Ok, so the cold finally broke through. Though I, foolishly, have my legs out and exposed to the elements today, I also have the heat on. This weekend, I am going someplace cold. I’m freaking out. I haven’t dry-cleaned any of my coats from last winter so they’re all stashed in various cubbies and holes in my apartment awaiting their re-emergence and return to glory. This started me thinking, “Maybe I should just buy a new coat!”

 

The Essentials: Outerwear.

 


Sigh. Do I ever love coats. Though I do have a tendency to favor coats of the woolen variety– I love the slightly-more-dressed look a wool coat brings– it is necessary that you pick up an army green parka this season. It’s not only wildly on trend but it is practical and able to be dressed up or down. Don’t believe me? Try layering a parka over a black maxi dress with a stacked heel boot. (Send me a snap when you do!) The Superdry Parka is my TRS pick, ringing in at $390.00. 

I went with two light colored coats this go round. Though light coats are like DIRT MAGNETS, they are a wonderful break from the endless cycle of greige that the colder months seem to have in endless supply. I love the open drape of the oatmeal-colored coat from Black Five but 100% stand behind the 60 dollar wonder of the cream formal coat. Make like Olivia Pope and snap that one up. It’s one hell of a TRS pick.

Are light-colored coats not doing enough to brighten up your winter days? I’m with you, Sister! I am absolutely dying for the orange cocoon-shaped coat from River Island. At $140 USD, the coat will keep your bank account happy as well. The cocoon shape is modern and on trend and I am a solid believer that orange is an adept neutral. Don’t go matchy-matchy on this one– throw this orange wonder on top of everything, no matter the color.

And finally, a TRS dream pick. Alexander McQueen is still my favorite place for structured, royalty inspired clothing and this coat is no exception. I did try to be a little practical with this pick; who doesn’t need an elegant, black coat in their wardrobe? This pick is aspirational, it’ll set you back a cool $2785.00. I will absolutely send you a thank you card when you have it delivered to my address.

It’s just too wrong that the weekend is so short. The end of October is signaling that I am running out of time to march about in shorts so I’m going IN.

Fall is too often the place where color goes to die but I, in my vaguely Jamaican style, can never have too much. I paired this incredibly bold sweatshirt by drawing out the reds and blues and incorporating them into other elements of the outfit. Anchoring everything– because when you’re wearing a lot of color, you need an anchor– are all the black leather accessories.

This outfit is definitely for the young at heart— Are there any looks you are holding onto from the warmer months?

ABC's of Style

 

There may be nothing that I love more than stripes. I love stripes so much that sometimes I like to wear all of my stripes all at one time. I’m something of a stripes collector, if you will. This series of black and white striped looks happened largely by accident. As Richmond continues to tease back and forth with the idea of cold weather ( I was teeth-chatteringly cold last week. Tomorrow, it’s going to be 82 degrees), I have found myself needing to layer my transitional separates.

It started out with my Lush jumpsuit. It’s light and gauzy and comfortable and airy– absolutely perfect for humid days in the South. But the thing is, it was now freezing in the morning. I was dashing to work so I grabbed a light sweater. When I realized what I created, I was fascinated. It was by far the most pajama like thing I had ever worn to work, yet it was somehow eye-catching and quite well-dressed.

I took my five stripiest outfits and mixed and matched and created 3 of my all-time favorite looks. Which is your favorite? Do you like to play with patterns?

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Jeans by Rich & Skinny, Missoni for Target blouse, blazer by BLACK Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Blouse by Missoni for Target, Lush Jumpsuit.

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Jumpsuit by Lush, Sweater by Max Studio, lipgloss “Rebel” by BeautiControl.

Oscar de la Renta was…IS…legend. He was the man behind some of the most beautiful and iconic runway looks the world has ever known. He was the man who could turn fabrics into frocks covered in ruffles that turned the wearer into a blooming flower. He made first ladies and actresses all look equally like the most beautiful woman in the world. He rose to prominence dressing one of the most famous First Ladies in American history, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Dominican de la Renta came to embody American fashion and American elegance. Who could forget the words of Carrie Bradshaw, played by de la Renta uber fan Sarah Jessica Parker:

Carrie: How about I read you a little bit of my favorite poetry?
Aleksandr: Please.
Carrie: [reads from Vogue] “Cocktails at Tiffany’s calls for classic charm. Oscar de La Renta sleeveless silk full-skirted dress with black patent leather bow belt.” Now that is pure poetry.

Oscar was a man who let his work and his actions speak for themselves. Here he is presenting his 2012 Resort Collection within the walls of the largest bullfighting arena in the world, Plaza des Toros in Mexico City, Mexico.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA IN MEXICO CITY from Oscar de la Renta on Vimeo.

I keep things from you, oh fine readers of The Right Style. I keep lots of things from you. For example, about two weeks ago, I got a hair cut. Quite a dramatic haircut, actually. I cut my hair allllllll the way off. Now, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m not afraid of scissors. I first cut all of my hair off when I was 16 years old. This was about 13 (gasp) years ago, before Black women fully mobilized around the cult of natural hair. I remember walking into the salon fully intending to get a touch-up on my relaxer and asking for my long-time stylist, Gloria, to cut it off instead. She looked at my mother.

“Can I cut this child’s hair off?”

Mommy shrugged. “It’s her head.”

And then a surprisingly short time later, there I was, free of my shoulder-length straight hair.

My mother has, fortunately, never put any kind of value on the texture or length of my hair– I think that this is one of the things that has enabled me to feel so confident when I decide to change it. A lot of people felt strongly about that first cut. Most of the reactions were good, great even. But my, oh my, was there shade. People would smile at me and ask me why I wanted to cut off all that pretty hair. People told me that it would grow back.

But we’re in a different time and place and this haircut and the many ones that came before it, were much less impactful than that first one. I had grown my hair out into a wild and unmanageable afro this time, all resplendent with brown roots and sun-bleached reddish-brown tips. I had previously dyed my hair a deep auburn black but my hair is always eager to return to its natural, kind-of-wacky color. One of the reactions to my new hair cut? My friend, Carmen, “That’s so you. It always was.”

My hair, in its (old) usual style.

My hair, in its (old) usual style.

 

The Final Countdown.

Immediately pre-hair massacre. It was a wildly humid/rainy day–my hair had shrunk 3 sizes from that morning.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

This is the new me. The new old me, you could say.

Have you made any big style changes? How did the people around you react? Tell me in the comments!