advice

3 STYLES THAT I SWEAR WERE MADE FOR ME! (+ HOW TO FIND YOURS)

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

Everyone has them. The looks that when you wear them, just seem to fit you like a glove, bring out your best features, turn heads, and make you feel like your flyest and highest self. As a stylist, I go through a lot of trial and error when trying new looks and over time, I’ve come across a few styles that I’m never letting go of. Here are mine, along with some of the ways I help myself, my family and friends, and my clients find their most flattering go-to pieces.

DRAMATIC EARRINGS

As you can clearly see, they’re a fave of mine. I get asked all the time where I buy my earrings and the truth is, I don’t discriminate. I get them everywhere from my local hair store to my favorite online shops. The busier the better, especially when I’m wearing a relatively simple look I love to throw on a pair of bomb statement earrings to change my look up in one step.

I am wearing a  ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress  by  Akira ,  PLT   studded belt  and  snakeskin thigh high boots ,  double disc earrings  from  Forever 21 , vintage clutch, bangles and ring I got forever ago.

I am wearing a ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress by Akira, PLT studded belt and snakeskin thigh high boots, double disc earrings from Forever 21, vintage clutch, bangles and ring I got forever ago.

THIGH HIGH BOOTS

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about my OTK boots. Anything over the knee keeps my legs warm while still showcasing my personal style through the texture and details of the boots that I choose, especially in the Fall & Winter months.

HIGH SLIT SKIRTS

I’m so quick to throw on a high slit maxi skirt because it makes my torso appear longer while showcasing my legs which I love. In order to switch it up, I’ll buy high slit skirts in different fabrics to diversify my looks. I have a faux suede one, a jersey material one, and a crochet one for Summer, but regardless of which I one I wear, I can never go wrong with this style on me.

HOW TO FIND YOUR STYLES THAT WERE MADE FOR YOU…

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WHAT LOOKS DO PEOPLE COMPLIMENT YOU ON THE MOST?

That great pair of gold pumps that has your calf muscles POPPIN’ when you put em on? That freakum dress that hugs your silhouette just right and has people noticing your gym wins? Pay attention to the details of those pieces. Why do you think people compliment you on them? Is it the shape that it gives your body? The color of the piece that pops on your skin tone? Once you figure that out, you can start to curate more pieces for your wardrobe that have those attributes.

WATCH YOUR POSTURE!

Which looks have you walking different when you slip them on? When your posture elevates, your shoulders are back, you hold your head a little higher after getting dressed, it means you’re feeling confident. Pay attention to the looks that make you feel this way and then ask yourself what you specifically like about the look that ups your confidence and gives you your supermodel walk. Whether it makes you feel sexier, edgier, or just more self expressive, try only wearing pieces that make you feel this good. It will radiate from within because of course, when you look good, you feel good and vice versa.

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LISTEN WHEN PEOPLE SAY “THAT LOOKS LIKE YOU”

Honestly, I used to get SO annoyed when I’d go shopping with a relative or friend and they’d point out a shirt or a bag and say “that looks like you.” or “that reminds me of you.” Sometimes I still do, especially if I’m not feeling the look they’re trying to show me. I don’t know if its the Leo in me or what, but I just felt like “How can you tell ME what is… “me?” Though I still tend to feel this way occasionally, I also have learned to not be so defensive about it because a lot of times the comment can really be a compliment in disguise.

For someone to stay something reminds them specifically of you, it could mean the person thinks you have a unique and distinctive style. Because I feel like my style is so versatile due to the fact that I wear whatever I think looks cute regardless of aesthetic, I'm now more open minded to other people’s suggestions because my style is constantly evolving and improving. You should be, too. Next time someone points out a look that they feel reminds them of you, ask yourself how you could style it to make it more “you”? Consider it an opportunity to help you find more flattering looks and build on your personal style.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more style content coming very soon to the blog!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

4 TIPS FOR PUTTING TOGETHER THE PERFECT BRUNCH FIT

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

Shop Our Looks  : My friend  Comfort  of  CNK STYLEBOOK  (check her site out!) is wearing a  two piece plaid set  and  white ankle boots  from  Nasty Gal , and a thrifted DKNY blazer (shop a similar one     here  ) I am wearing a  ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress  by  Akira ,  PLT   studded belt  and  snakeskin thigh high boots ,  double disc earrings  from  Forever 21 , vintage clutch, bangles and ring I got forever ago.

Shop Our Looks: My friend Comfort of CNK STYLEBOOK (check her site out!) is wearing a two piece plaid set and white ankle boots from Nasty Gal, and a thrifted DKNY blazer (shop a similar one here) I am wearing a ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress by Akira, PLT studded belt and snakeskin thigh high boots, double disc earrings from Forever 21, vintage clutch, bangles and ring I got forever ago.

Over the past year or two, brunching has become THE go-to activity for my generation to link up and catch up with friends in the midst of everyday “adulting”. Many use their brunch dates as an excuse to bring out their best fits and flick it up. Here are a couple of guidelines to help narrow down your options for that perfect brunch fit.

DRESS IN LAYERS

This way you can get comfortable at brunch, and then throw your extra layers of jackets, dusters, etc, back on for any #ootd pics you may wanna take. Plus, if it’s chilly at the restaurant or outside, you can keep warm.

CHOOSE A THEME FOR YOUR LOOK

Whether it be leather and floral like the look I put together below, or stripes, monochrome, etc, try having each of your friends focus on a theme for their brunch outfit. This will give each of you a chance to stand out and express your individual aesthetics while brunching together as a unit. Commenting on the bomb looks everyone is wearing could also serve as a great convo starter.

Shop the look:       Top   ,    Jacket   ,    skirt   ,    heels   ,    bag   ,    earrings   .

Shop the look: Top, Jacket, skirt, heels, bag, earrings.

FOLLOW THE SLOUCHY / FIT RULE

I call this rule the slouchy/ fit rule because it involves going for a slouchy look with one article of clothing and going for a more bodycon fit with the next. This is something that I like to do a lot, especially when I’m going out to eat, I’ll pair tight fitting jeans or shorts with a more loose fitting top (that way I can eat whatever without looking full afterwards).

BRING OUT YOUR BEST HEELS

I like to choose days where I’ll be sitting most of the time as a break in day for my newest and favorite pairs of heels. It’s the ultimate cheat code where you don’t necessarily have to dress for comfort.

Stay tuned for more style posts coming very soon to the blog! Have an idea for a post? I’d love to hear it. Send ‘em all to styleadvicebysharra@gmail.com.

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

"FASHION MADE ME DO IT": NEVER LET SEASONAL TRENDS STOP YOU FROM PUTTING YOUR OWN SPIN ON A LOOK

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE | PHOTOS BY MONICA KRYSTEL ROSE

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Growing up, one of my guilty pleasures was (and still is) watching reality tv shows with my mom and sis. And as crazy as it may seem, my favorite part about it isn’t even the drama and crazy storylines that most of us watch reality tv for in the first place. I mean, obviously that’s what initially sparked my interest. But after a while, I realized my favorite part really is looking at all of the looks the people on the shows wear, and having side convos with my fam about what we liked and what we didn’t like, who we thought always dressed well (and who we thought needed MUCH help), along with how we would’ve worn or not worn certain things differently.

Difference in perspective is what makes fashion culture so interesting. What I think is fly is not necessarily what someone else may think is, and vice versa. And to be honest, without us all having different tastes, fashion would be really boring and uninteresting. Personal style is what makes all the difference. That’s why I always encourage my fam, friends, and even my clients to always stay true to themselves, despite what may or may not be currently “in fashion”. It’s cool to incorporate trendy pieces but it’s so much more important to wear pieces that speak to who you are because you never know how your unique take on something could inspire someone else, which is inherently what keeps the culture moving forward and what keeps us all on our toes.

I wore this look while I ran around NYC during fashion week, catching shows. After a show, I stopped in Chipotle to eat and charge my phone. As I was scrolling away, a lady came rushing in and came up to my table, telling me how much she looved my outfit and asking me where I got my jacket and boots (shop the look above). She mentioned how she would’ve worn the jacket with a matching gold skirt instead. As I explained to her how I always like to add an unexpected element into my fits, it sparked a dope convo and we ended up talking for an hour about how we as women use personal style to express ourselves and how our style usually evolves as we enter different chapters in our lives.

It made me think about how something as expressive and fun for us should never just be limited to what’s “on trend” and what’s not. With everything from top designers to social media and fast fashion factories selling us an image day after day, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s poppin’ and what’s played, losing our sense of individuality. But as exciting as it is to study trends as they come and go, at the end of the day, I gotta be me… you gotta be you. Never let a temporary wave keep you from serving a look that’s authentically YOU. Our different points of view when it comes to style are so necessary.

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

MAKING A MARK IN FASHION DESPITE THE "YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US" MENTALITY THAT PLAGUES THE INDUSTRY

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

Pioneer and Curator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Walker Johnson sitting front row during a fashion presentation.

Pioneer and Curator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Walker Johnson sitting front row during a fashion presentation.

As expressive and beautiful the phenomenon that is fashion can be, there’s also such a strong sense of secrecy and exclusivity concerning the industry. Anyone who wants in has experienced this in one way or another. From authorities in fashion refusing to hire people of a certain look, race, religion, or social class, down to giving no front row seats at shows for those who aren’t deemed “good enough” over trivial matters, even down to how secretive individuals can be when it comes to sharing their “recipe for success” , the “crabs in a barrel” attitude that often exudes from many of those who are apart of the industry is virtually impossible to miss; and if you let it, it can leave you feeling discouraged, disheartened, and underrepresented. Thankfully, we’re living in a time where those who came before us have walked so we could run, and it’s becoming easier to still show up and kill it in this industry, in your own right.

Whether you’re an aspiring tastemaker, blogger, designer, model, or even if you’re just a lover of fashion culture, I’ve found on my journey just how important it is to unapologetically offer your 2 cents, despite voices in the industry constantly trying to control what is perceived as acceptable and appealing and what is not. You never know how your perspective will positively influence and inspire others along their own journey. Here are a few ways to keep making your presence known…

IF YOU CAN’T JOIN THEM, CREATE YOUR OWN

This has been the approach that some of fashion’s most iconic trailblazers and legends in the making have taken, and are still taking. When we abandon our need to be accepted by everyone we feel is important, that’s often when our true calling makes itself known. As a young black woman who’s building a career in fashion, it’s no secret that throughout history, there have been many doors closed for people who look like me. However, I’m so blessed to be pursuing fashion in a time where those who came before me have knocked down some doors and tossed me the key, in a sense.

Ebony Fashion Fair Curator Eunice Walker took initiative to highlight blacks in fashion during a time when the mainstream tastemakers in the industry were ignoring us. After having a dream of writing for Vogue deferred, Editor in Chief of Fashion Bomb Daily, Claire Sulmers (if you read here often, you already know she’s my fav!) utilized her growing online presence to create “her own Vogue” in so many words, creating and maintaining a unique space for multicultural fashion to be celebrated. “First you ask, then you take.”, she says.

Eunice Walker Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair exhibit, highlighting black up and coming designers of her time.

Eunice Walker Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair exhibit, highlighting black up and coming designers of her time.

From Instagram born, profitable fashion brands to influencers who found their tribe, went viral, and never looked back… we live in an era where when we can’t join someone’s movement, we can create our own and be just as, if not even more successful, and a lot of industry vets are upset about it. But there’s honestly no going back… due to the way we receive our information (internet, social media, etc.") There’s an array of ways to consistently contribute your perspective in any industry, especially fashion.

Seeing a lack of representation in fashion that moves you to want to act on it? Instead of wasting time begging and waiting for certain opportunities, be the change and create your own. It can start with establishing your own movement, whether it be via an online presence, creating in-person groups and organizations, etc. Through experience, I’m learning that it gains momentum when you continue to create your content, share your style, share your opinions, and continue to show up and speak up despite whoever’s trying to silence you. You’d be surprised how people identify with your voice when you use it.

SPEAK UP, NEVER BE AFRAID TO PLUG YOURSELF

Me introducing myself to legendary stylist Misa Hylton at the  Convos with Claire networking event  in December 2018.

Me introducing myself to legendary stylist Misa Hylton at the Convos with Claire networking event in December 2018.

With fashion being such a competitive industry, it’s important to know how to plug yourself. This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far when it comes to my business. When I first started styling back in 2014, I was not as confident as I am now, which probably caused me to fumble a few bags in the process. It didn’t help that I’m naturally introverted, believe it or not. But over time, I’ve learned when to break out of my shell and handle business because if I don’t speak for my brand, no one else will.

When you walk into a room hoping to make your mark, Ive learned that it’s important to remember that people don’t read minds. They’re not aware of the gifts you possess, and until you speak up and let them know, you risk missing out on building meaningful connections with others and further establishing your brand. If you’re looking to get better at representing yourself, practicing your elevator pitch and testing it out at networking events or when you meet new people, can help you level up when it comes to leaving a lasting impression.

SUPPORT A MOVEMENT BEFORE IT’S “MOVING”

Everyday, I see SO MANY dope brands and creatives in fashion who offer a fresh point of view and quality work getting knocked off, ripped off, and overlooked. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “nobody is messing with your movement until it’s moving” but it can be challenging to gain momentum when people don’t support you just because you haven’t “made it” yet in their eyes, whatever that means. That’s why I’ve recently been making a point to support my fellow small business owners, minority owned businesses, and an array of other groups in fashion who constantly seem to get put on the back burner.

When you choose to support a label, or brand before it has completely taken off and gone mainstream, not only do you establish yourself as a trendsetter and not a follower, but you also gain leverage by supporting at the beginning stages because it often leads to strong partnerships and relationships with the owners of these companies that many others missed out on because they simply jumped on the bandwagon later on down the road. Consider taking on ambassadorships or even simply purchasing from more of the brands that are slept on, it can help you make your mark in the long run, in more ways than one.

Hope you got something from this post! New fashion week coming to the blog very soon! Stay tuned!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”