The messy and incessant rain today could have really gotten me down had I not planned in advance. When it rains, I generally prepare for an afro puff, and whatever I wear is coordinated with boots. These are just a couple of my standby tactics, which all arose from my "look" being derailed at some time or other by something unforeseen -- from humidified hair to snagged hosiery or visible undergarments. Now, I do my best to always have a backup plan. It's absolutely essential to being well maintained. Thought I'd share a few tips and tricks. And I'd love to hear some of yours!
Oh my (natural) hair I feel like somewhat of an expert when it comes to hair alternatives because there have been few things more challenging for me than learning to contend with my hair in its natural state after having it chemically straightened for much of my life. But, I have persevered and am proud to have made it nearly three years with no straightening. However, times weren't always this cheery with me and my afro. But, a few things (especially head bands) have been very necessary to my sanity.
Twist out gone frizzy: Go with it. Better yet, (as I've often suggested here) step into a steamy shower or bathroom (if possible) and volumize it back to less twist out and more of a textured afro. Keep an embellished headband or hair pins handy. No one will know that you didn't plan the exact outcome that you have. If your hair is straight, a strategic bun whether neat or wispy can bring any look up a notch. The object is to keep snazzy hair accessories in tow.
Bottega Veneta Embellished Hair Comb
A solid foundation
Realizing that I forgot my slip has happened too many times to count, and the possibility of panty lines is a major fashion don't for me. Now, even if I chose not to wear a slip, panty lines wouldn't be an issue for me because of the advent seamless undergarments. Love is a serious understatement for how I feel about them (though I am still an avid advocate for good foundation).
La Perla Timeless Seamless Short Briefs
If your lifestyle is event driven, you'll need a lot of options to keep things fresh. But, those options don't always have to mean a frequent wardrobe overhaul. Accessories can be a woman's best friend. One of the standout memories of my youth was how a woman's Sunday hat or a man's tie could completely change things up with a dress or suit. Invest in interesting and transformative pieces that can become the focal point of an old staple and make it new.
Structured Corset Belt
One of the first things my boss told me when I started working for Atlanta Tribune was to keep a blazer handy in case I needed to take a spur-of-the moment meeting. That was my cue to make sure I had a few other things on deck, including makeup. I've learned that the right pink or blush-toned lip and cheek stain can go a long way to freshening things up. But, to be better prepared, keep a mini makeup stash with you.
elf All Over Color Stick
Putting your best foot forward
Keep a pair of flats and/or pumps nearby. If you tend to wear heels predominantly, you should keep flats in your car. If flats tend to be your shoe of choice, have a pair of heels on standby. There's nothing worse than needing to run errands in pumps after a long day. Moreover, we shouldn't underestimate what a simple but classic pair of black pumps can do to spruce things up in a snap.
Rollasole Portable Ballet Flat
Change of plans
I love to carry large handbags, but sometimes I'm going out after work and wish I was carrying a clutch. Easy. Both my wallet and my makeup bag can double as a clutch, if need be.
By Katrice In case you didn't know, today is Cyber Monday ... the continuation of Black Friday -- minus the frenzy. Perfect! You can sit back, relax and shop without the frenzy. To be sure of that, I've gathered just a few of the deals for you (and me).
Bakers will give you 25 percent off of your purchase of $100, and 15 percent off any purchase less than $100.
Forever 21 has Cyber Monday deals starting as low as $3 and FREE shipping all day with no minimum purchase.
Elastic Antique Style Ring, $5.80
Topshop is offering 20 percent off jeans, shoes, select dresses and casual jackets -- a carry-over from Black Friday.
Chiffon Fluffy Banded Waist Dress, $250
Get a Stella McCartney handbag for 40 percent off during Net-a-porter.com's End of the Season Sale.
Falabella Studded Chain-Trimmed Bag, Was $1,945 Now $1,167
If you're an Etsy lover, you'll be happy to know that even some of the fab community'artisans have deals! Everything in DavieandChiyo's shop is 25 percent off through Dec. 3rd with the code: Blackfriday25.
Max & Chloe: Spend $150 save $30, spend $250 save $75 and MORE!
Tiffany & Co.: Know any newlyweds? Order them a set of Tiffany red wine glasses for $15 a piece and receive complimentary Holiday Shipping on all orders
Victoria's Secret: So many deals, so little time! Bras are buy one, get one 50 percent off. Sweaters starting at $19.50. PLUS, get a free secret rewards card worth $10, $50, $100 or $500 with every purchase. Lane Bryant: Buy one item and get an item of the same value for free. Free shipping today only!
If you by chance haven't had the chance to drop into H&M in the last week, I suggest you put it on your agenda for tomorrow. (Yes, it is that urgent.) Though the store I was in didn't get any of the Lanvin for H&M, trust me when I say that it is an absolute paradise of festive wear that will be history by Friday. So much to see, so little time. I'm talking, cocktail dresses and more for as low as $9.95. Take a peek.
P.S. A little birdie told me that the H&M at North Point Mall in Alpharetta will open at 12 a.m. on Friday. Dresses for $5 and a fab sale on jeans.
MVL Reader Request: I need info on where I can get one of the watches with the leather bands and charms ... I went to Ideeli but they were sold out!!
Dear MVL Doll, finding a variety of charm watches with leather bands took a little digging, but I found some. I, actually, hadn't even ever considered a one with a leather band. These are cute! *Also check out the selection at KarmaLoop.com.
For the first time since I can remember, I was nervous as I prepared to do an interview. I had my questions ready and was planning to be brief in my chat with designer Anthony Williams of Project Runway fame. I felt, from watching him in the competition, that I already knew him ... or even his mother for that matter. (You know, how it can seem as if you literally know a person's upbringing from the way that they interact with others?) But, truth is, I was expecting him to be less of that Anthony and more the celebrity Anthony by now. Not so. The fame has somehow made him even more humble.
I sat down with Anthony for a few moments before he hosted the Holiday Fashion Event (mini runway show) at Macy's - North Point Mall yesterday, and he brought me up to speed on his life sense the competition.
During your introductory interview for Project Runway, you said your ultimate goal was to be one of the designers for Miss USA and Miss Universe. Is that still the top for you?
No, actually, it's not. And it wasn't my ultimate ... like the height of Anthony's career would be completed. It was a matter of that being something I looked forward to. But, I've been speaking to Esther who's the director of talent development for the Miss Universe Organization. They sought me out after hearing that comment on television; but I realize that pageantry is not my world. I enjoy it and I will always continue to support the Miss USA organization. But, I don't think that pageantry is my niche.
Who's your muse?
Recently, Jennifer Hudson has become my muse. I like her because I am also in transition losing weight. I have lost about 15 lbs. and that's something I'm very proud of. I think that of all the artists that are being catapulted into the entertainment industry, she is very the opposite. We have all these people who are so nouveau riche but I believe she has remained humble and she looks like a lady at all times. And she's a great example of -- if you come from nothing and have the opportunity to embark upon greatness, this is what you should look like.
What is your uniform for this winter? What will you be living in?
I will always have on my Cole Haan high boots. I have to have my boots. Also this bag that I just created that my assistant is trying to steal. I think that for men and women, most of us leave our homes at the beginning of the morning and we don't get home until the end of the day. For instance, the other day, I went to lunch at Neiman's with my manager ... left there and went to buy running shoes ... left there and went to boot camp; I left boot camp and went to get a hair cut ... This bag carried me through all those things. And I always have to have a great dark denim fitted jean with a little stretch, and a crisp white shirt.
What piece of clothing or accessory makes you instantly giddy?
A gown. A gown gets me going. Or more importantly, someone who looks amazing and it seems effortless.
What's next for you?
I served as fashion consultant for the VH1 pilot "Single Ladies," which filmed here in Atlanta. And I recently found out that it's been picked up. I just did a chemistry test for a pilot in Los Angeles for E!, so we'll see how that works out. I'm also working with a branding manager right now. And actually, Jennifer Hudson doesn't know it, but the last time I was in New York, I bought fabric ... so for the holiday season, I'm making her a gown. I did the same thing for Nicole Ari Parker, and she didn't even know I was alive.
But, I made her a gown and she wore it. So, we'll see if I have the same luck.
"Honey, I'm not a seamstress. I'm a designer."
"You have to proactive about your own destiny. We live in a time where you've got to take chances. People talk about stepping out on faith. But, if you're not completely uncomfortable, you're not completely in your faith yet."
"If we can see the little bone in your wrist, you don't have on enough accessories. If you're not making noise everywhere you go, you're not doing a good job."