What is your personal style? Find out in 6 steps

Hello hello #fashionablehumans!

Happy Tuesday, and I hope you enjoyed the weekend and are already killing this week! Are you doing anything fun or major? Let me know in the comments!

I was on Pinterest the other day, and I saw a few pins about unlocking one’s personal style. I already had “Personal Style” inked on my list of things to write about, because it is such an organic and ever-evolving thing. It took me a long time to feel like I nailed mine; shit, I still have doubts sometimes! As far as I am concerned, “Style” really does not have much to do with fashion. I define it as:

  1. Externally: one’s signature look, aka the kind of attire they are known to wear or the clothes they are often associated with (for example: Kate Winslet = bodycon mermaid gowns, Laverne Cox= dramatic dresses often featuring cutouts, the Olsen twins = oversize, boho, frilly, lacy and/or furry things.)
  2. Internally: one’s personal philosophy about how they want to look.

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look

To be honest, #2 has to come first, but it takes a while to achieve. It is challenging for anyone to figure out how they want to appear to the world… Moreover,  IF they ever achieve that, nailing a consistent aesthetic as a result of it is a tall ask. We were not all blessed with Janelle Monáe’s incredible consistency (the girl has been slaying in her black and white “uniform” for YEARS, veering very rarely away from it).  For the bulk of us mere mortals, shopping is really just reduced to looking for items to wrap our bodies in, while optimizing for comfort and cuteness.

Personal style is a very… well, personal journey, but I feel like some overarching rules hold true; let’s explore them below!

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look, in 6 simple steps
1. Forget what you are “supposed” to be wearing. This is about you.

Finding your style means really focusing on what feels right to YOU. That means letting go of other people’s opinions, of what your friends like, of what you momma thinks and even of current fashion.  Focus on yourself. What do YOU like, and how do you want to feel in your clothes? It is cool to get inspiration from other people; as a matter of fact,  if I was richer, I could literally buy anything Folake from Style Pantry ever wore —with my eyes closed— and be happy. However, make sure to be listening to your own voice a lot more than anyone else’s. It’s the only one that matters here.

2. Find your best assets and show them off (if you are so inclined)

Let me preface this by saying that it’s YOUR decision as to what your best assets are. No matter how much people like a part of your physique, you will not feel comfortable highlighting it unless you agree with them. That said, what do you like about yourself? Be greedy: pick several spots on your body worth showing off (yes, there are several, I promise you) and determine whether you are okay playing them up in your outfits. Side note: playing something up does not have to mean baring it. Jeans highlight legs nicely, and a great blazer can accentuate shoulders while keeping them covered.

If you are struggling with this exercise, take a hard look at your closet and answer these questions:

What items do I like, and what garments make me feel happy? What clothes do I feel the most confident in, and what would I wear if I wanted to look my best?

The items you pick as a result of those questions should serve as the starting point of your style journey, as they likely highlight what you subconsciously believe to be your best assets.

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look, in 6 simple steps
3. Analyze what you gravitate towards, in real life and in pictures.

By now, you should be pretty honest with yourself about what you like or do not like (if you still feel like you are dressing for other people, remember— this is YOUR style journey, mkay?). Now hop on Pinterest (I have a few boards you may like, wink wink ), grab a fashion magazine or just head over to Instagram. Start wildly scrolling and saving/earmarking anything that catches your eye, or anything you could honestly see yourself rocking with excitement. Do not be afraid to be bold either — I mean, we are only browsing photos here. Suits, skirts, dresses, shoes, gowns, freaking bikinis- save them all. After you do that for a few minutes (or hours or days), go back to your gallery and look at your shortlist. What do you notice? Are any items the same? Do they follow a pattern (or several)? How do the outfits make you feel? Which kind of items/colors/dressing styles keep coming back? Make note of all these things, delete the few looks that aren’t quite as exciting anymore and save some more images! We’re getting somewhere!

4. Unearth the connector words.

Okay- now the moment of truth. Look at all those gorgeous outfits. Quick, describe them all in 2-3 words! “Boho, floral, flowy!” or “Monochromatic, structured, sleek!” or “Relaxed, denim, androgynous!” Ta-da, there you go! You have a style profile! *does the happy dance*

Okay, that works like 5% of the time. In case you are still perplexed, try breaking things up by clothing type. How are your dressy outfits? How about your work looks? Any resemblance amongst your casual looks? What color palette or fit do you stick to?

If that does not work either, how about we split everything by garment type? How are your dresses? Your skirts? Do they all accentuate the same area of the body? Are they mostly minis, midis or maxis? Are your jeans mostly distressed? Dark wash? Skinny or relaxed?

Whether in plain sight or a little hidden, the connection is always there. Just give yourself a large enough sample size in earmarked outfits to be able to see the patterns emerge.

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look
5. Bring it home.

Whew, now that we have done the hard part, we have to adapt your aspirational style profile to your everyday life. Indeed, for example, depending on where you work, “sexy, boho, chic” may be a little frowned upon; however, it could be incorporated in your wardrobe in the form of fun accessories or floral chiffon blouses under your blazers. Alternatively, “Edgy, leather, deconstructed ” sounds like a badass style profile, but it may not work very well in a classroom; that said, a leather cuff and a studded belt may give you just enough of the look to be true to yourself while following rules. You get my point.

Start “adapting” your style profile to your daily life. If all your photos feature sky-high heels, be ready to invest in a pair OR to recreate your looks with cute flats. Same thing for designer clothing and accessories; identify what you like about your picks and recreate the look for less (see here how to score great quality clothing for less), unless you can afford a closet full of Monique Lhuillier- in which case YOU GO, GIRL!

6. Take your brand new style for a spin!

Chances are, you already have items in your closet that match your ideal style. Rock them and pay attention to how you feel in them; create new outfits with the inspiration you gathered from your research; determine whether you want to add new connector words to your description, or remove some altogether; make sure you feel gorgeous and confident; have fun!!!

And remember: at the end of the day, they are only clothes. They come off.

 

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look, in 6 simple steps

Bonus: My own journey

Putting my money where my mouth is… Below is my own journey through the 6 steps above. I really did use this framework, guys! I may not have known it at the time, but this is honestly how . found my “look”.

  1. This took me a while. I listened to everyone else’s thoughts on what I should be wearing for far too long and in the end, I had no style of my own. It took a minute for me to develop my own opinions.
  2. That was easy. I have a mini torso and long ass limbs, so legs was a no-brainer. More recently, I have also been on a weight loss journey for the past six months (23 lbs so far, woohoo!) so my newfound waist has been making its way up the list as well. I also like highlighting the hourglass figure I do not have.⏳
  3. The color black; jeans; anything that makes me look hourglass-y (so yay peplums/ mermaid skirts); minis; ankara clothes; black pointy-toed pumps; ratchet Instagram boutique dresses; thigh high boots.
  4. “Sophisti-ratchet, monochromatic, ethnic, curve-enhancing”. I love to bare random body parts in a classy (ish) way, I could wear black every day of my life, and I put my legs on display a little bit 😀. I am also a boxier than I would like, so I fake the hourglass shape God didn’t give me by sporting items that nip at the waist and flare out.
  5. I do that every day.
  6. I have solidly been in this wheelhouse for 5+ years, and it somehow never feels boring.

Done! And while all that is cool, we need deets on the outfit!

Blogger @Dafrastar shares 6 fun steps to determine your look, in 6 simple steps
  • Top: Twist X Turn high-low eyelet blouse. I fell in love with it immediately. I bought it along with its sister in a checkered pattern– LOVE them both. I cannot see the one I am wearing on the website for sale, even though it is on the homepage- weird. That said, the ties at the waist are stupid- they make zero sense, and I had to play around with them for a while to knot them in a way that worked for me. Still, I like the silhouette, the asymmetrical design and the overall elegant yet surprising feel this top has. Only wore it once so far (for this shoot), but it is comfortable and gorgeous.
  • Skirt: ZARA. This is a black pencil skirt, but it is fighting basicness by sporting a strip of PU leather and a band of lace. It does not look like much on a hanger, but I like the way it looks on.
  • Shoes: Steve Madden; worn here, here and here. Still hate them because they compress my feet, but they sure make my legs look a mile long.
  • Bag: Céline Phantom. This impulse buy was brought to you by poor decision making in collaboration with a long day at work; I am ashamed.

Dassit!!!!

Thanks y’all so much for rocking with me, and please leave any questions in the comments!

Until next time,

D

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

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

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

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🍁🍁🍁🍁 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

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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

Monochromatic slay : Red from head to toe

Hello everyone, HAPPY FREAKING FRIDAY! This post is the final installment of my collab series with my boo @dorothy.abigail (Part 1 and 2 respectively here and here), and we are bringing you our take on monochromatic dressing. Please check her out and show her some love!

So I hope your week was LIT!<- I need to stop using this word. I hope you got a lot done, and I hope you are ready for whatever the weekend brings. I, personally, am getting ready for my sweatpants.

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|

This post will be a funny one, at least to me. I have been wanting to try monochromatic dressing for a while, for the main reason that I am lazy. I ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY abhor matching clothes. It has to be one of my least favorite activities in the entire world- like who enjoys this? I HATE sitting around thinking- will this go with this? Or with this? It is- to me at least- one of the least productive ways to spend my time (generally going outside is a close second, but we can save that argument for another post. I am coming around to it though, but still- I am nobody’s hiking buddy.)

This deep seated hatred is probably why I will always love black, and  will always gravitate towards dresses/jumpsuits/shit that does not require too much work because it already covers top and bottom, or doesn’t really count- like denim. Nobody matches jeans. Okay, fine, jeans need to be matched sometimes too. F*ck.

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|

Aaaanyways, back to monochromatic dressing. So I had been telling myself I would try it one day, because it could open the door to me wearing more color without trying too hard. I randomly bought these 2 pieces a few months apart, thought they would work for this photoshoot, dug up a pair of red sandals, and was on my way. The one thing I can take really credit for is that I generally have a good sense of proportions in clothes; my mother taught me very early on not to wear a long skirt with a long top, or vice versa, and to always try to mix and match the lengths/ widths of my garments. I mean-  the woman dresses like it’s an Olympic sport, so I usually listen when she doles out sartorial wisdom.

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|

The reality, though, is that monochromatic dressing is a SCIENCE. Here’s how I know: I bought a book on monochromatic dressing last week, long after these pictures were taken. And then- I read in amazement as it crisply detailed and summarized things I nebulously kind of knew in my mind, but would have not been able to articulate. The explanations on how to craft a balanced monochromatic look are very simple, helpful and to the point. There are also a lot of images of what to do and NOT to do (God knows I needed that :/)

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|Monochromatic deets: Shirt, Zara, sold out: Similar here and here; Skirt, Zara, here, similar-ish here ; Sandals, Steve Madden Realove (discontinued, thank God because the arch sucks and they HURT), similar here; purse here

But for real though- reading this book and actually realizing my look matched some of the advice in it this made me feel like a kid whose teacher gave them an exercise that was too advanced, but they somehow nailed it- and even confused themselves. I was so ready to discover that I had done this all wrong. I mean, fine, there are no rules in fashion, but this book is written by Ashleigh from The Daileigh, so yeah- have you seen her Instagram? Bruh. I spent my $10 to learn how she puts those looks of hers together, aaaaand she told me I was actually not inept at fashion, so -that was money well spent in my eyes (yes, I paid for the book. No, I am not an affiliate of hers, or compensated in any way for my thoughts.)

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|However, I have to admit that my look falls under the most basic execution of monochromatic dressing she touches on; in the book, she shares dressing tips with varying shades of the same color , prints (!), and other things I will opt to stay far, far away from, at least for now. It was a good read and I am happy I bought it, but baby steps, m’kay?

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|

So let’s talk about the pieces:

  • The top: Solid. Works like gangbusters with a pencil skirt. Will give you pit stains, as it is satin. Otherwise good purchase.
  • The skirt: Super cute, but only wore it twice and gave it away because it rode up when I walked. I am 5″11, so I was running the risk of experiencing some cheek slip; not a good look.
  • The shoes: Cute but nope. There’s a reason they discontinued them.
  • The purse: OMG so cute!!!!! I lost maybe a pearl or two, but I can’t even tell. It can’t hold much though, so be ready to carry your phone in your hand if it’s larger than a pack of gum. Still a cute bag- it’s like a little pearled minaudière.

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|

Overall, for me, monochromatic dressing made for a cute and fun look. It looked and felt sophisticated, and it took me a mere 5 mins to put together. I will hopefully get some new red sandals soon, and will replace my skirt so I can revisit this outfit.

Please take a look below at my boo Dorothy slaying an all burgundy look! She’s to fabulous, I can’t.

In her own words:

I am from Curaçao;  everything on the island is very colorful and that also shows in fashion. Back in the day (some women still dress this way though) a lot of Curaçaoan women would dress in one color, but it would be called ghetto and unfashionable. And nowadays monochromatic outfits are a known trend in fashion.

 

@Dorothy.abigail on Dafrastar.com

@Dorothy.abigail on Dafrastar.com

 

That’s it for today people! Thanks as always for stopping by, and I hope to see you on my next post!

My look was photographed by the amazing @joyofodu in San Francisco.

 

Best,

D