Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to dress youthful without looking like you are trying too hard.

Hello everyone. I've noticed that these days, I sometimes find myself looking in the mirror, wandering if what I'm wearing is age appropriate. The thing is, I still feel so young and yet I know that my body is not quite were it was a few years ago. I was telling a friend a few days ago that I have just a few more years to wear shorts of a certain length and that I know the time is coming when I'll have to take the length of my shorts about four (4) inches lower. As much as I want to dress as young as i feel, I am only too conscious of the fact that there are very few things worse for a woman than the perception that she is an 'old mama youngy' (I'm sure y'all know what I mean by that).

So how can you dress in a way that makes you feel young without coming across as trying too hard or inappropriate? Well there are quite a few of them.


The cool thing about jeans is that you can wear them whether you are two or twenty or forty or sixty years old. The only problem I see with older women wearing jeans is that most of them, especially over forty, tend to close their eyes to what the current trends are and go for cuts and washes that were trendy when they were younger. No matter your age, get yourself a pair of jeans in a cut and wash that flatter your body and you can be sure of being appropriate AND sexy.


Again keep your eyes open for current trends. Pretty print or block colored dresses in bold or pastel colors that show some skin (but not too much) make any woman look feminine and youthful. They soften your look and make you seem less of a matron. If showing skin is uncomfortable, you can always throw on a cover up.

Body Shapers.

These little miracles in fabric form help you life and pull in any dangling or bulging bits. They help you hide your flaws so that you can wear clothes that you ordinarily wouldn't and give you an attractive silhouette. There are many brands and types to help you with your hips, thighs,stomach, breasts and even some for a total body lift. Be sure that it is firm but not tight as you don't want to spend your time uncomfortable.

A sexy bag.

The wonderful thing about handbags is that they don't care what size you are so every woman can partake. So please forget the big, bulky, matronly handbag and get yourself something with attitude. There are enough bags that are practical but yet have character and they help give you a youthful look.


Another thing that you can go all out with are sexy shoes. As long as it doesn't affect your posture, you can wear any height, any color and any style.

Make up and Hair.

As you get older, the mantra becomes "less is more" when it comes to make up and hair. With make up you want to look natural as you get older. That is not to say that you can't do a smokey eye or bold lips. What it does mean is that you must not have too much going on at once.

Hair should also be natural looking. Avoid overly long weaves or shouting hair color. Simplicity is the key.

I hope I've been helpful in some way. Till me meet again, hopefully soon, remain fabulous.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Ankara Handbag

Hello. Have you been thinking of adding some Ankara to your wardrobe but don’t want the head to toe Ankara look? Or do you live outside Africa and don’t have access to a good dressmaker or designer that works with the fabric but still want to show off ‘ethnic’ fashion? How about getting an Ankara handbag? Very easy to style, it is one of those things that will give your wardrobe that added oomph. It will very easily turn your ‘tee shirt and jeans’ outfit into something notable.

There are a good number of African handbag designers that work with the fabric so getting one should not be that hard. Since it is clothe, it’s easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is make sure to make the bag the focal piece in the ensemble. Yu don’t want too many things clamoring for attention.

I hope this short post has inspired you add a little variety to your wardrobe with an Ankara bag. As always, remain fabulous.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to choose a handbag.

Hello. Today I’m going to talk to you about choosing an everyday handbag. For a lot of us, buying a handbag over a certain price (depending on budget) doesn’t make any sense. We don’t believe it’s worth the extra money to buy what I like to call a ‘serious’ handbag. I’m not talking here about designer bags. I personally am yet to buy my first big name designer bag so that is not what this post is about. I’m talking about a good quality handbag. A lot of ladies would prefer to own twenty cheap bags that two or three quality bags.

What they don’t seem to understand is that when it comes to handbags, you get what you pay for. Quality bags last so much longer than cheap (disposable?) bags. Those handbags that you buy for four (4) thousand naira that you have to change every year are costing you more than the bag someone else bought in 2006 for twenty thousand, carried everyday for four years, rested for six months and has been carrying everyday since and is still in perfect condition. Your four thousand a year handbag habit has cost you twenty four thousand naira in that same time and you probably don’t have anything decent to show for it. At the end of the day, when shopping for your basic everyday bag, cost per wear is a good consideration. There is now the added benefit of second hand value if you choose to sell through a ‘vintage’ stop.

Making the move from buying cheap bags is quite a serious business for a lot of us. I remember when I first made the decision that it was time to start carrying quality bags. When I thought about how much it was going to cost me, I almost changed my mind. However, when we do get to that point, a lot of us don’t quite know what to look out for and some even assume that because it costs more, it must be better quality.

The first thing to do when buying a bag is to pick it up. A good quality leather bag will always have some weight to it and the handles will be quite sturdy. Another thing is that stitching will be very neat and very secure. As an example, I know that an authentic Hermes handbag’s stitching is so secure that if the stitch gets broken at a point, the rest of the stitch will remain in place and even the next point will not unravel. It will stay put. Also, ALL the edges around a good handbag will be covered so that you cannot see the roughness of the leather. All hardware on the bag will be strong and of good quality. The zips will be metal with big sturdy teeth. The lining of the bag will be some kind of soft leather like material and these days most good bags come with a lot of compartments inside for you phone, credit/ atm cards, a key ring etc and even an attached matching purse for you money.

I hope this has been helpful to anyone thinking of buying a quality handbag. Don't forget to enter the competition below. Entries close on Saturday at midnight. Good luck. Remain


Friday, July 13, 2012

Updated Wardrobe Foundation

Hello everyone. I’m so glad that you stopped by today. Its been a busy few days for me but it’s been really good. I trust that you are in good spirit. For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about what young ladies coming out of school and getting their first job and thinking of what I believe should be the first set of clothing items that she should buy. Let’s call it her wardrobe foundation. I’ve done a post on this before so this is an update.

So let’s say you just got you first big pay cheque and you want to update you wardrobe from that of a girl to that of a young woman. What are the first things to spend your money on, assuming the said cheque isn’t blank?

The White Shirt.

Popular convention says that you should start out with one white shirt. Experience has thought me that that is not adequate. You need at least three white shirts to start with. Idealy, these should include a plain, formal looking botton down, long sleeved white shirt, the other two can have some kind of feminine details like frills, pleats, lace etc. Just remember not to go too crazy if you want to wear them to work. When purchasing, be on the look out for quality of fabric, cut of the shirt ( to be sure that it flatters your figure and washing instructions. You don’t want to end up with a ‘dry clean only’ when you are on a budget.

Blue shirts.

After you have you most basic white shirts, you need to own at least two blue shirts. As in the case of the white, you can’t make do with only one. The particular shade of blue should be based on what shade suits you the most. One plain, formal looking, botton down, long sleeved blue shirt and another more feminine, more detailed shirt. Look out for the quality and feet and washing instruction as above.


One of the most important elements especially for work, are camisoles. You can never have too many of them. It is with your camisoles that you can really go crazy with different colors. Just remember that they should always be worn under a jacket to keep from looking unprofessional because of the fact that they show your arms.


You need to start with at least two pencil skirts. One plain black, preferably high waisted pencil skirt and the other can be either black pin stripped or some other neutral like navy blue, gray or brown. There are those who think that you can buy trousers in place of skirts. I don’t agree. I think that because of the conservative nature of the avaerage workplace, you want to own at least one skirt. Ideally, you should not start with Trousers until after at least two skirts. Of course you start with black and work your way through the other neutrals. I think that at the foundational stage of your wardrobe, you should think more in terms of separates than an actual suit. So next should come two jackets. First a black plain jacket and then either a black pin stripped or a navy jacket. Note that with jackets, fit is key. The bodice of the jacket should fit your body closely but not be tight. The shoulder of the jacket should also not extend beyond your natural shoulder. Also, with formal jackets and skirts, you have to be very careful with the care label because so many of them are better dry cleaned and so you have to be sure of whether it’s hand washable or mashine washable depending on what your resources are. The wrong cleaning process and your jacket, skirt or trousers will not just last as long.


To start your wardrobe you need a pair of COMFORTABLE black shoes. I know a lot of people say court shoes/ pumps, but I think that they have to be shoes that you can be comfortable with. Just be careful that they are formal. Anything from the court shoes/ pumps to ballet flats to loafers to stiletoes are adequate. You also need a neutral big handbag. It could be a grab bag, a tote, a shoulder bag, what ever as long as it is somewhat formal looking. With both items, it is important to buy the bast quality you can afford as it may not be ideal to to have to change your basic bag too often. Your basic bag should be able to hold its shape through the abuse of everyday use.

With these, you have started your journey into your adult wardrobe. As a lot of older women will probably tell you, building an enviable wardrobe is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you nail the foundational items, you can take a bit of time to start to build a wardrobe that will have pieces that you can still enjoy even after.

I hope that this information has been helpful. Remail fabulous.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Everyday Ankara

Hello. I’ve decided to change things up a bit. Let me give you a little bit of my history. I did not become a designer that works mainly with Ankara by accident. Growing up, I hated clothes made out of Ankara. I’m not a big fan of the ‘skirt and blouse’ Ankara ensemble, which was one of two options that we had when I was growing up (It was either that or using the Ankara to sew ‘double wrapper’). I personally find it boring. I prefer to use Lace or Silk or some other fluid fabric to make ‘native’. So from the time I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to start using Ankara for what I have always thought it is good for. Bare in mind that I don’t like most of the fabric available in the market, I find them mostly dull or garish.

My mission has been how to bring Ankara into daily life for the contemporary woman. Focusing how to create pieces that any woman can pull out of her wardrobe and wear on Casual Friday, or to go watch a movie, or to have drinks with her girlfriends, or something to wear to that lecture you are going to give. On how to take Ankara out of just being for weddings or church and into everyday life. The fact that Ankara is made of cotton, means that it is breathable and that is ideal for everyday wear in this our hot West African weather. Focusing on this has led me to come up with certain pieces that I think Ankara is well suited for which I think every woman that fancies herself a fashionista should have in her wardrobe.

So what are these pieces? They include a Skirt, a Cocktail Dress, a few Day Dresses that should include a long Summer Dress and a Wrap Dress, a Jacket/ Waist Coat/ Trench and Cropped Fitted Pants. The items can either have Ankara as their main or as their accent fabric. These items, in my opinion, should form the foundation of your Ankara wardrobe, pieces that you can work your already existing wardrobe around, pieces that if you own, you will find yourself reaching for, time after time. Notice I did not add The Jumpsuit to the list. This is because the Ankara print is characterized by its ‘busyness’, what with its bold and colorful design and so much going on that making it into a jumpsuit tends to come off as being too much. I personally am yet to see an all over Ankara jumpsuit that I like. For a Jumpsuit, it’s always better for the Ankara to just be the accent fabric, its job being to ‘lift’ the look of the jumpsuit.

I realize that this is just an over view of what I consider the foundation of a modern woman’s Ankara wardrobe. I hope that over time, I will be able to take each item and break down how to make it work in today’s wardrobe. What to consider when choosing them and how to integrate them into your wardrobe to create a look that is very contemporary.

Hope you stop by soon. Remain fabulous.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Role of the Accessory

Hello babes, today I’m going to talk to you about accessories. It is really quite simple. Without accessories, all you have is cloth. Accessories make the outfit. A lot of ladies don’t wear a lot of accessories apart from the very basic shoes and handbags. Others add a basic, everyday necklace, earrings, and watch. Very few of us will ‘because it’s Tuesday’, for example, pair a fabulous statement necklace with a pair of jeans and t shirt and maybe even add a waist coat, working it into a unique ‘look but yet’ suitable for whatever activities we have planned for the day, whether it be going to work or school or just running errands.

There cannot be style present if accessories are absent (I just made that up so feel free to quote me). It is important as a fashionista to have a healthy stock of accessories that you can rely on to help you bring to life the various looks you try to achieve every day.

Go beyond the ordinary, think spectacular. In a world of mass produced clothes, where you and a few thousand or even million people have the same dress or something similar, your choice of accessories is what will stand you out. I don’t mean shoes and bags, except of course they are som’n special. When you think accessories, start to think scarves, cocktail rings, statement necklaces, pendants, bangles and bracelets. They don’t have to be gold. They can be silver, wood, leather, hemp, glass, etc. You could work with vests, waistcoats, hats and even gloves (if you can find any that don’t look ridiculous in this heat).

For example, a t shirt worn with blue jeans with a pair of sandals and your basic bla

ck bag is sooooooo blah. However, choosing to use a red belt instead of your basic black one instantly lifts it. You can then add character by adding a lovely beaded Ankara vest. That gives the ensemble a boho vibe. You could instead of the vest, layer on different lengths of gold chains. That gives it a funky vibe. So over the next few days, experiment. Look through your accessory collection, whatever the size, and go where they take you.

I hope I was able to add value. Hope to see you soon. Remain fabulous.