Hello lovers. Okay, so I’ve been absolutely terrible with my blog but I got a job in corporate and honestly it kinda took over my whole life and I rarely had time to blog last year but I promise I’m back for real this time. So listen up because I’m always worth the read…
The majority of what I know and love about style and fashion has come from being mothers child. Of course this is not news to those of you who have read my posts before (on the very rare chance that I actually post). Now, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting my mother or seen glimpses of her on my snapchat (@tumimat if you’re keen to peep the life of a snob), you definitely understand why she is my ultimate fashion icon. She just has a way of putting pieces together that blows me away (sometimes) and honestly leaves me in awe, secretly wishing for her creative genius to somehow be passed on to me. I think the most annoying thing about it is that I go shopping with her all the time and I spend most of that quality time telling her that whatever she’s picked out isn’t nice, only to be proven wrong when I see how fly (yes, FLY) my mother looks the next day.
That aside, the post isn’t about my mother but rather about one of the many lessons she’s taught me about style and fashion in general. So come in close kids and brighten those screens because this one is a goodie.
So I’m a picky person by nurture. I say nurture because the only reason I am the way I am is because of my parents. If I ordered something at a restaurant and I hated what I was eating my dad would allow me to order something different. If I was cold and didn’t have a jersey, my dad would give me money to buy one in the mall. Yes, I was spoilt but I’m not complaining.
Anyway, because I’m picky there are certain items I refuse to wear. I hate wearing belts because I’ve always felt that they accentuate my already disgustingly fat belly. Jackets are alright but sometimes I feel like they make me look like I’m trying too hard to look good and don’t get me started on coats and how boxy they make me feel. That aside, the more mature ‘me’ (you know the one who doesn’t think that everything my parents say and do is part of ploy to ruin my life? Yes, that one) has come to understand why these items are so important. They all serve a purpose (besides keeping your pants up and helping you look professional-esque for that job interview). They actually help complete your look. They are your full stop.
Yes yes yes, I’m writing about your ‘look’ again but I swear that this ones different (and if it isn’t my writing is above average and honestly delightful and there’s value to everything I say so keep reading).
Okay so my mother is actually the one who refers to these items or this style tip as your ‘full stop’. In short, it’s basically that item that completes your outfit. This could be anything from a bag to a coat, a belt or even a pop of colour on your lips. It’s that one thing that pulls everything together. It’s kinda like your outfit tells a story about who you are, where you’re going and what your mood is. Without that full stop, people are left waiting for more and honestly, your outfit doesn’t make any sense. It takes it from ‘hmmmm, I feel like somethings missing…’ to ‘Goddammit I’m killing this shit!’
So what are some of my favourite fullstops? Well, thats a little difficult to answer because anything could be your full stop. It all depends on what you’re wearing and what look you’re going for but I have some simple ones that usually work for me.
1. Jackets, cardigans and coats are always good fullstops. They tend to add that something extra to your outfit no matter what season it is. They’re also great because they can bring that pop of colour or act as the main feature of your outfit if you feel like it’s a little boring. It’s very hard to wear a jacket without feeling like you’ve one a little too serious but I’ve learned that it’s actually what you pair it with.
I recently went to a casual last minute girls night (last minute because none of us could decide what to do or where to go) and wore black jeans, a black t-shirt and a black leather jacket. In this case my full stop was actually my shoes (some amazing studded Alexander McQueens that I bought on my latest London shopping spree) but a leather jacket is always nice to throw on when you want to keep it more casual or a little edgy. Another goodie is a denim jacket. If you’re looking to go a little more formal then a good old fashion blazer is the way to go. The ones from Zara are always great and definitely worth buying (always start by buying a black one, then a navy one. Those are basics you need. Other colours can come afterwards).
2. Makeup. Personally, Ive never been a big fan of makeup (not because I don’t believe in it or believe in the ‘natural look’ but mostly because I’m lazy, I have false lashes and recently micro bladed my eyebrows and thats good enough for me). Granted it makes me look a million times better but I’m not patient enough to commit to the art and then you guys won’t know what my real face looks like and you’ll start saying things like ‘hey dude are you okay? You look so tired. What’s wrong?’ all because I left my face at home. Life’s hard enough and I refuse to commit to having a face that looks good all the time. Damn that! BUT, there is something about adding a lip and a little mascara that can make the simplest outfit come to life. All of a sudden your outfit goes from saying “Hey” to saying “Good morning. Are you well? Because I am. I mean, look at me”.
Like I said, I have brows and lashes (which is the only reason I can comfortably say I woke up like this on snapchat). If you’re interested in getting them done I really think they’re both worth doing. I would start with getting your lashes done. I do mine at Lash and Brow Bar in Bryanston and they’re really affordable (I promise I’m not lying) and they last for a while. When it comes to your brows, maybe just start off with shaping and tinting them. It costs less than R200 and it makes such a difference I swear.
3. Accessories. Sometimes all you need is a cute accessory. This could be a bag, preferably something small or clutch-like if it’s an evening outfit (oversized bags in the evening can make you look like a nomad who isn’t sure where they are sleeping at the end of the night and that’s never a good look). Alternatively, you could add a little jewellery to your outfit. Something as small as a cute chocker, a broach, a ring or two, a bracelet or even something sparkly in your hair adds that detail that says “You can’t make that outfit any better. Full stop. Add anything else and you’ll spoil it”. If you have money, frost yourself in diamonds, for the rest of us there’s costume jewellery. You don’t need diamonds to sparkle.
4. Hair is another great accessory that can set your look alight. It has the potential to complete your style story with a full stop like no other because it’s versatility allows you to match any look you put together no matter how formal the occasion. Hair can be tricky though. As a proud black girl, I love my hair but I get so frustrated after having a certain hairstyle for a month because I have to start thinking what I should be doing next. Annoying. Anyway, my rule with hair is that up-do’s always make anyone look really classy and are great when you’re going for a more formal look. I’m also just one of those weird people who hates having hair touch her neck so most of the time my hair is up in a bun BUT I encourage you to do different styles. Have your hair in a loose braid when you want to be more casual. Have it completely down if you’re looking to be more fun and flirty but always carry a hairband. Trust me on that one. It’s important.
5. Shoes. Last, but certainly not least, the shoe as a full stop. I LOVE shoes as a full stop. The right shoe whether it’s a heel or a flat really makes the difference between “Oh my” and “Eh, meh”. Wearing a heel with jeans always makes me feel a little less dowdy and more sexy because it has a way of transforming a normal jeans and t-shirt combo into something a little more dressy.
I struggle when it comes to heels because I was always such tomboy growing up. I only really started wearing heels when I started going to clubs and then eventually entered the working world. If you’re like me and still slowly building up your shoe collection, always start with black. You need a black patent pair (which you should really only wear at night but whatever) and then nude pair. I promise those two colours are your best bet when starting out. If you don’t have them and you’ve been wearing heels for ages I promise I wont judge you but please got out and do the right thing now. This being said I really do love my flats and sometimes I need to be formal in flats which is where my brogues come in. Go and buy yourself a pair of black ones if you don’t have them already. Promise you won’t regret buying them.
So there you have it, a little advice from your resident snob and mama-snob. Do take this into consideration the next time you get dressed. I’m trying to pass on the priceless pearls of wisdom from my mother. I think she actually knows her stuff (don’t tell her I said that). I mean, I’m still learning but some of you need all the help you can get so take it, it’s free.
Oh wait, I forgot to tell you about my favourite full stop that I actually adopted from my best friend (@MimiMvakali). So Mimi has an obsession with gold and sparkly body lotion or body glitter and it’s a great full stop. Coating yourself in sparkles is the perfect way to feel golden. This full stop is great for the summertime because then you sparkle in the sun and look like a gorgeous glass of Veuve Clicquot even if you feel like the gum under someones shoe after a night of drinking champagne at The Boo.
Also, sometimes life’s a bitch and you need a little help staying golden.