I think we’ve all tried matching our nails to the bag we know we’ll be using frequently. It helps amp up the color. But mis-matching your nails to a floral purse is sassy, and another way to go punk and help along an unusual floral print if you’ve just bought one. I recently got this Steve Madden quilted tote bag that has black leather punk accents and many earthtone or light-colored flowers.
Use this walkthrough to inspire your own brave mis-match combinations.
It’s a tale as old as time… looks from the 90s are coming back: shoes with studs and grommets, and this spring’s floral prints will be “quirky, irreverent, and a touch subversive” according to Allure magazine. Men and women are getting more options for punk shoes and floral patterns, and you can already see it happening on the streets of DC.
Floral print bags are really in, but the darker versions are irresistible. I have a huge BCBG navy blue tote bag that I love, and that my sisters hate because it errs on the side of ghetto fabulous and tacky… I use it for work anyway. But I recently ditched my favorite, spacious solid navy blue dream purse for another bag I’ve fallen in love with. I found this Steve Madden tote bag at DSW, in the clearance section. I liked the flowers, but was sold on the black zippers and other punk details.
Now that we’re at the start of real spring weather and on the razor edge of winter, the Black women of DC are wearing some very creative styles — and I’ve noticed. Here are a few precious spring finds, and one local store that has insane winter deals if you don’t mind going back, to stock up for the future.
Your Spring Flings
Red Valentino bag and matching hair
I saw a very cute artistic couple strolling on their way to Adams Morgan. The young woman had, no lie now, a beautiful bob cut that was the exact same color of this bag she was toting. WOW. That is so very difficult to do, but this girl nailed it. A wild, metallic paprika shade! I saw the big “V” on the bag and was able to track it down later with that much information.
CHANEL pearl glasses with matching shoes
First, before I explain what I saw while on the Red Line, here’s the extreme version on Rihanna, at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show.
Well, in real life, some lovely person thought to grab some conservative CHANEL shades for her on-the-way-to-work-wear with just a hint of those pearls…
Venturing out of your go-to stores can be scary enough when you have curves. And, being really, very honest—for a long time, I was nervous about being the only brown girl, stranded and unable to fit into anything, in an expensive boutique. But I was wrong; boutiquing is fun and there are some great reasons to buy and even sell your own clothes at vintage consignment stores.
So, if you’re still not convinced, in this part two of Curve-Friendly Boutiquing, I’m going to tell you a little more about consignment stores to help you shake off the last of your fears.
You won’t be ‘the only one’
Many already know this, but for the rare folks out there who don’t (like I used to be) — boutiques are for everyone. Whether you’re on U Street in northwest DC, or on King Street in Alexandria. Consignment clothing stores get most of their inventory from the general public (a general public of fellow fashionable women) who once loved, but can no longer keep their clothes. And those women come in all shapes, colors and sizes.
Trust me, you’ll go, everything will be cute, people will be superwoman-nice and you’ll have fun.
It’s like having a backstage pass
New clothes are new. Great. Good for them. But this is about access. This is about being exposed to brands and designers you’ve never heard of before, this is about finding something you’ve heard about but you thought was impossible to still get. This is about enjoying ridiculous discounts when you do find something you love, and it is in your size, and it is not from any store you’ve heard of before in your whole life. Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m giving you the Xzibit version. (You’re going to boutique ontop of your boutiquing, ontop of your boutiquing!) Normal shopping is bilateral: you and what’s on the hanger, or what the store has to offer you. Boutiquing yields all kinds of new benefits and sensations.
In Curve-Friendly Boutiquing, I explained how useful it is to buy vintage clothing in slightly larger sizes than you normally would when you’re dealing with higher-end brands, to accommodate your curves. When this mostly works, but you have a couple inches of wiggle room that make the outfit look kinda frumpy… yes, there is something you can do to fix it.
And, I firmly believe that, for men and women of color who have curves, knowing how to sew is an essential survival skill. You’ll save money, and you’ll experience what’s it’s like to not have to compromise on what you want to wear. It’s empowering. It’s also a super tiny alternation, taking in a waistband.