hangup and over-sized shades really polished the look off. 

September 22, 2014

From Pinterest to Reality

As much as I would like to take credit for this grey and nude number, I have to admit that inspiration for this look came from a picture of Kim Kardashian that I pinned to my Pinterest board, "My  Style" several months ago. 

This was one of Kim's first public looks, post the birth of North West and I unabashedly loved everything about it. So much so that I just had to recreate it myself. 

Dress: MOSSIQUE, Shoes: Rainbow/ Purse: Zac by Zac Posen, / Necklace: c/o 9th&Elm / Bangle: Thrited 
 While Kim is decked out in Donna Karan my dress is MOSSIQUE, a line designed exclusively for the boutique, Bevello. I decided Thursday was the perfect day to pull this dress out of my closet as I attended a Fall Fashion show at Bevello in Cameron Village. I had a great time at the event and aside from seeing some beautiful pieces on display, I got to meet Anna of Flawlessly Flawed... how fab is her haircut!?

Anna of Flawlessly Flawed and I. 
To see what other outfit inspiration I've got hanging in my Pinterest closet, be sure to follow my Pinterest boards here

September 16, 2014

Carmen Lilly the #NCSUAlum

Via @StyleCarmen Instagram 
North Carolina State University is a campus most commonly recognized for producing cows and engineers (we've got world renown agriculture and engineering programs). Though its obviously not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks N.C. State, the Wolfpack is home to some fashionistas with impeccable home grown style. As an alumnus of the university this isn't something that I just realized but, last night did seem to make the fact more clear. You see, I searched the hashtag #NCSUAlum and found a post from Carmen Lilly, the creative genius behind many of Rihanna and Rocsi Diaz's looks. Intrigued, I clicked on it (a post from the  Harbison SS15 showcase) and learned that not only was Charles Elliot Harbison a NCSU alum but, so too was Carmen Lilly. I've adored her styling for so long, yet I had no idea that she was a fellow Wolfpack sistah! 

That's what you call #CRAY. 

In an interview with the Fashion Bomb Daily, Lilly described how she launched her personal shopping/ styling career saying," When I left college, I was making jewelry, but I was doing it on the side. I wanted to get experience from the retail end, so that I could get my jewelry in stores..." She began working at Intermix, a boutique in New York City and it was there that she met Rihanna and the rest-- well, its history. She told FBD, "Rihanna would have all these high end designer pieces,but she wouldn't have anything to complete the outfits. So, I would get them for her, but I would also put together looks and give outfit suggestions." Lilly's work with Rihanna eventually led to other celebrity clients.

Rihanna in Balmain Leather Skirt and Silk Blouse picked by Carmen Lilly. 
Rocsi Diaz at the 86th Academy Awards styled by Carmen Lilly in a Dennis Basso gown and Jimmy Choo Sandals.
Rihanna in Tom Ford Gladiator Boots and Mary Katrantzou top picked by Carmen Lilly. 
Rocsi styled by Carmen Lilly in Haute Hippie Tuxedo Dress and Christian Louboutin 
Impera Pumps 

Carmen graduated from NCSU with a degree in Art and Design. She spent time as an intern for Donna Karan as well as another smaller scale designer. Though many people  recognize her now for the work she has done with celebrity clients, I admire the advice she gave to those aspiring to break into the highly competitive fashion world. "Gain as much industry knowledge as possible, so you will be better equipped to compete with those who have a natural network and connection within the industry. Do your research...don't focus on celebrities- focus on your craft." 

It's incredibly encouraging and inspiring to see young {black} people from my Alma Mater doing big things in the fashion industry. Carmen Lilly and Charles Elliot Harbison are both living proof that 1)It doesn't matter where you get your start, if you've got the drive and are smart you can achieve anything and 2) N.C. State grooms some of the best talent in every field! 

For more information about Carmen Lilly check out her website  or connect with her on Instagram and Twitter

Go Pack! 

September 14, 2014

Altuzarra X Target Review

So, this morning I was up by 7:25 a.m. and headed out the door by 7:40 a.m. so that I could be among the first to enter the doors of my local Target and score all the pieces from the Altuzarrra for Target collection that I've been salivating over for the past two weeks. First up on my list of must buys was the red velvet Ruby Hill blazer and matching tuxedo pant. The first Target I went to didn't have it so I drove to another Target location twenty minutes away only to be underwhelmed. 

Exscuse my N.C. State hat and undone was 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning! 
I am a true to size 4 (27 waist) but my hips were begging for a size 6 as you can see by the gathering of the pants around the crotch. The jacket concerned me in that it was very wrinkly and didn't appear to be the type of clothing article to hold its shape for very long. I will say that the black tuxedo pant was more forgiving than the red velvet and that the peplum jacket had a better structure. 

I also tried on the satin orchid print oxford shirt with the jacquard print black skirt. Again, in theory, I loved the shirt but it was very thin and in my opinion, one wash away from being stretched out of shape.I especially loved the angled split of the skirt and just maybe will go back for it.

Dress in size 2
Of all the things that I tried on, it was this piece that left me the most torn largely in part due to sizing. I tried the dress in both a two and a four. The two cinched at my waist very nicely and also fit well across the bust but, being the pear shape that I am made me look like I was busting at the seams on the bottom. In the four I didn't have the same definition at the waist and bust, but it was definitely more forgiving to my hips and thighs. Homecoming is coming up soon and I could easily imagine wearing this stunner (with a few alterations) to one of the social Young Alumni events. My plan is to keep and eye out for it and if it looks like it'll be around long enough for me to purchase it at clearance price it will likely be mine. Otherwise, I will be inclined to believe that it just wasn't meant for me. 

Overall, I still think the designs are beautiful, but just wish the the quality of some of the pieces was a little better. I've come to expect a lot from Target and had every intention of walking out of there this morning with my shopping bags full. Did any of you have better luck than me?