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Category Archives Caught being Fabulous!

Caught Being Fabulous – The purse accessory in action

Two weeks ago, I wrote about accessorizing your handbags, but wasn’t in a position to take a picture of the trend in action. Luckily for you readers, the ladies featured below are wonderful examples of how to accessorize – using the puff.  While I was out this Saturday enjoying the sun and catching up on some reading, I happened to be struck time and again by women rocking the puff purse accessory. It is the take on the Fendi Monster you see here to the left.image While the monster is out of reach for most of us, these lovely ladies have found ways to rock the look minus the costly price tag.


Below you will see Thana and Yajaira spotted with the trend I spoke of weeks ago.  There was no one with scarfs or key chains, but generally when I am on the upper east side, I see more women wearing the scarves as additional accessories for their handbags. That fact notwithstanding, these ladies demonstrate the puff trend in different ways according to their personal styles .

Thana of Pennsylvania showing off her beautiful Serena-esque legs while showing us how to accessorize.

Thana of Pennsylvania showing off her beautiful Serena-esque legs while showing us how to accessorize.

Yajaira of Yonkers, New York spotted demonstrating how to accessorize your accessories. In this case, she's jazzing up a Michael Kors bag.

Yajaira of Yonkers, New York spotted demonstrating how to accessorize your accessories. In this case, she’s jazzing up a Michael Kors bag. The pink puff actually pulls together the pink accents in the blouse and makes the outfit more cohesive.


Caught Being Fabulous – Lynn Dell

The Lovely Lynn displaying an autographed copy of  Advanced Style. Love her!

The Lovely Lynn displaying an autographed copy of Advanced Style. Love her!

If you know anything about the Advanced Style phenomenon and the book by Ari Seth Cohen, then you probably already know who Lynn is. If not, take a moment and google it. I’ll wait…

Now usually I just let the fashion winds blow and I eventually run into someone who is “Caught Being Fabulous,” but today I went out seeking her. I recently saw the documentary Advanced Style on Netflix, which prompted me to buy the book and go find Lynn Dell, the 81 year-old fashionista and owner of the Off Broadway Boutique which she has owned for 53 years.

The documentary is a wonderful account of stylish older women who are so confident in themselves that they exude beauty and life. It is inspired by Ari Seth Cohen and his blog that captures “advanced style”. There is something about the whole movement that is enthralling.

I consider myself, now 42, having just now truly come to embrace my love for fashion. I felt like I was a little late to the party, but lovely ladies like Lynn easily dispel such a myth.

Why this outfit works, it is certainly not hard to see. It is first the confidence, then it is the carefree way in which Lynn accessorizes. The color is brown from head to toe (brown over the knee leather boots, a brown sweater, cinched a the waist, and a brown hat that is pimped out beret with tracks, and glorious gold accessories. I know I pale in comparison to her in the picture below, but I still wanted to take one with her. Her employee Pat, who has worked at the boutique for 31 years, told me that I should have worn red lipstick. LoL. Older women if nothing if not brutally honest.

Lynn and I talked and she told me, like Betty Halbreich had, not to quit my day job and to do fashion on the side. I found that funny. Lynn confided that she had wished to meet Betty and was quite surprised when I shared that I had just gone into Bergdorf to the Solutions Department and found Betty. For this reason (my courage and zeal) Lynn told me that I’d go far.
She told me that she is on stage when she goes to work, and her inscription in my book read: Lynette Darling, Remember always dress for the theater of your life—
And so I shall…

Confessions of a sip swap and shop-aholic

shopping the Apple Butter Boutique

shopping the Apple Butter Boutique

So this past Sunday (October 19, 2014) I had the pleasure of attending my second Sip, Swap and Shop event hosted by the lovely ladies at Confident Curls, My Fab Finance, and Locs Revolution .
The event brought together fashionistas, vendors, and just plain good people. One thing I like about the event is that the women are nice to each other. It was ok to compliment one another because there was equal admiration. It was not a competition and there were no stank attitudes. The vendors were really nice, so nice in fact that I spent more money than I had anticipated.
The event was crawling with stylish ladies, from the hostesses to the speakers to the attendees.
And though my cousin said my boots looked like two foxes wrapped around my legs, I was entered in the street style competition thank you very much.
I even got to hang out with my “Sip, Swap, Shop” crew from last time and had a great time sharing, catching up and sipping wine.
I can’t wait to attend the next event… check out the fashionable ladies below and you will see why.
Adorn New York

Adorn New York

me with the fabulous Tonya of My Fab Finance

me with the fabulous Tonya of My Fab Finance

Yes.  This is Tonya gracing the cover of this month's Black Enterprise!

Yes. This is Tonya gracing the cover of this month’s Black Enterprise!

Me with fellow fashion blogger and featured speaker Al Malonga of Wardrobe Breakdown

Me with fellow fashion blogger and featured speaker Al Malonga of Wardrobe Breakdown

One of the beautiful vendors (didn't catch her name :-(

One of the beautiful vendors (didn’t catch her name 🙁

Toia from tobnatural

Toia from tobnatural

Caught Being Fabulous in Harlem

Ms. Hermis aka Missy

Ms. Hermis aka Missy



Min in Harlem wearing a Harlem Flamekeeper's hat.

Min in Harlem wearing a Harlem Flamekeeper’s hat.

Colors and prints and patterns Oh My!!!

Colors and prints and patterns Oh My!!!

Before I could even get to the Sip Shop and Swap event in Harlem I encountered four women with uniquely fabulous style. It all goes back to the fact that fashion and style is all about how you wear it.
First there was Hermis aka Missy who wore a sweater dress that crossed at the neck. She wore a bowl hat with a two-tones that were in the same color pallet as the dress, but she also was well adorned with bracelets, rings and a three strand necklace. When I approached her, she asked me why I’d want to take her picture. I had to explain to her that I thought she looked great. Luckily I am always able to pull up my card or my website so people know that I am legit.

Then there was Meredith. I was first struck by her coat – a textured vintage coat with a mink collar – they by the grey scarf and bright red lipstick. Her shades made her look chic and the salt and pepper hair cut in as short style looked great on her. When I saw her she was taking a picture of a little one, her son perhaps and seemed a little surprised when I asked if I could take a picture of her.

Then there was Min dressed in sort of an androgynous outfit. She wanted to make sure I shouted out Harlem Flamekeepers hats which is where she’d copped her grey hat. I liked the scarf and the blazer with the boy cut jeans. And more than anything I liked the way she walked with such confidence.

Lastly there was Yaelle. She played with color and print in a way that boarded insanity. I liked that it was daring. When I stopped and asked her to take her picture she said she had wondered before she left the house she was doing too much with the prints. It is quite a contrast, but for some reason, I really liked it on her. Now I don’t think it is something I could get away with, but that is the thing, personal style is just that…personal. So big shout out to all of these women, caught being fabulous in their own ways. kudos!!

Caught being Fabulous – La Bonita in Washington Heights

Ms. LaBonita -  Washinton Heights

Ms. LaBonita – Washinton Heights

In Spanish la bonita translates to “ beautiful”. On Monday, I met La Bonita at the 190th subway station and asked her if I could take her photo for my blog. What I liked about her outfit was the bright orange button-up sweater and the striped black and white shirt. It is not often that mature women play around with color and pattern, but Ms. La Bonita did both.
The sweater and shirt were paired with dark wash skinny jeans, which are more slimming and have a cleaner look. I liked her accessories also. She wore a pair of gradient tint sunglasses and a big bauble ring. And let’s not forget the Gucci Boston satchel as a signature piece.
Why I think this worked on her is because even though most women with curves try to hide, LaBonita chose to play up her legs and hips in the skinny jeans. They were the right fit for her and fit is everything. So, adding the colorful sweater, striped shirt and the bunched white scarf makes the difference. It is what my friend and I always talk about – the difference between putting on clothes and getting dressed. One always gets dressed on purpose and with a purpose. Nice job La Bonita!!!

Marcia – Caught Being Fabulous

Marcia - pronounced Mar-cee-ah  - CAUGHT!

Marcia – pronounced Mar-cee-ah – CAUGHT!

In a simple pair of jeans rolled up at the ankle to show of open-toe strappy wedges, Marcia makes a statement. And the shoes fit. If you recall from the post toe-tal neglect, you know my dismay when I see the heel hang or the cement scrape.
I love Marcia’s natural hair and berry lipstick!

What makes this work so well? We all know that one of the things that makes an outfit work is the confident with which we wear it. The shirt – I Am One Dope Chick – is fabulous. As soon as I saw her I said I have to take her picture to share with you all.

Caught Being Fabulous – Desiree

Desiree - Caught!

Desiree – Caught!

I have gotten a few messages from readers saying I need to write about women who have African-American bodies. Technically, I could be offended considering that I am an African-American woman. But, I am not and of course I know what you mean. You want me to write something for the woman who has a BADUNKA DUNK DUNK – JUNK IN THE TRUNK… or something like that. Well, today Desiree who is curvaceous in the way that many African Americans women are, nailed this look. Fabulous!

Desiree is wearing a beautiful rust-colored pencil skirt; she is wearing a light green and beige pattern long-sleeve shirt. The lightweight shirt with a bow-ties is a nice contrast to the heavier fabric of the skirt and is quite appropriate for spring. Now because we know that the wrong type of fabric on a pencil skirt will cause it to ride up, she picked a perfect fabric to maintain the look. The brown belt at the waist is a great accent to define an hour-glass. The heels – t-strap, open toe. Yes! The accessory statement bag – a structured Gucci handbag. Very nice. I love this look!!

Being Fabulous!

Being Fabulous!

Caught Being Fabulous – Christina S.


The Analysis: The brown leather boots caught my attention. Great high-heel, knee boots. The first thing I asked is if the dress was vintage. It is. What is very nice about this dress is that is it figure flattering. Remember the importance of fit. The flared skirt of the dress helps define the shape. The white belt is a nice accent to show off- a small waist. And you can’t tell by the picture, but Christina’s edgy shaved head contrasts the very soft feminine silhouette. The Bulky scarf with its gray, rust, and beige color pallet pulls the outfit together nicely, and…keeps her warm. Nicely done.

Caught Being – Uh Stank?

Larisha3-22-09 112 Model:Larisha Photo/Stylist: SilynRose

One category that I had conceptualized as part of my blog is called “Caught Being Fabulous.” In this section I am to catalogue every day women who look fabulous, and explain what in particular works well about their outfits. There are a few reasons why after two months I hadn’t yet blogged in that category. First, I needed to get a small hand-held camera that I could keep in my purse. Second, I needed to have business cards to hand out to the luck-fashionista. Third, I needed to do the work of being out and finding the women to feature.

Well, I got the camera in January, and my business cards came in this past week. Today, I went out in to Manhattan – what better place to find fierce fashion – right? Oddly enough, the problem wasn’t that I didn’t see anybody who looked great; the problem was the unapproachable attitudes these women held. The scowls, the coldness, and I guess the fear that I may actually ask someone for directions or something was enough to make most women turn away.

This made me think about the things that really make an outfit work. We have heard time and time again that a woman must be confident, but today I thought maybe women should also crack a smile every once in a while. I guess I have been guilty of this myself because I have heard men who I passed on the street say things like “smile, it ain’t that bad” or “why are you looking so mean.” So, I am not sure if these women knew that they were emitting such negative vibes and giving such “stank” looks, but I can say that an outfit can not do its job properly if the person wearing it looks so angry.

Take a look at the photo above. This is a woman who looks happy to be in a stylish outfit. No one in Manhattan looked like this today.

While LL (Cool J) may like a Fendi bag and a bad attitude, I’d have to say that is a waste of designer bag. Fendi certainly doesn’t want its product represented by someone who has a nasty attitude – it would cheapen the brand. Part of being fabulous (and fabulously dressed), I would have to say is being welcoming enough to actually receive the compliment.