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

5 tips to shop safely on AliExpress and Amazon

LONG ASS POST ALERT, grab a snack or some tea.

*this post is dedicated to clothing; I will be sharing a post dedicated to hair extensions if people express some interest in the comments.*

Hello fashionable humans!!! I am wishing you a great Monday from London!

I have not visited the city just yet (I mean I just landed yesterday) but I will be popping the travel section’s cherry 🍒soon, with pictures from the city and vague touristy thoughts!

With the holidays around the corner, every blogger worth their salt is about to start sharing cool gift buying guides and shit. Not me; gift giving is hard and I struggle to give meaningful gifts to anyone, even (and especially) to my closest friends and family. So no. Actually, let’s all go look at other people’s gift guides- recommendations are welcome in the comments!

That said, if there is one thing I know how to do, it is to stretch the shit out of my dollars. I have to make my bucks go a LONG way because I stay shopping.Mr. Dafrastar has me on a budget, but that just made me very creative in looking for cheaper ways to buy what I want. That means that Bloomingdales and Neimans aren’t an option for my wallet, so I have to satisfy my “look fabulous” cravings on the low. Enter Amazon, AliExpress, Zara, Boohoo, NastyGal, Poshmark and all of those (albeit small)  money leeches.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!

Anywho, my top 3 money pits *ahem* I mean SAVERS are Amazon, Poshmark and AliExpress. For this post, I will be focusing on the first and last one, as my shopping strategy for them is identical (save a couple of details). Poshmark is hit or miss, and I will be dedicating a whole post to Posh finds someday. Actually, how about a series with bi-monthly finds from Amazon, Ali or Posh??? Hmmm 🤔 I like that (I clearly have a lot of conversations with myself.)

So where were we? Yes- buying clothing on Amazon and AliExpress. Here are the steps I personally follow below. Those have allowed me to be fairly successful in buying from those websites, in nailing my sizing down and generally ending up with good quality garments – at a reasonable cost. (It is worth noting that I am focusing on Asian Amazon vendors in this post; buying from US vendors is much more straightforward.) Oh- also, actually, in a roundabout way, I may help with your holiday shopping, because I may help you save money on gifts. Ta-da!!!!!

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
An AliExpress find. Love its movement and flowy-ness.
Find this dress here

1st step: Let go of misconceptions: everything from China isn’t cheap, quality or price wise.

Buying from China has a pretty shitty connotation; it is usually associated with very poor clothing quality and overall pretty comical letdowns. Honestly though, it’s for a good reason: for a good laugh, just Google prom dress horror stories, preferably with juxtapositions of listing images vs. actual products. Some of those are COLD (and, you know, therefore hilarious.)

If you need more proof that buying from China can be risky business, Patricia Bright actually filmed a series of videos ordering from popular (mostly Asian ) websites. Some of the things she received will make you gasp- and then dissolve in fits of giggles. She is so funny about it, you can’t help but laugh/snort your way through her unpacking.

THAT SAID,☝🏿 she did score a few amazing items, which shows that everything is not all bad (she even wore a dress to a red carpet event). I personally scored some of my most prized sartorial possessions from AliExpress and Amazon, so I would say that the key here is research, which we will cover below. There are also some extremely high-quality items on Ali that cost a NICE chunk of change, but you have to look for them.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
An AliExpress find. Love its movement and flowy-ness.

2- Unless you want to take risks, do NOT order any items with no/very few orders/reviews.

Unless you have ordered from a seller before and are comfortable with their quality, it is a gamble to order an item nobody ordered before, or an item without clear reviews.

After entering my description in the search bar in AliExpress, I usually sort by the number of orders and then look at the most ordered items in descending order.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!

These items are more likely to have plenty of reviews, and taking the time to comb through, say, the 20 most recent ones, allows me to know what to expect. By the way, reviews can be faked, so I make sure to only pay attention to the ones that are longer than 5 words, and more substantial than “OMG fantastic seller!” 🙄 Also, make sure 5 star reviews are not just complimenting the fast shipping- some people do that, which for the life of me I can’t understand.

On Amazon, the “top” positive and negative review feature helps a lot but it is only a pointer (see below; get to it by clicking the “see all x (number) customer reviews” link). Just like on Ali, reviews can be faked, so make sure to read more than just one positive/ critical one. I personally also make sure to seek out longer reviews, because they likely have juicy details I may be interested in. Also, with some vendors, quality changes over time, so a 5 star item last year could be a 3 today. Make sure to have a decent spread of time in the reviews you are looking at and look more at recent ones.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
This whole outfit (including the shoes) was bought on Amazon.
See outfit here, blazer here. Featured in a post here.

3- Pictures in reviews: Use them. Steer clear of items that do not have image reviews.

I use images for different purposes on AliExpress and Amazon: on Ali, they serve as a quality check on the garment, and on Amazon they help more with the fit. Make sure to look for plenty of people with the item on in different situations (just trying on, at a party, after a day of wearing) and pay extra attention to those reviews; people often say how they felt in it, whether they received compliments on their outfit, whether things fell apart, etc. Pictures will also show defects in the clothing, so make sure to browse through them.

4- Even if you do nothing else, please do this: Know your measurements.

I can’t emphasize this one enough. Asian sizes are tricky; an average size M in US sizing could be a fucking size 2-3X in Asian sizing. To make that even worse, it seems that many vendors use their own sizing systems. 🙄

However, they usually offer a measurement scale as well (often in centimeters) which will let you know which size fits what measurements, and that scale is generally quite accurate. It is usually hidden somewhere in the item description on AliExpress; on Amazon, it is sometimes in the pictures, or in the item description as well. I also THINK that if the seller(s) get(s) enough flack because people keep ordering the wrong size (especially on Amazon), they sometimes even switch to US sizing, so make sure you know which size is being referenced in the listing.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
Ali Express measurement chart example
5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
Amazon measurements example in product description

The way I personally get around all this nonsense is that I know my measurements by heart. I retake them once a month (for other reasons than shopping, lol), so they are pretty accurate at all times. The most important measurement for tops is obviously “chest”; for dresses, I usually focus on “hips” (mine are round, so they are the body part I have to accommodate for) and factor in any stretch to know whether I can size down to match my chest. “Waist” and “Hips” are obviously very important for skirts and pants, etc.

Rant Tangent– DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON PEOPLE WHO USE THEIR WEIGHT IN THEIR REVIEWS. WHY???? Like- “I am 150 lbs, I got this dress in Medium and fits like a dream!” Wait- HOW DOES THAT HELP ME, OR ANYONE??? There are many photos floating around the web showing women with the same weight and wildly varying sizes. See below- I have receipts!

I personally weigh more than most people my size (I am 176 lbs as of right now, I think), but I am a sz 8 with a 29” waist. So thanks, Jane Doe, for telling me how amazing this dress is on your 150 lbs frame, but I literally have no idea how knowing your weight helps my shopping experience or even gives me any good frame of reference. Heck- even assuming we are the same waist size, I could be a bit hippier than you, or a bit bustier. So please please please, if there is anything you get from this post, it should be to use your measurements in reviews, or at least your usual clothing size; not your weight, ma’am. *end rant*

Weight does not tell the whole story!

Weight does not tell the whole story!

Hint: for the pic above, they all weigh 154 lbs. Told ya!

5- Do not be afraid to contact the seller or ask questions to the community if you’re still confused.

On AliExpress, it is very easy to contact sellers via the listing to ask questions. I often ask for pictures of the item by itself (not on a model), ask any sizing questions I need to, and even ask whether they have sales coming up. They are pretty good at replying within a couple of days- usually less than a day even.

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
AliExpress contact location on web page

On Amazon, I first browse existing questions to find any answers I may be looking for, in case I couldn’t make a decision based on reviews only. If my question was not asked (for example, whether some pants would be long enough for my 36″ inseam), I just ask it to the community. 

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
How to ask questions on Amazon

Sellers are usually keen on answering questions because that creates a knowledge base, which in turn saves them from answering the same question ever again. The community is also pretty fast; people love talking about shit they bought, myself included! I would say I get answers to around 75% of the questions I ask on Amazon, and I always answer questions on items I bought if I can.

 

 

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!
One of my most complimented pieces of clothing ever; an AliExpress find.
This dress is available here. Listing changed for some reason, it had a lot more reviews and pictures.

6- BONUS: if you can, contact previous buyers to ask how the item is holding up.

It is not a common occurrence, but on either Ali or Amazon, every once in a while, a reviewer may leave their Instagram account in their review or have a watermark on their photo. I contacted a couple of people via DM on Instagram, and they were usually very open to sharing their experiences. I actually do that A LOT on Etsy (it’s easy to contact other members) and for purchases from Instagram stores.

FINALLY, DASSIT! If you read so far, you are a trooper and a champ and you deserve to score the very best deals on AliExpress and Amazon for the rest of your life.

Please let me know any questions you may have – as evidenced by what must be the 2,000 words above, I can talk about shopping on Ali and Amazon all day!

Thank you so much and see you on Friday!

With love,

D

 

5 tips to find and purchase great quality clothing on Aliexpress and Amazon : Blogger @Dafrastar shares her secrets!

3 simple tips to confidently rock a crop top | Featuring Shalom Design

Hey fashionable humans! We made it to the middle of the week, and I hope your day is going stellar!

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.comOkay, so let’s talk crop tops. They have been fashionable as long as I can remember. I distinctly recall asking (no, begging) my mother to bring me some midriff-baring tanks from a trip (I must have been like 13). Knowing her, she might have disapprovingly frowned and ignored me; that didn’t stop me though because I stayed rocking them. My guess is that, since she likely didn’t buy me any, I must have scored some from secondhand markets (I have always been into thrifting)- because my allowance definitely couldn’t afford one from a clothing store.

Anyway, I personally see them as a sassy way to show skin, and I love that you can make them as classy as you want (in my book at least). I have worn crop tops to family gatherings, dates, and any other occasion you can think of, besides the office. You can see some cropped action here, here, here and also here on this blog; I clearly like them.

The rules below are not dogmatic at all, and can/should definitely be broken to fit your personal style (I will add below some examples of other bloggers who shatter them with grace). They are just tenets I personally use to make crop tops look good on my body type, which leads me to feel more confident wearing them.

Actually, while we’re at it- what is my body type? Aw, I am so glad you asked!

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.comI would likely be somewhere between a pear shape, a hourglass shape and an athletic shape. I know that makes no fucking sense but stick with me for a minute. I am tall, I have full hips and a full chest, but my hips are wider than my chest (that is the textbook definition of a pear shape 🍐). My waist is also not super duper defined, even though it does exist. So I kind of look like a curvy twig in some clothes, but garments with a peplum or more padding up top allow me to decently fake a hourglass-y figure; does that make sense? I will likely dedicate a post to my body type someday (not because I am narcissistic, but because sizing is tricky when you shop online and we all need all the help we can get).

Anywho- where were we? Right, how do I usually wear crop tops?

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.com1- I bare only as much skin as I am comfortable with, and that means no belly button for me.

I like baring my tummy but only to a certain extent. I am a huge fan of balance;  open on top-> covered at the bottom; fitted on top -> flared at the bottom, etc. (my mom drilled these rules into my brain when I was a kid and they never left.) Because of this balancing act, I usually like to pair crops with high waisted skirts or pants, which means that I really only stick to baring around 1/3 of my belly- from above my navel to a couple of inches below my chest. It makes me feel covered yet daring, and *most importantly* I get to eat a lot and not worry about my belly poking out to explore the world.

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.com2- I try to bare only one thing at the time, at least on top.

I try to go for crop tops that offer my chest a fair amount of coverage- again, keeping with the balancing act discussed above. I do not follow this rule as religiously as Rule #1, but in case I have a cute crop top that also shows cleavage, I try to add accessories like necklaces or even a blazer to balance things out. This rule only applies to the top half of my body though; crops paired with high slit maxi skirts are hot. 🔥🔥🔥

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.com3- I keep my crop tops fitted.

There is no particular reason for this one, but I feel like very loose fitting crop tops are often shapeless, ride up (exposing bewbs) and are overall hard to pull off. (Again- this is a Dafra problem because there are a lot of people who make them work beautifully). I tend to favor almost bodysuit- like crops, with a bit of thickness to them and a good amount of stretch. That explains why my favorite crop tops are actually the short version of a fitted turtleneck – to me, a basic fitted high neck crop top really works well as a closet staple. That shit works with everything.

Alright- enough yapping, on to the outfit I am wearing today!

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.comWhat I am wearing: Crop top set (Here), blazer (here), booties (here), necklace (here, blue version)

The set: it is super cute, and I cannot wait to wear it again! It is an orange/rust pant and crop top set; it caught my attention on Amazon months ago, but I never got around to getting it until earlier this month, which works I guess- fall colors and all. I find it to be very flattering, but people who wear 2 different sizes for tops and bottoms may have to keep in mind a little stitching may be needed. I got it in a size XL, and I have a 35”-36” chest,  a 29.5’ waist, and  44” hips.

The top: it does not cover a lot of real estate, and a couple of reviewers on Amazon could not make it work. Love it, but it was one size too large for me (I focused on the measurements for the pants when I was ordering). I added a couple of stitches either side of the top, and it fits fine, but I may contact the seller to see whether they would be open to selling me a size L.

The pants: They fit amazing. They are super high waist, long enough for me to wear with a little heel (I have a 36” inseam so that’s a quite feat), thick and opaque. They hug curves a lot and are super flattering.

The jewelry: I am pairing this pant set with a necklace from Shalom Design. To be 100% honest, this whole look was designed around this necklace- I mean LOOK AT IT! It is from my friend Laetitia’s Etsy store, and yes I paid full price for it and am not an affiliate or anything. It is entirely made out of glass beads, and I believe she has them in different accent colors (I went for orange here, but I believe she also has red and blue.) I own another (smaller) necklace from her boutique that kind of looks like this one (I bought it over 2 years ago, so it is no longer featured in her store); I routinely use it to upgrade my jeans + black tee office uniform.

The shoes: They are booties from Amazon (I really do buy most of what I own there); the brand is Breckelles. They were pretty inexpensive (less than $25), they fit true to size, are comfortable and cute! I have had them for since January of this year. The heel tab came off on the left shoe a few months ago, but I am still wearing them- whatever, they just click strangely on the floor and I am sure nobody cares. I might buy another pair in a different color, maybe the Burgundy.

The blazer: featured on the blog before, here. I maintain that I absolutely love it, and I actually bought the burgundy version last week!

That is it for today’s post guys! Do you like/wear crop tops? Do you have any rules you above by? Let me know in the comments.

Also, please see below for some bloggers following completely different rules than I do and looking fabulous.

Aliciatenise, rocking a loose crop top to perfection

Arteresalynn, baring her glorious midriff- y’all seen her six pack???

Another one, because that body is just too fabulous

NicoleSimone serving us loose cropped sweater realness

Another one– that mustard sweater is awesome

View this post on Instagram

Lacy details 🍂🍁🖤 link in biooooo 📷: @torabisud

A post shared by NICOLE SIMONE (@curvesonabudget13) on

 

Also, if you don’t follow me on Insta- you should. I post fun shit.

View this post on Instagram

🍁🍁🍁🍁 EN FINE! It's fall! 😒 I resisted but I have to give up. I'm now wearing fall colors and shit.🙄 Post about my general feelings towards crop tops and how I wear them will be live at 12:00 PST. Btw peep that necklace from my boo @shalomdesign – 🔥🔥🔥 · FR OK OK! C'est l'automne! 😒 J'ai résisté mais je dois vraiment abandonner. Mon été bien aimé est vraiment fini. 🙄 Post sur mes sentiments envers les crop tops (hauts sautés) et comment je les porte en direct sur le blog à 12:00 PST. Vous pensez quoi de mon collier de chez @shalomdesign ? Trop cool, nest-ce-pas?🔥🔥🔥 · 📸 @rachelradcliffephotography · · · · · #stylediaries #outfitideas #styleguide #ootdfash #fashiongoals #stylewatch #stylebook #melaninmagic #stylehunter #outfitidea #instaootd #blackblogger #outfitinspirations #hawt_fashions #deptofstyle #fashionslayer #essencestyle #thefashionforce #browngirlmagic #trendstyle #blackgirlswithstyle #sanfranciscoblogger #melaningoddesses #melanoprime #brownsugarsocial #browngirlbloggers #browngirlswhoblog #africanblogger #africangirlskillingit #africanfashion

A post shared by D·A·F·R·A (@dafrastar) on

 

3 Tips to rock crop tops with confidence! | Blogger @Dafrastar rocking a crop top set accessorized with an intricate glad bead necklace. More on www.dafrastar.com

 

 

Bye and see you next week!!!!

 

With love,

D

Leggy Lady: OTK boots, Fun Blazer and Denim Shorts

Hey there peeps, welcome (back)!

If you’re new here (this is post 2 so there’s a 99.99% chance you are), welcome! I am Dafra; if you are interested in learning more about me beyond this fresh OTK boots/denim shorts combo, please check out the sidebar. I hope you have fun reading my musings!

So Post 1 went okay- no tears were shed, nobody lost a limb and people actually gave me great feedback! Grass Fields even reposted my look on their page -hence causing me narrowly avoid death from excitement – so I all in all would call that a successful start to the new blog. I would also like to thank all of you who left comments, double tapped my images or told me in real life that you liked my post. It means so much- you have no idea.

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots So I am coming at you today with the recreation of an outfit I wore last year to Beyonce’s Bay Area Formation stop and LOVED (the outfit, to be clear- LOVE is not nearly strong enough a word to describe what I had coursing through my veins during those few hours 🐝🐝🐝. We  can re-visit that topic later). For reasons you may already understand upon laying eyes on my getup, I have experienced some difficulties in attempting to re-wear it in non-thottish settings, so blogging gave me the PERFECT excuse to revisit it. (I haven’t given up though, I will wear this outfit some place that is neither a concert, nor a photo shoot. Just watch me.)

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots

A few things that will become apparent as I post more and more looks on this blog :

  1. I WILL wear denim any and every chance I get, all day, every day
  2. I would have a 100% black wardrobe if I could (with the exception of- well, denim)
  3. Red lipstick is an absolute staple in my life. I have a dozen different ones (hahahaha lies- waaaay more) and I may be dedicating a post to this mild obsession sometime in the near future
  4. I would never ever physically go shopping if I could buy everything online. One can literally trace back my whole life through bread crumbs from my Amazon shopping history and my Etsy /Poshmark/Ebay/Zara/ ASOS/NastyGal receipts. Everything.
  5. Wearing any item of clothing only once is a failure to optimize in my book. I wear shit until it falls apart.

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots

Given the points above- this look was a no-brainer. All of these pieces came from straight my closet (…which worked out great because that Formation ticket wasn’t cheap, nosebleeds notwithstanding). Bonus points: I could move in my shorts and (poorly) recreate moves from the stage, my legs looked great and I was generally happy with the universe.

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots
What I wore: OTK Boots: Leggylady from Stuart Weitzman (HERE), shorts from Express (Old, similar HERE), Random bedazzled halter top (Similar HERE) and Lookbook jacket from Amazon (HERE). My lipstick is Coloured Raine Cherry Blossom (HERE)

On to the ‘fit:

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots

That Jacket is everything and a bag of chips. It is around $50 and it was such a good purchase! I have worn it countless times: to work with jeans/skirts, fitted or flare; on top of a dressy outfit to tone it down; on top of a strapless dress because I was fucking cold; name it, I’ve done it. I will wear it tomorrow as I will be trekking across of NYC for meetings all day;  seriously- this jacket is BAE (and I like to think I hate that word). I will buy it in more colors (navy perhaps?), or honestly I may just get another black one so I may have it as a back up. The lapels are pretty and unique, but I have noticed the right side lays weird so I have to straighten it sometimes. The peplum situation is flattering and makes my body look hourglassy; the strong shoulder is just the right amount of pointy-ness, and I just really love the overall result. It also has lover 450 reviews on Amazon as of today, and a 4 star rating (out of five). Not too shabby.

The shorts: they are SHORT. Nothing peeks from underneath for me but they are not the kind to wear if you have generous curves – they will spill out 😬 … unless you size up. These are just simple, solid denim shorts to me;  ripped in the right places, adequately distressed, and I love the wash. It is also a staple in my closet and I had already worn them ten times or more prior to Formation (they were purchased in 2013.)

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots

The top I actually wore a semi sheer Zara top to the concert (can’t find it online, will update if I do). The one I have on in the photos is a no-name halter top I got on sale somewhere yearsssss ago for like $10. Nothing major to say about it, but it survived several washes, beading is intact, it is comfortable and roomy and the chiffon-like material is breathable. I have a similar suggestion in the caption above.

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee boots

Now on to the OTK boots (settle in, this is a long story).

The ones I wore to Formation were these Colin  Stuart boots, purchased from Victoria’s Secret in 2009 or something (they are now discontinued). OMG these suckers HURT! I rarely wore them but could not find the courage to give them away because they were so hot. I promise you I limped around for 2 days after Formation because I danced my little heart out.

One day earlier this year, I was minding my own business making tea in the office kitchen and came across my (always stylish) coworker C. rocking some serious boot candy.  She gave me the 411 (she was wearing the Stuart Weitzman Highland, and also owned the Lowland); after pulling them up on my phone, I audibly gasped at the price. She did warn me they were an investment, and did mention she had had them for over 5 years and had loved every minute of it- so when broken out THAT WAY the cost was not bad but still- damn! I was excited but still mad at the price.

I therefore started stalking those babies everywhere (eBay, Poshmark, anywhere I could think of) in the attempt to nab them at a discount. While roaming the interwebs to find them, I came across the Steve Madden “Gorgeous” boots– which are a pretty close replica of the Highlands. That said, deep down, I really wanted the Lowlands (I wanted a daily OTK boot), but after watching video comparisons (here and here), I just took the leap and bought the Gorgeous anyway because I knew I would still get some use out of them ; also Zappos had some sale going on and I didn’t want to miss out. (I turned out to be right at least- I have worn them a few times and I like them a lot. Money well spent.)

Picture from A Sparkle Factor; see her post about these boots here

Still, I was still pining for a flat pair of boots, so I randomly went to the SW website again to cry at the screen… ONLY TO FIND ANOTHER OTK BOOT, THE LEGGYLADY (WAIT FOR IT) …  50% OFF  ONLY.IN.MY.SIZE!!! (okay fine it was a half size larger but what are socks for?) I could not even believe it- so after pinching myself I bought them without even thinking, not realizing that the likelihood of someone else needing crotch grazing boots in Sz. 11.5 at the same time was VERY slim. But I digress.

After the fact, I immediately had buyer’s remorse and was like …

  • “It’s not even the same boot- what if the reviews on these suck?” (they didn’t)
  • “Shit, they are velvet. That is so extra for every day wear, plus it’s likely annoying to clean.” (that’s true)
  • “Ugh they are so big and my feet will look like fish.” (Well…)

But when they came in the mail… I was just over the moon. (And also banned from buying anything for 2 months).

While I have not worked up the nerve to wear them to work, I wore them out once, wore them to this photoshoot, and actually spent a 9 hours stretch in them the other day without even wincing once! I had no pain at all- so I wore them again the next day for 9 more hours, and walked half a mile. I had no pain or blisters later, so I would say they are definitely good for everyday wear (if you can rock velvet.)

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee bootsMy final thoughts are that SW shoes are expensive as shit. I am NOT going to be the one to tell you to buy their boots (I offered you an alternative- that I actually wear) but as much as I love the Gorgeous boots, they do NOT make me feel the way my velvet extra AF Leggylady boots do . The latter are also the ONLY boots I have ever found to be TRULY OTK (over-the-knee) for my 5″11 frame, and that matters to me. I will cherish them until they fall apart because I need to squeeze a 6 yr lifetime out of them (at least!) to justify my investment.

Side note – they do not roll down the leg, especially with jeans tucked in, but they do shimmy down a little with bare skin (you can tighten the laces at the back of the thigh though, so that helps a bit).

Dassit! If you read this far, you are a trooper and I appreciate your time. Drop me a comment and tell me about your favorite shoes!

See ya next time,

D

www.dafrastar.com, Stuart Weitzman, leggylady, velvet boots, over the knee boots, otk boots, velvet boots, shorts and over the knee bootsP.S: S/O to @joyofodu for always making me look cool. Check her photography work on Instagram.

With Love,

D