Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If money grew on trees.Or not.

Jean Paul Gaultier at ShopStyle
Me likey, it's in keeping with this week's bright colors. At a meager $1,200 to Mr. Jean Paul Gaultier or the tuition of 12 girls in El Salvador. But with a little imagination, reused materials like an old belt, carnival costume ribbon, bright skirt and cotton tank.

be good.do better.look your best.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Carnival Week- Day 2

According to urbandictionary.com
Boyfriend Jacket * (n) a jacket/coat a girl wears that belongs to her boyfriend. she'll make up any excuse (the most common, "i'm cold!") to get her boy to give her his jacket, so she can wear it everywhere and sleep with it, therefore being surrounded by his scent where-ever she goes. then it starts smelling like her and she gives it back for a while.

The boyfriend jacket is all the rage this season. I was about to send an old wool suit I had to Goodwill this past saturday, but decided I'd do the boyfriend jacket look before sending it off to be someone's 'interview attire'.

Jacket - Herve Bernard ( Filene's Basement)
Top - The Gap
Skirt - Miami Heat( 6 years ago in Jamaica)
Necklace - Liz Clairbourne Outlet
Pumps - Tahari

No past boyfriend of mine was this small and none would wear this combination. But since it's still carnival week, I had to pull out the lime green skirt and make it serious enough for a meeting with my Academic advisor. 

Tip: Brights color, even neon, can look polished  if you pair them with structured pieces - blazer, pumps or a structured purse.

be good. do better.look your best.

Carnival Week- Day 1

Overslept this morning, but did not forget to choose a color from my Crayola box. My photographer (read: sister) had already left so I snapped my multi colored H&M cotton scarf that I wore with a red cotton dress over khaki pants. (They are tight in the derrière so a dress is good to cover )

be good. do better. look your best.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Carnival Week

This week will be relatively warm with rain almost everyday. High 40s to 50s. My Jamaican friends, that's Christmas weather feeling. At the end of the week, the Latin American and Caribbean students at Heller will host the 3rd installment of this year's cultural dinner and performance. With that in mind, I'm going to burst out the colors in preparation for this week end and to chase the showers away. My mother would always tease me, that I had no bias against color. 'Yuh wear every color, don't it?", she would say. Yup, I own a collection of Crayola crayons and an item of clothing for almost each color in that box. The crayola's are for strategic practice, since I do plan to have a most 35 career in design.


be goo.do better. look your best.

Saturday classes

As if I had no assignments and house stuff to do, I spent the entire day searching for art(read:stuff) with two of my frenies from school, Lier Bear and PP. We 'studied' two Marshalls,two Goodwill Stores (I did donate atleast $500 in stuff, mostly my sister's stuff.), Target, H&M(nothing god),Macy's (for returns). A sales associate at Goodwill explained that donations are down since the recession. 

Lier Bear was the main reason for the trip. A beautiful woman, who like many others, does not bother to put too much effort into getting dressed. She has a big personality, quite strong and frowns at my 'Stepford wife'(read:cable sweaters) attire at times. She's probably going to call me out for saying that, but I can handle it.

Class notes:
PP set out in search on a black snake skin pumps, but fell in love with a pair of fuscia snake skin sandals she had to take home. Her vintage earring find is seen above. Beautiful.

Lier Bear is not as naive about fashion as she sells the massses. She is firm on what she does not like and open to trying new style outside her defined comfort zone. She loves socks!! Way too much.

Yours truly, exercised restraint. I confirmed however, that my style spans the wide spectrum - ethnic, peasant, modern, vintage,romantic - I like most of it. My best find was a 1970s Coach  Bonnie Cashin Saddle Bag. The associate obviously did not know the value of the item and I bargained $6 off the original price. I own a 39 year old limited edition vintage bag! Yeah me!!


Bargaining is allowed at thrift stores.

You usually will not find the one item, most times basic ,like black shoes, when you really want to. So pick up basics when they are available at good prices and leave intentional shopping trips for unique finds.

Lier Bear and PP are cool chicas!

be good. do better. look your best.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wearing my sunshine

This morning was overcast, so I decided to wear my sunshine around my neck. I adore this necklace, it very J-Crew-ish without the price tag. Got it for a mean $3.00. Besides, I am wearing my bad hair day knit hat so the least I could do is look semi-decent for my big downtown office debut. What a switch from Wednesday's muddy park day.

Speaking of downtown office. Big deal? Yeah, big deal because the Macy's sign was visible from the window of the office I was working from. "It's like rubbing butter in a puss mouth", Jamaican for 'putting an addict to watch over drugs'. Tempting? I skipped food for lunch and dined on two 80% off dresses that I've been stalking for a while and a basic tee. After lunch I went back to reading the 1987 classic "The Greening of Boston".....all smiles!

Cotton top- Frenchconnection
Wide leg trousers- The Gap
Platforms - Frye
Knit hat- no idea?
(P.S my sister's newly purchased shell decor pieces worked as a marker for her to get a good shot)

be good. do better. look your best.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On fellowships and salesmanship

I wanted to write in a public domain that I almost applied to a program I desire with all my heart with two days to spare before the deadline, despite my knowing about it 28 days ago. It is important to say so in this space, simple because it holds me accountable to the blogosphere and myself. I usually allow opportunities to pass me by out of sheer stupidity, laziness, procrastination or all of the above.

I will not however, pass up a one day sale and I have returned home after driving 15 minutes from home to get coupons. Why do we do this? ( Saying we makes me feel less responsible for my actions). Is it because the stores advertise in bright colors, uses model we are told we want to look like and send incentives a.k.a coupons to our doorsteps? Could a fellowship or job really compete with glossy pages and catchy phrases that tell us to spend money we do not have on things we do not need to achieve the look of the season?

What is it about most of us, that allows for immediate reaction to incentive and creative appeal as a priority above investment despite an understanding of long term benefit?

It's too late in the evening to be thinking so hard. 
What will I wear tomorrow?

be good.do better.look your best.

Styl(Ed) 101- Greenwashed

I really do not have much to say today. Exhausted by a long week and poor time management.

However, in today's Eco-tourism session an extensive discussion on the definition of eco-tourism ensued. Whether we know how to define it or not green is in. Eco-chic, eco-tourism,green-building, green manufacturing. The list goes on. While the Professor preached the green gospel, I was taken up with one otherwise conservative classmate and dear friend's green ensemble.

She pointed out that the boot's are faux snake.....after all she is in the business of Sustainable Development.

be good. do better.look your best.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prosperity Pieces

I spent much of Monday reading chapters from a seminal book in the field of conservation and development, Contested Nature. The chapters spoke to indigenous peoples and the development of conservation. 

I recently learned that it is Navajo tradition to wear your jewelry(turquoise in particular) so as to ward off poverty. If only there was an item that could be worn to ward off oppressive governments, corporations, organizations and academia who co-opt the lands of indigenous peoples. Read more about this issue at Survival International.

Prosperity Necklace - Handmade by Elsi, an elderly woman I met at the Navajo Native American Reservation, Arizona. The necklace has over 200 semi-precious and precious stones from the reservation.
Ring - stolen from a friend
Pants - Express via Marshal's
Top - Roxy
Blazer- BCBG 
Pumps- Tahari

be good. do better.look your best.

Park Policy and Field Trip Boots

Today I start a new part time gig, coordinating a Boston- wide coalition working towards a common agenda for public parks and urban green spaces. Yeah me!
Here's the email from the Director:

Hi Tamika,

I hope you get this before tomorrow morning – come prepared for a walk and talk in Franklin Park . We’ll go around 11:00 and spend an hour or two in the park. It may be a littl
e muddy and a little cold, although the sun has been warm and we can walk briskly to warm up.

We’ll start in the office and you can head out whenever you need to. We’ll stay in the upper park not far from the office in case you have to leave before I do.

While I know my chosen field of development and natural resource management is not conducive to my other habit, I was taken aback by her email....mud, cold and brisk walk...on my first day?

Since our planet needs to be saved from habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, population and over consumption, I am prepared to take on the parks wearing mmost comfortable blazer and 'field trip boots'.
Blazer - BCBG
T-Shirt- Old Navy
Jeans - I found them
Boots - Born @DSW(so comfy)
Scarf- Ralph Lauren, Filene's Basement closing down sale

Why: Because the plants will be wearing their best,wont they?

The last two photos are of 'field trip boots' in action in Arizona on alternative spring break in the Navajo Indian reservation.(photos by DWCPP). Yes, they have a 1/4 inch heel. :)

be good.do better. look your best.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yesterday was Yesterday

Yesterday was a long day. 9am to 9pm at Heller. The day included no classes (not for me), birthday,Thai food, revelations, Integrated Conservation & Development reading  in the library and a good ole time. Good thing I was wearing a comfortable dress and my 2nd favorite boots. I probably would not survive otherwise.

The gentleman in the photo is my dear Youness from Morroco, his style is European vogue with Youness-like fair. He will not be reading this so I need not be coy.
Cotton sweater- The Gap
Dress - F21,5 years ago
Boots - ??? the softest leather you''ll find
3 tiered neckalce - Goodwill
Bracelet and tights- Macy's

be good. do better.look your best.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thrifted pleasure, recycled treasure.

Confession: I am hesitant about thrift shopping. 
My Jamaican experience dictates that you buy new clothes. Period. As a matter of fact, the word thrift does not exist in everyday discourse and would not be understood by the average Jamaican. Try 'poop inna'. Jamaican for used clothing, but with a negative association that someone has already "pooped" in that item.( this may be a good dissertation for an anthropology student)

Despite the taboo, I consigned 30 pieces this week-end in a spring cleaning binge and bought some pieces to inject in my wardrobe. My actions were encouraged by Second Time Around's  one week end only, instant store credit of $140 just for consigning. Free money of sorts.

I walked away with two beautiful cotton skirts, two pieces by Club Monaco[could not otherwise afford], two cotton/silk blend shirts and an amazing light weight cardigan. (doing my happy dance)

Since  human over consumption is a major threat to environmental sustainability and the well being of generations to come, and my hobby is collecting pieces of colored fabric crafted into functional art called clothes, my compromise is to buy more recycled/thrifted items.

be good. do better. look your best.

Work(shop)...pun intended.

I had a hectic week. While I do not think my style suffered, I was unable to post as I wanted. What was evident however, is that I continue to practice an old habit of trying to be extra sharp when I'm tried and busy. It is bad enough to looked haggard because life takes you on a world wind....you do not need to dress like you are that wind. Since was Tuesday was St. Patrick's day as well, I was inspired by celtic green. Since I did not want to look costume like, I kept a monochromatic palette and with green accents.

White shirt - The Gap
V Neck Sweater- The Gap
Skirt - Recylced/Thrifted
Tights- Macys
Booties- Macys
That said, I braved my third week end  workshop, this past Friday and Saturday. There, I met the most amazing gentleman, James Lecesne, Academy Award wining writer, actor and social activist. He was kind enough to compliment on my outfit, so I feel obliged to share our photo. 
Dress- Macy's
Sweater- Goodwill
Scarf - H& M
Boots- BCBG

be good. do better. look your best.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trench coat mafia

I know, I've been milking the concept of spring. I can't help it. I'm an island girl. Life is better when it's more than 50 degrees. I covet this trench. Since I can't buy it on my graduate school salary, I'll get dressed in this space....

be good. do better.look your best.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quoted style

Today has been pretty hectic. After pulling an all nighter I was weary in posting this morning.
Instead, I've shared below, a few quotes from famous and not-so-famous folks that sum up my thoughts on style. Atleast my thoughts right now. They are indeed subject to change as I become me.

'Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.'

Gore Vidal

'Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.' 

John Fairchild

'The only moral one can draw from history is that it is much better to invent a new fashion than a new social theory. The first may improve the appearance of men; the latter will only bring about a revolution.'

Carlo Maria Franzero

'Good clothes open all doors.'

Thomas Fuller

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Style(Ed) 101

I'm excited to start this section Style(Ed), to share looks I like from classmates during the rest of my semester at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandies University. I hope I won't get in trouble for singling out some and not others. If I do, ohh well. Take it as a motivator to look your best.

I wasn't the only one in class donning a structured velvet blazer yesterday. Monica, a classmate out of China(who organized fashion shows in her homeland) was similarly dressed. She brilliantly layered in a sweater and shirt combo and added an ornate flower to soften up the look. A pair of washed denim completed her attire.

She was shy, but obliged me when I asked to get her photo. She even gave me a dollar at the vending machine later, as if I wasn't the one that owed her for being apart of by shenanigans. Thanks Monica.

Be good, do better, look your best,

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh wellie, oh wellie

After all the talk about spring's arrival, it was raining and snowing today. Oh well(ie). I made an early morning errand and realized that despite what outside looked like I was determined to 'lighten up'. I opted out of wearing an outer jacket and wore a structured velvet blazer, a wool cotton blend v-neck and corduroys. This should keep me semi- warm.

My attire was planned around my wellies (Wellington boots/rain boots) that Mr. Husband got for my birthday back in 2005. While, I am in no way a dog lover, I adore my navy hunter dog wellies.

Style note

The Wellington boot, also known as a wellie, a topboot, a gumboot, or a rainboot is a type of boot based upon Hessian boots. It was worn and popularised by the 1st Duke of Wellington and fashionable among the British aristocracy in the early 19th century.

Be good, do better, look your best