Styling

Technicolor Girl

She’s a technicolor girl living in a full, fast-paced, sometimes overwhelming, technicolor world. We pride ourselves on being busy, but often forget to stop and smell the flowers.

This Spring I’m holding myself to a resolution to stay motivated and not let my 9-5 (or rather 9-7, sometimes 8) drain me of my creative energies. You’ve seen it; my consistent posts giving way to infrequent posts, then an unannounced hiatus, only to return with a promise to be present that eventually gives in to the same disappearance. Well no more! I’m here and ready to share all of my stylish wisdom and fashionable photo shoots.

Step 1 is teaming up with other motivated and creative minds to propel you forward. I recently had the honor of working with the super talented photographer, Terrence Jones. We brought in my BFF, Keisha, to get HMU on fleek and the most genuine model I’ve ever met, Mara of 3BBM.

Step 2 is not taking the easy way out. Today’s fashionistas think that wearing all black makes them cool and hip, when really it is just a cop-out. I mean, you do you Boo, but do you really think a wardrobe of black keeps you creative? No. Black is easy. That’s why I’ve been all about some color play. This shoot has a hint of neutrals, but is primarily an exploration in color schemes. Inspired by the youth culture of the 70’s, I hope you enjoy this garden of hues! (Thank you Revolver Boutique for the fab clothes & accessories)

Mara Color in Studio
Emilio Pucci called; he LOVES this skirt!

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Bohemian Safari doesn’t have to be all khaki. I’m obsessed with the contrast of this brushed silk coral dress with high-shine interior.

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Everyone needs an orange hat in their accessory arsenal, right?! Shout out to Good Girls Studio for awesome one-of-a-kind pieces like this necklace.

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Mixing prints is a great way to explore color. The trick is keeping the palettes the same and changing up the print scale. This ensemble is glamourous athletic – perfect for running errands while looking like a model off duty.

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Can we take a moment to appreciate this cobalt blue winged liner? Thanks.

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Fashion is fun: don’t take yourself too seriously. We love color, but black never hurt (everything in moderation). Use it to add a graphic punch to an artsy look.

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An ensemble of color doesn’t require complicated layering or color mixing. A complementary color scheme makes an impact, even with a minimalist aesthetic.

0164 Mara in Color 2016.jpgDon’t be sad that I’m shunning an all-black uniform. Get excited for the endless possibilities of color! Explore your schemes (analogous, complementary, split complementary, triadic, tetradic) and test out your print mixing skills (florals and stripes is an easy introduction). Have fun this spring and don’t forget to smell the flowers.

PS: Follow Style Asset on Instagram for more pictures and a look #BTS

 

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Lifestyle, Styling

Lavender & Smoke

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Since body positivity has become such a major social movement, I feel the need to express my sentiments on the subject. I love my body, as one should, but it has taken me years to come to this conclusion. And even though I love my body as a whole, there are still parts of me that I feel like I could improve on. Some things I can change (like my yoga moves), but some things I can’t (like my height).

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It was only within the past few years that I have learned to appreciate every part. Even the parts of me that I don’t love, I find a way to disguise and I accentuate the parts that I do love. Isn’t that what fashion is all about (aside from personal expression), anyway? I’ve never had a problem with my back, shoulders, or décolletage, and that’s always been my focus. Being teased for having a large chest at a young age had an impact on how I dressed, beginning in middle school. Apparel is the original Photoshop.

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With Lavender & Smoke, it was very bizarre because for once my skin didn’t need much retouching. I have struggled with acne for years and finally I’m a place where I feel comfortable going out in public without any makeup on and sometimes I forget I’m not wearing any at all. When I realize this, I’m not worried or scared that someone is judging me for my acne or acne scars. In this shoot, we had fun with makeup without the fear of close-ups. I still focused on the parts of me that I’ve always felt comfortable with, but the overall effect was that of increased confidence. I feel like body acceptance is not so much saying “Yes, I am 100% beautiful!” but more so saying “You know what, I might not 100% love every part about me, but I accept it and I’m going to try my best to love everything I am.”

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It doesn’t happen over night. It doesn’t happen in a year. It takes time and effort. You have to learn who you are to reach this result, Body Acceptance. I’ve found that I never use a scale anymore. I’ve found that I’ve stopped measuring my waist-line. You have to realize that “perfection” doesn’t exist in beauty. That’s really what this Body Positive movement is all about. It’s not “Everybody is perfect.” It’s that, yes we might have our flaws, but we’re okay with them.

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Special thanks to Debadeep Sen for capturing my good side (photography) & Keisha Lousie for making me look fabulous (hair&makeup).

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Styling, Wardrobing

New Tailor in Town

Ok style seekers, here’s the scoop on the next cool shop to hit downtown Raleigh. The crazy part is they don’t even sell clothes — they tailor them! Allow me to introduce Glenwood Tailors, conveniently located on Glenwood South (near St. Marys Square Apartments), the next best thing for your wardrobe since high-end consignment. I’m super excited to 1) not have to drive 15min to North Raleigh and 2) to have a tailor that gets it: style, fit, trends, and all the possibilities that tailoring allows for.

My love affair with tailoring began at an early age. I come from a long line of crafty ladies, so it’s no surprise that when things aren’t quite right I get creative.

As a tween, I had an unusual body type: strong legs of a dancer + a D cup at age 13 meant I couldn’t wear the cute things my friends were wearing. I remember shopping for a button-up shirt (the nemesis of any busty gal) and having to purchase a large in order to avoid the dreaded gaping hole between my boobs. Of course, this meant that my torso became a shapeless wash of floral print. My mom’s solution? Add darts! Darts quickly became my best friends as they were the magic trick to taking ill-fitting garments and making them hug my womanly curves.

I took sewing classes in high school, honing the skills necessary to alter patterns and create my own garments. This came in handy when looking for a job during college and stumbling across a Craig’s List ad for a tailors assistant. I came to the interview prepared with samples of my work and got the job! It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but the experience and knowledge gained have stuck with me to this day.

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My tailor mentor was a miracle worker. I came to her with vintage dresses that were four sizes too big (I’m a sucker for prints) and with a nip here and a dart there it became a one-of-a-kind, perfectly fitting garment. Once I realized the potential with tailoring there was no stopping me. Shortly after starting at the tailor shop, I began working at Revolver Consignment Boutique. There I would find amazing designer garments and unique vintage pieces, keeping the idea of tailoring in the back of my mind. Hem too long? No problem. Dress too big? Easy fix. Hate the sleeves? Take them off! When something is such a great deal, why not invest a little to customize?

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(I wore this dress once for New Years and wanted to repurpose it to be more versatile. The end result was a cute fit&flare mini dress + an a-line skirt!)

Not everything is worth tailoring. That cheap dress from H&M that’ll fall apart in a year? Nah. But I have collected the most delightful treasures that wouldn’t have been an option for me had I limited myself to the garment “as is.” More than designer and vintage apparel, I love taking clothes from my mom’s youth and transforming it for my wardrobe. I get more joy from wearing the dress my mom met my dad in than my prized Marc Jacobs shoes. The dress in question began as a frumpy 80’s day dress with a drop waist and tea-length hem (not the most flattering on my petite frame). I took up the sleeves to bring up the waist, took in the sides, and chopped off about five inches of the skirt.

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With this love and appreciation for tailoring as an art-form, my excitement for the grand opening of Glenwood Tailors of Downtown Raleigh comes as no surprise. Glenwood Tailors aims to change the experience of having garments tailored. From the cool vintage decor to their eye for style, Glenwood Tailors is going to revolutionize how society looks at tailoring. Our generation being so rooted in the idea of personalization; I can’t believe more people don’t take advantage of tailoring to create unique, stylish pieces to add to their wardrobe! Join me on Saturday, October 3rd from 12-6pm at 743 W. Johnson St. to see what Glenwood Tailors can do for your personal style.

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Wardrobing

Don’t Call This a Comeback

I’m baaaack!
After a brief hiatus, Style Asset has returned at full speed.

The past few months have been big.
I was promoted at my day job and began a new project for Style Asset. Some of you may know that my ultimate goal with Style Asset is to open a brick-and-mortar boutique and styling firm. Well this is a step in that direction!

Introducing: Style Asset Collections; a new way of presenting second-hand apparel.

The idea came to me while trying to figure out what to do with the clothes I had recently purged from my closet. I am a collector of fashion with a wide range of influencers, but I tend to buy things for their beauty instead of compatibility with my wardrobe. Why was I doing this?! I’m always telling my clients not to keep things they no longer wear or fit into, so why wasn’t I more strict on myself? If you’re looking to clear some items from your closet, ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I wore this?
Does it go with more than three other pieces?
Do I really love it?

If your answers sounded something like, “forever ago, not really, & meh” then toss it. Not literally, like into the trash, because clothing is taking over our landfills, but do something else with it. Donating is super easy, but if you have quality pieces try taking them to your local consignment boutique. I had consigned clothes for years, but for some reason this time around I thought, “why not do it myself?”

I set out to sell my own clothes wanting to do something different, so instead of listing several, seemingly non-coordinating pieces onto a website, why not take a tip from the designers and present collections? I started to sort though all of my gently worn apparel and found about twenty articles that inspired me in their colors&shapes and voila! I had my first capsule collection.

Collection

Laurel Canyon is the name of the first group of goods available on Style Asset Collections. Check out my next blog post to see inspiration for the collection, featured designers, and a sneak peek at the beautiful pieces available JUNE 13TH! And of course, I have to thank my BFF Keisha Louise for helping me realize these crazy ideas that I get 🙂

Laurel Canyon Preview

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Styling

Leather Whether the Weather’s Better

It’s finally Spring!!
(well, almost)

By the time March rolls around I am so tired of my Winter wardrobe that I am extra excited for the climate change.
But there are always a few pieces that I want to wear a little bit longer.
Sometimes it’s a favorite top or a new piece that didn’t get enough play.
Spring is the best time for mixing things up.

My favorite Winter pieces tend to incorporate a bit of leather (or pleather).
Even though this is a cold-weather textile, it works wonders with the colors & prints of Spring fashion.

Here’s an example:

I received this Zara skirt for Christmas & absolutely love it.
I wore it to work the first day of 2015, styled with dark florals & vintage fur.

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The combination of rich fabrics (leather, suede & fur), deep jewel tones,
and the juxtaposition of vintage fur with a gold Cassio watch made for a luxe look ready to brave the bitter cold.

So how do you lighten up a plum-colored leather skirt?
Pair it with soft pastels!

I love the combination of plum, grey & blush.
It’s feminine, sophisticated
& color blocking adds a modern touch.

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There are still subtle Spring details in this ensemble,
like the floral laser-cut detail on the booties & the abstract floral print on the belt.
The key is to balance elements from each season for a smooth transition.

My next #OOTD is all about my latest leather obsession.

While shopping at Revolver, I scored this awesome powder blue (p)leather A-line skirt.
The color instantly makes it appropriate for the warmer weather,
but the material can totally be styled for winter.
It is the perfect year-round piece.

I styled it for this 80 degree day with a June Cleaver attitude.

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Big, bubbly flower earrings look right at home with a 1960’s handbag and gingham blouse.
This Mid-century inspired ensemble is fun & flirty,
yet cool enough to not feel like a costume.

With any outfit, it is important to use a mix of inspirations to create a look that is uniquely you.
When you’re dressing for a transitional season, be sure to take cues from each season to make it work.
Pair leather with pastels, black with florals, suede with chiffon.
Textures, colors & prints are your best friends.

You can see how I styled these leather leggings,
first by incorporating delicate lace and then by contrasting with a vibrant floral print.

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Hope this inspires you!
What is your favorite transitional piece?

Have questions about styling?
Need wardrobe guidance?
Comment below & I’ll answer!

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Styling

Urban Wonder

On a warm Sunday, after some unusual snow fall,
I headed downtown to Raleigh’s warehouse district
for the first menswear shoot to be featured on Style Asset.

Ever since I started helping my coworker&friend, Jonathan,
curate his wardrobe, I have wanted to discuss men’s fashion.

Although it does not change often,
there are many stylistic techniques that can make fashion fun for guys.

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Update your basics.
Look for textural textiles,
like suede, leather, and denim.
These materials are both visually rich and rugged,
making for a cool, sophisticated outfit that is sure to attract attention.
If you’re going to go for simple, you have to make every piece count.

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A good leather jacket is always in style and is easy to wear.
Visit your local vintage or consignment shop in search of one that is already worn in.

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You can do double denim.
It’s called chambray: a lightweight clothing fabric with colored warp and white filling yarns.
It is basically denim lite.
A chambray shirt is a great way to mix fabrics & stay comfortable.
A sturdy denim fabric can be too bulky as a shirt, but makes for the perfect jeans.
Choose well-made jeans in a classic wash that will last you a lifetime.
Raleigh Denim is a favorite for quality pieces & you be supporting a local business.

The second trick is to choose different shades of blue.
This outfit went a step further by incorporating a subtle, woven print that adds a playful quality to a tailored look.

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When in doubt, invest in neutrals.

A great pair of shoes can go a long way
& by purchasing them in variations of brown, black, & blue
you can literally wear them with anything.
(but never brown shoes with a black belt)
Jonathan purchased the same shoe in both navy & gray
because they were so damn snazzy & comfortable.

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Do not fear outerwear.
Jackets & blazers can really complete a look
and there are ways to not look silly in a vest.
This particular one came with the most amazing jacket from a certain safari-inspired GAP Inc. brand.
(Banana Republic)
Jonathan was hesitant to trust my advice on this piece,
but since he made the investment he has worn the jacket every day & loves it.
A quilted vest in an earthy hue feels more outdoorsy than nerdy
and a color-neutral, like olive, is a refreshing alternative to black.

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Turn to nature & the urban landscape for interesting color schemes.
I love the warmth of red bricks from old Raleigh architecture,
especially when contrasted with the green of foliage.
Thus the combination of a evergreen vest & wine button-down.
The same concept is applied to this gray & sage ensemble.
A slightly preppy look contrasts nicely with the decaying industrial environment.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by color (or print),
tone it down by layering a neutral piece that allows the contrasting fabric to accent the outfit.

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Embrace style.
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is ok to put some effort into what you wear.
Style is the first impression
& how you speak to the world without using your voice.
Go ahead, wear your favorite color! Even if it is vibrant or quirky.
Do structure and feel relaxed.
I promise, there is a balance between looking profession & feeling at ease.
Be inspired by your interests & the world around you for unique interpretations of classic menswear style.

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Follow @Style_Asset on Instagram to see more from this shoot
& check out past editorials (+ photos of my cat).

Need fashion advice?
Comment below!
I’d love to start an Ask the Asset series.

Big thank you to Keisha Louise for capturing this on film
& to Jonathan for his Blue Steel impressions.

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Styling

We’re All Mad Here

What do the Scotch, Irish, and English all have in common? Besides England’s frequent efforts to invade their neighbors, all three cultures have a plaid history. The plaid print arose for symbolic purposes, rather than attempts to be on-trend, but stayed in style due to various cultural movements that evolved in the centuries and decades to follow.

Plaids come in all colors and sizes, and these elements help to tell a story. Traditional plaids, or tartans, were used to differentiate between clans or regional groups of people. This purpose of identity comes as no surprise when you consider that the punks of England’s late 1970’s adopted the print with a rebellious intent. In the modern fashion world, you can see plaid being used by avant garde designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to pay homage to their past.

This unique print has also been adapted for a more classic environment. Take school uniforms, for example, and their preppy interpretation of plaid. Mix this print with a white button-up and smart shoes and the print goes from edgy to sophisticated. On the flip side, the plaid school uniform has also become a sex-symbol (thanks to Britany’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time”) and a common Halloween costume choice.

With so many incarnations of plaid, it’s evident that this ancient print has been able to sustain itself in the ever-changing fashion atmosphere. The following looks demonstrate four ways to wear plaid, each with it’s own take on this classic print.

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GLAM
Seeing as plaid has a more masculine history, I wanted to shake things up a bit and add some glamour to this utilitarian fabric. I am obsessed with this Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti dress, complete with it’s own waist capelet. Throw on an actual capelet and you’ve got drama — add some jewels and little leather gloves and you’ve got a statement.

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GRUNGE
Grunge may have began in the mid-80’s, but it is obsessed with this 16th century textile (usually in the form of a flannel shirt). I’m not one for the frumpy, so I took it upon myself to modernize this style with a sports bra and skinny jeans. The result is sexy, but still cool enough to hang with the guys.

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PUNK
To the untrained eye punk may look like grunge, but in both music and fashion they are very different. Channel your inner Sid Vicious with stove-pipe plaid pants and metallic accents. When in doubt, look for pieces with buckles and/or zippers and pair with black. Warning: outfit must be worn with attitude!

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PREP
Thanks to Ms. Spears and certain anime series, the school girl ensemble has become a fantasy for many boys. Instead of playing in to this sexist ideal, I decided to call it out in a more stylish way. A men’s tux shirt and an oversized safety pin add toughness to this ensemble, which is off-set by the ultra-girly accessories; Tous bear earrings and bracelet with bright blue platforms that resemble the classic Mary Janes. The low, sleek bun and longer hem-line work to give the look a more sophisticated quality. I guess what I’m getting at is, if you’re going to wear plaid in a preppy manner take care not to play into uncouth stereotypes.

That’s the great thing about a plaid print: you can style it however you want! There is no singular trend or fiber that defines this textile. Plaid lends itself to so many items and fashions that it is easy to wear regardless of your personal style. Try incorporating a little into your winter (or spring!) wardrobe and you won’t be disappointed.

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