I wore this to a casual dinner with my family. I absolutely adore this jumpsuit. I got it from Forever 21 about a year ago, and have worn it a few times since then. The best thing is that it was under $40.00. This time I decided to pair it with my Fenty Puma wedges and this adorable Comic Mini Bucket by Love Cortnie. If you've been following me for a while, you know that I love this print and have the matching clutch, seen here, here, and here. Love Cortnie bags are expertly crafted with high quality materials with the highest attention to detail.
This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the Ebony Magazine "Women Up" Brunch in Philadelphia to honor women of color who are making power moves within various industries. When I was invited, of course, I immediately wondered what I should wear. Since summer is officially over, and the weather has gotten a little chillier, I debated whether I should lean more towards a summer look, or if I should just usher in the fall. I checked the weather and saw that it would get into the 70's at some point during the day, so I decided to try to prolong the summer just a bit longer and wore this gorgeous Eliza J maxi dress. I threw on a (faux) leather jacket and patent leather boots to make it a little more fall-like.
Track pants are really hot right now. And I especially love these. They have functioning buttons on the sides so you can add volume and drama to the look and show off your shoes. The entire point of this pose was to highlight the slits on the sides of the pants.
This is my outfit of the day. I got this adorable romper from my "go-to" store, Express, earlier in the summer. I had a wardrobe malfunction at work, ran into Express to get a quick replacement shirt, and saw this adorable romper hanging on the rack. This is a great color, but I was sorry they ran out of black. :-(
Tout en Noir...In English, it means "All Black Everything." Just about anything sounds better in French, right? When you blog about your personal style, I think there's an expectation that you continuously post pictures with outfits that you haven't been previously seen in. That can be quite costly and exhausting, and doesn't depict the reality of most women.
I do not have an infinite budget, and although I do love to shop, I need to think about keeping money in my wallet while also trying to flex my creative muscles by shopping my closet. I'm going to be challenging myself to revisit my wardrobe, and mix and match my existing pieces to see what type of fresh spin I can put on things.
This past Saturday, I spent time with
my family in New York. My younger cousin is going away to college, and we all
got a chance to send her off with love, words of wisdom, and some things to
make her transition to college a little easier. I wanted to be comfy, but still
cute, so I decided to wear my “Everly Denim Look Harem Jumpsuit” from boohoo. I’ve
purchased a few things from boohoo in the past, and the quality is decent. Their
clothes are very affordable and boohoo was having a 60% off sale some weeks back,
so the jumpsuit wound up costing $16.00. So even if I get to wear this jumpsuit
only once, which won’t happen because I’ll be keeping this piece in rotation as
long as it lasts, it will be well worth it. I’ve gone out to happy hours and
have ordered drinks more expensive than this jumpsuit, so this purchase was a win for me.
Have you seen the Saint Laurent Nikki boots? They're a funky pair of crystal encrusted OTK (over the knee) boots that embody luxe and opulence! And they can be yours for the low price of $10,000. Take a peek:
I went on a birthday brunch cruise yesterday to celebrate my sister's birthday and thought this gorgeous and easy maxi dress would be perfect for the occasion. I saw it a few months ago at Nordstrom and the price was a little more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to play the "waiting game." Unfortunately, when I went back for the dress my size was no longer available. I happened to randomly go back to the Nordstrom site recently, and they had my size. The best part is that it was 40% off. Nordstrom is completely sold out of the dress now, but there are a couple of sizes available at Dillard's. There's also a similar J. Crew dress available here. I absolutely adore this dress. My goal is to feel this much love towards every piece in my wardrobe, and I have to remind myself to only add items to my closet that I feel truly connected to.
I mentioned in a previous post that I was named one of Philadelphia's "Daily News Singles," along with 20+ other fit and fabulous women and men from the area. This past Wednesday, the Daily News Singles were introduced at a party at the beautiful Union Trust in Philly, and it was a spectacular event. The ambiance, the food, and the drinks were definitely on point, but you know I was particularly tuned in to the fashionable folks in the building. The dress code for the event was "fun and flirty" and the singles took that seriously. Definitely a fashionable bunch!
I've always had a thing for high heeled sneakers. It seems like they'd be an oxymoron, but I love the combination of the sporty elements of the sneaker and the sexiness of a high heel. I'm a big Rihanna fan, particularly because of her edgy style and IDGAF attitude. So when I heard she was doing a collaboration with Puma last year, I was here for it. These sneaker boots are from her Fall 2016 Fenty Puma collection, and although RiRi has since moved on to her Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 collections, I've only worn my boots a few times, so I'll continue to rock them until I've had enough...
Yes, I'm playing around with filters in this post.
I love when classic styles are reinterpreted to include modern details. This strapless trench-inspired dress is right up my alley. When I first saw it, I hesitated before making the purchase, because strapless tops/dresses are a challenge for me. The whole "finding-a-strapless-bra-that-is-supportive- enough-and-doesn't-fall-down" drama is too much for me. But the dress is so cute, and I already started envisioning ways I could wear it, so I took the plunge.
If you're an avid fashion follower, I'm sure you've noticed that straw and basket-weave bags are all the rage right now. I follow numerous fashion bloggers and I've seen this Cult Gaia "Ark" bag or similar versions all over the fashion blogosphere.
Friday, I attended a professional networking event and got into a conversation
with a gentleman about fashion. I explained that I'm a "data diva" by day, but I'm also actively immersing myself in the world of fashion. He asked if I focus on men's fashion, and I admitted that I gravitate towards fashion
for the ladies. I attempted to explain the rationale behind my focus on feminine
style, and I’m not sure I explained myself very well. After I got a moment
to organize my thoughts, I decided to outline them in this blog post.
Tuesday was National Sunglasses Day! A day to raise awareness about the dangers associated with UV rays, and to emphasize the importance of protecting your eyes. And what better and more fashionable way to protect your eyes than to throw on a stylish pair of shades? I don't typically wear shades because all of my prescription glasses have transition lenses, which darken when I get out in the sun. However, I did recently cop of pair of bold and bodacious Prada shades from my friends at Omega Optical. And to sweeten the deal, I got the opportunity to sport my shades on Fox 29 Philly's morning show for their segment on National Sunglasses Day, featuring Steve and Tracy Davis from Omega Optical. To check out the segment, click here. Here are a couple of shots of me during the segment.
I’ve been working in Center City Philadelphia for over a decade, and I’m a fashion-lover...but I never stepped into Joan Shepp until last week. For those of you who know about Joan Shepp, I’m sure you just let out an audible gasp. For years, people have talked to me about the legendary Joan Shepp and urged me to pay a visit. A colleague even noted that you shouldn’t even step into the store if your fashion game wasn’t on point. I steered clear! Not that my fashion game isn't up to par, but I knew there were some hidden dangers associated with me entering "The World of Shepp." Growing up in Sheepshead Brooklyn, I lived close to a number of European boutiques and shoe stores. In most cases, the price points were waaaaaaay out of reach for a girl who was working in fast food restaurants and supermarkets. Despite that, I would somehow wind up in the stores periodically, just to look around, and every once in a while, splurge on the unique and exquisite merchandise. I remember how I felt each and every time I shopped in one those stores. Thoughts like: “I shouldn’t be in here” and “I can’t afford this stuff!” would enter my mind, but my love of style and fashion would make me suppress my doubts and fears.
Fast forward to 2017. I started following Joan Shepp on Instagram several months ago, and I would marvel at the works of art that were showcased in their feed. I heard about their Summer Solstice Garden Party on June 21st, and I said to myself – “Lauren, you need to just man up and go see what Joan Shepp is all about.” So I did.
As June 21st approached, my colleague’s words haunted me, and I knew that I would have to "get cute" when I showed up. I gave some thought to my outfit, but there has been so much going on lately that I never came up with a final game plan. Initially, I was going to wear my “work outfit” during the day, and change into something avant-garde and fabulous for the Joan Shepp event, but I never got my act together. On the “morning of” I said to myself, "I’m just going to throw on a little black dress. You can’t go wrong with that." My black Calvin Klein number with the asymmetrical ruching is a great “go-to” piece and fits me well. I topped it off with simple jewelry and a pair of statement pumps.
Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to appear on "Your Best You," the weekly live streaming show of the amazing Barbara Gee. Barbara and I worked together, and she's a mentor and a friend. When it was time for Barb to embark on the next chapter of her journey, she followed her passion and started an image consulting and consignment business, called PositiveLee For You. Barbara's most recent endeavor, "Your Best You," is a live streaming show that airs every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. ET on radiovisionnetwork.com. Barbara and her guests discuss a range of topics to provide you with the tools and information you need to be your best you. I was honored to be invited to speak about style and trends. It was an amazing experience. The show is a half-hour long and it flew by, especially since I was just sitting there chatting with a friend. If you missed the broadcast, you can check it out here.
There is a difference between fashion and style. Fashion is ever-changing and can be purchased at any retailer. Style is like a fingerprint. It's something that is unique and personal - and no two interpretations are alike. Over time, my style and tastes have evolved, but one thing has remained pretty consistent - I tend to gravitate towards glamour, elegance, and the concept of being "dressed up."
There was a period of time when my friends questioned whether or not I even owned a pair of sneakers. And a former boyfriend and I got into a MAJOR argument because he wanted to buy me a pair of sneakers, but I wanted him to buy me a pair of shoes. For the record, I do wear sneakers, although if you let me loose in a shoe store, I'd run straight to the stilettos...
So I was recently announced as a Philadelphia "Daily News Single." (fka "Daily News Sexy Singles") This honor is bestowed upon eligible singles in the Philadelphia area, which includes a photo shoot, a party and other potential mentions and appearances. AWESOME!!!
The photo shoot took place last week at Life Time Athetic and there was an athleisure theme. Ok, that's cool. I can do sweats and a t-shirt, but this wasn't a "sweat and a t-shirt" kind of shoot. I had to look cute while working out. Now typically when I work out, I'm more focused on the activity and not the attire - which is totally contradictory to what "The Fearless Fashionista" is all about. But I knew I had to "bring it" for this photo shoot.
Now, as I mentioned previously, I like to get glammed up, and I knew I wanted to get a little "fancy" for my shoot. Yes, we were at a gym, and yes, I was supposed to look like I was working out, but I needed to throw a little glam into the mix. I consulted with celebrity stylist and creative director of the shoot, Anthony Henderson, on my ideas, and he was all in. I mentioned the possibility of rockin' heels, and he recalled Mariah Carey's recent look in the gym, where she wore a pair of sexy sneaker high heels from Rihanna's Fenty Puma Fall 2016 collection.
Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I attended the Dance Africa dance festival and street bazaar in my hometown, Brooklyn, New York. Dance Africa showcases the talents of African and Black dance troops from all over the world, and the street bazaar includes the art, crafts, clothing, food, accessories and much more, of over 150 vendors. 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Dance Africa, which was founded by Chuck Davis, affectionately known as "Baba Chuck." Baba Chuck" sadly passed away only weeks prior to this milestone performance. Attending the Dance Africa performances always makes me so proud to be of African ancestry. African culture and its derivatives are so beautiful and impactful. As a Black American in the United States, I have to actively seek out African and Black history in order to get a more comprehensive and realistic depiction of the contributions my people have made to this society. I also recently visited the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., and despite the horrors of slavery, I was elated to learn more about the talents and gifts that we brought to America. But I digress. Prior to the Dance Africa performance, I browsed through items at the bazaar, and was immediately captivated by the dresses that were on display by His Inspiration Wraps. You know that camouflage is one my favorite patterns, so the dress on the left initially caught my eye.
I recently spoke with a group of executive assistants about the importance of presenting a consistent professional and polished image in the workplace. This presentation was called, "Dress Like a Boss, Even if You're Not the Boss." Each time I talk to women about this topic, I wonder if this information is valuable and necessary, and after each presentation, that question is answered with a resounding "YES!" I typically get follow up and feedback that lets me know the importance of sharing this message. I think we all, at an intellectual level, understand the benefits of looking the part, dressing for success, and putting your best foot forward. But I also think that if style and fashion are not at the top of the list of a woman's priorities, they may not get the attention they deserve. Executive assistants are the veins and arteries of their organizations. They hold a tremendous amount of power and interact with people at the highest levels inside and outside of their companies. Executive assistants are a direct reflection of the leaders they support, whether they're communicating over the phone or electronic means, face-to-face meetings, organizing events, etc. Each interaction, and each method of communicating, including their style of dress is sending a message. And for those executive assistants who are looking to eventually move up and explore other career opportunities, people will have a hard time seeing them in an elevated role if they're not showing up that way. And it's not just about dressing the part for an important meeting or event - it's about consistently dressing in such a way that reinforces the brand of professionalism and polish.
Coach recently announced their plans to acquire Kate Spade. What an interesting marriage! Coach has been one of my favorite handbag brands for many years because of its “accessible luxury” factor. They produce quality leather goods, with the essence of a luxury brand, at an accessible price point .
I’m really more of a shoe gal, and although I like a nice handbag, I only own a handful in a few neutral and statement colors. Because of the high cost of a good handbag, I have the expectation that they last for several years. I’ve owned Gucci bags, Cole Haan, Elie Saab, Micheal Kors, Kate Spade, etc., but Coach leather bags have served me very well. I absolutely LOVE the quality of the leather, and the bags last for years and years. I’m not talking about the Coach outlet bags, I’m talking about bags from the full-priced stores – that I only purchase when I can catch them on sale. Since I am a longtime Coach customer, I’m on their mailing list, and receive coupons a few times a year. I also wait for department store sales, such as the Macy’s “Friends and Family” event, that extends their 25% discount to brands that don’t frequently go on sale.
I attended the "Hattitude" hat auction and luncheon, organized by the Southesastern Philadelphia (SEPA) chapter of The Drifters, which raises money for the SEPA educational scholarship fund.This was my first time attending the event and didn't know what to wear, so I went to my "go-to" - a tutu!
When I was younger, I associated tulle skirts and dresses only with ballerinas and brides. I always fantasized about wearing tulle, and I’m elated that this trend has caught on to the point where the everyday woman can wear a tutu. To me, tulle skirts are the epitome of femininity, grace, and elegance. When I got married, many people expected me to wear a sleek and fitted gown, but I fulfilled my dream of wearing a big voluminous tulle skirt. I thought that would be one of the only times in my life, where I’d actually have a chance to wear a cascade of sheer bliss, but I was wrong about that.
Me before the event...
A pink tutu...what a cliché. I "toughened up" the look a little with these delicious patent leather booties from Jeffrey Campbell. The pain is definitely worth it!
The panel consisted of 4 women, including me, who offered words of wisdom on business, love and relationships, fashion, and spirituality, with the common theme of making women feel empowered. All of the panelists had important insights to share, but I was particularly moved by Chrissy Monroe's story. She is a survivor of domestic abuse, and has since started a non-profit organization, called Survive to Thrive Global to raise awareness and provide support and resources to those affected by domestic violence. In addition to focusing on the housing and financial needs of the victims, Survive to Thrive Global has also partnered with cosmetic dentists to help repair teeth damaged by physical abuse, partnered with spas to help women take a load of and enjoy a day of pampering, and partnered with plastic surgeons to help erase some of the related physical scars.
Me, running my mouth. My hand was going, so I must have been talking about the importance of looking your best and pulling yourself together.
When we can take a negative experience and turn it into something positive to help other people, that's always a great thing. Through my work as as a style consultant and previously as a makeup artist, I understand the positive impact that "pretty packaging" can have on a woman's mind and spirit. It felt great to be able to share some of my story, but it felt even better to be on the receiving end. Overall, Queens of the Throne was a resounding success. As women, we need to continue to cultivate positive relationships and partnerships, and celebrate our successes, no matter how small. Although Women's History Month is technically only one month, we should be uplifting and celebrating each other all year 'round. Happy Women's History Month!
For more information about events in the New York area, follow Lady Diamonds on Facebook. Be Fearless Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I have since moved out of state, and when people learn that I'm from Brooklyn, they often make assumptions about who I am. They associate personality traits like boldness, rudeness, a feeling of being "better than" others, or even attributing my fashion sense to the city and state where I was born and raised. (The last one is not so bad.)
I grew up in Sheepshead Bay. Sheepshead Bay, the actual bay and surrounding neighborhood, are named after the sheepshead fish that can be found in the waters of the local bay. It is also historically a predominantly white neighborhood. I grew up in a two parent household with my "original parents", in a home that they owned, with 2 sisters, a cat, and a dog. As I moved through life, concepts like racism, classism, stereotypes, etc., began to reveal themselves to me. And because I was raised in Sheepshead Bay and not Bed Stuy, Brownsville, Coney Island, or other areas where there is a high concentration of Black people, and also referred to as "the 'hood", I was labeled "bougie."For those who may not know, bougie is a slang word derived from the word bourgeoisie, that refers to the middle class, and can also be associated with people who have material values and pretentious attitudes. Some of my friends used to call me bougie and wondered if I ate things like franks and beans and referred to my family as "The Cosbys." I remembered an incident when I was dating a guy, and he told me that I'm not "around the way" enough. (See LL Cool J's "Around the Way Girl" for reference.) There was a part of me that would feel slightly insulted by the jokes and references, but it didn't stop me from being who I was.
Fast forward to today, "bougie" seems to be aspirational. I was so excited when I learned about VSB (Very Smart Brothas) I felt like I found my people :-) They're smart, culturally aware, and seem to have an appreciation for black bougieness. They even have t-shirts and a line of products dedicated to "that life." There's also a popular hip hop song called "Bad and Boujee by Migos. (Warning: explicit lyrics)So its seem like the tide has turned.
We are all shaped by our upbringing, levels of exposure, and the neighborhoods we grew up in. So if people consider me to be bougie, I'll take it, because bougie 'aint so bad. However, I recently acquired the following tee from Tees In the Trap, and can't wait to wear it. We'll see how long "bougieness" remains fashionable.
Recently I've gotten a few questions about the wall I've been taking pictures in front of. With my busy schedule, it's really hard to find the time to scout out locations to take pictures. The wall is very close to my residence, and it's convenient to take pix when I'm coming and going. Here are a few recent pix in front of my "Wall of Fame."
My OOTD is a denim jumpsuit that I got from Forever 21 a few months ago. YES, Forever 21. I wanted a denim jumpsuit with a loose and casual fit, and I didn't want to make a big monetary investment. I LOVE this piece. I want to get one in an olive twill - similar to what Laurence Basse from Project Runway designed this past season.
Today was a little chilly,so I threw on this cape that I've had for a few years now.
I went to a last minute Grammy watching party yesterday and threw some things together that I had in my closet. In keeping with the spirit of the Grammy's I wanted to do something fun and funky, so black was quite appropriate.