life curation · style

Preparing for Spring: Wardrobe Ideas

Since doing the Kibbe test and confirming that I’m a Soft Classic, I’ve been spending time brainstorming what pieces I should add to my wardrobe. I want to add some whimsy to my wardrobe (along the lines of the Joe Browns line) but I honestly look best in clean, streamlined silhouettes.

Using the Soft Classic information I gleaned from the Truth Is Beauty website, I found that Naomie Harris is one of the few Black celebrities that falls into this category. And when Naomie gets it right, honey, she absolutely knocks it out of the park. I’m loving the fact that she appears to have a neutral undertone that leans toward coolness (much like my own). So I should be able to wear most of the same shades that she does, since our coloring is similar.


Photo of Naomie Harris (courtesy of InStyle magazine)

So, I don’t have a red carpet lifestyle – yet. So my daily wardrobe can’t be quite as ornate as Naomie’s. But I can draw some inspiration from the way that she styles herself. Here are a few items I’m considering adding this spring:

A duster in pale taupe or light gray


Naomie at a Calvin Klein show (from Business of Fashion)

The key to making this look classy (and not sloppy on my frame) is to make sure that it has some moderate structure, light tailoring and minimal frills.

This light tan trench by Aphratti gets pretty close to Naomie’s look. A belt gives some extra definition in the waist.

A magenta blazer


Naomie at the 2014 BAFTA Awards (from Elle)

Structured but undeniably feminine, a bright blazer in an intense pink hue would be a great addition to my wardrobe. a 3/4 length sleeve is perfect for me, so I’ll aim for a blazer that closely replicates the top half of Naomie’s dress. I couldn’t find anything quite like this yet, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post it here!


Sunny A-line dress


At the Spectre press conference (from Vogue UK)

An A-line dress that skims gracefully over the hips but remains tailored in the waist is great for creating the hourglass silhouette.

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The Eva Square Neck Midi Skater Dress is a bright yellow that isn’t too acid or too warm.

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Another option is the Zoey Sleeveless Cut Out Mixi Skater Dress: no cleavage but the side cutouts keeps it sassy.

Pale blue or green chiffon skirt (tea length)


Naomie at the Mandela screening (from The Fashion Spot)

A pale blue, gauzy skirt is soft and unique. It’s the kind of signature piece that can be dressed up or dressed down.

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This crepe skirt from Boohoo is giving me a similar vibe (the Neave Crepe Pleated Mini Skirt). It isn’t as soft as the chiffon material that Naomie is wearing, but the below-the knee length and structured pleating gives the garment more shape.

Drape-y satin blouse in oyster white, pewter or champagne


With Olivia Palermo at the launch of Maison Makarem (from Getty Images)

I’ve always shimmery satin tops in pearlescent hues. Add some careful pleating and draping, and I should be able to get the Greek goddess effect without getting lost in a sea of fabric. I’m still looking for one of these, so if I find it, I’ll post it here as well.

That’s all of my ideas for now. I suspect that I’ll continually refine and improve on this list, and as I do, I’ll share it all here.

life curation · style

Using Kibbe’s Metamorphosis to Enhance My Style

One of my passions is fashion, as you all already know. I love shopping and I’m constantly trying to refine and perfect my personal style. Luckily, I am friends with some other stylish ladies that are on the same path: we are all seeking to create the best physical presentation of ourselves.

An absolute angel in a Facebook group I’m part of posted some information on David Kibbe and I started reading it out of curiosity. Imagine my surprise as I discovered the secret to mastering a consistent and impeccable personal style! As it turns out, the best way to style your clothing is to use your body type and facial features as a guide. It’s genius: emphasize your natural curves and lines, and you can’t help but look your best!

I did the Kibbe quizzes linked here, here and here.  The first link is a quick summary of the Kibbe quiz, and the subsequent links are the two-part quiz with photo illustrations. You have to combine the results of Part 1 and Part 2 to come up with an overall score. The quizzes confirmed that I’m a Soft Classic, which resonates deeply with my personal tastes.


Some Soft Classic staples (from Pinterest)

This revelation both excites and frustrates me a bit. Now that I have a clear idea of what silhouettes will most flatter me, I have to go through my closet and clear out the items that don’t suit me. This will be an ongoing project for the next couple of weeks, but it will be worth it.


This dress that I purchased from Boohoo is perfect for a Soft Classic

So far, the Truth is Beauty website has been one of the best ones for explaining the Classic archetype and the Soft Classic (Romantic Classic) subtype. I can’t wait to show you all how I factor this new information into my style repertoire!


international · style

My Latest Fashion Obsession . . .

While looking at a few items to spruce up my Spring & Summer 2018 wardrobe, I realized I have gotten stuck in a bit of a style rut. For years now, I’ve adored a pared down, minimalist look (just see my purchases in my Boohoo haul posts here and here). I preferred clean lines and little-to-no patterns: lots of monochromatic or simply striped pieces. That look is elegant and easy to wear, but I find myself getting . . . bored.


Not my closet but the lack of visual variety is very similar to my situation (from Pinterest)

So, it was time for something different. And, BOOM! Just like that, Joe Browns clothing popped into my Amazon recommendations. I found myself drawn to the whimsical, vintage-inspired designs. The quirky prints and bold color and fabric choices are a huge departure from my usual aesthetic, but somehow, I think adding a few of the pieces will suit my personal taste as well as add some visual interest to my wardrobe.

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Here are a few of the pieces that I saw on Amazon that caught my eye:

The floral detailing is a far cry from anything that I normally would choose, but this is not only pretty, but looks like it could be worn either as a tunic or as a chic mini dress during those blazing summer days.

The asymmetric lapel is one of my favorite designs, and this boldly-colored nubby tweed is perfect for those cool spring days that aren’t chilly enough for winter coats but not warm enough for lightweight shawls.

This espresso and bronze pump has a vintage flavor and a heel that is high but not uncomfortably so.

This striking dress has an eye-catching blue, white and red print and a body-conscious fit. It has a tropical feel but without the kitsch.

I’ll order some of the pieces from previous seasons from Amazon, but for the latest Joe Browns fashions, I’ll go directly to the website here. Ooh, I can’t wait to post my pieces when I do a Joe Browns haul in the future!

hollywood glamour · style

Review: “I Love My Bag” Documentary

Hi darlings! I’m wrapping up my international trip (I will allow one more day for someone to correctly guess my vacation location, then I’m closing the comment in my “Guess Where I’m Headed?” post). But, as usual, I found something fantastic during my time away, and I’m excited to share it with you.


A photo of the iconic Hermes Kelly bags, from

On the flight to my vacation, I got the chance to watch a documentary titled, “I Love My Bag”. It took me some effort to hunt it down (it’s in French) but I found it and I’m linking it here. You’ll have to go to Vimeo to view it directly:

I LOVE MY BAG from Melinda Triana on Vimeo.


I’m sorry I couldn’t find the English version: I’ll replace this video as soon as I locate it! There are, however, different segments in English that you can enjoy. In the meantime, take in the beautiful fashion and interviews with different handbag connoisseurs and designers.

life curation · style

Re-Imagining the Classics, Part 2

This post is a continuation of the Re-Imagining the Classics theme. We continue to look at some of the classic wardrobe pieces and see some suitable alternatives that retain classic appeal but give it a fresh spin.

Instead of a Wrap DressTry a Shirtdress

Wrap dresses have been incorrectly identified as “flattering on every body type”. That isn’t true, though it flatters many different women. Likewise, the shirtdress isn’t for every body, though it looks great on many women. This generally requires more maintenance that the wrap dress (shirtdresses usually need ironing to look their best), but the finished product is more structured and looks crisp.

These shirtdresses from iLover are inexpensive and adorable. They are available in many different colors and designs.

Instead of a Jean JacketTry a Leather (or leather-like material) Jacket

 The leather (or leather-looking) jacket adds edge and coolness to almost any outfit. It also tends to look more polished than its denim counterpart. This material can be designed to fit loosely or to mimic the shape of the body, so there is a leather jacket style for everyone. Bonus: leather substitutes can give you the look of leather without the cruelty, so it’s easy to find beautiful designs made with vinyl or other vegan leather materials.

This genuine leather jacket by BGSD is fitted, edgy and flattering.

This faux leather jacket by Chouyatou is affordable and has a striking, flattering shape

Instead of Ankle BootsTry Riding Boots

When you live in a region that gets chilly in the winter, you want a boot that covers more than just your ankles. Riding boots – both the rugged style and the more refined and elegant rendition – cover most of the calf and can be styled with dresses, pants and skirts.

These BareTraps Riding Boots have a low heel, plain shaft, and strap-and-buckle detail across the vamp, making them a flattering option for a variety of ensembles.

Instead of Black PantsTry Charcoal Pants

Black pants are everywhere, and, to be honest, the look can get a little boring. Instead of reaching for black, why not try charcoal? The shade is still dark and neutral, but it provides a fresh interpretation on the solid pant look. Charcoal gray comes in varying degrees of depth, so it can be a mid-range gray or a shade-above-black hue. In any case, it’s a look that can add a hint of color to your wardrobe.

These Eddie Bauer pants have a flattering straight leg and come in a luscious graphite hue

Instead of a Knit SweaterTry an Elegant Sweatshirt

Sweaters are lovely, but they normally have to be handled with care (washed on delicate or dry cleaned, air dried, etc.). Why not try an elegant sweatshirt instead? The key to keeping the look from being too sporty is to avoid any designs featuring thick cuffs or heavy ribbing around the neckline. Also check the fit: the more fitted to the body, the most elegant it looks.

This Sarin Matthews sweatshirt fits closer to the body and comes in beautiful deep shades.

That is all of the re-imagined classics! Make sure to check out Part One for additional recommendations. Talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation · style

Re-Imagining the Classics, Part 1

Happy Monday, boos! I hope you’ve had a satisfying weekend and are ready to embrace this new week with ARMS WIDE OPEN! (I’m in an extra good mood, and you’ll find out why in the weeks to come)

I’ve searched high and low on the internet for a guide that gives a fresh spin on some the “staple” wardrobe pieces that women are advised to add to their collection. Women have been given such generic advice on items to add to their wardrobe for the sake of fashion: it’s about time that someone provided some different options. I enjoyed reading Stitch Fix’s clothing recommendations, but here are a few of my own ideas for reimagining some classic wardrobe staples. I’m doing this review in two parts because, why not? It’s easier to write and research pieces if I don’t put them all into one post (which I’m inclined to do, ordinarily LOL!)
Instead of the Crisp White TeeTry a Navy Tee
It can be challenging to keep white clothing bright and fresh-looking. The opposite shade – black- is nice but it can be a bit “heavy” when worn near the face. On the other hand, navy is softer and still looks chic. Navy compliments a lot of different colors and looks excellent with those colors that people traditionally avoiding combining with black (such as yellow and green).

A simple tee by Hanes looks great and is a solid alternative to a white tee

Instead of the Little Black DressTry the Little White Dress
Everyone loves and wears black when they want to look pulled together and polished. But, women with darker complexions look heavenly in white, cream and eggshell. In a sea of black sameness, wearing a little white dress (LWD) stands out and flatters deeper skin tones. Something about the color contrast is especially enchanting. And since this isn’t the kind of dress you’d wear every day, keeping it crisp looking is a lot easier.


One of my favorite brands, Black Halo, makes impeccably tailored dresses

The Calvin Klein dress has a beautiful shape in a pristine white hue

Instead of Dark Wash Skinny Jeans Try Pale Gray Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans in dark finishes are always stylish, but for those bored with that look, why not try pale gray skinnies? These pair well with a lot of different colors and are surprisingly well-suited for year-round wear.

The super-tapered hem on these Calvin Klein skinny jeans make this an edgy but polished option. The back pockets are also smaller and placed a bit higher than many other jeans, so they give a “perky” effect.

These skinny jeans by Celebrity Pink have a less-tapered hem than the previous pants, so they have a more relaxed look and feel.

Instead of Basic Black Pumps Try Nude (Skintone) Pumps
Black court shoes are an easy classic and compliment most ensembles. But my favorite pump is the nude pump. Something about the illusion of everlasting legs is so classy and flattering. Not to mention, nude pumps truly can be worn with any color.
Here are some pumps by Riverberry: the company offers several pumps in varying skintone shades at very affordable prices (click on the shoe closest to your shade to see it for yourself)

Instead of a Button-Up Shirt –  Try a Boatneck Shirt

I chose the boatneck for one trait that it shares with button-up shirts: neither design is particularly kind to buxom women. For women that have smaller busts, the boatneck is a fabulous option for a classy, wear-with-everything top. The advantage of boatnecks over button-ups is that the boatneck top usually doesn’t need much ironing to look fresh and stylish. Audrey Hepburn favored a boatneck top: need I say more?


Audrey wearing the style that has become synonymous with her style legacy (photo from Pinterest)

This Yala top is highly rated and reasonably priced

Merona’s boatneck top is available on both Amazon and in Target stores


That’s all for this post! Look out for the second half of Re-imagining the Classics within the next week. Have a great Monday!

hollywood glamour · style

How to Dress Like Audrey Hepburn

A few months ago, Christie’s had an enormous Audrey Hepburn memorabilia auction. In fact, I wrote about it during the early days of this blog. The auction featured over 300 items personally owned by Audrey. Given Audrey’s immense popularity, it should be no surprise that the auction generated nearly $6.5 million in sales (4.6 million GBP).

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Photo as shown on Christie’s

If you, like me, weren’t one of the lucky auction winners, take heart. Audrey was a woman of classic taste and many of clothing items sold can be easily duplicated. Here, I’ll share some of the items featured in the auction, as well as my recommendations for recreating the look.

By the way, you may notice that the items aren’t the signature pieces from her films but, rather, her own personal, off-screen wardrobe (with lots of pieces from her later years). I actually like the fact that the pieces are “everyday” chic, because they don’t come across as “costume-y”. But remember, these are Audrey’s clothes: even her “everyday” items are much more stylish than what most people wear.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite items from the auction as well as items to recreate the look. I found pieces on Boohoo and Amazon, which aren’t expensive but allows you to try a look at a low price. Enjoy!

A Black Silk Crepe Tuxedo and Associated Ivory Wool Crepe Trousers

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Get the look:

Rhea Boutique Double Breasted Tailored Tux Blazer

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This double breasted tux has the same satin lapels but it’s a fraction of the cost of the original jacket. The hem is a little below the hip bone, so it feels more relaxed than formal.

Adana Tie Waist Tailored Slim Fit Trouser

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While the trousers owned by Audrey probably had a less ornate waist, I prefer the less-expensive option. The tie waist adds visual interest when the tuxedo jacket is open or removed. The design of the legs of both trousers are very similar.


An Ivory Silk Shirt and Black Silk Skirt

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Get the look:

Molly Tailored Shirt

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This fitted blouse looks great with skirts and pants, and easily goes from the workplace to after hours events. To maximize the Audrey look, wear this with as few accessories as possible.

Savannah Chiffon Pleated Midi Skirt

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Unless you’re extremely thin and a little bit tall (like Audrey), a midi length is more flattering. The flowing design of this pleated dress echoes the movement of the original skirt. However, the texture created by the pleats keeps this skirt from feeling too visually “heavy”.


An Oatmeal Wool Trench Coat

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Get the look (click on the image to link to the coat):

This coat has a beautifully detailed shoulder and a charming collar. This could easily mimic the original by replacing the fasteners with oatmeal-colored buttons.


A White Cotton Blouse and Matching Skirt

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Get the look:

Elizabeth Boutique Ruffle Tuxedo Shirt

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The detailing along the button placket makes this a good choice for replicating Audrey’s white top. The additional ruffles on the top echo the subtle ruffles on the skirt of the original ensemble. Just remove the black tie and you’re set!

Tall Emily Boutique Tulle Mesh Midi Skirt

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This midi skirt is made for tall girls, which makes it long enough to be an almost-maxi on women of average height. Audrey’s skirt isn’t tulle but it is flowy and a touch longer than midi-length. The simplicity of the skirt works well with the textured top.