Hey y’all! (gosh this is so exciting) My name is Oluwadamilola Ilesanmi but my peers call me Dami like mami. I am a biological sciences Senior with a minor in music at Rutgers University New Brunswick. I am taking over Chi’s blog today so sorry if I am not as eloquent of a writer as she is.
When did you start getting into fashion?
I officially started getting into fashion my sophomore year of high school. Back then, I was really into the “Preppy style”. Wearing collared button down shirts underneath my cashmere sweater was staple for me.
Why do you like fashion so much?
Fashion just matches my personality so well! I’m very in your face and a class clown so I might as well look good doing it. The whole idea is just about being yourself which is huge for me because I feel like we live in a society where conformity is expected. Fashion says no to conformity and that’s always a plus for me. I have always had a strong sense of self and a strong personality to match in terms of not easily falling for things like peer pressure and conformity. I was comfortable in who I was and it allowed me to go on the journey of truly discovering and carving my fashion/style to what it is today. My style from sophomore year of high school to senior year of undergrad has most definitely changed; however, not because I changed, rather, because I became more comfortable with showing others who I am. In addition, having my own money helped with that as well.
What does fashion mean to you?
Simply put: not caring. I’m not going to front and pretend like when I’m thinking of my outfits I don’t consider what others would think. I most definitely do, but then WHO CARES. Sometimes you have to take a step back and just say WHO CARES. WHO CARES if it’s not “trendy”. WHO CARES if it’s “extra”. WHO CARES if it’s not “name brand”. Coming from Newark, kids were pressed with name brands and used to get on me back then because I didn’t have an Aeropostale shirt (which were ugly then and are ugly now) or name brand shoes like Nike . Just because something is trendy or is associated with a popular brand doesn’t mean it’s actually nice (unpopular opinion). Most times people are buying the name not even the actual product. One time I wore these really nice all white DC shoes, at least they were nice to me, and one of my friends was getting on me because they were DC shoes and no one ever really wears that brand. The first thing I asked him was “If they had three stripes like adidas or the check sign like Nike would they be nice?” and he agreed that they would. Don’t get me wrong now if I had the money to buy luxury brands like Supreme and Prada I would indefinitely but I don’t yet and I’m not going to pretend like I can. Sorry for my little rant but I think it’s important to educate the masses. Comment your opinions down below! Do you agree or disagree?
What is my favorite thing about fashion?
My favorite thing about fashion is that it is always evolving. I am someone who gets very bored very easily so I am always looking for the next big thing and always praise designers who aim to push the envelope and think bigger.
How would you define your personal style?
I definitely have a style that I gravitate towards but it is not definitive. My style consists of a lot of black, white, variations of black, and the faintest hint of color if I’m feeling whimsical. I guess the best way to describe it is “grunge”… actually the best term is “street style” especially now that winter is in full swing. Its really funny because my style has grown “darker” in a sense (but not my soul because I am a child of God). I went from full blown “preppy” to then trying to make “preppy grunge” a thing then straight to “grunge/street style”. It’s definitely not something you see every day especially in a small state like NJ and many people may not like it or think its weird but it’s me and I’m comfortable in it so WHO CARES.
Who are some of your fashion/style inspiration?
I’m primarily inspired by British/Parisian men street style wear. I watch PAQ YouTube videos which is a group of guys based in the UK that do challenges and activities all pertaining to fashion and style. I highly recommend watching them. They are hilarious and comment down below who your favorite is! Mine is Dexter because he wears all black 24/7, 365 days. I do follow a lot of smaller female fashion influencers who have style similar to my own. I don’t really have a celebrity inspiration because no one ever gives credit to the fact that a lot of celebrities, if not all, have stylists who are the brains behind the masterpiece. Lastly, PINTEREST! PINTEREST! PINTEREST! Pinterest is great because it organizes your feed based of what you search and I search a lot of things based of street style and fashion in general so that is what shows up on my feed.
Chi brought me on board to talk about layering and to give you some of my tips and tricks on how I layer while staying true to my style. I just recently discovered layering because I was determined to maintain my style during the colder months. The cold weather can be really discouraging but I didn’t want to give up my sense of style. I used to hate winter because I didn’t know how to dress for it until I finally understood the concept of layering.
Layering is not something new I’ve always heard people tell me “wear layers” but that is easy to do when you are not worried about your style and just want to keep warm. This was around the time I became obsessed with men’s fashion. I discovered that guys are great at layering! I saw a post in which a guy would wear a hoodie and then put a shirt on top of it then wear a jacket. There was another post that was similar but instead of a hoodie it was a long sleeved sweater. I thought it was genius. So I wanted to try it for myself and that’s how I became more comfortable with layering.
I have developed my own personal style and technique when it comes to layering and I am sharing it with you using my pictures down below.
Note: I had a jacket on before but I took it off for that sake of the picture. Even though it may not look like it there is a process under what you see. I get cold easily so I practice extreme layering. I have on a tank top, then I put a black, long-sleeved sweater on top of it that I got from Uniqlo because it was a turtleneck and you can kind of see it peaking through. Then I put on a crew neck black long sleeved shirt that I got from Dolls Kill with these really cool flames design on the forearms, which you can see. Then I put on this orange shirt that I got from a flea market in Miami. For pants, I have leggings underneath it then simple black cargo pants purchased from Nasty Gal. Lastly, I wore suede Puma shoes that matched the flames on my forearm and a bucket hat with flames on it because you never have too many flames. I was extremely warm throughout the day but I was still able to get my style across.
It’s been an honor talking with you guys. Thanks to Chiamaka for letting me borrow her platform. I hope you contribute to my little tangent earlier in the comments down below. Don’t be afraid to follow me on Instagram @stay_xtra, to see more posts. It’s fun and most importantly it’s free so you shouldn’t have an excuse.