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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Press Repeat

I wore this dress for the first time ten years ago. It's so pretty and has been sitting in my closet since then just waiting to be worn again. In this age of social media, people are a lot more conscious of the outfits they wear and the frequency in which they wear them. Admittedly, I try to space out how often I wear my garments; however, I LOVE to challenge myself to restyle my pieces in different ways. I don't have the budget or desire to wear an outfit just once and never repeat it.

Now waiting ten years to wear this dress again is a bit extreme, but I initially wore it to one of my wedding-related events, and just didn't think about wearing it again until recently.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Grateful!

I celebrated a birthday earlier this week and I’m grateful. Although every moment, minute and day provide us with an opportunity for a fresh start, each “trip around the sun” is a good time to acknowledge and appreciate that we’re still here. We all have our share of problems  and it often takes a tragedy, whether we experience it ourselves or witness someone else’s suffering or misfortune, to take stock of what we have and refocus on what’s important.

For those of you who follow fashion and fashion bloggers, you may have heard of Kyrzayda Rodriguez. Kyrzayda was a fashion influencer who inspired many with her amazing sense of style. And based on all of the wonderful things I have been reading about her, she was equally kind and giving as she was fashionable. Kyrzayda recently passed away at a young 40 years old after a battle with stomach cancer, and she leaves behind a phenomenal legacy. You can read more about her here and here.

Kyrzayda first popped up on my radar a few years ago and she was definitely one of my fashion favorites. Beautiful, stylish, shapely, with gorgeous hair - she seemed to have it all. Over the past months you could see the toll the disease was taking on her, but she continued to blog, showcase her stylish looks and provide inspiration to those who followed her journey. How impressive is that?

The courage and honesty that she exhibited during her battle is admirable. I'm sure what I'm writing is nothing that hasn't been already stated, but her story and journey have had a profound impact on me. When I think about the things that I allow to hold me back and some of the trivial things that appear to be obstacles for me and then put that in perspective, it's really making me rethink life. We all have different goals, but I think many of us strive to make a positive impact on peoples' lives in some way. Although Kyrzayda lost her life at a young age, she impacted so many...

We only get one shot (that we know of.) We all have an expiration date. We need to make every day count. I'm challenging myself to be better, do more, take more risks, discover my true purpose, and live my life in a way that will make me proud when I look back and reflect.

I also challenge you to do the same!

A couple of shots from my pre-birthday and birthday outfits...

I built my pre-birthday outfit around this iridescent feather skirt that I purchased from Express a few years ago. I had never worn it and decided that it was time...

Product image

I threw on my green peplum top, red thigh-high boots by Steve Madden and gold faux leather jacket from Boo Hoo. I took it over the top with all of these statement pieces in one outfit. Animal print clutch by Love Cortnie.

 On my actual birthday, I went to dinner with my family and kept it low key with leggings, a flowy tee, and this cropped white denim jacket - all from Express. My sparkly slouchy boots by Stuart Weitzman completed the look.

Thank you for reading and as always - Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!

-TFF

Sunday, September 9, 2018

So I bought a pair of "red bottoms..."

Yes - I know it's been almost eight months since I've made a post, but I promise that I've been busy and productive. Busy at work, busy at home, busy with a few fashion-related projects... Sometimes you have to step away from a few things to add some semblance of balance to your life. But I'm back, and will try to post more regularly, but you can always catch me on Instagram (@thefearlessfashionista) and on Facebook.

Okay, so now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to the good stuff. So I think it's pretty widely accepted that Christian Louboutins are THE shoes to wear if you want to make a statement and turn a couple of heads. Their signature "red bottom" is a signal to the world that you've "made it." They're pretty damn expensive, and I think I can safely say that many people who own the shoes have made a couple of sacrifices to acquire them.

Me? I've lusted after Louboutins for a number of years and actually bought a pair several years ago, but decided that they weren't worth the cost. The particular style that I purchased didn't seem terribly sturdy to me and I was in a lot of credit card debt at the time and technically couldn't really afford them - so I returned them.

Fast forward several years - I still love the look of many of the Louboutin styles and understand the allure of the shoes, which are clearly a status symbol, so I said to myself that when I get to a point where I feel like I "deserve" them, I'll buy a pair. I recently got to that point and decided to treat myself. Check out these babies - aren't they delicious?


So I started identifying outfits I can wear with the shoes, began researching ways to protect the soles so the red lacquer finish doesn't wear off, etc. But each and every time I tried on the shoes it was quite an undertaking. Now I'm no punk when it comes to wearing high heels, but this was a little different. First of all, I had to go a full size up because they run really small.

This particular style, the "So Kate" shoe is approximately 4.75." Again, I am no stranger to high heels, but 4.75" is a bit much to tackle and I honestly felt like if I walked too hard in the shoes I would break them. And they hurt like hell. I will say it for the third time - I am no stranger to high heels and I have suffered many a day wearing shoes that are uncomfortable all for the sake of style and fashion - but with the "So Kates," I think I met my match. They hurt my feet as soon as I put them on. There was absolutely no grace period.

And I heard somewhere (not sure if it's true or not) that Christian Louboutin said that he doesn't design shoes for women - he designs them for men. Think about that for a second - so it doesn't matter how much pain we're in, as long as we look good in the shoes for men...

So I told myself I would only wear the shoes when I know I'll be on my feet for a limited time, I would only wear them on special occasions, etc. And it took me a week or two to suddenly snap out of my fog and admit to myself that when I think about the value (my own personal perceived value) of the shoes vs. the cost - it wasn't worth it. (For all of the aforementioned reasons.)


So I returned them.

I like "nice things," but I have to feel that they are worth the cost, and unfortunately these lovely shoes did not make the cut. That's not to say that I will never purchase a pair of red bottoms in the future, but they have to meet my own personal standards. To me, the label, the cost, or notoriety that is associated with clothing/accessories is NOT the driving factor for me. I have to feel good about the purchase.

Thanks for reading!

And as always - Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!

-TFF


Monday, January 15, 2018

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...

I've been blogging for a number of years now, and I can't say that I ever properly introduced myself to you all. My name is Lauren, but you can call me “The Fearless Fashionista.” I’m a corporate catwalker from 9-5, but when I show up to non-corporate events, that’s when I really like to amp up the fashion factor. Style and fashion have always fascinated me, and I think they’re actually embedded in my DNA. And although my life has taken me down a non-fashion-related path, I have decided to take control of my destiny and start immersing myself in fashion and style-related activities. In addition to being a chic corporate chick, I’m a personal style blogger, a t-shirt designer, and I conduct workshops to educate women on the importance of “looking the part.”

I have early memories of dressing up, wearing my mother’s high heels, and rummaging through her cosmetics stash. When you’re young, you can’t always articulate why you’re drawn to certain things, but as I’ve gotten older, I began realizing why I’m so enamored with aesthetics. There is power associated with presenting a strong and memorable image to the world - an image that tells a story, makes a statement, and serves as a silent method of communicating.

There are many ways for people to express themselves – through spoken word, artistic creations, music and song, writing, etc. But using your visual identity to send a message is one of the only ways you can make an immediate impression by just showing up. Making a strong style statement can have a profound impact on someone you may never even know exists. A person can you see from across a room, on a crowded subway, or at an event, and you can shape the way they see life, the world, or even themselves.

The way you present yourself DOES matter, and in a world that often celebrates the superficial – it’s important to learn how to use that to your advantage. I’m a huge proponent of being equally stylish and smart – you must have something substantial to offer underneath that pretty packaging. But most first impressions are based on visuals – and those impressions are formed in a matter of seconds. Taking the time to pull yourself together shows that you’re looking to beautify the world in some way, and that's a total boss move - because let’s be honest, the world is watching. 

So you may be wondering how I became “The Fearless Fashionista.” When I was younger, I fantasized about growing up, getting a job, and dressing up every day. I just wanted to look cute and be stylish. I secretly wanted to become a model, but for whatever reason, that never came to fruition. Despite my failed fantasy of walking the Paris runways, or gracing the covers of high fashion magazines, my love of style and fashion has only grown stronger over the years. I’ve heard people say that you should shop for the life that you have, but I must confess that I shop for the life I think I was meant to live. I guess I’ve bought into all the subliminal and overt messaging that targets girls and women, promoting glitz and glamour. Or maybe I was just born this way. 

I'll buy a full length sequins gown, a fishtail bridesmaid skirt, or a tutu, just in case some type of fancy event comes up - I’ll be prepared. I have items hanging in my closet, just begging to be worn, but they’re just a little too fancy for the life that I’m living right now. When I get desperate enough, I’ll figure out a way to force one of those pieces into the rotation, by dressing them down a little, or organizing some type of get-together, just so I’ll have a reason to get some use out of them.

Throughout my travels I have won a number of fictitious awards, including “Best Dressed on the Floor” in my office, “Best Dressed on the Train”, “Best Dressed in the Building”, etc. - and although I haven’t gotten any trophies or monetary prizes in conjunction with those awards, I’ll take them. That means people are looking and paying attention. And once you get peoples’ attention - that can lead to bigger and better things. 

Just remember that people are studying and taking notes, so give them something worthwhile to look at!

Oh, and tonight the NAACP awards are airing. Just like the Golden Globes, I never received my invitation, but I dressed up for the occasion nevertheless. This is a dress that I bought almost 6 years ago for a milestone birthday. And I'm happy to say, it still fits.






Thank you for reading.

Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!

-TFF 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I Love Tulle Skirts!

For those of you who know me, it's no secret that I love tulle skirts. They are one of my  absolute fashion favorites. To me, tulle skirts are the epitome of femininity, grace, and elegance. 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.

I remember the Salt N' Pepa video "Tramp" having such a strong impact on me, because at the onset and ending of the video, Salt sauntered onto and off the screen wearing a black tutu with a drop waist and high-heeled booties.

Salt in "Tramp" video
(Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, it's a screen grab from the video.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Golden Globes, Fashion, Protests, and H&M

The news cycles are oh so short these days, so I'm feeling like these thoughts are yesterday's news, but I feel compelled to publish them anyway...

So the Golden Globe Awards took place this past Sunday. I'm not a huge awards show person, (except for a few that I find interesting), but I love seeing the red carpet looks. The unofficial dress code was "all black everything" for the ladies - and men (although they typically wear black anyway) to support the "Time's Up" movement addressing sexual harassment and assault.

Boy, oh boy this whole scandal involving Harvey Weinstein really opened the proverbial can of worms...


I'm a HUGE fan of using clothing and fashion to make a statement, and I appreciate the idea behind the "Golden Globes Blackout." I saw various looks from the red carpet and the leading ladies did a great job of dressing for the occasion and staying on message. I loved Viola Davis, Zoe Kravitz, Issa Rae, Kendall Jenner, MJB and more. (See more looks here) I also noticed a number of instances of bold emerald colored earrings that REALLY looked striking against the black. 


I also dressed for the occasion, donning a black satiny dress with my tulle overlay skirt, that you've seen here and here. I'm not going to talk about the fact that I was all dressed up with nowhere to go, but it's all good. You know I don't need an excuse to get fancy. Here's my look:




Saturday, January 6, 2018

Can We Talk About This Cold Weather?

I live on the east coast and to say it's cold is quite the understatement. My goal is to spend as little time outside as humanly possible. I even cancelled brunch with my girls, because I just don't wanna be out there in the mean cold streets. However, subzero temperatures do lend themselves well to some cute outerwear.

I inherited this beautiful coat from my mother. It's probably about 30 years old. Yes, it's real fur, and yes, I do feel some type of way about the way animals are treated to obtain their skins, and as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I will continue to wear the pieces that I have, and try to be more discerning about future purchases. I know - it's not the most ethical response, but it's a real one.

Anyway, here's the coat. And it's warm. And it's gorgeous.

Welcome 2018

I was trying to get this post completed before 2018 arrived, but you know how life sometimes gets in the way...

2017 was a good year for me. There were also some REALLY challenging times, but even while experiencing difficulties, I have been able to accomplish some things. I'm not a big "New Year's resolutions" type, but I do believe in reflection and goal-setting.

I'm in the process of assessing my accomplishments for the past year, and putting some goals in place for 2018. I don't always accomplish each goal in exactly the way I had in mind or within the original timeline, but I do see myself making progress. I find that I have more success when I take baby steps. Although it can seem like I'm not making movement, when I look back, I can give myself a pat on the back for having moved the needle somewhat.

For me, it's important to acknowledge even the smallest of accomplishments, because it can be really easy to get discouraged and feel defeated. So I like to keep a running list of what I consider to be accomplishments - acknowledge them, build upon them, and use that list to inspire me as I continue through this journey of life.

I mentioned that 2017 was difficult for me at times, but I've learned some valuable lessons. Here are some of my top takeaways.


1) Even if your confidence is undermined, continue to move forward - There were times when my confidence was low and I was questioning my worth, but there was also a part of me that knew what I bring to the table. Just because others weren't willing or able to recognize and acknowledge that, I had to muster up my belief in myself and keep trudging ahead.

2) People typically mean well when they give you advice and words of "encouragement - However, it's not always applicable or meaningful to your situation. You have to pull out what's relevant and ignore the parts that either don't apply to you, or that you really don't want to hear.

3) Nothing stays the same forever It can be really easy to feel discouraged and feel like your situation will NEVER change, it will. The waiting game is the hard part. While you're waiting, you have to lay the groundwork for the change. Don't just expect things to happen for you - you have to put in the work. Even if you don't see immediate results. The work that you put in, will help prepare you for when it's time to make that change. It will make that transition a lot more smooth.

4) It's okay to walk away - From any situation that not only no longer serves you, but drags you down. It doesn't matter if you invested a lot of time in a job, a relationship (of any kind), an investment deal, etc. Why continue putting the time, effort, and money into something that is no longer worth it? Yes, each time you walk away you're leaving something behind, but that's not always a bad thing. Don't continue to invest in dead end situations.

5) There's always something else out there It will be different, but different is not always a bad thing. I happen to like a certain element of stability and predictability, but that doesn't offer the most, in terms of growth opportunities. I have a friend who used to be a consultant, and in her line of work, she was constantly being challenged with new ideas, tasks, and responsibilities - and her approach was to "embrace the ambiguity."

That's a great way to look at life - instead of being fearful of what's to come, become more open to accepting the fact that you don't know everything, you can't control everything, and you're going to make mistakes, but you're going to grow. So here's to embracing the ambiguity of a new year, new challenges, and new way of approaching life.

Happy New Year!

And always, Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!

-TFF