Tag Archives: Casual Chic

Mailchimp T-Shirt and Leather Panel Pants

LeatherPaneledPants_1

This mailchimp t-shirt might be the best free t-shirt ever. Kudos to however designed these and decided to give them away to fashion bloggers at the last Independent Fashion Bloggers event.  I wear mine, a little too often.  It was part of my tin man outfit (I call it that because everything was in shade of silver) on Friday and I wore it again over a black button up short sleeve blouse on Saturday when I did a little shopping and spent a little quality time with my not so little brother.

LeatherPaneledPants_1
LeatherPaneledPants_2

Leather Paneled Pants_3

What I am Wearing:

Black button front blouse from Express (old)

Grey mailchimp t-shirt Black leather panel pants from Marshalls
Knee high boots from JustFab

Today I am linking up with other fashionista’s over at Monday Mingle | Visible Monday | and Yolo Mondays

The Empresse’s New Coat

Steve Madden Coat, Funnel-Neck Belted Flared

I’m with Nicolette Mason, no more black coats for me!

Because of my, errrrr horizontal expansion, I recently replaced my camel color Kenneth Cole Reaction coat for this white one.  Before switching to camel, I was an all black coat girl because I thought it was easier to care for and hid dirt well.  Black wool, however, is a magnet for pet hair and I have a blondish, long hair kitty. There aren’t a lot of color options that are budget friendly, so I opted to go with this white one versus another camel.  White is a bold and daring choice for winter, but I am hoping that this coat will help me to camouflage the pet hair problem so that kitty and I can continue to coexist in peace.

Steve Madden Coat, Funnel-Neck Belted Flared

WHAT I AM WEARING:

Coat:  Steve Madden Funnel-Neck Belted Flared coat from Macys.  Similiar: DKNY Coat, Wool-Blend Contrast Belted Trench Coat; Bebe Coat, Wool-Blend Asymmetrical Trench Coat; Kenneth Cole Reaction

Pants: Waxed black skinny pants from H&M

Boots: Suede knee high boots from Baker Shoes

Ossie took these photos!

XoXo, Natasha

What I Wore: Pretty In Pink

I am a little behind on blog posts, but I guess it’s better late than never.  This is  what I wore to the opening of  Maggie Gardner’s, Gardner’s House event here in Connecticut a few weeks ago.  By the way, I think fuchsia (magenta) is a better pink hue for grown women than its pastel cousin.

What I am Wearing:

Top: Petite Vibrant Tie Neck Top from Ann Taylor ($39.88).

Bottom: Express Editor trousers.

Shoes: Red suede platform shoes from Nine West. (Similar: Steve Madden Motavate)

Photo Credit: Robert took these pictures

XoXo, Natasha

And The Title of Cold, Heartless Bitch Goes To

Last year one of my sister’s called me a “cold, heartless bitch” for refusing to forgive her after a 5 year estrangement. I realize that forgiveness (or lack thereof) is an unhealthy emotion to carry and it’s not that I have allowed her, or the circumstance or anyone else like her to take up space in my head, but I don’t know if anyone else would allow anyone like that back in their lives either. The situation was just that violent and traumatizing. On top of that, when she reached out to me last year, her less than humble approach was suspect.  Looking back, I am glad that I listened to my intuition because in sentence 6 of our very brief exchange on Facebook she picked up the tracing (as we say in Jamaica), right where she left off 5 years before.

That tiny little exchange is where and when I learned what forgiveness really requires. In order for you to forgive someone you really need a strong sense that the person has taken responsibility for their action(s) and that they also understand the pain that their action caused.  If that person cannot meet this test, then it’s best to move on. There is nothing wrong with this in my book.  I honestly think there can be power in not forgiving and that power is protection of self.  With that said, everyone (except of course for that sister) who has met this test has been given a “pass,” so far.  However, what do you do when your ex who you realize that you still have feelings for is making an attempt to reestablish themselves in your life?

I’m sure you would love the back story but I don’t have the time or gumption to disclose all of the silly drama that led up to us being ex’s. I’ll need to write a novel to tell the whole story and that’s a novel that will never be written.

We talked by phone yesterday and I asked a  lot of questions most of which he finally answered truthfully… and some that he answered that I still don’t know if I actually really got an answer to.  The biggest part of my hesitation is not even the unanswered question(s). It’s because the drama was played out on a public stage where people were either in the know or saw enough to speculate and I know if I follow my heart (well, maybe not that exact organ) that I’ll be setting myself up for a barrage of criticism or worst a replay of the last time we tried which would open me up for even more criticism.

On top of that, while we were on that very long hiatus, I heard some things which I didn’t at the time feel loyal or knowledgeable enough to refute. I also heard that he said some really unkind things about me and in turn I said some really unkind things about him. So in order for this to work, I guess I will also need to ask him for forgiveness which I am prepared to do. However, I am discovering that part of my hesitation in letting him back in is because my test was missing a critical element and that element is trust.  So although his approach, as seen through my rosy glasses, seems humbler and more genuine than the sister’s, there is no pass.  I am not ready to claim the “cold, heartless, bitch” title on this one, however. I think forgiveness can come, but this will  need to come over time.

What I am Wearing:

This is the same outfit that I wore to the Macy’s fashion show. (See: What’s In Stores At Macys)

Blazer: This is the matching jacket to a 2 -piece Calvin Klein suit from Macys.  The waxed metallic pants are from H&M. The t-shirt is the free t-shirt that I received from the mailchimp vendors at the Fall 2012 IFB Conference.  The booties are Lucky Brand.

Photo Credit: Robert took these pictures!
XoXo, Natasha

What I Wore: Lace Blouse and Red Pants For Nigel Ramsay’s Event

IMG_3888

While I await the passage of this “frankenstorm,” I just wanted to do a quick post to share a few photos from Saturday’s Nigel Ramsay fall 2012 presentation and Breast Cancer Benefit.

Along with answering millions of questions, I also helped back stage with ushering the models out during the show.  These no iron, can’t ever wrinkle pants were the perfect selection for this. The shoes on the other hand… (outfit info below).

Nigel used the unused 4th floor space of an old manufacturing building (currently hosting artist studios) for the event.  All of the draping of the fabric on the ceiling and the hanging of the lanterns wouldn’t have been possible without the kind assistance from Skip, (the guy in the picture above) my new best friend and who also introduced us to the music of the Dead Can Dance.  This is the same music which was subsequently used during the runway show.  It took a lot of work to get the space together, but I loved it. The rustic, warehouse like space and the location gave it a New York City vibe.

This is Sonia Baghdady, the Emmy award winning anchor of WTNH, News 8 and the host of the event.  She also did a pass down the runway in a very revealing dress that made the audience blush. She is so freaking nice and beautiful inside and out. She is also a co-founder and style blogger on StyleConfessions.com.  The really cute guy standing next to her is her camera guy.  He also took a few passes down the runway.  Yes, I am wearing Ryka’s.  My feet were killing me.

The makeup from the event was done by Lancome, Dior and Chanel all courtesy of Macys. The eyes and cheeks were subdued but the lips were a bold red. The hair (including Sonia Baghdady’s) was done by Jamara Edwards and Rhonda Hurst from Image Beauty Couture Salon of Hartford.  Below is a few of my favorite pieces from the runway show.

A few of the models bonding by hanging out together at the after party.

A few of the attendees including, guest of honor Maggie Gardner (two time breast cancer survivor) of Gardner’s House, Inc (in pink dress).

I really enjoyed this event. It was something different for Connecticut and I really loved the fashion (runway and street), the vibe and the assembly of people. It’s too bad that they are converting the space into loft apartments. I was so hoping to attend another party there.

What I Wore:

I wore my red columnist pants from Express and a  lace delight janese top  from Chicos.  The lace top is new to my closet and even with the discount, this blouse was way expensive for my frugal sensibility.  The shoes are Jessica Simpson pumps.

 Photo credit: These pictures were taken by Ossie and yours truly. 

XoXo, Natasha

And The Award For Best Wardrobe Basic Goes To

IMG_2360_POST

Man these leather shorts certainly got a lot of mileage this year. I am embarrassed to admit that when inspiration didn’t come I grabbed the shorts and then shut my eyes and reached into my closet.  They really look great with everything and works for almost every informal occasion. I highly recommend that you add one to your closet.

It’s not the award winner, but the other item that got a lot wear this year is this indigo blue top. This top along with the dress from Monday’s post, was one of the two items that was gifted….ok that I wrangled from my designer friend when I visited his studio recently.  It is so incredibly versatile and can be dressed up ( with a maxi skirt) or down (skinny jeans, or shorts); or worn under a jacket. I highly recommend that you add this staple if you don’t already have one.


I got a few queries about the locations of my photo shoots. So for those of you who are wondering, the photos were taken outside of City Hall in Hartford, Connecticut.  By the way the shiny doors are real brass (so I heard) and were restored recently. I’ve included a picture of the weathered doors which I actually prefer.  The orange  sculpture is Alexander Calder’s ‘Stegosaurus’ sculpture which sits between City Hall and the Wadsworth Atheneum. The fountains were also restored recently along with that checkered patio (I’ve never noticed it before).

What I am Wearing

Printed scarf from Forever21

Nigel Ramsay lndigo blue top

Dollhouse booties from Marshalls

Ossie took these photos!

 What is the one (or two) items in your closet that you absolutely killed this year… (by killed I mean wore it to death)?

XoXo, Natasha

 

Red and Black Sheer Top and Black Harem Pants

Black and Red Sheer Top with Black Harem Pants

So long summer! Thanks for your many 90+ degree days and subsequently, my very high CL&P bill.  This goes down as yet another summer that I didn’t make it to those “pristine” beaches of New Hampshire, nor did I get to exercise those green thumbs as I planned and the six pack that I have been hoping for since 1997 didn’t appear this summer either. But just the same as I said last year, there will always be next year and until then, here is my last sheer  for the season.

Black and Red Sheer Top with Black Harem PantsBlack and Red Sheer Top with Black Harem PantsBlack and Red Sheer Top with Black Harem Pants

What I am Wearing:

Hat (Dress Barn)

Top: Red and Black top (thrifted)

Bottom: Black Harem pants (Rainbow)

Ossie took these photos!

How I Got Over the Photo Challenge For My Blog

Yellow Skirt Worn As Dress

Everyone knows that photos for a blog of this type is essential to its existence.  Because of this, the photo question/issue  is one of the most discussed topics there is when it comes to blogging and the complaints are endless, “I don’t have a live in boyfriend, husband or roommate to take my photos,” “good quality photos,” “to photoshop or not to photoshop”, “I don’t photograph well,” “I don’t have a DSLR,” etc, etc.

I have some of those same challenges too and I am going to tell you how I got over them.  By the way, I realize the potential danger in admitting this and I sincerely hope that the die hard style diary people will appreciate my honesty. I also hope by admitting this, that it will inspire bloggers who also have those same issues above.

Do you have a photographer friend or a Guy With Camera (GWC)?

I didn’t start my blog for 3-months after registering my URL because I didn’t have a clue of how I was going to take the required photos for my blog.  I asked several people that I knew, but when money and “favors” started coming up in the conversation I stopped asking. When I ran into Robert last year, I didn’t think of asking him 1) because of his schedule and 2) because I assumed that he would have asked me for money.  In lieu of asking him about taking pictures I asked him if he knew of any great point and shoot cameras that I could use with a remote (there aren’t any btw). After explaining to him what I wanted to do, he volunteered to take my photos.

When I started, Robert, showed up daily at my job during lunch to take the pictures of whatever outfit I was wearing that day.  When I became too self conscious with taking the photos in public, we used his studio. I knew my cousin had dabbled with photography, but again, I assumed that he was still using film cameras and I really didn’t want to get into the expense of paying to develop film.  When he found out what I was doing, he also volunteered and when Robert became busy (girlfriend and photo assignments), I asked my cousin, a retired Correction Officer, for help. I didn’t want to wear out his generosity so to let peace reign (between Ossie and I and between Ossie and his family), I developed a strategy. I pick out what I plan to wear for the entire week and on the day that he is available (usually on a Sunday), I pick my best 3 outfits (usually what I am wearing to work  Monday and Wednesday and what I am wearing on whatever day he takes the photo).  Yes, all of the photos that I post on the blog within a one-week period are shot on the same day, usually during  a Sunday afternoon.

Ok, I have a camera, now how do I pose?

Getting in front of the camera is still one of the biggest challenges for me with this site.  For those of you who have been following my blog, since day 1, you might have noticed that I’ve really cut back on the Voguesque poses (come on now, I am not the only one who is trying to live out their ANTM dream through their blog).  This is because I realize those posey pictures may not necessarily make me come across as relatable to other women.  I am going for girl, excuse me, woman next door and not ANTM these days.  To cut down on the time of the “photo session”, I stick with the following tried and proven poses: hand in hair, look down at feet, squat (depending on what I am wearing), the goof, and if all else fails the ear to ear, look how happy I am in my outfit, cheshire cat grin – all of which in my opinion are poses that come across as natural.

I look great in my photos, do I need to do anything else with them?

Robert is a technical genius when it comes to editing photos. When I started my blog last year, I still had the tell tale scars from an acne breakout and I didn’t actually mind the editing then.  However, as my face cleared up, I thought some of my pictures looked… too photoshopped. For example, See WIWT: Brights an Print for Monday and is Leo a Neutral. Ossie doesn’t have a clue about photoshopping and although I have gimp and access to other photo editing sites, I didn’t have any interest in learning after realizing how time consuming the process is.  See: 5 Alternatives to Picnik.  After Ossie takes my pictures, he gives me the SD-card and I do basic edits on the ones that I plan to use on my blog. Of lately, I’ve been using PicMonkey as a photo editor. However, my edits is limited to auto color correction, ( if it is required) re-sizing my photos and if I have time, I play with the filters and borders. For example, See:  Famous Jamaicans and Basic Black From Head to Toe.

Unanticipated Challenges…

This plan works for me, however, there are some challenges that you really can’t anticipate and that’s what happened on Monday.  It rained on Sunday so the photo shoot was rescheduled to Monday after work. I had the weight of work issues, a sinus and ear infection, hunger, tiredness and Aunt Flow on my shoulders so for the last outfit I relinquished some of the creative control and turned it over to Ossie. First, everywhere he suggested as the backdrop made me feel like my mugshot would be plastered on the front page of our local paper the next day under the headline “Local Blogger Arrested for Trespassing”. When we finally decided on a location, the sun was long gone.  I also decided, during crunch time and with all that was on my shoulders to mix things up by trying new poses. It was a total and complete FAIL…. It took 58 frames to get to the shot that I am posting below and it happened when I stopped and just crashed on the bench.

In summary, you can get over the photo challenge of your blog by:

1. Love yourself or you’re gonna end up with a site where you only post polyvore sets or photos from other people’s site (Seriously, I can only take so much of wondering who is actually behind the blog.)

2. Find a GWC that you can work with or you’re gonna end up shooting crappy pictures with your camera phone and (repeat last half of reason 1–polyvore–taking photos from other sites.)

3. Plan (day and time for shoot)!, Plan (outfit)!, Plan (location) and stick with plan!

4. Find poses that are relatable to your intended audience and that are flattering to you. Don’t try too hard. Coco Rocha is so inspiring, but leave the high fashion posing to the high fashion model.

5. Go easy on the photo shopping.  Aim for clear photos, not deceptive.

6. If you really aren’t feeling up to it (mentally and physically) reschedule so the session doesn’t become a waste of time for you and for the generous GWC. If you can’t reschedule it, stick with your posing plan or imagine that you are eating something wonderful like turtle cheesecake.

Well, I hope that you all found this information helpful. As always, I welcome your thoughts, reactions and suggestions which benefit not only me, but others who are here to learn.

Yellow Skirt Worn As Dress

Yellow Skirt worn as dress with Leather Vest

Still counting down to Jamaica’s big 5-0. Today, August 1st, was another big day for the island, Emancipation Day. Jamaica and most Caribbean islands still celebrate Emancipation Day the end of slavery on the island.

I am wearing:

Long yellow skirt, worn as a dress under moto leather jacket. This is what I wore after work on Monday.

Ossie took these photos.

XoXo, Natasha

 Related Posts:

Rastafarian Inspired Style

WIWT: Wearing Rasta Inspired Style

This is Jamaica, My Jamaica

Office Wear Inspired by Jamaica’s Flag

Famous Jamaicans and Basic Black from Head to Toe

Dulcimina Hat and Green and Black Dress

IMG_9836_FRI

Greetings, salutations and howdy dooos!!!

I have to keep the post short because today is the first big days of big days in the days to come.  I only watch sports every four years during the Olympics and tonight is the opening ceremony of the 2012 games.

Of all of the games, I am looking forward to gymnastics and track and field the most. I have been a fan of the US gymnastics team since the days of Mary Lou Retton. As a matter of fact, after watching her compete, I was a gymnast in my head for the longest and it could have been a reality if  I was a little bit more tolerant to pain, if I didn’t chicken out every time I was supposed to move my hand so my cartwheel would turn into a roundoff and if my super hero underoos performed as they were advertised.  But it’s ok, gymnastic is still incredible to watch.

The other big event that Jamaican’s everywhere will be calling out sick so they can watch the drama unfold live is the track and field competition. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone at my job.   The rivalry between Team USA, Britain and Jamaica has been brewing for the longest and its time for the smack talking to cease and for everyone to put out.  (Did I say that right?) Anyways, I won’t be missing a second, and I am definitely not missing the opening ceremony when both Jamaica and Team USA will step out and face the world in their much talked about Olympic opening ceremony uniforms.  Aye sah! So there will not be any further updates or amendments to this post like I’ve done for the first two earlier this week.

What I am wearing:

Last Saturday I went to an outdoor jazz concert and although the day was nice,  the evening sun was not.  Real estate for shady areas of the park was scarce so I opted to make my own shade with this $15 broad brim hat that I bought from one of the vendors.  I did a mirror check before I bought the hat, but in trying to get maximum protection from the sun I twisted the brim, without the benefit of a mirror, and the result was this beat-up, dulcimina looking hat. For some odd reason, I really like it.  The dress is by International Concepts and was a Macy’s sales rack find, sometime before 2007.  (Read: 7 Ways to Keep Your Clothes Looking New ). The shoes, I bought on South Beach many moons ago when I vacationed there. I wore this outfit, minus the dulcimina, to my company picnic on Wednesday.

Ossie took this photo.

One love, Natasha

 

Famous Jamaicans and Basic Black From Head to Toe

Target Black T-Shirt and H&M Pants

Ok, so the bag is green and the accessories are silver, but this inspired by the Jamaican flag challenge sent me back to a color scheme that was my signature look for years, basic black.

By the way, the black in the Jamaican flag represents the people, however, it doesn’t symbolize the race of the people. Not all Jamaicans are black (or to be more politically correct, of African descent). Jamaica has an interesting brew of people which includes people of African, Indian, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern descent.  Out of many, we became one. The intermix of races resulted in an island of beautiful people and the international fashion community has taken note of the island’s alluring and exotic faces.

Famous Jamaicans in the Fashion Industry

Models born in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent includes Naomi Campbell, Oreintha Russell, Sasha Gaye Hunt, Sigail Currie, Jeneil Williams, Gaye McDonald, Jaunel McKenzie, Daria Pleggenkuhle, Nell Robinson, Lois Samuels, Carla Campbell, Grace Jones, Nadine Willis, Tyson Beckford and Oraine Barrett have graced the covers or appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Esquire, i-D, French Love, Cosmo, Sports Illustrated and GQ.  Our models have also walked for some of the best and well- known designers including Armani, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and have represented retail giants which include: Macys and H&M.

I can’t mention Jamaica’s crop of beautiful people without mentioning some of the influencers (aka bloggers).  Along with yours truly, Jamaican born bloggers includes: Sandy Gordon of Marley Simone Style, Tamu Mcpherson of All The Pretty Birds,  Monique R. Kennedy of M*rkologie, Jomarie Malcolm of Lace and Zippers and James Black of JB Style Zone.

While most of the bloggers above are coming up in the blogosphere,  Tamu Mcpherson is in a league of her own.  I discovered Tamu on the glossy pages of Lucky Magazine in a feature on popular bloggers a few February’s ago. There she was, a yardie in the midst of and in the league of celebrity bloggers which includes Kelly Framel of the Glamourai and Leandra Medine of Manrepeller.  She is not only the curator/photographer/writer of All The Pretty Birds and Fashion Director at Grazia.It, Tamu also has a personal style which is just as chic as the “pretty people” that she covers.  (See Tamu Mcpherson interview on Stylelikeu.com). Tamu now resides in Milan, Italy with her husband and son. Check out Tamu’s haute collection of floral pieces in her video Power Florals in Milan.  To learn more about Tamu, check out her interview on Vogue.It.

We also have some of the world’s best athletes.  We didn’t win, but nuff respect to the imagineers of the Jamaican bobsled team. From handcart to olympians! Along with Usain Bolt, Jamaica is the birth place of the legendary and inspiring Merlene Ottey. Other track stars includes: Asaafa Powell, Yohan Blake, Shelly- Ann Fraser and Nesta Carter.

On the music side, Jamaica is the birthplace of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Sean Paul, Monty Alexander and Harry Belafonte. The island was once the home of author Ian Fleming’s and inspiration for his James Bond series.  Controversial figures, Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and Mutabaruka was born there as well. Garth Fagan, choreographer for the Lion King is also Jamaican. You can see the entire list of famous Jamaicans here.

Target Black T-Shirt and H&M Pants

Target Black T-Shirt and H&M Pants

Target Black T-Shirt and H&M Pants

What I am Wearing

I have a confession…this is what I wore to work on Monday.  Apparently, I missed the dress code book burning ceremony. When flip flops became a mainstay in my office I knew something was up, but when the shorts started walking through the door I knew the dress code was really out the window, or so it seems this summer.  Since people were wearing shorts, I figured, that I would test the waters by wearing these super slim pants. They are not leather or spandex. The sheen is from the lighting.

Word of warning to anyone working in offices who have thrown dress codes to the wind… I have noticed that the professionalism has eroded a tad bit, not based on the appearance, but based on the interactions between employees. Apparently, “stuffy” work wear, does have a purpose.  It scratches the hell out of us to remind us where we are.

To tone down the look, I donned my famous green blazer when I walked through the office and wore shoes with a chunkier heel.

Style Tip –> A well constructed blazer is a cure-all for looks that say more evening than day.

Top: Basic Black T-Shirt from Target

Bottom: Skinny black jeans from H&M

Shoes: Nine West (I’ve had these forever)

Bag: Nine West (old)

 Related Posts:

Rastafarian Inspired Style

WIWT: Wearing Rasta Inspired Style

This is Jamaica, My Jamaica

Office Wear Inspired by Jamaica’s Flag

 

1 2