Falling for Fringe

Photographer-Alfred Sarpeh
Crop Top-Asos
Skirt- Context via Lord and Taylor
Shoes-Nine West
Necklace-Wet Seal

Fringe is really hot right now, like everyone and their mamas are wearing it!  I'm not the person to buy into every trend, because: 1) trends come and go with the seasons, 2) my financial goals and obligations will not allow me to justify constantly spending money on clothes, and 3) every trend does not appeal to me. However, some trends align well with my style and fringe is one of them. This skirt made me feel fabulous, and I believe that people should wear clothes that they feel fabulous in. Ever since I graduated from college in May and started paying my bills (being a responsible adult is no joke), I have become a much more purposeful shopper. I'm also building my staple wardrobe so I won't buy an article of clothing today unless I think I'll still like it a few years from now. If I have to convince myself to buy something, I probably won't purchase it. If you follow those rules, your bank account will thank you, you'll have a wardrobe you're satisfied with, and you'll still look cute!

Recognizing Your Purpose

Trust YOUR Journey

Social media makes life seem so fun, beautiful, and easy. How many times have you scrolled down your Instagram, feed perusing pictures of all the creative people who have managed to build careers out of their passions while balancing a thriving social life, and wonder if you're really on the right path? Do you ever feel like you're not doing enough with your life even though you're intelligent, educated, working a full time job, and paying your bills? Well, let me remind you that you're awesome because you're doing the best you can with the resources you have been blessed with. Maybe you sometimes feel down because you're stuck in a work environment that makes you dread Mondays and countdown to Fridays. However, one thing I have learned from interacting with and reading stories about "successful" people (I put success in quotes because there is no universal definition of success and it means different things to different people) is that their success did not come overnight. They worked at jobs they didn't love and devoted time towards nurturing their passions and strengthening their skills during their off time.You see, these people understood the importance of hustling and getting their bills paid even if it meant working long hours and then coming home to work on developing the craft they love. Life may seem challenging right now because your goals are not coming to fruition as quickly as you would like them to even though you're putting in the time and energy to make them a reality. However, I want to remind you how capable and awesome you are because you're doing everything you need to do. Trust your journey! If you plants the seeds for success and water them consistently, you will grow and turn your dreams into your reality. When you work hard and smart for the life you want, the long work days you hate will turn into long days that you love because you will be doing something that you enjoy. Pursue your passions until your passions pay your bills. 

Reflecting: On Learning to Love My Hair

wearing my hair in a bantu-knot out turned shrunken afro (thanks to the humidity!)
outfit details are in my post: Black, White, and Big Hair

I think all women have an interesting relationship with hair. We admire each other's hair, wish for what we don't have, and buy products to give us the hair of our dreams. No wonder why the hair industry is so lucrative! I've had a love-hate relationship with my hair for many years. However, I'm proud to say that the relationship has transformed to all love over the past few years. As a child, my hair was thick and hard to manage; breaking the teeth on combs and popping hair ties and bubbles (some folks call them ballies lol) were commonplace for my hair. Several people told me my hair was beautiful, but I didn't truly believe it. I dreamed of having straight hair. I was envious of all the girls at school with straight hair because I thought mine was ugly. I didn't understand why God gave me this thick and hard to manage hair that was always in braids or twists to prevent tangles. There were so many days that I woke up wishing for straight hair because I believed that was the standard of beauty. I remember walking through the hair and beauty isle as a child while idolizing the little girls on the "Just for Me" kiddie relaxer packages. Their silky hair was perfect in my eyes and I wanted to be one of those girls so badly. I begged my mother several times throughout my childhood to relax my hair and each time she firmly told me no! By my 12th birthday I continued pestering my mom to relax my hair and we compromised on a texturizer instead. She was reluctant, but I wanted it so bad that she gave in. 

After a couple of years, my texturizer turned into a super relaxer and I regretted the day I ever allowed those chemicals to touch my hair; my once thick hair grew longer and thinner. My mother gave the usual "I told you so" and reminded me that my natural hair was always beautiful. During my sophomore year of high school, I decided to give texturizers another try. My hair began to grow back thicker, but it wasn't as healthy as it could be. By my junior year of high school, I decided to stop putting harsh chemicals in my hair for good because I was unsatisfied with its health. I no longer wanted to blend in with everyone and I stopped idolizing the girls with straight hair. I wanted to celebrate my natural beauty and exercise confidence. So I gradually cut off my chemically straightened hair until I was left with nothing but my natural texture and a new found appreciation for it. I didn't see many women  rocking their natural hair, but that was okay with me. I didn't care if I looked different because I chose to wear my hair in natural styles. There were some days when I hated being natural because of the time and effort it took to make my hair look "presentable". However, I eventually mastered the art of styling my hair. I can proudly say that I look into the mirror and I love the beautiful woman with the gorgeous hair staring back at me. Sometimes my afro is huge, sometimes it shrinks up to a fraction of it's length. My hair has been called kinky, curly, nappy, coarse, tough and unruly. It has been likened to cotton candy and lambs wool. All in all, I love my hair because it is a part of me.

Make Time for the Things You Love to do

Top & Skirt-JCPenny | Shoes-Nine West | Purse-The Gap | Sunglasses- Ray Ban via Lens Crafters
I had grand plans for the summer at the beginning of June. I was going to travel a lot, visit parks, museums/art galleries, attend fun events, and basically do lots of awesome stuff that I love to do. Well, I traveled often during the beginning of summer between vacations/business trips and attended a few events. However, everything changed as the summer progressed. I quickly became entrenched in my career and that became my life. When I wasn't at work, I tried to accomplish all the things I couldn't during my work week. However, I realized that I was so busy trying to do everything that I often neglected myself. It's so easy to become consumed by the daily routines of life that we often forget about ourselves. That's why I made it a priority to devote time once a week towards doing something that I enjoy. It could be as simple as going out for ice cream with my boyfriend, getting dressed up for church, or simply just admiring the art around me. Last week, I decided to view some local street art and shoot my after-church outfit post simultaneously. Putting on a cute outfit makes me feel good and I really enjoy art. I've always been fascinated by murals and graffiti; spotting walls that local artists transformed into their canvases always catches my attention. What catches your attention aside from work? Are you working hard/smart AND making time for the things that YOU enjoy? Remember, balance is the one of the key factors to living a successful life. It's important to make time for yourself so that you don't get burnt out and become miserable. I urge you to find time this week to do something that you enjoy!

Cool Girls Wear Culottes

Culottes-The Gap
I don't consider myself to be a woman who succumbs to every fashion trend. When culottes made their comeback, I wasn't sure if they were for me. I thought they had an awkward length and only looked good on certain people. Fast forward a few months and the awkward length trouser actually grew on me after I realized that the right pair can flatter any woman! I like that they give the illusion of wearing an a-line skirt with the functionality of trousers. However, I had no intent on going out of my way to buy a pair of culottes. I've been trying to do this thing for the past two months where I don't buy clothes unless I need them or can justify the expense to myself. So when I was looking for some jeans in the Gap (I actually needed a relaxed pair) last week, I came across these culottes on the clearance rack and treated myself. I justified the expense because they were super cheap (like $15), versatile, and will live a life of longevity in my wardrobe. I didn't find the jeans I wanted but scoring the culottes at a cool price made me a happy shopper. I wore this outfit for a birthday outing in Philly with a few friends. I knew ahead of time that I would be dong a lot of walking so I made sure I wore an outfit that was comfortable and looked good with heels (for short periods of time) and flat sandals for walking.

Black,White, and Big Hair

Photographer: Alfred Sarpeh
 Blue Sunglasses-Aldo
Rose Gold Sunglasses-Justmariklo
Top- New Look
Skirt- MNG by Mango
Shoes-Via Spiga
I just want to take a moment to thank you all for your support, especially after reading my reflection post On Being Twenty-One. The responses I received through your comments, messages, and phone calls were positively overwhelming.

Fashion is my first love and the reason why I began this blog. However life consists of so much more than being stylish. I'm going through a pivotal moment in my life right now that I want to remember and use to inspire people. I'm learning new thing everyday and growing in tremendous ways. Some days the growing process feels beautiful and other days, its downright painful. Thus my aim is to give you content that is relatable and resonates with you. I will continue to be authentic and share stylish moments along with the moments that caused me to think, learn, and grow in the hopes that your life will be enriched every time you visit www.theysayash.com.