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

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

5 ways to be a GREAT friend | Ankara skirt set from SkirtsyBox

Well hello, fashionable humans, and happy Tuesday!

Instagram was being a jerk over the weekend (banned me from using hashtags or mentions for 24h), so this post is a day late because I was forced to chill a little. Also, as I was writing the previous sentence, I realized that my reasoning makes no sense; I should have posted on the blog as scheduled yesterday but shared pics on Instagram today. Whatever.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

This post is fairly personal, as I will be talking about friendships (while rocking a cute Ankara skirt!) I am not referring to the flimsy variety that fades after college, or that only comes together to party; I mean the deep kind, that goes through multiple seasons of life, several boyfriends (Mom- if you are reading this, I am talking about the other girls, I swear), shitty jobs, graduations, marriages, babies, deaths, divorces and all of life’s curveballs. (Spouses count here too, by the way.)

Those are the girls (and guys) you can spend months without talking to, but that will love you just the same when you finally call again. They are the ones that will fly across the world and couch surf to see you graduate or get married. They are the ones that will hug you through panic attacks and whisper kind words in your ear. They are the ones who will bare their soul to you because they deem you worthy. They are the ones who will always speak the truth because they want you to reach the best version of yourself. They are the real deal.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.What I am wearing: Ankara skirt set from Skirtsy Box, with matching headwrap, earrings, necklace (not pictured) and detachable peplum (not pictured); Here. Bralette, Missguided; here. Crop top, Amazon (featured in previous posts here and here.) Shoes: Guess platform pumps, old; similar here

I am an only child. That said, I have been blessed with several of those kinds of friendships. Many passed the test of time, but it took work. I stumbled often, and I am not always the greatest pal. To be honest, I am rarely available at all. The notes below are inspired by times I have messed up, or are by things I am actively working on. Because the people I love deserve it.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

Be there for them, even (and especially) when they screw up.

Was there a time in your life when you thought you knew everything? Because I can assure you I went through a phase when I was judgemental as fuck. Imagine: I had good grades, scholarships, stayed out of trouble and was THAT kid all the cousins were compared to at family dinners. For years, I developed and polished that image of “The Studious Girl”. However, a side effect was that I started feeling WAY too cool. I did NOT comprehend anyone who did not stay on the straight and narrow, because that’s all I knew. I unfortunately carried remnants of that persona to college and  I was quick to cut off anyone that did not fit my idea of a model student. I was hard to talk to because I was quick to blame people for their failures instead of just being there for them. Luckily, all my friends kicked ass in school too; if they hadn’t, my uppity self would have likely driven them all away.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

Be sensitive to their circumstances and understand their priorities. 

That one is so important. Lots of relationships and friendships end because one party is unable to deal with the fact that time inevitably brings change. If a friend matters to you enough, you have to understand that they will sometimes have to put you on the back burner because their life has taken a new turn, and that’s okay! I became an aunt in college (one of my best friends had a baby, who is now the coolest, smartest and most inquisitive little lady on the planet). Get this: around the time the baby was 1, I actually fixed my mouth to tell a common friend of ours that my friend (the new mom) was now boring because she no longer cared to hear about MY life, and only she wanted to talk about her baby… (Yes, I am swallowing a huge slice of humble pie as I type this. )

True, I was a kid, but I was so clueless! My insensitive words eventually made their way back to my friend, who iced me out for two years without even giving me an explanation. While that was also childish (she will be reading this so I have to roast her a little), my selfishness and insensitivity were definitely to blame for our rift. I am glad we were able to mend our relationship (we argued over FB messenger for 3 days straight before being okay again), but I missed a good chunk of my niece’s life because of it. I DID learn not to be an asshole in the process, though.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

Listen.

I am not a great listener outside of work. When I am working, all my senses are engaged,  I am insanely focused and I take nothing for granted. In life though, I become a walking bag of heuristics- like most people I suppose. I always assume that the same causes have the same effects, which, while logical, is still erroneous. Those assumptions cause me to sometimes half listen to people when they complain about something I ,for some reason, assume is unimportant. I mean- sure, we all have that drama queen friend always going through something or that other pal who won’t leave fuckboys alone. Those people can’t be helped.

However, we need to be careful not to dismiss other issues that could be real, just because we have somehow decided they aren’t. A good friend listens and helps you vent or strategize; she may also tell you to STFU and drop Johnny the douche, but at least she will pay attention to your words before reading you to filth.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

Always be happy for their success.

Kind of a continuation of the first paragraph; life brings different seasons, and things change. Maybe you used to have the best career and are now struggling, while your friend is now rising up the corporate ladder. Maybe your buddy is going back to school, causing them to be less available to hang out. Those situations can bring about strange feelings, causing us to feel sorry for ourselves and focus on our misery- while ignoring our friend’s achievements. While I am all for the healthy motivation brought about by witnessing someone else’s success, we should still be our friends’ biggest fans. We should be super excited for their achievements and we should celebrate the shit out of them. This blog would have never seen the light of day, had it not been for the unwavering support of 2 of my friends who push me super hard every day. They cheer me on every step of the way, hype up all my pics on the ‘gram and even stay sending me screenshots of outfit inspirations. I feel incredibly grateful to have them.

Blogger Dafrastar rocking an Ankara skirt, headwrap and earrings from Skirtsy Box. Crop top from Amazon, bralette from Missguided. Lipstick is Huda Beauty Material Girl.

Understand their goals, then push them to achieve them.

This one goes hand in hand with the point above.  Before celebration comes preparation; as a good friend, you should understand who the people in your circle are, their hopes and dreams, as well as their fears. You should be the one reminding them to watch that webinar, apply to that program or seek that grant. You should be the one to nag them when they are falling short of what they can achieve and should push them to get back in the race. You should be interested in how they are planning on reaching their goals, so you may help as needed or offer your opinion. I feel like this last one applies to spouses even more because they are supposed to be a team that encourages each other.

 

That’s a long ass post, but it is meant to be because it is reserved for the select few who have earned your trust. We likely all treat our closest friends with love and respect, but this serves as a reminder to also be invested in their lives.

On to the outfit!!!

This is the cutest skirt ever. I had it custom made by Skirtsy Box, because I am 5’11 and have a 36″ inseam; it required 4 yards of fabric, I believe. The owner, Derrica, was a pleasure to work with.

  • The skirt: Super fun, love the fabric, very airy. Perfect craftmanship. My only quibble: the pockets are very hard to find- I have to look through pleats every time.
  • The bralette: Cute, but does not offer much support at all.
  • The crop top: discussed it in this post. Love it!
  • The shoes: basic, similar ones linked above

Dassit for today, I will see you on Friday!

Also- tell me below how you support your friends, or maybe about a time you realized you needed to do better as a pal.

As always, thank you for stopping by.

Best,

D

 

Friendship does not need to cost any money, but it does require patience. After learning from her own personal experiences, Blogger @Dafrastar shares five simple ways to be the best friend you can be! #friendship #adulthood # howtobeagoodfriend #friendshiptips

 

Friendship does not need to cost any money, but it does require patience. After learning from her own personal experiences, Blogger @Dafrastar shares five simple ways to be the best friend you can be! #friendship #adulthood # howtobeagoodfriend #friendshiptips

 

Friendship does not need to cost any money, but it does require patience. After learning from her own personal experiences, Blogger @Dafrastar shares five simple ways to be the best friend you can be! #friendship #adulthood # howtobeagoodfriend #friendshiptips

 

Friendship does not need to cost any money, but it does require patience. After learning from her own personal experiences, Blogger @Dafrastar shares five simple ways to be the best friend you can be! #friendship #adulthood # howtobeagoodfriend #friendshiptips

 

Friendship does not need to cost any money, but it does require patience. After learning from her own personal experiences, Blogger @Dafrastar shares five simple ways to be the best friend you can be! #friendship #adulthood # howtobeagoodfriend #friendshiptips

Because we love Ankara: Casual Slay

This post is the first one in a collab series with the awesome @DorothyAbigail. Find her here and on YouTube!.

Sooo this is it, right? The scariest part of actually getting (re)started with this blogging thing?

I have NO idea why I put this off for so long. For years I swore it did not hurt a little when I took a look at my neglected FB page, my now empty YouTube channel, walked past my cameras/umbrella lights/ring lights/ all the lights, and just overall went on with my blog-less life.

Mbong Ankara set from Grass Fields on Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

Truth is- I got busy. So busy. Insanely busy.

I quit blogging in 2012; started a job, got engaged, left the job for another, got married, moved, started another (insanely busy) job, and… next thing I knew, five years had passed. FIVE. FREAKING. YEARS.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

I mean it’s not like I did not try and shit. I started CraftyDafra somewhere in the middle of those 5 years, because I felt the burning need to share my (below average) craft skillz with the world. Wrote only one post (albeit very detailed, if I may say so). Lost my way again.

And then one random day, I started feeling the urge to be creative again. I realized I missed a lot of this writing/filming/getting dressed up/shooting process, and I also like cool pictures (who doesn’t?).

Sooooo yeah. I am giving this another good shot, and I have all the intention to stick with it this time around and not sabotage myself. I have been working on this for a few months, a few days at the time; can’t wait to see how everything unfolds.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin, melanin

On to the outfit itself! (And can we discuss how @JoyOfodu made these pictures come to life, making me look like I just stepped out of a chocolate fountain? The girl is a magician.)

 

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin, melanin

What I am wearing: Outfit- Here, bangles- combination of these in copper and old ones in gold, Earrings- here

I caught this super cute set on sale from Grass Fields (I have had my eye on that shop for a while, so score!) The skirt is kind of a pleated skater skirt, and the top is an off-the-shoulder crop top with some laces that seem useless at first, but then surprisingly redeem themselves when wrapped around the waist in a criss cross pattern.

Oh- S/O to the guy who gave randomly me his guitar to pose with because it matched my outfit! I look like I am about to drop the hottest country mixtape of summer’17- if country was made in West Africa, I suppose.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, melanin, dark skin blogger

The colors are vibrant, eye catching and offer a great contrast with my skin (#melaninpoppin, heyyyy). It is a fun little outfit to wear out for a day party, Ankara party, brunch, date, or for whenever the hell you are in a midriff-baring mood, really. I have worn the skirt with a T shirt tucked in, and it looks pretty good; I also wore very a similar top with high waisted pants on Sunday (namely these – similar style here) and it was a very simple yet put together outfit. So points for each piece working well with other pieces of clothing.

Quality-wise, though, I was somewhat let down. My reasons:

  • The set arrived to my house excessively starched, making it stiff and stubbornly wrinkly. I contacted Customer Service, and their advice was to wash it in fabric softener (meanwhile my shoot was a day later, so nope).  I steamed both pieces, and while the fabric relaxed for a hot minute, it turned back to feeling like paper soon after. That said- I will note that I contacted someone else on Insta with the same set- she seemed to have received a decent quality outfit, so that’s that.
  • The skirt (and the top, actually) are unlined, and the fabric is regular cotton Ankara Fabric. It is not see through, but for a short skirt, I would have hoped it to have at least a bit of lining.
  • The top is very short. If you are busty and need a bra, your undergarments may peek our from underneath it when you raise your arms… or breathe or smile.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin blogger

All in all though, I am still happy with my purchase. A good wash, and it should be a solid 6/10. Being African, Ankara is inherently part of my culture and I cannot wait to showcase more of it. This is definitely not top quality in my opinion; I have a few Ankara items I am peeping though, so I trust I will find some faves soon. And for the price I got this set at, I am not about to complain.

Check out my girl Dorothy’s interpretation of a Casual Ankara Slay on her Instagram page! Can you believe she made this herself? Yes, as in- she sewed the outfit. I wish I could sew a napkin.

ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

So that’s it for this comeback post. I feel happy and terrified- my blog is no longer a little secret, but it will feel good to press that “Publish” button.

See you soon,

D

Photographed by @Joyfodu

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara