Dear 2018

2018,

January…

Man you really did a number on me. 

February…

You started off with me on my back, contemplating if my deliverance from depression was permanent. No motivation. No joy in my heart. 

March…

I was anxious for everything and hated every aspect of my life, but I smiled, I even laughed through it all. On my Instagram page, I boasted of Romans 8, but didn’t know what was in that chapter. 

April… 

God, I hate You. It’s Your fault. The depression. The never-ending sea of anger. The discord in my family. The pain. It’s all Your fault. Why didn’t You love me better? Why didn’t You love me stronger that the hurt? I know life is better with You in it, but God, I don’t want to see Your face right now.

May — Honduras

I gave up on God. I believed He had failed me. Truth is, He had never failed me, but I was always one foot in one foot out with Him and everything else in my life; however, I was not about to admit that (pride). So I welcomed rebellion, made love to self-pity, and nurtured a cold heart. 

June…

I embraced my usual sin; the one that comforted me for so long—lust and all its numerous faces. I didn’t receive the familiar comfort in return. But God, I’m still not ready to choose You. Maybe next month?

July…

Delivered. Actually delivered this time because I decided to be bold enough to believe in a clean start. I am a terrible person, but I am loved regardless. I don’t have to work for that love; I sure don’t have to earn it. God, I think, maybe I like You. 

I’m happy, I’m planning yet another trip. By the end of next month, I would have officially traveled more times in one year than I had in my 21 years of life.

August — Chicago

Twenty-One! New year, new me (finally).

September…

Peace. It felt odd rolling off my tongue. Peace. P-E-A-C-E. Five letters, put together, wrapped up into the best gift I had ever received. No nightmares. No anxiety. Twenty-four hours feels like enough, maybe more than. Okay, God, I love You; although, I’m not sure that means much. I don’t know how to love. Not real love, but I will learn.

October…

Peace. Maybe I should give it back. It seemed a little too good to be true.

November…

God really wants me to have peace and this time no returns. My heart is smiling. I’m happy happy. They call it joy. I call it joy. Thank you God.

December — Nigeria

Another trip! Three times in one year, I mean but who’s counting. 

2018,

I won’t lie, you almost had me there. But God. Two words, but God, new life. I traveled. I smiled and laughed from the bottom of my heart. I made friends. I did things I had wanted to do for a while; but what I will remember 2018 for is that I was loved. The type of love that prompts you to give your all right back. Love that truly casts out all fear. And in 2019, I vow to make sure other people can experience this love. I vow to be His vessel until the day air leaves my lungs.

2018, goodbye. 

2019, what’s good homie!

Inspiration: The Daniel Edit

One thing I am especially drawn to in a person is the willingness to be themselves, without caring what others think. This is who Daniel strikes me as. I met Daniel my sophomore year of college, his freshman year, & all I could think was, this is the flyest guy ever, bruh.

In the society we live in, I believe it is especially difficult for men to be themselves through fashion because the rules are a lot more strict when it comes to what they can wear. When a guy is very bold & flamboyant in their style, certain labels are placed on them; and I am certain even knowing this, Daniel did not let it stop him. I am thankful for this because I have learned much from simply watching him especially when he’s in his custom fits. He creates things I would never have thought of, and as an aspiring designer, who one day hopes to be able to design for men as well, I am learning so much.

My guy does it all! There is nothing he cannot wear and I mean WEAR! For anyone who doesn’t know Daniel personally, you will see what I mean in his pictures at the end of this post. He is another person who has inspired me to let my style unapologetically reflect my personality. I would say, for the most part, our styles are opposites because as I stop caring less and less about impressing others, my personal style leans towards simple and elegant; however, just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean they have nothing to teach you.

Enough of me talking, let us hear from the man himself:

 

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Q: Are you into fashion? If yes, what’s your opinion on fashion?

I am very much into fashion. Fashion to me is all about personality. One can express their personality through the various amounts of outfits a person can put together. For example, I usually dress loudly in a sense where I can walk into a room and my outfit will literally speak for itself.

Q: How would you best describe your personal style?

My personal style is all over the place. I experiment frequently through different types of styles depending on how I’m feeling. One day I can feel like wearing 90’s attire while the next day, causal, then African, and etc. I would say though, my African culture has a big influence on my personal style since I love to make custom fits. I literally can’t go a week without wearing one Africana and I have no shame at that.

Q:Have you always known what your personal style is?

I discovered my style probably when I first entered high school. I just loved the whole ankara world and how African attire was becoming so popular out of nowhere, as if Africans didn’t have ankara for ages lol. Growing up African, no matter what country you’re from, we’ve all had clothes tailored for us. Becoming a teenager and being able to design my own attire made me desire to continue and I wouldn’t want to stop. I’ve also tried different types of fabrics other than ankara including brocade, silk, and satin for example; truth be told, the finished products were amazing.

Inspiration: The Simi Edit

Many people ask me what inspires me and my response has always been, “everyday people”. It’s the same when it come to fashion and so I would like to introduce you to a dear friend who is one of my style inspos.

I met Similoluwa Jinadu the summer of 2014 during a church camp. From the moment I saw her, I thought, I wish I could be like her. She always looked good and due to my insecurities at that time, I envied her. I felt if I could just dress like her then maybe I’ll be as pretty as her.

As I’ve grown and healed, I learned that she’s just being herself and expressing herself through her style. She doesn’t do it to one-up anyone or imitate anyone at the cost of losing herself. That’s one of the ways she inspires me—get to know yourself, love yourself, be yourself, and you will look stunning in anything you wear. Watching her taught me to use fashion as an extension of my personality.

Simi, continue to be yourself and may God continue to use you to bless girls like me! Thank you for supporting me and being so willing to be a part of this project!

Here are Simi’s thoughts on fashion & some of her favorite looks:

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Q: Are you into fashion? If yes, what’s your opinion on fashion?

Am I?! Yes girl, extremely! Fashion is the best way for me to express myself without the need of words. It represents life.

Q: How would you best describe your personal style? 

One day, I’m a girly girl, the next, I’m a tomboy, another day, I’m a mom with 2 children, and another, I think I’m Rihanna. I would describe my personal style as a melting pot. I do not have one concrete style. I consider myself very unpredictable, which makes everything more fun! I can throw on a fitted dress with some heels and be a girly girl on Monday, but on Tuesday with army cargos, a loose tee, and sneakers on, I’m a tomboy. On Wednesday I wrap iro and buba to represent my home country, Nigeria…should I continue?! According to everyone else, I’m “extra”; however, I like to consider that a good thing! What’s the point of fashion if you can’t change it up every second, minute, hour, or day?

Q: Have you always known what your personal style is? 

Maybe I’ve not always known what my personal style is, but I know I’ve always wanted to show people the real Simi through my style. I began discovering my personal style when I started to understand who I was as an individual. I’m fun, outgoing, confident, and bold, so my style is exactly that.

Autumn/Winter 2018 Trends

Fall is almost upon us and new Autumn/Winter (A/W) collections have filled up many stores (high-street & designer alike) to remind us of just that. Today, I bring you some of the top trends of the A/W season. For every trend mentioned, there will be a short blurb, a picture for representation, and store(s) I believe have nailed the trend with the pieces currently in stock. My overall tips for rocking trends are try something new, have fun, and combine trends!

Animal in Blog

Release the Animal Within

Soon enough you will begin to see many people wearing animal print, particularly snake and leopard prints, but not limited to those two. Technically this trend never goes out of style, but with this new season it is coming out of the background and into a spotlight of its own. This year especially, you will see more dresses, tops, jackets, and pants in animal print.

Topshop

Forever 21

Western in Blog

The Frontier is Everywhere

Another big trend for the A/W 2018 collection is western-style themed outfit pieces. I have seen many shoes in the western style before now; however, the trend is expanding into the tops, belts, and jackets. Fringes will be a big indication of this trend in certain stores in case the western style is right up your alley.

Urban Outfitters has some western-style accessories

Coats for Blog

1 Coat, 2 Coat, 3 Coat, 4

Layering comes naturally as the weather gets colder; however, instead of just layering a jacket on top of a sweater, we’re going to be seeing multiple coats/jackets being worn on top of each other. For instance, we might see a rain jacket or parka being worn underneath a teddy bear coat. I mean of you’re going to layer, might as well take it to the extreme. This is me in a trend because I am always cold.

Any store that sells a variety of coats will do for this trend. You can just pick out a bunch and begin the layering adventure!

Forever 21

Topshop

H&M

Leather in Blog

All Leather Everything

A leather jacket will never go out of style, but designers took another classic, timeless idea and expanded it. For the upcoming season, be ready to see or wear some leather dresses in an edgy twist to an otherwise conventional style.

High street stores don’t quite have this trend nailed yet.

Scarf in Blog

Scarf, Shirt, Dress, Oh my!

Silk scarves are back except now they’re in the form of tops and dresses. I personally find this trend very intriguing because silk usually isn’t used to make clothes for the colder months. I can imagine there will be a large amount of layering associated with this trend as well! You see how trends are already mixing?!?!

Topshop

Zara

Forever 21

There are so many more trends; however, this post would never end if I were to speak on all of them. If you would like to see a continuation post, let me know in the comments or on my social media! Enjoy the rest of your week and may your creative juices start flowing! Love you all!💙

My First Ever Vacation!

Chicago, Chicagooooo!IMG_2137Let us start with some background… Growing up, my family never went on vacation due to lack of finances. In addition, I usually dread my birthday because I have never felt celebrated, especially by my own family, sometimes friends and family forget my birthday, and I used to have suicidal thoughts. 

I cannot remember when the idea came to mind, but I knew I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a significant way this year. It is part of my journey towards accepting the love God has for me and self-love. So I took a trip. After going back and forth, I picked Chicago.

IMG_1702The city is beautiful; although it is expensive due to a tax on everything, even down to plastic bags when you go shopping. The people are extremely nice, always willing to lend a helping hand and give tips. The food is wonderful! My favorite food places were Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe, Pinstripes, & Nando’s. There is so much to see and do, from the main touristy things to the simple stuff. Chicago’s public transportation system is quite intricate, connected, and affordable! Honestly, I would love to come back again because there is much to appreciate and take in, a week wasn’t enough time.

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I left the city with a multitude of fond memories, however, my top 2 would have to be the entire second day spent in the city and church on my birthday.

Day two consisted ofIMG_1911 going to the beach, seeing around the navy pier, and bowling. It sounds like a relaxed day, but I was in a great mood and everything we did was enjoyable (the simple things in life satisfy me more than extravagance). We bowled and ate dinner at the same place because the atmosphere and staff were top notch. Church, especially one where the Holy Spirit is in, always makes me happy and for some reason, I really felt God’s love for me strongly in All Nations Worship Assembly!

I have a few regrets. One, I should have done more research on the city in general so I IMG_0003would have known about stuff like the taxing system and the transportation system. Two, I should have spent more time with God each day because I was in a poor mood due to it being so close to my birthday. I feel bad because it may have taken away from my friend’s experience during the trip and it definitely took away from mine. Spending time with God, calms me down and puts me in a healthy mindset, because where The Holy Spirit dwells there is peace, life, and joy, the three things I especially needed for that week. Lastly, I would not have had a shopping day at all because in my opinion, it wasn’t worth it and that time could have been better spent.

I know now, that this is the life I want to live going forward. I don’t know when the next trip will be, but there will be one! In the future, I want my children to be able to say they took a trip to somewhere new every year, both for fun and to increase their social capital. I thank God for making this happen and my friend for coming with me!

For my next trip, where should I go? Leave me some suggestions in the comments or dm me on Instagram! Enjoy the rest of your week! 💙

What I Wore in Chi-Town!

Hello everyone, thank you for coming back again this week and welcome to my blog if you’re new!💙 From August 1-7th, I went on my first ever vacation and I chose Chicago as the destination. My birthday was also on the 5th (woohoo 21🎊) so it was perfect timing.

This post is dedicated to the outfits I wore while in Chicago including the thought process, what I was looking for when it came to the look, and links to the items in each outfit or alternatives if I can find one. You may have already seen them if you follow me on Instagram.

Day 1:

I love the Tommy Hilfiger brand especially for streetwear. I spotted this beautiful, simple dress in a Tommy Hilfiger outlet and had to get it. I went with my sisters and after showing them the dress they both immediately nodded saying that it was definitely my style. I also wanted to wear my new New Balance sneakers that were collecting dust in my closet.

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Dress: Not online

Sneakers (similar)

Bag (similar)

Day 2:

First outfit was a bikini. I am proud that I could wear it because although people tend to like my body, I am actually quite insecure about it and to top it off, I was bloated because of God’s special gift to all women on a monthly basis.

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Bikini Top (similar)

Bikini Bottom (similar)

Second outfit and probably my favorite outfit of the whole trip, was actually quite simple and came as a surprise. I had stopped wearing revealing things because in the past, my intentions were provocative in nature and when I started getting close to God, He would convict me. I didn’t wear this outfit because I was trying to get the attention of any man, but wore it because it was comfortable, chic, simple, and I thought I looked great in it.

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Bralette (similar)

Culottes (similar)

Shoes

Jacket: not online, but a regular leather (faux or real) would do!

Day 3:

I had planned to go shopping so I wanted something comfortable and easy allowing me to change in and out of it quickly. I literally didn’t have this outfit until 2 days before the trip because I had stopped at Target to look at some luggage and saw the jumpsuit and mules instead!

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Romper

Mules (similar)

Day 4:

My friend and I planned a day full of tourist things so I wanted to look elegant and yet relaxed. I decided to wear the jumpsuit from Forever 21 that I had modified. I took it from strapless to with straps. I wore the shoes I purchased the day before from Express!

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After my modification

Jumpsuit

Mules

Day 5: MY BIRTHDAY!!!

I wore the dress I brought for church the whole day even though that wasn’t my initial plan. I had to also tweak this dress a little in the chest area to make it church appropriate. I prefer it more open in the chest though so I plan on taking out the stitch I made and instead sewing a hook on allowing me to wear it both ways depending on the occasion.

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Birthday dress

Black Steve Madden Heels: purchased at outlet so the price of mine is different than what it says online (almost half off)

Day 6:

This was the last day and I was exhausted. I was ready to go home at this point because we had been doing so much already. I also had horrible blisters from walking so much. I decided to keep it very simple with and off-the-shoulder dress and some super comfortable sandals from Aldo!

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Dress (similar): I got mine in stores for $34.99, but could only find this one for $9.99 online so I don’t know how quality compares

Sandals (similar)

Straw crossbody bag (similar)

Enjoy the rest of your week! If you purchase anything, let me know! Like, comment, share to let me know you are enjoying the content!

Hair: What’s the Big Deal Anyway?

Welcome back! Today we’re talking about hair.

I grew up wearing the same hairstyles most black/African girls wear; however, my sophomore year of high school (winter 2012), I wanted to cut my hair. I was worried It wouldn’t suit me, providing people with more reasons to make fun of me and as crazy as it may sound, I didn’t want to lose anymore “friends” due to my poor looks. Long story short, I got the haircut, but my mom didn’t approve and cut the rest of my hair off.

In that instant, all my worst fears were realized or so I thought. No body called me ugly. No one in school mistook me for a guy. Actually the reception was quite positive. I can laugh looking back, but I still know the terror I felt that day. I was still dealing with insecurities so I grew my hair out into an afro.

Right before my junior year prom in 2014, I cut my Afro off with about 2 inches of hair left; but again I grew it out. After my high school graduation, I never grew my hair out again, at least not all the hair on my head. It was at that moment I started to see hair as an accessory, another means to express my style like I do with jewelry or clothes or shoes.

I don’t place my identity in hair anymore, realizing my beauty will never lie there. When girls come up to me expressing a desire to cut their hair, I tend to encourage them to do it. In this society where women are judged on their hair, there’s a freedom that comes with taking that weight of your shoulders. That’s what I’ve come to find out and that’s what every girl that’s ever gone short (temporarily or permanently) has said to me. I never want another girl to feel the fear I felt over something as minuscule as hair.

On Thursday, I went for grey hair; however, the grey color ended up hidden behind purple, blue, and green hues. I am upset only because it cost a pretty penny; otherwise, I don’t care. I’m not questioning my beauty or worth because of it. Occasionally, I do get ignorant people that really can’t see I’m a woman or who like to tell me I would look better with more hair. I still deal with “subtle” disapproval from Nigerian elders. I just chuck it up to the devil trying to get his foot in the door of my life with insecurities, shrug it off, and move on.

I’ve also realized now that I prefer my natural hair color. It fits my personal style much better than grey. My short hair is low maintenance, effortless, simple, and unique: words I would use to describe my style as well. Fashion to me is comfort and confidence—so is my hairstyle.

Below is a gallery of all of my past hairstyles (in chronological order):

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Thank you to those who come week after week to hear what I have to say about fashion and my style! There will not be a post next week because I will be on vacation, but there will be one the week after. Have a blessed week & I will see you in 2 weeks! 💙

Get Ready to Spend: Part 2

Happy Friday loves! As the work week comes to an end, let’s celebrate with a few sales worth checking out this weekend!

Below are stores with quality items that are now on sale! I will also be looking into some of these stores this weekend as I prep for my birthday trip in 2 weeks.

H&M

They are having a flash sale for today and word on the street is that they finally got their sizing in check!

Nordstrom

They are currently having their annual anniversary sale which ends on my birthday (August 5th) this year! I know their prices tend to be in the higher side especially for college students so this is a good opportunity to see what bargains you can score!

Express

Every review I’ve ever seen raves about their jeans/denim so even if you don’t want anything else from here, their denim is worth looking into!

Urban Outfitters

Check out their sale section, there are many great options!

ASOS

Their sale and outlet sections are worth looking into! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story on the items I got from them! Let me just say that the quality (the number one thing I look for) of the items on their site are wonderful and the prices aren’t bad.

J. Crew

Aerie / American Eagle

Nasty Gal

Mango

Boohoo

Free People

In addition to all of these, be sure to look into your local thrift store or flea market. Don’t forget to try out the outlets of premium stores including Steve Madden, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, and more!

Happy shopping! Reach out to me if you have any questions/ need more information! Let me know if you purchase anything from the shops I recommend, either in the comments section, through email, or on my social media (all linked below)!

Instagram

Facebook 

Twitter

Asian Stores: The New Wave?

Hello loves & welcome back to my blog!

Three years ago, I decided to build the wardrobe of my dreams and thought more clothes meant I was better at fashion so, I shopped at Romwe & SheIn among other stores. Back then, I knew nothing about fabrics, investing in quality, or even the type of look I wanted. I remember that SheIn, on average, was the more expensive among the 2 stores, which is still the case today. I purchased 30 clothing pieces from both stores combined, but I only have 1 of those items to this day.

Why did only one clothing item make it to my current wardrobe?

Sizing:

I have my measurements taken often because as a Nigerian, I enjoy wearing Ankara clothing which is usually designed by me and therefore, are made from scratch. I can also take my own measurement because I know the basics on sewing allowing me to have my bust, waist, hips, arm and leg lengths measurements ready. Imagine my surprise when I received all the bottoms I ordered and only one of them fit. The arm length of all the tops and jackets came up too short.

Quality:

The threading on all the items were crooked and not very secure; but, I can recall two specific instances of poor quality. I had ordered two jeans from Romwe that were the same size and style but in different washes; however, not only did one of them come up far too short and tight, the zipper was broken when I received it. Although the other one fit and seemed decent initially, there was also a zipper malfunction (not associated with anything I did). In another instance, one of the light jackets I had purchased from SheIn had such poor stitching in the lining that it tore soon after purchase.

My overall advice would be to dabble only if you have the money to risk; however, if it is your first time shopping on these sites, don’t buy too many things at once. If you’re taller than me (I’m 5’4″), items may be too short on your limbs. If you’re in the market for quality, don’t bother with Romwe or SheIn. Lastly, due to the slight price increase since I last shopped at the 2 stores, it is wiser to shop at PrettyLittleThing, Forever 21, & Fashion Nova. This way returns are little easier, sizing is more accurate, and you stand a slightly better chance of scoring some quality items on these sites.

It was fun to review these 2 sites! If there any other places you are interested in, let me know! I will always give you my honest opinion!

Any specific questions you may have don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out to me privately on Instagram or Facebook! Have a blessed week! 💙

5 Tips on Starting/Rebuilding Your Wardrobe

Welcome back loves!

Today I’ll be giving some advice on how to rebuild/start building your wardrobe especially on a strict budget.

Do your research ahead of time.

This is the part of fashion most people don’t do; however, it is vital because it reduces the chances of wasting any money. Research allows you to know the style you want/like, what fabric are best for different clothing types, what’s in style, etc. You can get the opinions of fashion experts, those who shop for a living or for fun.

Research includes reading fashion blogs like mine, watching fashion YouTubers, watching runway showings, scouring Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, etc.

If you don’t LOVE it, don’t buy it/keep it!

90% of your purchases should leave you feeling like you just met the love of your life, or something close to that feeling for those of you who don’t get as excited over fashion. Yes, this rule applies to basics (t-shirts, tank-tops, jeans, etc.) because the basics I love today are ones I knew I wouldn’t be happy without adding to my wardrobe.

Spend the extra $$$.

This is difficult for someone on a budget to follow because from a young age, we believe more is better when it comes to fashion. MYTH! I know many people with closets 2x, even 3x the size of mine and yet don’t wear half of it.

When you spend the extra buck per clothing item, you are paying for quality. You can ensure you won’t be replacing a worn out version of that item within a year which allows you to add more NEW stuff to your closet each season. You wear everything in your closet which means no dollar goes to waste. This rule is especially important when purchasing shoes, accessories, & lingerie because these are meant to stay in your closet year after year after year.

Below are links to some stores that sell affordable, good quality items:

Sales & outlets are your best friends!

Don’t be afraid of sales or visiting your local outlet!

That being said, a majority of items in sales and outlets, particularly for higher-end pieces, are past-season items. I wouldn’t recommend buying all your trend pieces on sale because you could be purchasing something that is out of style; however, if you do your research prior, you could find out what trends are not going anywhere. Sales & outlets are definitely places to find decent staple items/basics; these never go out of style.

Return, Return, Return!

Don’t purchase anything from place that have a “no returns” policy when starting out & if you don’t wear a new purchase within 2 weeks, return it! The ONLY exception to this is something you bought for a special occasion (wedding, church, a date, etc.) or a bathing suit you happened to fall in love with in the fall/winter season, on sale.

This is all for now, but if you want to know more tips, leave a comment for me or reach out to me via email or social media! I would love to be of help! Don’t forget to subscribe! Enjoy the rest of your week! 💙