5 Easy Ways to add Ankara Fabric to an outfit

Hello hello #fashionablehumans, happy Friday!!!!

I hope you guys a stellar week ahead, and hope you had a relaxing weekend! Did y’all catch #Beychella??? If not, please do yourself a favor and find the video because she sntached wigs, edges, and upper lip hairs. Her celebration of Blackness at Coachella was amazing, stupendous, unprecedented, and I am running out of adjectives. Just go watch.

Dafrastar | BeyChella

*Back to regular programming*

Y’all know I am a huge fan of Ankara fabric (as evidenced in a ton of my posts). It is a huge part of my culture (I am from Burkina Faso), and it’s also cute, OKURRRRR?

That said, Ankara is not for the faint of heart. It is bold, bright and loud. The patterns do not always make sense (I personally gave up trying to understand them because WTF), and walking around a Western country wearing Ankara is almost always a conversation starter — even when you are aggressively minding your own business.  It may therefore be intimidating for a newbie to jump into the (lit AF) African fabric life, but fear not! My boos Dorothy Abigail, Louisa from La Passion Voûtée and I are bringing you a few cute ways to pepper some Ankara into your lewks until you are ready to take a bigger leap (…or not. I’d be judging you tho.)

Let’s do this!

Classic Pop of Ankara: the Headwrap

Ankara headwraps are to African outfits what dupattas are to in Indian ones: they just go together. In African culture, the leftover fabric from an outfit is usually used to make a gorgeous headwrap to finish off one’s look. Those great pieces can obviously be (and are) worn alone, and in the latest years, many amazing designers have started selling standalone headwraps at pretty affordable prices all over the web. Ankara headwraps are a cute alternative to a hat on a bad hair day, they can be worn in a variety of styles, come in pretty much all the colors of the rainbow and can be used to uplevel any outfit. I am wearing one by @zoeyandabena here, but you can find gorgeous ones on @grass_fields, @asodara, @maisonpetiteandbold, @thehelmh and a TON of other vendors all over Instagram and Etsy. More inspiration below (post on above look here).

 

 

Example of a full look with headwrap below

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Utilitarian Pop of Ankara: The Bag

Before I was gifted this bag from @theresacotton, I had already been collecting ethnic bags from all over the world. Now— the fact that I did not have an Ankara one yet is laughable, but I was going to get one, I swear. An Ankara bag just POPS against my (usually dark AF) outfits and is just a simple way to incorporate a cultural piece into a look. Ankara bags have been around for a while, but I am here for their current resurgence in mainstream sartorial habits. I love the work of @suave_ke and  @jistcouture, as well as pieces by @shalomdesign. Again, Instagram and Etsy are your friends to find cute pieces. (Look above here).

Dorothy can actually sew, so she is wearing one of her own creations as a waist bag (DO NOT SAY FANNY PACK). The way the fabric looks against her all-black outfit… Yes Lawd.

Here’s her take on Ankara accessories:

My wardrobe is usually very colorful and  Ankara fabric does the trick every time I want a bold, showstopper of an outfit, but it can be Ankara Fabric can be overwhelming.  A great way to incorporate it into your outfits is by starting with small accessories like a bag, earrings, pins or a headwrap.
Even though I had fun creating a Fanny Pack and a pin for this collab, I’d choose an all Ankara outfit over a minimalistic look any day 😍

SHE SAID FANNY PACK 😂

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

More cute shit below.

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Culture and fashion become the iconic @jackieaina as she complements her outfit to the #BlackPanther movie premiere with the #NICKster #FreeKingsKente ✨💫. How will you be dressed to to see the movie? • To commemorate the premiere of the #BlackPantherMovie, #JISTcouture is having a HUGE 20% discount sale! • Visit jistcouture.com to take advantage of this offer 💫 • Code: WAKANDA • The link to have the code plugged directly into your browser, is in our bio! • WORLDWIDE SHIPPING 🌐 • #JISTCouture #JIST #BlackPanther #BlackPantherMovie #LeatherBag #LuxuryBag #Kente #LeatherGoods #Africanmillennials #Luxe #Backpack #Marvel #Wakanda #PrintedLeather #Culture #GoldPlated #CrushedVelvet #WakandaForever

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Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear Unexpected Pop of Ankara: The Jewelry

(I know, I know, same look as above, but listen — it applies. )

Ankara jewelry is the perfect accessory to safely try African fabric, because (to me at least) jewelry is kinda expected to be whimsical. I wear huge hoops sometimes, huge rings, bangles and other baubles; switching Ankara for metal is just a tiny step, really. IMHO, an Ankara neckpiece is the perfect way to dress up a plain tee and jeans (saw a lot of that when I went to see Black Panther), and a cute set of earrings or bangles add some color and personality to an otherwise simple look.

The earrings above actually came with a matching necklace, but I omitted the latter because it would have been too damn much (I was already rocking a matching skirt.)

Jewelry inspo below.

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Sexy Pop of Ankara: The Swimsuit

Now THIS is a fun way to wear Ankara!!! I have always been a huge fan of ankarakinis/ dashikinis/kentekinis ever since they became a thing, and the one I am rocking in this photo is from the (now defunct, unfortunately) Olori Swim line. Man, I loved their stuff!

An Ankara print is super non-threatening on a swimsuit because it honestly looks like any other print (*cough* only cooler *cough*). The colors are usually bright, the swimsuits come in a variety of cuts, and this is just a fun way to look cute on the beach or by the pool.

Cool Ankara swimwear brands include (but are not limited to ) BFYNE (I own this one), Ofuure, Ashanti Swimwear (I am in love with the AKUA) and Diarrablu.

Peep more ideas below.

 

 

Stylish Pop of Ankara: The Accent

Arguably the simplest, this approach is also the coolest in my opinion. A piece of clothing with just a hint of Ankara immediately looks different and has a very “haute” look to it. I likely feel that way because, back in the day, many African fashion designers used to approach international markets by using the same strategy.  They would start with very plain and clean designs out of non-Ankara fabrics, but then add fun pops in strategic locations. I see a little less of that approach now that African prints are more mainstream, but it is still a fun way to flex a little 😜.

My boo Louisa styled the look above effortlessly; here is a little bit about it in her own words:

As a millennial living in the diaspora, I have the urge to share a little bit of my African heritage. An appreciation of my culture and the subtle nuances that make my traditions different from another intrigues me. Clothes like this African print peplum dress that is the perfect Yin-yang of two totally different cultures tell my story.

If you’re looking for a trendy yet classy look that infuses a little bit of the African flair, look no further than this SGTC Clothing bodycon dress with an Ankara peplum accent. It is the perfect dress for fancy occasions, and can also be dressed down for a stylish casual look.

Dorothy opted for a cute Ankara button.

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

More cool pops of Ankara below:

 

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from HELMH. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden Gorgeous

Everyday Pops of Ankara: The Hats and Scarves

… AKA the Ankara versions of your everyday favorite accessories. Simple as that.

Y’all already know I  love my cute baseball cap from Helmh (I talk about it in more detail here). It is a good everyday hat that happens to have dope Ankara fabric on it.

Louisa, on the other hand, needs to bundle up (she lives in Alaska). She took the route of adding color in the form of a bright Ankara scarf. In her words:

Summer is not the only time to rock African print clothes. A great way to add some swag to your winter look is by wearing Ankara accessories, like this handmade Ankara patchwork scarf by Boriah Clothiers

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These Ankara additions are super effortless since they are everyday items. Pair an Ankara hat or scarf with any look is super easy, and as seen in the photos — nothing else is needed!

Cute inspo below:

 

I believe this is it for today guys!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and looking at fun ways to add Ankara to your looks. Any looks that you like more than others? Why? Let me know below!

Until next time,

With Love,

Dafra

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Self-Care: The Art of Fleeing BS and Maintaining A Positive Outlook on Life

Hellurrrr #fashionablehumans!!!!

Hope this week is lit AF, and that your weekend was full of fun, naps and beautiful moments (veeeery open to interpretation 😏.)

I am in a great mood today, which makes me wonder why this is not a more common occurrence; I am often peppy and positive, but I want that to be an everyday thing, you know? Self-care has been in my mind a lot lately, from taking better care of my skin (working on my version of the 10-step Korean regimen), eating low-carb (23 lbs down, bish) and reading a lot more about positivity, manifestation and purpose.

Indeed, as I get older, I have less and less tolerance for BS and its little cousin Drama. These 2 were not regulars in my life anyway; now though, every time I see them, I just want to call the cops to have them escorted to a different zip code. (I won’t, because the way police brutality is setup…)

Anywhoooo, I would love to share little steps I have been taking every day to be more positive, energized and overall happy with life. I am still a work in progress (and shall be until the day I die), so some of these are still a struggle. Still, they have made a difference for me and I hope they do for you too.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden GorgeousTake the time to know yourself; being positive starts within.

Who are you, really? No, I am not asking about your degrees, your job, or even your religion. Who are YOU? What do you love, what do you dislike? What makes your heart soar, and what makes you quake with fear? What do you want out of your life? Like, REALLY want?

Answering these questions (and more) will allow you to be honest with yourself about what you aspire to, and who you aspire to be. I personally feel like questioning myself often creates a virtuous circle: I get in touch with my own feelings, follow what I really want and therefore feel happy, fulfilled and positive because I am going after my goals and creating my reality. Don’t leave for others.

Questioning myself often creates a virtuous  circle: I learn who I really am, follow what I really want and feel happy and positive because I am creating my reality.Don’t leave for others.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden GorgeousBe kind to yourself.

This one is so important, guys. You cannot live a positive life if you refuse to be kind to yourself.

Think about it: we are so kind to others! We stay up late consoling our friends, are there for them when they run into hardships and love them unconditionally. Why can’t we do that for ourselves?

  • We are NOT defined by our mistakes, but instead by our ability to learn from them.
  • We are NOT less worthy than the next girl because she has a smaller dress size, or because we have thicker thighs.
  • We are NOT failures because we have not completed college or just folded after a business venture.

I avoid negative self-talk as much as I can. Writing a great thing about myself in my Panda Planner every morning before I start work, and really taking a minute to internalize it is also a helpful habit. I also really, really try not to fall into the social media comparison trap. I AM ENOUGH.

Always remember: you are smart as shit, strong, fun and destined to do amazing things. Please realize how great you are, and how much you bring to the people around you. Treat yourself like you would your best friend: do not allow your mind or mouth to speak evil of you. (Pro tip: reading manifestation related content further explains how important it is to speak highly of yourself.)

Treat yourself like you would your best friend: do not allow your mind or mouth to speak evil of you.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden GorgeousAvoid energy leeches.

You know exactly who I am talking about. We all have those friends/acquaintances/family members who are HEAVY to be around. They stay whining (while never trying to fix their issues), angry at someone or supercritical of you and your choices. You never feel positive after spending time with them, but down and exhausted instead. Seeing an incoming call from them makes you sigh heavily… or sends you into fits of panic.

One word: Run. (Fast. And far away.)

While it is okay to listen to a buddy’s venting session (and to help them out when you can), it is NOT okay to let their issues get you down, especially when they refuse to help themselves. After a while, you have to realize that your own positivity and sanity come first. Just have them miss you with the bullshit. Politely change the topic when they mention that fuckboy for the 1,355,676 th time, because they are clearly refusing to learn from their mistakes.

Even worse: beware of people who embrace mediocrity and shit all over your dreams.

Let’s be clear: real friends will STAN when you get a better job, get engaged, get a promotion, lose weight, or finally launch that business (more on being a good friend here). They will also keep it real with you and give you honest but constructive feedback, which is always needed. What you do NOT need is the naysayers, who keep yapping things like  “You can’t do it”, or who suddenly go silent when you share great news. No ma’am.

Protect your energy from those leeches and keep being amazing and positive.

We all have those friends/acquaintances/family members who are HEAVY to be around (…) One word: Run. (Fast. And far away.)

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden Gorgeous

What I am wearing: Dress, here; boots, here; purse, Céline Phantom. Baseball hat, HELMH (wearing Sultan Harare Dashiki cap)

Step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

Got a whole post on this here. Keep pushing your boundaries and find joy in new adventures.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden GorgeousCelebrate the “NOW”.

One thing that keeps me positive is taking great care of myself. I often joke that the worse I feel, the better I look. I love wearing cool clothes just because, wearing a fresh lash to the office because I want to, changing my hairstyle because I can, and wearing my best shoes on a random Tuesday. Because why the fuck not?

Do not put off rocking a fun dress or wearing your sexy undies for a “special occasion”. Guess what- every day is one! Your closet exists for you; use it! Wear those fun stockings, that perfume that makes you feel like a million bucks, those jeans that make your 🍑 look amazing. You deserve to make yourself happy. All the damn time.

Do not put off rocking a fun dress or wearing your sexy undies for a “special occasion”. Guess what- every day is one! (…) You deserve to make yourself happy, all the damn time.

I hope this helps even one of you to zero in on their happiness, and preserve their positive attitude every day. Life is short; let’s enjoy it with no BS.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from Helmh. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden Gorgeous

On to the ‘fit:

This dress I am HERE for it. Just such a gem! I am in absolute love with it, and in spite of having had it for less than a month, I already wore it 3 times. It is comfy, soft, thick, relaxed, and just everything I ever wanted in a hoodie dress. I had to (considerably) size up (this is a 3X, I am a M-L in most cases), so just keep that in mind. For your reference, I am 36″-29″-45″, and I am 5″11. It is such a fun casual piece, and I think I may wear it again tomorrow. 🤷🏿‍♀️

This baseball hat was kindly sent to me by Harlem over at HELMH. His company provides Ankara headwraps and baseball caps, which got me immediately excited- y’all know I live for a good Ankara print. The cap I am rocking here is the Sultan Harare Dashiki (sold out at the moment), but this one is bae- I kinda want to get it for myself. I find my hat to be very well made, sturdy and with vibrant colors. I’d wear it with regular clothes for that extra dash of culture, heh!

The boots: featured on the blog before, here. Love them; they look good, fit well and are reasonably comfortable.

The purse: featured here. I still feel the same way about it.

That’s it for today guys!!! Thanks so much for your renewed support, and I will see you later this week!

Until next time,

With Love,

D

Fashion Friday: 5 ways to rock a Mini Skirt

Hello #fashionablehumans, wassup wassup!

It’s Friday, it’s the weekend, it’s gonna be LIT (more like we’re gonna take naps but that’s cool too).

Today, we’re gonna keep it simple and just dissect a quintessential piece of clothing: the mini skirt.

I am not about to launch into a history of the mini, but all I can say is that my mom used to wear A LOT of them in her time. I came across her teenage and high school photos and I was like “Dayuumm, OK mom!” (She might actually kill me if she sees this.)

Anywho, I like minis a lot and wear them on all occasions, even in winter (with very very thick tights obvs). I am also a little picky with my mini skirts: they have to be the right length (I am 5″11 an ALL legs so it’s harder than you would think), and I can only do A-line or bodycon minis (skater skirts give me anxiety because I am clumsy and will expose myself in a second.)

I therefore have to make the few good minis I have work super hard for me. I creatively style them for the club, the beach, running errands, brunch, all kinds of shit. Mini skirts are some of my favorite items to pack for vacations, because they can work for museums, drinks, dinners, dancing, and (apparently) hikes. (I know, I have problems.) BUT- y’all know I am for real, because the mini in that photo is the same one I am styling in this post!!! Authenticity!!!

Also, the fact that the looks below are almost all monochromatic black was NOT planned, I swear.

Let’s jump into “5 ways to style a mini skirt”, shall we? I will be rocking this skirt from Zara for all the looks below. I have had it for maybe 5 months, and I have honestly worn it at least 10 times. More options here, here ($16), here and here.

Casual Mini Skirt— On the go City Girl

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

I actually wore this exact look the Saturday after Black Friday to go shopping in San Francisco. I mean- you can’t go wrong with a mini skirt + sweater + OTK combo. You can make the sweater baggy, fitted like here, chunky, whatever- it still works. This is a simple look to go catch brunch with buddies, go from 9-5 (with tights) and then 5-8 (…or 11, I am not judging). I love how effortless it is, and with the astute use of a pair of tights, I could honestly wear this look anywhere. I am also in love with the sweater (another well-used item in my wardrobe, and peep the pearl details); I have the black and charcoal versions, and I am debating on whether I need to get the navy one.

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looksBlogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looksBlogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looksRings: here, nails from @andynailspa in San Francisco. Sunglasses from Barton Perreira.

Sexy Mini Skirt— Girl on a Date

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

I mean this is cliché as heck, but yeah- minis work on dates too, surprise! Whether it is with a new Tinder dude, or with a trusty boyfriend or husband (hey bae), it always feels great to dress up to go meet someone special. I mean yeah, we know we don’t dress for boys, but still — who does not feel good after putting in some effort in their appearance? I know I do.

This look is comprised of pieces I have worn to death on this blog (I mean whatever, they work). My trusty cheapie bodysuit, sold here and here, and featured here and here; I wear this top with a pretty full coverage bra because it is totally sheer, but you could make it even more modest with a black tank top. Still fab! My Steve Madden pumps are sold here, and worn here and here. The bag I am rocking is EONS old, and it is just a little black leather pouch with a sequin bow.

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Classy Mini Skirt— Boss Babe Girl

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Okay- this look is more like businesswoman cosplay, but hear me out. While you would likely not wear it in a boardroom, you can totally rock this to friendly meetups, or even to the office with nice tights (…and a calmer jacket, if the culture is not fond of pearl adorned ones. I debated using a simpler blazer for this look, but I opted to go all out.)

This look made me feel super powerful. I have also always been a fan of looks where the jacket is longer than the skirt, and I feel like I almost achieved that here :). I paired my mini with a basic white shirt (similar here ) and a funky blazer (similar options here or here — this blazer is all the rage).

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Baddie Mini Skirt— Girls Night Out

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

I dunno about y’all, but I usually put a lot more work into getting dressed for a girls’ night than I do for a date. My girls appreciate the amount of effort that goes into a look and their compliments just go straight to my heart, because they say things like “OMG you paired these two items perfectly, and your earrings complement your makeup!” Like, yessss.

For this look, I wanted something that definitely showed that I tried, but would also be comfortable, because a good GNO involves lots of laughter and hopefully some dancing. This top is a random lacy number that ended up working quite well with my mini here (actually bought it with another look in mind, which is coming up in a few weeks). It is sheer, but has a bit more texture than the bodysuit above. I cannot wait to try it with high waisted jeans.

The jacket is just so soft and luxurious, I love it! This is the one I originally wanted, but I ended up not getting it because the price made my wallet cry. The one I am wearing is from Mango, but looks discontinued. This is the closest one, and here is a cheaper alternative. Fur jackets just make me feel like I have a lot of money, and my extra-ness automatically goes up a few notches when I have one on. I mean, look at my face.

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Sporty Mini Skirt— Laid Back Girl

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

I mean this look speaks for itself. Super casual, quickly thrown together to go grab a beer, go to the grocery store, head to grandma’s house, stop by a friend’s house, Netflix and Chill… anything, really. This look is just cool AF.

I loved mixing denim and leather here, and I loved rocking my Mess in a Bottle tee! I bought this tee in December (along with the grey version), and I was hoping to get to wear it for a shoot. I was initially planning on using it with this skirt. If you are in the mood to support a small, minority-owned AND woman-owned business (hint: you should be), shop Kalilah’s merch! My next purchases will be this (I mean… of course), this, this and maaaaybe this, as I just bought a similar dress already. The denim jacket is the Levi’s Classic Trucker Jacket in Belle Blue, and the sneakers are sparkly grey Sperrys.

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looksBlogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looksThat’s it! Which one of the looks above is your fave? Which one would you wear? Be honest!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I wish you a fun and relaxing weekend!

Until next time,

With Love,

D

 

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

 

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

 

Blogger @Dafrastar shows how to style a mini skirt 5 ways, from Boss Babe to Girls Night out. More on www.dafrastar.com! mini skirt, leather skirt, style a mini skirt, style a mini, mini skirt inspiration, leather skirt inspiration, short skirt inspiration, mini, leather mini, leather mini looks, mini skirt looks

5 things I wish I knew about growing up

Hello #fashionablehumans!!!

It is bright and early on Tuesday (well, on the West Coast) and I hope your Monday was stellar and shit.

Today, I wanted to do a tiny bit of reflection on growing up and fully becoming oneself. This post may get cheesy real quick— you’ve been warned. However, I would like to believe that I will touch on things that may make sense for some of you. Deal? Deal. Leggo.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.

Ten years ago, I was a completely different person (aren’t we all, though?). I mean- COMPLETELY different. My value system was not the same, I was a little stuck up, and —the biggest thing — I thought I had my whole life figured out. I was gonna graduate with a degree in finance, get married at 27 ish, move into a house with a white picket fence, adopt a puppy, get a job in my field of study and pop out 2 babies. Dunzo.

The thing is,  I now realize that I never took the time to wonder whether I gave 2 shits about any of the things above. I mean— yeah, some of those are milestones that many of us seek in life, myself included. Still, looking back, I am a little shocked at the fact that NEVER even questioned whether this very path was MY path. I just accepted it as being so and charged ahead.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.What I am wearing: Skirt: here, Top: here, similar here and here, shoes: here. Photo by Ringo Cheung in Hong Kong.

Fast forward a few years, life took some strange turns. I ended up in California, did not get married until 30, realized I hated finance, built a career in marketing and am in no rush to get babies ( I did get the puppy 🐶) . Here is the thing— I could not be happier with my current outcome. I am SO glad none of the things I wanted in my early twenties panned out; I realize today that I would have been miserable.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.I do believe that the complete 180 described above happened as a result of me being forced into new beginnings (broke up with my longtime boyfriend, graduated from college, grew apart from my best friend at the time, moved across the country to grad school). Those events set me free and allowed me to actually pursue what I wanted, and not what was expected of me, because I had nothing left to lose. I learned a lot about myself in those few years and grew leaps and bounds.

Today, I would like to chat about what I learned through those defining moments. Please share some of your defining life moments in the comments as well, and let’s all grow together!

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.

Growth Lesson 1: The people around you may love you, but they can’t see the world through your eyes.

 

This is literally the most important thing I have ever learned: just because people are nice does NOT mean you should listen to their advice. The fact that they love you and wish you to succeed does NOT imply they know what is best for you. And yes, that includes your closest friends and parents.

In grad school, I did exactly the opposite of what I had done my whole life (aka been prescribed by my parents). I went for a (more) creative degree,  started a fashion blog (it was named Dafrastar too), and finally indulged into my love for fashion and beauty (that I had refused to nurture before because it felt vapid). I got to do what made me happy and still got a job after school, so win-win.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.Growth Lesson 2: You can’t prevent mistakes, but you can learn from them.

Literally no one has ever learned anything without making mistakes. Not one single human.

Therefore, be sure that you will make a lot of them, and some very dumb ones at that. You will look back and wonder what you were smoking.😄

Still, the most important part of a mistake is not the deed itself, but what you learn about yourself and the changes you subsequently make. Growing up is realizing that you do not know everything, and that you always have an opportunity to make better choices for yourself and the people around you. Doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity. Don’t be insane, especially when you fall flat on your face a couple of times.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.Growth Lesson 3: Listen to yourself, and have the courage to act upon what you hear.

To grow up —truly grow up— one has to be very, very honest with themselves.

Work on listening to yourself, understand your own wants and desires, but also make a solid inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Then, with courage, work on forging your own unique path, based on who you are and what you know you can achieve. Don’t be delusional, but give yourself some credit.

My personal example: I always knew I was good at languages, but I went to a high school focused on math and physics because it was the prestigious thing to do. It was a horrible 4 years, where I saw my grades dwindle and my insecurities soar. On the surface, I was cool as a cucumber; deep down, I was battling with the truth, which was that I was not cut from the same cloth as my classmates. I painfully made my way through graduation, but guess what: a few months ago, I met 2 of my previous classmates a few days apart. Without talking to each other, they both wholeheartedly agreed that I should have never gone that path. See??? I was fooling no one!

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.Growth Lesson 4: People don’t care, so you might as well do you, boo.

This one stings a little, but is still very true. People are all looking for their own happiness, and spend exactly 0.01 seconds a day thinking about you and what you do. Shying away from taking on new challenges or trying new and better things because of “what people will say” is literally the dumbest thing you can do. Period.

Growing up means realizing that what people think about you is absolutely none of your business. Not always easy to remember, but true. Live for you!

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.

Growth Lesson #5: Be open and be kind.

A common thread with all the lessons above is acting on new things; this one is more about attitude. A major part of growth is being open to new people, cultures, experiences, ways of life— overall, things that are deeply different from the usual. I truly do believe that no growth happens in a silo. Living a sheltered life surrounded by similar people can lead to intolerance and overall ignorance about the world.

My biggest learning experience was moving to the US. My 2nd biggest learning experience was actually opening myself up to the American way of life, which did not happen until a few years in, when I stepped out of the protective “International Student Posse” bubble. Interacting with people who were very different from me was scary, but oh so useful. In most cases, curiosity turned into tolerance which then morphed into acceptance. I learned a lot more about myself than I learned about others in this discovery process, and the exchanges created by my new openness broke a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions I did not even know  I had. I do believe that I am a more mature and better-rounded person as a result.

As a conclusion, guys, growing up has nothing to do with age. It has everything to do with discovering oneself, making peace with it and using this newfound identity to reach for others and for the stars. I personally strive to keep seeking growth every day, and I hope you do too.

Blogger Dafrastar chats about self- introspection and growing up as a person on www.dafrastar.com. Photography by Ringo Cheung from @apertureproduction in Central, Hong Kong.

On to the outfit!

So, I went to Hong Kong over Christmas. It was an amazing experience in and of itself, but I took advantage of my time there to do a photo shoot. When I tell you it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, I am NOT exaggerating. I will eventually dedicate a whole post to that whirlwind of a day, but man— was it intense, and incredibly fun!

The look:

The bustier: This is a random studded leather bustierI got from Forever 21 EONS ago. It made my “Donate” pile more than once, but somehow always made its way back to my closet. It is not super supportive, the cups have the depth of the teaspoon and it digs into my armpit fat, but I still love this cheap little number. Not meant for busty ladies AT ALL, and mostly sold out (except here). Similar here and here.

The skirt: I fell in love with this skirt several moons ago on Etsy, and I finally got to wear it! It is exactly what it looks like: a huge, voluminous tulle skirt that serves you drama by the fistful. It needs no petticoat to poof up, which I love; however, it wrinkles VERY easily; I ironed it for 1 hour before it could be photoshoot ready. It just makes everything look grand; I am not giving up on finding a way to dress it down though. Watch me.

The shoes (not that you can see my feet): Wearing my trusty Steve Madden Stecy sandals, featured here, here and in so many other posts on this blog I lost count.

OK – Dassit!!!!

Thank you guys so much for rocking with me; share some thoughts below! What did you learn when you grew up?

Until next time,

With Love,

D

Fashion: Mixing Textures for Fun Outfits

Hello #fashionablehumans! Happy Tuesdayyyyy!

This post is the first one in a new series I am trying out for my editorial calendar. It is much lighter than my usual soul-searching monologues and simply focuses on fashions trend I feel like examining a bit closer.

I hope for these posts to be as fun for you guys as the other posts on my blog, if not more! Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses mixing textures to achieve polished looks.
Fringe, Cotton and Leather

Outfit featured here

Mixing Textures: Why?

Today, the topic I feel like yapping about is texture in an outfit; more specifically, how mixing different textures in a single look can lead to something dope.

Putting together an outfit can be as simple or as complicated as you make it, really. While I personally tend to err on the simpler side for everyday wear, I do enjoy the occasional sass of a well-crafted look with interesting elements. A shortcut to that sartorial promised land is juxtaposing interesting and unexpected textures to create something visually appealing.

There are tons of reasons why mixing things up is clever, but I will zero in on a few below.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses mixing textures to achieve polished looks.
Eyelet, Spandex, Pleather and Lace

Outfit featured here

Texture Mixing automatically upgrades outfits.

Anything becomes more interesting with a cool texture, and clothes are no exception.  Mixing things up makes looks more eye-catching and richer; it immediately looks like the wearer put lots of work into it (which is usually the goal, for me at least). As an example, pairing leather pants with a fur coat makes a statement. It departs from boring hum-drum fashion and immediately becomes noteworthy, fun, appealing and “haute”. The all-black look above is much cooler because of the neighboring strips of leather and lace.

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses mixing textures to achieve polished looks.
Net, Lace and Bodycon

Outfit featured here

 There is more opportunity to use transitional pieces. 

Spring is upon us, and brighter colors are about to make their 2018 debut after hibernating for a few months. That said, the (chilly AF) temperatures still call for warmer pieces, even though we are all ready to be rocking lilac and shit. This is a great time to pair heavier winter fabrics (like suede or wool) with lighter and brighter summery fabrics like light cotton or silk. A fun printed dress can be paired with a great jacket and warm boots to create the perfect mixture of stylish and sensible (cause frostbite ain’t your friend). I paired a fun coat with a mini above, but honestly—that coat was protecting no one from the cold, let’s be real.

 

Ankara fabric, Cotton and Lace

Outfit featured here

Mixing textures allows one’s style to shine through an otherwise standard look

Do you have a signature style? (if not, these steps can help you find yours btw.) Do you have items that just scream “you”, like layered scarves or fun colored tights? If so, adding something unexpected but still YOU to an outfit will add a fun new texture while putting your stamp on an outfit (in my case, I added a lace bralet to the look above to make it sassier and truer to my sophisti-ratchet style😁).

Dafrastar wearing a red monochromatic look from Zara (top and skirt) with Steve Madden shoes and a pear encrusted clutch. |red outfit| red outfit inspiration| monochromatic look| summer fashion inspiration|
Satin, Knit and Leather

Look featured here

Mixing Textures is key for a killer for a monochromatic look

I am not saying that monochromatic looks have to be mixed in texture, but I am definitely saying that it makes them more interesting. Ashleigh from The Daileigh wrote a book on monochromatic dressing, and texture plays a big role in nailing a good monochromatic look! See, I know what I am talking about! The red look above is one of my favorite of all time, and the mix of knit and satin make it so fun! See one of her monochromatic looks below:

More cool examples of fun texture mixing:

 

Cool tights+ denim mix via xoxox_natalie

@Oliviaculpo rocking a poplin blouse, organza skirt and sheer tights

Marci Mason aka @greychampagne looking glorious in various textures and colors

Aileen aka @balleronabudget rocking transitional pieces with a light dress:

@theyusufs: these sisters are Ph.D. level dressers, so I will let the photos speak for themselves.

 

@torontoshay rocking sequins and fringe. Great minds 😋

@shantelrousseau rocking a fun mix of texture and patterns

Last but not least, my girl Rita aka @styled_into_fashion. Her whole feed is a succession of carefully put together outfits with the richest textures. Check her out!

 

That’s it for today’s fashion post! I hope you guys liked it, and…

Until next time,

With love,

Dafra

3 Tips to Get Back on Track after Failure

Wassup wassup #fashionablehumans !

Just came home from sunny Ouagadougou, where I was to celebrate my cousin’s wedding!!!! I was super excited to be back home, see my parents, family and friends, and also EAT EVERYTHING! Real talk, by the week before I left, I had already sent my mom a list of allllll the things I needed to eat during my stay. I came correct!

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

While I am super fortunate to travel often (this trip brought my count to 4 countries and 4 continents in the past 6 months), being on the go all the time takes its toll, and unfortunately— Dafrastar often gets the short end of the stick (I have not posted in a fucking month). I often find myself falling asleep at my computer (like right now 😂) while blogging. I also mostly work at night, so sometimes I don’t even make it to my computer AT ALL. While I believe that resolutions are obsolete (you may read more on that here), I do have serious goals for the blog in 2018. For example, I aim to post quality content twice a week (as well as stick to a Tuesday & Friday uploading schedule). I believe and trust I will eventually succeed at this, but MAN has it been challenging. I can confidently say I have failed at it so far.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

Needless to say, some days I just feel an overwhelming annoyance with myself. How dare I need more than 4 hours of sleep a day? How come I do not have a perfectly organized editorial calendar, with content planned for the next zillion weeks? How come I can’t churn out twelve viral posts per minute, while also slaying my career, keeping full edges and rocking clear skin? WHY? Ugh.

The summary of this tirade is: sometimes I get fucking tired and discouraged of failing at my goals. Life is pretty much the art of juggling shit,  and one invariably has to fall behind somewhere. For me, not hitting my posting schedule for the blog makes me anxious. Anxiety, in turn, makes me catatonic and prone to avoidance; I just want to give everything up and run away. I guess that’s why the expression “falling off the wagon” exists… We all have lives, and side hustles/hobbies don’t always get much love. They eventually end up choo-chooing their way away from our overwhelmed asses.

(…) side hustles/hobbies don’t always get much love. They eventually end up choo-chooing away from our overwhelmed asses.

Therefore, some days I do have to dig deeeep to remain motivated/ get back on track after failing. The tips below help me do it and remain somewhat sane; they are how this blog post is live today, and how many more will see the light of day. These tips apply to everything in life, as far as I am concerned: exercise routines, nutrition, dance classes, skin care… pretty much anything in your life requiring continuous commitment and effort. Let’s jump into it!

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

1- The path to success is not straight. The ones who make it are the ones who understand that failure is part of the game.

 

This is something we should all remember more often.

 

You likely saw this picture around the internet somewhere. Success and failure go hand in hand; that’s just the truth. Even the greatest athletes have off days, weeks or even years. Does that mean they should stop? Nope, and neither should you. Consistency is hard and we are all bound to fall short sometimes. That said, it is also our duty to refuse to get used to failure. We have to accept it and learn from it, but more than everything, we have to let it fuel our comeback. I will be the first one to admit that failure sucks. Up until this day, not succeeding at something leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. That said, in 2017, I learned to hold myself to high standards and not let failure define me. It was such a liberating moment! I pretty much gave myself the permission to fail as long as I kept getting up and trying harder. Guess what: the areas of my life I applied this rule to saw more success in 2017 than any other year before.

LESSON: Do not focus that much on the “Falling” part of the story; it is the “Getting Up” part that matters.

Consistency is hard and we are all bound to fall short sometimes. That said, it is also our duty to refuse to get used to failure. (…) Do not focus that much on the “Falling” part of the story; it is the “Getting Up” part that matters.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

2- Remember: Progress is much better than perfection

This is squarely targeted to people who also suffer from my ailment, the accursed disease of perfection. In our heads, we are failing everyone including the Queen of England if we do not execute things exactly at the time we planned them, with grace, poise and excellence. However, life (and especially work) taught me that the sentence above is the devil, and the devil is a lie. Think about it: visualize yourself making a quilt, or a sweater, or some other shit that requires a large time investment. Making a quilty-square (you know exactly what I’m trying to say) per day may be your initial goal, but you may end up making 4 squares a week (because life), or a couple of your squares could be kind of crooked. Do you stop quilting because your output isn’t perfect? NO, THAT WOULD BE SILLY. You would keep sewing that shit until it was done and chilling on your guest room bed. That analogy applies to life: a crooked quilty square does not mean you stop; it means you learn where to put your needle to make better squares and keep it moving.

LESSON: Slower than planned does not mean stagnant. Hang in there and try to speed up; if you can’t,  still hang in there. Think of any hard project as a master quilting project.

Slower than planned does not mean stagnant. Hang in there and try to speed up; if you can’t, still hang in there. Think of any hard project as a master quilting project. Do you stop quilting because your output isn’t perfect? NO, THAT WOULD BE SILLY.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

3- You likely learned a thing or two on your break.

Let’s assume you took an unplanned break from working towards your dream, or maybe stayed on the ground a little longer than usual (due to a particularly vicious setback). Guess what? Chances are, you will get back on the horse with a refreshed mind, renewed purpose, or even better ideas/more drive than before. Anyone who ever had to work on a creative project can attest to the fact that walking away for a while does wonders for the brain. It helps you reset, think about things differently, and maybe even finally grasp something that kept eluding you before. While this is not reason enough to take a hiatus, it is definitely a non-negligible benefit.

LESSON: If you fall hard, realize that the unplanned break will still bring you benefits. Use them to the max; make that setback count!

Anyone who ever had to work on a creative project can attest to the fact that walking away for a while does wonders for the brain. If you fall hard, realize that the unplanned break will still bring you benefits. Use them to the max; make that setback count!

Hang in there, peeps. Just hang in there, and never think that falling off the wagon does not mean you can catch the next train. Bonus: you may even ride in the first class coach.

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses tips to remain motivated, wearing a monochromatic look with a mini leather skirt, suede boots and a fringed top. Monochromatic look, monochromatic inspiration, suede boots, fringe, fringed top, fringe inspiration, black fashion blogger, African Fashion blogger

On to the outfit we are rocking today! This look was initially shot as a part of my Fall 2017 Trends series, to represent for the fringe and fishnets trends. Never got around to posting it. Welp.

The top: I LOVE it (featured in my sequin skirt lookbook as well). It has the right balance of sass and comfort, and I love that the drama is limited to the sleeves (dunno why, but I dig that shit.) I will likely wear it until it falls apart. That said, I still can’t find a link to it for the life of me, so here are 2 similar options here and here. Sowee!

The skirt: I am also in love with this puppy. It is a simple faux leather A-line mini skirt from Zara, and it can be worn so many ways. Maybe I should feature it in a post?…🤔 I rocked it with a turtleneck, an oversized shirt, a tee, a sheer bodysuit… it can do it all. I even wore it with thick tights and a sweater to work, and upped the casual vibe with some sneakers. I’m telling you, it is a jack of all trades.

The boots: they are the Steve Madden Gorgeous, and they are bae; I spoke about them here, and somehow never got a chance to feature them on the blog until now. They are a size 10 (I wear 10.5) so they are a smidgen tight but manageable. I love them with jeans, they make my legs look a mile long.

The fishnets: pretty ordinary ones, get the job done. I would have bought cuter ones if I had given it more thought.

That’s it for this post folks! Please tell me below; how do you manage to get shit done, or how do you motivate yourself to keep going after you fall? Let’s share tips so we can all crush goals this year!

Until next time,

With Love,

D

3 tips to try minimalism in fashion: Less is more.

Hello #fashionable humans!

I am coming back from an unplanned hiatus that I did not even know I needed (like most people, my brain has to melt and ooze outta my nose before I realize I need a break.) Honestly, the catalyst for me to rest was that I traveled a fair amount in December; I was in Asia from 12/13 to the day after Christmas. As a result, I was jet-lagged, hazy and just plain tired for weeks. The past few days, I caught myself falling asleep at like 9 PM on the couch (I am a hardcore night owl, and have been for as long as I can remember— how else do you think I run this blog?😂).

Anywho, I am back, definitely rested, resourced and more focused than ever. I am rethinking a few things blog-wise, and will start making some changes soon; I hope you guys like the pivot! (I am SUCH a Silicon Valley human.)

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist styleOur post today will be about minimalism, or how to *sometimes* embrace a minimalist style. I mean, let’s be real: anyone who has ever stopped by my blog knows that minimalism is NOT my style. While I love black and could wear it head to toe every single day until I die, I am also a drama aficionado when it comes to sartorial choices. My outfits usually have to feature a “conversation piece” or two (depending on how daring I feel that day). My last look featured a bright mustard jacket; this look was all about a sequin skirt, and this one featured this amazing necklace from Shalom Design… You get my point.

The evidence above should make it even funnier that I attempted a minimalist look for this shoot. It features this gorgeous, marvelous (did I say gorgeous?) dress from The Tiny Closet, a fashion website led by Natalie, minimalist blogger turned designer and business owner (yay for minority women-owned businesses!). I actually came across Nat several years ago through this story about her wedding. I fell in love with her personality and I started following her and checking on her blog periodically. She opened her shop in 2016 and I missed her first winter collection, where this dress made its debut. I fell in love with Instagram photos and literally waited a year for it to come back.

This is how Nat describes her own store, by the way:

“I made simple looks with comfortable, quality fabrics in classic colors, and I meant for them to be worn for any occasion.  The clothing I created for my daily life was eventually what I ended up basing upon for a clothing line.  ”

This dress is truly amazing. It generated more comments on Instagram than 90% of my posts and it makes me look super good!  That said, styling a piece from Nat definitely taught me a thing or two about dressing minimally; let’s explore them below!

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

How to dress like a minimalist: 3 minimalist fashion tips

Less is more. Really.

That’s literally the whole point. HOWEVER, y’all know I do NOT live by this motto, as explained above.  I can therefore tell you that this dress was one of the hardest garments I ever had to style … ever. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it had a freaking mind of its own; I got so frustrated trying to style it for this shoot! I tried all the necklaces, all the belts, all the whatevers- and they all looked like shit.😂 This dress actually had the GALL to tell my accessories “Nah, I’m good. I stand on my own; buh-bye now. ” I gave up adorning it after the third necklace attempt and opted to rebel by putting on massive hoop earrings, as well as all the rings I could find, but let’s be real. The final score was: Dress 1— Dafra 0. That bish.

Minimalist fashion is made to stand on its own; let it. Drop all the neck candy and scarves and shit.

In hindsight, I realize I was wasting my time and defeating the whole purpose of the shoot. Minimalist fashion is made to stand on its own; let it. Drop all the neck candy and scarves and shit. Be brave enough to let the garment(s) speak for themselves. That actually leads us to our second point below.

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist styleDrop the gimmicks.

We all have a particular dressing formula that makes us present our best self to the world. I swear by wide belts because they make my waist look tiny and help me fake the hourglass shape I have always coveted—  I stay trying to be snatched. While that’s cool and dandy, I feel like it is worth dropping the gimmicks and extras for a minute. Minimalism is about comfortable and practical simplicity; adding too much shit takes away from it.

(…) it is worth dropping the gimmicks and extras for a minute. Minimalism is about comfortable simplicity; adding too much shit takes away from it.

Moreover, I feel like stepping away from my usual blueprint gives me a new kind of freedom. It pushes me to explore outfits that do not necessarily highlight all my assets, and it teaches me how to still feel good in them and make them work for me. While I felt naked in this dress without a belt, it felt good to know I could still rock something with zero adornments and be fine.

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist styleTry a monochromatic look.

You guys know I love a good monochromatic look. It is polished, classy and timeless. This situation is no exception; based on my research and on the dozens of Pinterest minimalist pins I came across, monochrome and minimalism seem to be besties (or at the very least, they tag each other in Facebook videos.) In this case, it was easy because I was working with a dress, but I still cannot see myself styling it with any other colors without almost desecrating it. Minimalist fashion has gorgeous lines, quality fabrics and interesting silhouettes. Those need to be shown off and I feel like a monochromatic look is the best way to do so.

Minimalist fashion has gorgeous lines, quality fabrics and interesting silhouettes. Those need to be shown off and I feel like a monochromatic look is the best way to do so.

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

 

On to the dress we are rocking today (even though I feel like I already shared how I feel about it, lol)

This is the Curator from The Tiny Closet Shop, as mentioned above. It has an interesting silhouette; it is form fitting on the right side, but the extension under the left arm gives it an asymmetrical feel; that left side is not unlike a caftan. It will CLING to your curves, so get the right undergarments ready! It is also made from a thick and luxurious stretchy fabric, super soft and yet breathable. I honestly thought it was cotton, but reading the description closer shows it’s made out of Modal. I only wore it for this shoot, but I swear— this is a dress I will be re-wearing as much as I can. It feels incredible.

That’s all I have today folks! What are your thoughts on minimalist fashion and on this dress in particular? Let me know in the comments!

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

 

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

 

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

 

Blogger @Dafrastar wears The Curator dress from Minimalist fashion label The Tiny Closet. #minimalist #minimalism #minimalistfashion #monochromaticfashion #monochromaticoutfit monochromatic outfit ideas, fall minimalism fashion, winter minimalism fashion, chic minimalism fashion ideas, chic minimalist, edgy fashion, minimalist design, minimalist clothing, minimalist dress, minimalist closet, minimalist style

Until next time,

With Love,

D

A simple 3 point checklist to step out of your comfort zone this year

Hello hello, #fashionablehumans! Happy 2018! We made it! I dunno about you, but I am ready to crush this year super hard, in all aspects of life. I mean yeah, it is only January 5th, but whatever- I got this, and so do you! My first post of the year is therefore me chatting about stepping out one’s comfort zone and detailing how I personally do it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. (By the way, my husband thinks this is a ridiculous expression, and he promised me $10 if I ever said it in public. I think we can all agree that this absolutely counts. Pay up, Rish!)

I have often said in my posts that everything worth having is on the other side of fear. I really stand by this little quote; the things I cherish the most are the ones I worked very hard for or the ones that took a leap of faith to accomplish. While pushing your own limits is hard, the rewards are just ridiculous. There is no greater satisfaction than doing things you thought you could not achieve. From squatting your own weight to public speaking or buffalo riding, new things personally give me a rush of happiness, especially when I NEVER thought I could do them. Unfortunately, I don’t take the  “new shit” leap all the time, but my goal for the future is to take more chances on myself.

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Full outfit detailed on www.dafrastar.com Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolgger, how to wear yellow, how to wear a yellow jacket, mustard outfit inspirationWhy do we tend to stay in our comfort zone?

It’s great for me to yap about breaking boundaries and shit, but the truth is that it is HARD to do, and even harder to do continuously. Moreover, I do not see my love for my comfort zone as an enemy, but more as my brain acting like a well-intentioned but slightly overbearing parent. Think about a mom who tries to steer you towards a safe career because she assumes that’s what you need (I told y’all about my story), a dad who insists on you going to college close to home, or parents who worry themselves sick when you travel. These are not bad people at all! They are instead loving people who just want you to stick to what they KNOW works, because uncertainty is… well, uncertain.

Staying in my comfort zone works the same way, at least in my head. I equate it to my brain keeping me from trying too many new things, so I may avoid disappointment.  I would hence argue that one can go through life always making choices that never toy with that equilibrium, and still be perfectly content.

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Full outfit detailed on www.dafrastar.com Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolgger, how to wear yellow, how to wear a yellow jacket, mustard outfit inspirationWhat I am wearing: Lilly’s Kloset jacket: here, Steve Madden sandals: here, Ambiance SF dress: Boutique here, Insta here.

Yet, why should we fight that urge?

The issue is — we should fux with the equilibrium!!!! While the above course of action guarantees us a safe and sheltered existence (to a certain extent), I honestly believe that boundary breaking is necessary to live a truly full life. I have personally learned the most from the people who were dissimilar from me, and I have felt the most enriched by traveling to places that looked nothing like home. In my personal life, forcing myself to do weird shit has helped me REALLY open my eyes to the world.  I think that makes me a better Dafra and a much better conversationalist (Cardi B tales can only get me so far at a cocktail party).

Professionally, the willingness to be uncomfortable has allowed me to stay relevant in my field. I will admit that, as a person, I HATE the status quo and am naturally obsessed with improving processes. That forces me to always question myself (in a good way), and to actively look for better ways to do what I do. While it feels like I am constantly running a marathon (I am generally looking to improve something the minute I implement it), I assure you that it has made me a better professional.

How I kick my own butt out of my comfort zone in all aspects of life

Truth is, I likely haven’t told you anything you don’t already know. However, the pull of the comfort zone is just so strong, and warm, and familiar and cozy! How do we trick our brain into letting us explore new things, so we can live our best lives??? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but the little things below help me make fearless choices every day.

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolgger
To take on new challenges: I remind myself that I have not found my purpose yet and need to keep grinding.

I am pretty big into purpose, and I live in the constant (and I mean CONSTANT) panic that I will die without having found mine. For me, purpose is what each of us was put on this Earth to do; some people were born to be musicians, some to be doctors, some to be teachers. Think about it: can you imagine the great MJ as ANYTHING ELSE than an entertainer? Tiffany Haddish as anything else than a comedian? Mother Theresa as anything else than a humanitarian legend? Jackie Aina as anything else than… well, Jackie-Jackie-Jackie (the YT fam knows)? There are some people who just FIND their calling in life and thrive for all of us to see, while blessing the people around them with their gift. I want that for myself, and for everybody I know.

I’m not sure what mine is, though. So I keep experimenting with new things all the time, because my calling may very well be under one of those unturned stones. Finding my purpose is the reason behind this blog, and honestly the reason behind a lot of the new professional and personal challenges I take on.

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Full outfit detailed on www.dafrastar.com Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolgger, how to wear yellow, how to wear a yellow jacket, mustard outfit inspirationTo excel at things I am already doing: I trick myself into trying “just a little more”.

I do not ever recall starting anything thinking:  “I’m going to  be the best in the world at this shit.” Nah.

Instead, I often start things with the intention of simply being as good as I can. However— when I find a decent fit, I always end up pushing just a little more… and then a little more…  until I cannot help myself from trying to excel. The thing is, we usually end up liking things we are good at. That pushes us to try to be even better.  As a result, once difficult tasks end up becoming much easier. That progress, for me at least, acts as a catalyst and makes me even hungrier for excellence. This virtuous cycle is to be used to our advantage! For example, if you want to get better at reading, start reading books that you find fun. Then, pepper in some new genres, while making sure to have fun in the meantime. Next thing you know, you will be reading a healthy balance of serious and funny books in your free time. Ta-da!

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Full outfit detailed on www.dafrastar.com Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolggerTo try new fun things: I tell myself I need to try everything at least once. Also YOLO.

While I am very disappointed in myself for using YOLO, it does summarize how I feel when presented with something new. First of all, let’s all agree that regret has no place in 2018. None. Therefore, we need to take a hard look at whatever keeps us from living our best life and tell that thing (or person or hurdle) to kindly fuck off. Trying new shit is our birthright, and nothing should keep us from it— not even ourselves. I do not have kids, but if I ever do, I want to be that mom that will always be telling them tales of the places I went or the foods I ate, so that they will WANT to do the same when they grow up. That can’t happen if I stick to fried plantain.

Right now, I will admit that I am OK at this; I am trying to get WAY better. I want to plan fun dates, know all my neighborhood bars and overall live a fun life within my means. Counting on Groupon and Johnny Funcheap to help me hack the Bay Area on the low low.

Annnd, that’s kinda it… Those are the three little tenets I live by to keep myself on my toes. Let me know in the comments how you achieve constant discomfort in your life, and whether that helps you thrive!

Blogger @Dafrastar wearing a mustard net jacket from Lilly's Kloset with a boutique mini dress and Steve Madden sandals. Full outfit detailed on www.dafrastar.com Black girl magic, black blogger, Lilly's Kloset, mustard yellow inspiration, Mustard yellow jacket, Yellow outfit inspiration, sheer coat, sheer jacket, african blogger, african fashion blolgger, how to wear yellow, how to wear a yellow jacket, mustard outfit inspirationOn to the outfit of the day!

The jacket:  Let’s be real here: for a card-carrying member of the “All Black Everything” club, this coat is the epitome of discomfort. I mean, it is fucking yellow. I hate yellow with a passion (unless featured in Ankara, in which case it magically works). I never thought I would own anything in this color ever. However, I do follow Lilly on Insta and this photo of hers gave me something to think about. I mean look at it! It is heart-stopping!

View this post on Instagram

Honey Mustard 🍯 Jacket @lillyskloset

A post shared by Lilly (@accordingtolilly) on

I will not lie to you and tell you that this number is a rational purchase; it’s not, and I made peace with that shit before even hitting the “Buy” button.  It fails at being an actual jacket—it is made out of NET, for crying out loud. It does not protect my body from anything: the cold, mosquitoes, the wind, fuckboy stares— all of those go right through. But look at it though!!!! It elevated my basic ass strappy dress and sandals to a level it could NEVER reach. That’s enough for me.

The Dress: I got it majorly discounted the day after Black Friday, from Ambiance boutique in SF- it was like $20! I liked the boutique because they have a huge selection of non-basic shit- I recommend checking them out. Also- the top part of this dress is supportive enough that no bra is needed. YASSSSS!!!!!

The shoes: Basic Steve Madden sandals. Featured before on the blog, would not recommend for wider feet.

Dassit humans! I will see you next week, and I will work on posting more than once a week I swear.

Until next time,

With Love,

D

P.S: These photos were taken by Rachel Radcliffe at the Embarcardero Center in San Francisco.

Why I am making NO resolutions this year — and why you shouldn’t either

OMG #fashionablehumans, the year is OVER!!!! I won’t lie, I have a few unresolved feelings about this. I feel like 2017 was a very long year, but at the same time— it FLEW by.

Obviously, the end of any year always brings (cliché) reflections on oneself and one’s life path, which often leads to New Year resolutions, and yadda yadda. I mentioned before that this year has been… interesting for me; I went through deep struggles, took many (MANY) leaps of faith, worked harder than I ever have and slept around 20 mins every month. THAT SAID, I will say in all honesty that  2017 was a good year— you know, the kind of good that is akin to the gym? It sucks while you’re on that stupid treadmill, but the long-term results are worth it! (I don’t run tho, eff that).

I am hoping that 2018 is even more successful than 2017 for all of us; that said, I will not be sitting down to make any resolutions for that to happen. Nope. Do I have goals? You betcha. However, I believe that none of them will be attained through a New Year resolution, simply because they just don’t work— at least not for me.

By the way, let it be known that this is not a rant; while I am not here for New Year resolutions, I still want this post to be joyful and filled with gratitude. There will be 4 letter words aplenty, but ya know—they just add emphasis.

Here we go: My reasons why New Year Resolutions ain’t shit.

A Resolution does not only work on January 1st; we can improve year round.

Blogger Dafrastar discussing New Year goals: www.dafrastar.com

I used to be the worse at this! I would have lengthy resolutions every January, and they would fail by February… or really, by January 10th. Remember this Peniel Enchill drawing that made its way through 99% of Facebook timelines in 2015? (I love her illustrations btw, and I am hell bent on commissioning one from her when I have the $$$). How many of the people who touted this picture on their pages were in the same place, with the same drama, the same shortcomings and the same troubles come July (me included, even though I did not actually share this image)?

I agree that we should all try to be the best version of ourselves; I know I strive to do so every day. However, guess what: those changes are not related to celestial mechanics. Nope. We don’t need to wait for the beginning of a new year to work on ourselves, go after what we want, make healthier choices or take care of our hearts. If you feel like January 1st really gives you a clean slate to start new habits, by all means- own that shit. However, all of us need to remember that that day is followed by 364 other days that are just as good to make changes. 🙂

I agree that we should all try to be the best version of ourselves; I know I strive to do so every day. However, guess what: those changes are NOT related to celestial mechanics. Nope. We don’t need to wait for the beginning of a new year to work on ourselves.

A resolution is only words; words don’t work without… well, work.

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses the need to make new year resolutions on her blog, www.dafrastar.com

This one may be the most important one. Tying into the point above, I personally feel like I grew accustomed to wishing for a ton of things at the beginning of every year, and having nothing materialize— like, ever. I call those wishes dreams because that’s exactly what they were; a list of aspirational goals I would muse about, imagining how my life would be if I could attain them.

The issue is that I never did much about the “attaining” part.  I just sat there wishing, or completely half-assed attempts to make those (often very attainable) dreams a reality. Why? I have no idea. A deeper exploration of my psyche is needed to unpack that.

Y’all ever heard that quote “The dream is free; the hustle is sold separately”? Exactly. Resolutions (for me, at least) are often fueled by emotion, optimism from having fun on NYE, Facebook ads for new exercise plans, the smell of shiny new planners, and other generally inconsequential things.  They are easy to give up because all of the above fades after the 3rd conference call on January 2nd.

To make a resolution a reality, A LOT of discipline is needed to push through hurdles when the NYE euphoria has left the building. The dreams I have achieved lately have been made possible by flexing those discipline muscles HARD, grunting through every  step of the process, but emerging stronger on the other side of it (again, just like a treadmill! And no,  I am STILL not running!)

So develop that courage and discipline. Understand that progress is better than perfection, embrace the inevitable falls and give it your all. That’s how dreams come true, and a pretty resolution on a shiny new planner page does not capture that reality.

 

(…) Develop (…) courage and discipline. Understand that progress is better than perfection, embrace the inevitable falls and give it your all. That’s how dreams become true, and a pretty resolution on a shiny new planner page does not capture that reality.

A Resolution can feel forced; just let shit flow, man.

Blogger Dafrastar discussing New Year Resolutions: www.dafrastar.com

This one is super straightforward. On January 1st, people around you may be rushing to make a list of things they swear they will commit to— because others are doing it too. To that, I say “Fuck peer pressure”.

There are many reasons why January 1st may not make you want to change a damn thing in your life. For example, what if:

  • You want to give things some more thought?
  • You don’t want to be tied to a decision made within a split second?
  • You are actually pretty happy with your life, have found the right “formula” to keep you fulfilled,  and just want to keep doing what you are doing for a while?
  • … <insert a whole lot of other reasons here>

Work on things in your own time, not because everyone is magically supposed to commit to self-betterment every 365 days. That’s silly. You own your life, change it when you are ready and committed.

Work on things in your own time, not because everyone is magically supposed to commit to self-betterment every 365 days. That’s silly.

Finally: my wishes to all of you for the New Year

In spite of not liking resolutions very much, I am not a New Year Grinch; I love looking back at the past 12 months, assessing what made me happy (or less happy), and trying to do more (or less) of that. I therefore know that 2018 will likely be full of new firsts and new discoveries. I also already know that I will continue to courageously walk away from things that do not serve my life (like my ego— I hate that bitch). I am looking forward to clumsily work on patience, humility, openness and communication. I don’t need a New Year resolution for any of these things, because they are ongoing.

 

That said, to all of you, I wish an amazing, amazing new year.

  • I wish you love, happiness, prosperity and someone (or someplace) to always call home.
  • I wish you to step a little out of your comfort zone; most fun things in this world lie on the other side of fear.
  • I wish you to recognize that you are worth everything, and that you are too cool to let yourself down. Take courage, try new things, and let go of stale shit. You are special, act like it.
  • I wish you warm embraces from family and bestie- induced belly-aching laughs.
  • I wish you to have enough discernment to understand when you may be wrong, so you can make it right.

But above it all, I wish you good health. Please be well.

Thank you guys for an amazing 2017, from the bottom of my heart. This year has been stellar, and my little blog thanks you. Here’s to an even better 2018!

Until next time,

With Love,

D

P.S: I will have a post dedicated to this outfit in the next few weeks; these photos were taken in Hong Kong by Ringo from Aperture Production. It was the most INSANE photoshoot I ever had in my life, in a great way!

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses the need to make new year resolutions on her blog, www.dafrastar.com New Year Resolutions, New year Resolution, New Year Goals, Vision Boards, New Year Plan, ankara dress, ironyofashi, african blogger, black blogger, New Year New Me, #newyearresolution #newyearresolutions

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses the need to make new year resolutions on her blog, www.dafrastar.com New Year Resolutions, New year Resolution, New Year Goals, Vision Boards, New Year Plan, ankara dress, ironyofashi, african blogger, black blogger, New Year New Me, #newyearresolution #newyearresolutions

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses the need to make new year resolutions on her blog, www.dafrastar.com New Year Resolutions, New year Resolution, New Year Goals, Vision Boards, New Year Plan, ankara dress, ironyofashi, african blogger, black blogger, New Year New Me, #newyearresolution #newyearresolutions

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses the need to make new year resolutions on her blog, www.dafrastar.com New Year Resolutions, New year Resolution, New Year Goals, Vision Boards, New Year Plan, ankara dress, ironyofashi, african blogger, black blogger, New Year New Me, #newyearresolution #newyearresolutions

4 genius ways to wear a sequin maxi skirt

Wassup #fashionablehumans !!!!

It’s a beautiful day today in the Bay (I am full of shit- I am currently in Asia so there could very well be a blizzard in San Francisco and I would be none the wiser); how are you guys doing? Stellar, I hope!

So the holidays are around the corner! Y’all about to be hitting parties and shit, drinking champagne (or vodka, whiskey,  beer or sparkly apple juice- I equally support all beverage choices) and looking super cute. It’s time for all the LBDs to come out of hiding, the ugly sweaters, and even the gowns. It is truly the most glamorous time of the year, unless for those of you who get to go to balls and galas often (let it be known that I am very jealous of you.)

That said, guess who (or really, what) will also be everywhere this holiday season? Sequins. Listen— these guys have somehow branded themselves as THE accessory to rock at every glam party, and guess what: I’m not mad at them. Therefore, even though sequins are the Starbucks of holiday wear (they are every-fucking-where), they are also… well, the Starbucks of holiday wear (reasonably expected to provide decent coffee  glam through your holiday party circuit.) They deserve some respek!

Last tangent, I swear; I’ll get into the outfits in a minute, but who here remembers the first time they saw sequins? My earliest memories of seeing sparkly dresses are linked to music stars; when I was 4-5, I remember seeing a sequin dress on the Ivorian singer Nayanka Bell at a live show. She was also wearing bedazzled shoes like these and that WAS IT— sequins became the highest level of glam one could achieve in my mind, kind of like the Super Saiyan of clothing. I did change my mind since then though, thankfully.

So since sequins are LIT, I am bringing about a quadruple threat of sequined attire today; y’all better watch out! (I mean not really, it just sounded good in the sentence). Sequin mermaid maxi skirts are all over Pinterest and I definitely felt like I needed one in my wardrobe after seeing them featured in some pretty amazing outfits. Plus— sequins have started making their way into weddings too, so I am justifying my purchase by the fact that they will be in fashion for a while more, hence calling this skirt an investment. Boom. See how easy it is to rationalize doubtful decisions? Please don’t be like me.

Let’s hit that sequin extravaganza!

The rocker chic sequin skirt look / Girls holiday bash

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

This look is for the girl who cannot be too bothered with a super duper glam outfit. She’s cool, will rock a little bit of sequin, but needs to balance the look out with something edgy. I would wear this out to a holiday bash with my girls because, while I love sequins, the leather jacket ups the casual/rocker chic factor and helps the look not cross into “overdressed” territory. Moreover, I am also rocking a tube top here; kinda hard to try any less. Don’t get me wrong, I overdress often and enjoy the heck out of it, but I also find a certain understated elegance in dressing super fancy items down. Truth is, I wanted to wear this look with silver sneakers, but I forgot to change shoes and shot with black pumps instead— which still works.

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion bloggerWhat I am wearing: Skirt, here (Alana is awesome); jacket, thrifted; similar here, here, here, and if you are up for it, hit Poshmark; tube top, here; shoes, here, hoops: here
The sophisticated sequin skirt look/ Holiday gala

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

This look is all about playing with textures, in this case contrasting the fringe with the sequins. I think it is likely the most “haute” look of all four, and I find the result to be very regal; for some reason, sequins and fringe go very well together in my opinion (even though I have seen some less than optimal pairings.) This look is for the girl who is bold, yet calmly confident. While guaranteed to be a head turner, it is also very polished (reminds me of this Marchesa gown a bit.). I would wear this at a fancy holiday party with a dress code from Festive to Black Tie (I learned these for this post, I did not even know Festive existed until 5 minutes ago)

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion bloggerWhat I am wearing: Top: ZARA- for some strange reason, I can find it nowhere, even though I bought it this season. Here is a couple of similar ones: here and here; Belt, here. Same shoes as above.
The classy sequin skirt look/ Office Holiday Party

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

This is literally (WAY) the dressed up version of an office look. A sequin skirt has enough drama to stand on its own, so to make it a tad more formal, adding a blazer could be a great move. In this very case, I feel like a jacket with some interesting elements would make the look stand out even more; the blazer I am using features power shoulders, double lapels and a high-low peplum in the back. Okay- that’s a lot, but it works! I also accentuated my waist with a leather obi belt- looks fun and cinches me in, since my jacket is actually one size too large.

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

Shoe-wise, I would pair this look with simple black shoes- sandals or pumps. I am not a matchy-matchy person (actually, I find the process of matching anything abhorrent), but you guys know black is BAE. I will highlight that Folake from Style Pantry has featured a similar look years ago– check it out! I honestly did not even realize I was channeling her until I had put my outfit together.

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion bloggerWhat I am wearing: Blazer: Amazon, featured here– it is my favorite blazer; Belt, very old, no idea where it’s from. Similar here and here. Same shoes as above.

 

The monochromatic sequin skirt look/ NYE Glam Party

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

When in doubt, just go monochromatic. It elevates all looks to the status of super polished without even trying. I have been really into monochromatic dressing this year (see here, here, and here), and I do not see myself stoppin anytime soon.

I knew I wanted a monochromatic component in this roundup, but I also kind of wanted to highlight my waist (also I do not have any silver shoes, LOL). I ended up breaking the look a bit with a belt, as well as accessorizing the ‘fit with black sleek sandals. As far as purse choices, I bounced back between 2: a simple black clutch, and a sassier silver bedazzled number (graciously offered to me by my friend K. on my birthday). This look is the quintessential NYE look in my mind: shiny, breezy and classy. I can literally see a glass of champagne in my hands in these photos; can’t you?

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion bloggerFashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion bloggerWhat I am wearing: Bodysuit: H&M, thrifted- listings of the same one here (M) and here (S); similar here, here and here. Belt: here; Shoes: Steve Madden Stecy, here; clutch, Francesca’s; silver version of this one. Black clutch, very old; similar woven detail here and interesting option here.

Alright- a quick roundup of each item, and we’re dunzo.

  • Skirt: Love it. Had it made to my own measurements in gunmetal by Etsy seller LoveAlanaSparkle. Great experience, but the sequins are sharp as hell and I would recommend hoisery or thin leggings underneath. A plus if it’s cold anyway.
  • Tube top: I mean , it’s a tube top. Opaque enough, no support if you’re busty. Stretchy spandex-like fabric.
  • Fringed top: Love it, featuring it in an upcoming post as well. The middle part is t-shirt like, so I would say it’s a little cheaper than I would like, but it makes up for it in pozzazz. Still can’t find the link, options above.
  • Pumps: Featured several times on the blog (1, 2, 3). I still hate them.
  • Sandals: They are cute but not meant for wider feet. Featured here too.
  • Belt: Nice wide belt, snaps in the back. Would not recommend for a waist smaller than 28, if you are going for the “cinched in ” look.
  • Blazer: Great peplum blazer with fun accents. It is my favorite blazer.
  • Clutch: Love it, it’s very shiny and therefore stands out. Have not taken it out yet, so I cannot speak to how much it holds.

Dassit!

Thanks, as usual, for stopping by! Drop me a note and let me know which look you would rock!

Until next time,

With Love,

D

 

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger

 

Fashion blogger @Dafrastar details 4 ways to wear a sequin skirt. More on www.dafrastar.com Sequin skirt, sequins, holiday look, sequin maxi dress, sequin outfit inspiration, holiday outfit, maxi skirt inspiration, black fashion blogger