3 Tips to Get Back on Track after Failure

Wassup wassup #fashionablehumans !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This is something we should all remember more often.

 

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

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

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

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

2- Remember: Progress is much better than perfection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

With Love,

D

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 Mon√°e’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 ‚ÄĒwith my eyes closed‚ÄĒ 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‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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.‚Ź≥
  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¬†ūüėÄ. 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: C√©line 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

Pajamas or day clothes? Skinny jeans and white silk kimono duster

So what happens when you wear a robe outside of your room? Not a damn thing. You just look really cool.

Hello beautiful people; ¬†I hope you are having a stellar day. I am wedging in a little mid-week post on this fine Wednesday. Let’s see how that goes! ūüôā

So did I mention I am married? (My husband has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but it is worth mentioning that he is a kind soul who feeds me burgers in spite of being vegetarian and buys me a lot of bubble tea.) My wedding was 2 years ago and it was an epic party, with a lot of outfit changes (we shall re-visit that topic one day). However- the first outfit I donned for my nuptials was actually a silk robe/ kimono I was meant to take pictures in with my bridesmaids (that never happened, because hair and makeup ran epically late.)

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

After getting married, I hung the robe in my closet and fondly looked at it sometimes. At some point last year, I saw all Instagram baddies rocking peach/pale pink/light gold and other similarly pastel colored silk  kimono dusters on my timeline. I remember wanting to jump on that bandwagon ASAP, but somehow getting distracted.

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

Fast forward a few months- one day some weeks ago, I was feeling dejected by my jeans+tee work uniform and decided to be wild and add something crazy to it. I laid my eyes on the robe, recalled the gorgeous ladies from my timeline, thought I could totally do it too, prayed for nobody to call me out on my bullshit and just went for it. I only forgot one thing- that day, I was at a meeting that was being broadcasted to my whole company, and I had the nerve to get up and ask a question wearing a robe in public (sometimes I amaze myself.) Guess what- people actually told me they liked the look- it totally passed for a kimono/caftan. BOOM- that’s what you call a WIN, people, accidental or not!

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

So yeah- I wore it 2-3 more times since then, and I have been loving it. It is such a simple thing to throw on top of jeans, dresses (wore it with a racerback tank dress on Sunday) ¬†and even mini skirts! I feel like the rewards outweigh the efforts by far, because it elevates looks from “meh” to a “cool as shit”. It makes me feel boudoir chic, like I am some contessa gracing mere mortals with her presence (… if contessas had to take the train to work every day, that is.) It is clearly a robe, but I honestly feel like it can absolutely pass as a printed duster, like this one, this one or even this one. And have you seen the ZARA pajama set that drove everyone nuts this season?? I was too late to get my hands on it, or you better believe I would have worn that as regular clothing too.

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimonoWhat I am wearing: Top: Aliexpress, here | Jeans: Lucky Sasha Super Skinny, here | Shoes: Steve Madden Daisie, here | Silk robe: Aliexpress ( could not find the exact one I bought, but there’s tons of them): Similar here| Choker: Zara, sold out but available here| rings: Amazon, here

Quick thoughts on the ‘fit:

  • Top: Not the worst top in the world. Already worn 3x, still holding up. Not bad for $10, but quality is obviously very average.
  • Jeans:¬†Always loved Lucky Jeans; I buy them in bulk (read trough the hyperbole: I buy three) every Black Friday.The Sasha fit is nice, but I feel somewhat constricted in it sometimes, especially when the stretch is low (I am a bit hippy). I like the Lolita fit better.¬†Too bad Lucky Brand does not believe in diversity in their ads- I get very annoyed at the booklets they send me in the mail; at least try a little, people!
  • Shoes: we’ve been over them in previous posts. They are uncomfortable and I hate them, but they do make my legs look longer, so I keep smiling through the pain.
  • Robe: Love it! I mean- for the cost, you can’t really do better.

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

So that’s it for a quick Wednesday post! I have half a mind to purchase more silk dusters, because I feel like they are the lazy girl’s way of looking somewhat put together. I would like to get one in caramel/gold or blush pink because I feel like these shades would compliment my skin tone.

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

And to finish off this post- here is a quick shot of me actually wearing this robe on my wedding day.

Wearing a fun silk duster is a simple way to bring a look from good to fierce! And guess what- some robes can double as dusters! #duster #skinnyjeans #darkjeans #denim #silkduster #silkrobe #kimono

Thanks for stopping by today- see you soon!

Drop me a note below with any thoughts!

 

D