June 23, 2014

Candles in the Sun

Crop Top & Skirt c/o: eShakti / Sandals: Ralph Lauren / Bracelet: Banana Republic / Shades: The Limited 

Maybe this is a symptom of my youth, but here lately I've been waking up excited for the new adventure that comes with each and every day. Though at times the uncertainty of what's to come can be unsettling, I'm learning to enjoy the process of figuring out my future. On this particular Sunday afternoon, I decided to take a break from thinking about the future and snap some photos in this beautiful retro look sent to me from the online women's retailer, eShakti

I'm a huge fan of classic silhouettes and 50s glamour inspired pieces, so I'm not sure how I hadn't learned of this online jewel sooner. They have a huge selection of dresses, skirts and even jackets. What also makes eShakti so fabulous is that they offer sizes from 0-36W and, each order is customized.

I ordered this matching crop top and pleated skirt set in a Small, but as a pear shape (smaller bust, fuller hips)I ran into my usual problem of the top being too large and the bottom fitting perfectly. I had the top taken in just slightly, but this cotton set is so darling that I can't complain about having to get extra alterations. I paired with the look my cork Ralph Lauren sandals I got for my birthday and my MAC lipstick in Sin
Hands down this is one of my favorite blog looks to date. 

And as if there isn't already good reason to head over to eShakti to shop, they've created a special coupon code just for So Sophisticated. 1992  readers. Enter the code: SpkeS to get 10% off your eShakti purchase now thru 6/28! You can also follow eShakti on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

June 19, 2014

Sophisticated Summer Reads

My cousin sent me a text a few days ago asking for the titles of a few good books she could read. After sharing my list of summer reads with her I decided to put together a summer reading list for the blog as well. Here are just a few of the books I've read and am planning to read this summer! 


 I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book, and when I did I read it in less than a week. Much like in her "All Work, No Pay" guide for interns (which I wrote about here), in this book, Berger literally creates a blueprint for recent grads trying to successfully maneuver in the workforce. 

Written by Teri Agins, a former fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal, this book is a must read for anyone contemplating a career in fashion. I'm only two chapters in, but so far I've got a thorough understanding of why, in terms of couture clothing and haute couture designers, some are more financially successful than others. I also love about this book Agins' beautiful sentence structure and word choice. 

Someone recommended this book on Linkedin for bloggers and marketing professionals. It was a quick read, but offered great advice and a clear understanding of necessary methods for creating buzz. If you are a blogger looking to build your audience or create better content, I would suggest reading this book. 

My mother happened to be watching the film adaptation of this book a few days ago. It stars the legendary Ruby Dee, who passed recently. I came in on the tail end of the movie but was so intrigued that I ordered the book the same day. Twin sisters Saddie and Bessie Delany each lived to be more than 100. They went to St. Augustine college in Raleigh, NC (S/O to the 919!) and later made NYC home. These women were pioneers in the African-American community and I was truly inspired by their story.

In the July issue of ESSENCE Magazine an excerpt of this book by Edward Lewis, one of the four founders of the magazine was featured. In the excerpt, Lewis describes what it was like to see all of he and his partners' hard work come together at the first ever ESSENCE Music Festival. ESSENCE is one of my favorite magazines, so I'm really interested in learning more about its history. 

I literally have seen the cover of this book appear on my Instagram feed 1,989,416 times --- okay so maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but really, everyone is reading it. In it, Sophia Amoruso, the founder of clothing site, Nasty Gal tells her story and also offers some advice about Girl Power. I'm always a supporter of strong and successful women, so I'm quite looking forward to reading it and seeing what all the hype is about. 

I'm sure I'll be adding to this list as the summer continues, and as I do, I'll share. So, what are you reading?

June 16, 2014

Prints & Bow Toes

Blouse: Gianni Bini via Dillards / Shorts: Rachel Roy (Old) / Pumps: Steven by
Steve Madden / Watch: Michael Kors/ Purse: c/o Deb / Shades: Rue21 

When it comes to adding class to a pair of shorts, my rule of thumb is to always balance out the leg being shown on the bottom with a less revealing blouse on top. I know pattern mixing is all the rage right now, but if you haven't quite worked up the courage to pair multiple bold patterns, a simple and stylish way to gather your gumption is by balancing a bold print with a solid. For me, a white button-down blouse is a staple that can make the transition to every season. When I purchased these Rachel Roy shorts last year in Hawaii, I wasn't sure what I would wear with them, but this simple white blouse and my Steven by Steve Madden pumps that I can't seem to get enough of was the perfect combination. 

June 9, 2014

Purple Reign

Top: Zara (thrifted) / Jeans: Gap / Purse: Kate Spade / Pumps: Steve Madden / Shades: Rue21 
On this month's cover of Essence magazine is music legend, Prince, who turned 56 on Saturday. In the magazine, Prince shares his [recent] decision to refrain from using profanity in his music. Though for many people Prince, the artist, is synonymous with racy lyrics and good music, for me, mention of Prince elicits thoughts of curls, platform heels and of course, a long purple trench coat. Even though this outfit doesn't quite match the grandiosity of something Prince would likely wear, the richness of the purple hue and silky texture of the top made me think of him and his Purple Rain music video nonetheless. 

I came across this purple silk tunic in Goodwill one day last week, and despite its enormity, had to have. Purple is not a color I wear often, so the uniqueness of this color to my wardrobe only made me want it more. Before long I'm going to have to retire these ripped jeans, but for as long as I can still wiggle my way into them, I plan to keep them around. I threw these on with the top to add a little bit of a grungy edge to the look, but sprinkled back in hints of prissiness with my pink and purple snakeskin pumps and hot pink Kate Spade. I wore this to my younger cousin's graduation party for something that was casual and youthful, but most of all, sophisticated. I have plans of belting this tunic so that it can be worn as a dress. I guess one good thing about it being so blousy is that its pretty versatile. 

June 7, 2014

Well Said, Mr. Kelly: Macy's Style Event

Clinton Kelly, Macy's Style Expert 
I lived out one of my childhood fantasies yesterday when I attended a Macy's Style Event hosted by none other than, Clinton Kelly. I RSVP'd before the event and my younger sister was my plus one. Together we watched as CK did everything from offer solicited style advice to a member of the audience, tell about his time working as a singing waiter after college, and of course, style 6 beautiful models in clothing that the everyday woman could recreate. 

CK evaluating this brave audience member's outfit. 
My second favorite look of the night. Clinton emphasized mixing prints this season! 
Clinton removing the tag off of one of the model's backside. Lol
My favorite look of the night! Unfortunately, this was the only dress in the store, but it is online
Oh, how I need this dress! 

Clinton offered a plethora of style (and life) advice last night. One thing he said that definitely registered with me is "Fashion is like a buffet....style is what you put on your plate." His personal mantra is also one that I've decided to adopt, "Wear something cute and don't take any crap." Well said, Mr.Kelly! 

June 6, 2014


Top: The Limited / Pants: TJ Maxx / Hat: Marshalls  / Shoes: Jessica Simpson / Purse: c/o Deb / Shades: Rue21

I invested in my first baseball cap this past fall as a way to remedy bad hair days but never did I think I would develop a new obsession. I love throwing on a baseball cap with a polished look like this one to make it a tad more casual. This look in particular could be described as sporty luxe because even though the cap is casual, the black and gold color palette is fancy, schmancy. To really make this look more casual, I would ditch my fab Jessica Simpson pumps for my black chucks. 

P.S. If you're in the RDU area, head to Southpoint Mall tonight to see Clinton Kelly

June 4, 2014


Shades: Rue21 / Shirt: Ebay / Skirt: c/o Deb Shops/ Sandals: ZooShoo / Jewelery: Old Navy 
In December, Beyonce released her self-titled album, Beyonce, and many people were shocked by the edgier sound of her music. Pundits like Bill O'Rielly did all but call the songstress out of her name and argued that "Yonce's" new music made her a bad role model to "girls of color." 

I couldn't disagree more. 

The first song I heard off of the album was Flawless, a musical tirade against misogynistic values and ideals that oppress women. In the four minute song, Beyonce, along with Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,speak out against social mores that confine women to submissive and subordinate roles to men.I remember hearing Flawless for the first time and being filled with a powerful surge of energy that bordered rage. At the time of the album's release I was going through a Britney Spears-esque "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" phase and this song  helped me realize that the awkward stage I found myself in, was natural. Just as Beyonce had progressed as an artist and displayed a matured sound, so too have I matured and progressed in my life. A primary way in which I display this is my style. 

Though post graduation I still find myself having to get used to the fact that I'm "grown," the idea of being a full fledged adult is not as scary as it once was. To mirror the transformation I've undergone in the past four years I decided to redesign the blog. Some of you may have noticed that things look a little different, a little more sophisticated, and that is why. This new design reflects the evolution of my style, maturation as a person, and me attempting to embrace grown womanhood.

This outfit was inspired by Beyonce's Flawless as, "I woke up like this," is a popular line from the song.I dressed up the cotton tee with a black pencil skirt, my strappy sandals and black cat-eye shades.Here lately I've been wearing a lot of black and white and this ensemble fits the bill of my current style.   

June 3, 2014

Rihanna, Google and the CFDA Awards 2014

Classy met trashy last night at the 2014 CFDA Awards when Rihanna graced the tri-colored carpet in a sheer dress,custom designed for her by Adam Selman. Though her rationale for arriving sans pasties, or better yet, a nude lining, is questionable, the dress-- embroidered with more than 200,000 Swarvoski crystals-- was undeniably gorgeous and Rihanna-- well, she looked nearly impeccable. 

Though there seems to be a polarized split among those who adore this look, and others who absolutely hate it, despite the lack of consensus, one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that its a conversation starter. A simple Google Search of Rihianna's name this morning confirmed this, as the top result is an article from the Washington Post entitled, "See the sparkly, naked dress Rihanna wore to the CFDA Awards -- well, what we can show you, anyway" -- hilarious. If nothing else, this fashion moment reaffirms Ri's status as a fashion icon and proves that she was the deserving recipient of her fashion icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America last night.

Founded in 1962 by acclaimed fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, the CFDA is a non-profit trade organization that works to "strengthen the influence and success of American Designers in the global economy." Every year members of the CFDA gather to recognize designers, journalists, and more who have made significant contributions to the fashion industry. Among this year's nominees were Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and of course, Rihanna who won the coveted Fashion Icon Award. Past recipients of this award include Iman (2010) and Kate Moss (2005). 

June 2, 2014

Shut Up! Clinton Kelly at Southpoint Mall

Clinton Kelly at a Macy's Event in 2006 (Source)
When: Friday, June 6th 
Cost: Free 
When my friend DeErricka texted me yesterday with news that style guru, Clinton Kelly will be at the Southpoint  Macy's location on this upcoming Friday, I channeled my inner Stacy London and let out an excited "Shut Up!" I began watching Clinton on TLC's What Not To Wear when I was in the fourth grade, and he and Stacy taught me more than a thing or two about fashion. I will be at Macy's Southpoint this Friday to meet one half of the dynamic fashion duo and if you are in the area you should drop by as well! RSVP while tickets are still available! The event starts at 6 p.m. and is free to the public. Hope to see you there! And, how awesome is Macy's for hosting this event!?