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.

TmUlKBtZSemUs9odwu70xQ

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.

c4UuQLUDSXGBKAzjPDYhjQ

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.

P9dUuRCKgeYeuSR%mwA

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.

IMG_1913

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!

l6uzMVJ0Qc2j8uJ0PLJBJA

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!

IMG_2136
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.

483z0w5kQ6+6nIiKZzHvnA

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!

IMG_2310

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):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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! 💙

Classic or Trendy?

Welcome back family! This blog is dedicated to my style evolution.

In my first blog post, “Who is Chi?”, I talked about how I have always been interested in fashion and style; however, it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I started to “look nice”. Although I don’t have any pictures due to being camera shy, I still remember my first day of school outfit that year. I had my natural hair blown-out and wore a teal blue blouse, jeans, and white Keds with teal laces to match the blouse…it was a cute outfit, but the mind that put it together was unhealthy.

I never wore t-shirt and sweats/jeans because I felt too ugly to pull it off; I wore only bold/bright colors & prints in order to feel attractive. I couldn’t leave the house without earrings and statement jewelry because a girl, in middle school, told me that maybe if I started wearing more jewelry I wouldn’t look so much like a boy. My hair was natural, but always had to be done or else I would be paranoid about my appearance. I had put outfits together and made people think I was confident; however, I craved track meet days because I could wear my track suit, my brief escape from the facade.

Fast forward to today, I rarely wear bold/bright colors. I prefer whites and colors on the light end of the color wheel (blues, pinks, greys, etc). I can walk out of the house without earrings. I cut my hair (my sophomore of high school), and have been keeping it short since my senior year because less is more for me and I’ve never felt more beautiful. I like structured garments, which I formerly avoided in hopes I wouldn’t be mistaken for a guy. I don’t wear sweats, but that’s because I don’t like them. Sadly, I still find it hard to wear a t-shirt and jeans as an outfit because of some lingering insecurities.

My style leans towards more of a classic, capsule wardrobe look, BUT with a twist. I wouldn’t use words like chic or street or vintage because I believe I can wear anything as far as I’m comfortable in it. I like to add splashes of color with my shoes & bags. I like print in my jackets, bags & other accessories. I prefer dainty jewelry and don’t own statement jewelry. When I get my nails done, it is a neutral color (pale pinks, tans, etc). I indulge in trends as far as I feel comfortable.

I don’t hide who I am behind fashion; I use fashion to tell the world who I am. That is what fashion should be, an extension of personality, NOT a means to hide the wonderful & unique you God made! It is not about what you wear, but why you wear it.

Below are a few pictures I think best encompasses my sense of style today (from spring to winter)! For where I got each piece, head to my Instagram!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How would you describe your sense of style? Leave some answers, questions, & feedback in the comments or contact me privately on my IG! I would really love to hear from you! 💙

Get Ready to Spend!

Welcome back!

Being a full time college student who loves to shop, I have to take advantage of sales now that I have started to spend more money on things I buy, particularly shoes, jackets, and accessories. I believe no matter how much net worth you acquire, a bargain could never hurt; therefore, to celebrate launch week of my blog, I am bringing to you some of the hottest sales right now, both in places I shop at and ones I don’t but know are popular! I will link and expand on my top 4 right now and link the rest in a list at the end!

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or message me on any of my social media! If you end up purchasing anything due to this post, let me know because I love to hear back from you all! If you post a picture with the item you purchased use the hashtag “#flfxchi” so that I can find you!

Happy Hunting!

fullsizeoutput_58d.jpeg

New Balance

Right now, my favorite lifestyle sneaker brand is having a semi-annual sale! I love their designs and how classic the sneakers look.

Tip: For all my short girls with big feet (I’m 5’4” with size 9.5 feet), their sneaker design helps to shorten the way your feet look so it looks more proportional!

IMG_0087

Zara

I am in love with this store! It isn’t always a perfect fit because I am short and their pants tend to drown me; however, I know how to hem things so I don’t mind too much. The price range can be quite jarring for a college student, so I encourage you all to take advantage of this sale because they only have a sale 2x a year (the next one will be around New Years).

 

fullsizeoutput_590

Aerie

The lingerie, workout, and lounge sister of American Eagle is an all-time favorite of mine! They have great quality stuff and they are ALWAYS having sales so it is definitely the more affordable alternative to Victoria Secret. If you decide to commit to them, join their rewards program, it’s free!

fullsizeoutput_58e

Clinique

Recently, I started investing in my skin care and it is paying off because I get so many comments on how good my skin looks. Many people ask me if I have make up on and I have to convince them that there is nothing on me. I also use them for my foundation which works exceptionally well on my OD oily skin! They are having a 25% off, you get 15% off your first order, and a variety of free gifts is included depending on the price of your purchase! Eeeeeee!

Other sales to check out:

  1. Michael Kors
  2. Asos (students get an additional 10% off)
  3. Boohoo
  4. Victoria Secret
  5. Aldo
  6. American Apparel
  7. Baublebar (jewelry)
  8. Tommy Hilfiger
  9. H&M
  10. PrettyLittleThing (students get an additional 20% off)

Who Is Chi?

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Chiamaka Onuoha, but most people call me Chi. I am 20 years and currently a senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick majoring in Public Health and minoring in Nutrition. I am from (and was born in) Nigeria and I moved to America when I was almost 8 years old.

I enjoy a lot of things which include sports/ anything to keep me active, reading, fashion (obviously 😂), singing, dancing, and anything new, but relatively safe. I also love puns, but not the cliché ones (unless they are really clever). I love to laugh, which may seem obvious; however, many things do not amuse me so I appreciate those who can put a genuine smile on my face. That’s it for the traditional bio aspects, but more will come as I continue to post and communicate with all of you!

Now on to what most of you are here for: how I got into fashion.

I’ve always loved dressing up and putting outfits together even in times when I didn’t have the money to smell the doorstep of stores like Zara. Three years ago, when I had more money than usual, I would dress in ways I wasn’t comfortable because I wanted boys (& honestly everyone) to know I may be skinny but I was “sexy”. This desire came from being bullied when I first came to America and feeling like I was unattractive, particularly because I’ve always been the skinny, yet muscular black girl. Growing up and even now black girls are known for being curvy, something I am not naturally. I don’t have the butt or the hips or the chest and I just wanted to stop being called “cute”. I don’t find myself struggling with these insecurities on most days (the walk to loving oneself is hard & not always consistent).

It wasn’t until last summer when I told God that I would like to invest in MY style, but with His help, especially because I was just starting to discover who I was without the pressure/desire to please anyone. As broke as I was that summer, I got myself a whole new wardrobe. It’s funny because one of my brothers was starting college that summer and we were doing back-to-school shopping together and he could not understand how I was getting so much stuff with the little I had. That was when I knew God was answering my prayers and giving me a testimony.

My junior year, I got numerous compliments and recognition for my outfits, which was a surprise to me because I thought most of the things in my closet were quite ordinary. I didn’t see what others were so impressed by. This pushed me to make my dream of having fashion as a side hustle a reality. I have learned and am continuing to learn what suits me best and that I am quite talented in styling and designing clothes/outfits. God led me to my passion, hence my tagline: “Faith Led Fashion”.

That is all for now; however, before I end the blog, I want to inform you of some things you can expect on my page…

  1. One posts a week (Mondays) on topics including:
    • Styling
    • Getting to know me
    • Designing
    • Shopping
    • “How to…”
  2. Short blog on the biggest sales bi-weekly
  3. Anything else you all would like to know!
  4. Giveaways!!!!

 

Thank you so much for your support thus far! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and follow me on all my social media accounts! Welcome to the FLFxChi family! I love you all and remain blessed!💙