There used to be a time where I “couldn’t get right” if my hair wasn’t perfectly blown out. Even after I transitioned to natural hair seven years ago, straight hair was my comfort zone. But since this past year has been all about breaking out of it, I decided to force myself to wear my natural, co-washed curls for two and a half months. Even to a job interview!
It’s led to questions about my ethnicity, as well as some uncomfortable conversations with people who want to touch it, uninvited. But that’s okay.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve worn curly hair to work, on vacation and to formal affairs, but I always reverted to straight hair, whether worn long and loose, or up in an ponytail or bun. And to be honest, I didn’t alway feels “pretty” with curly hair. But as Beyoncé says: pretty hurts. My years of addiction to relaxed, flat-ironed and highlighted hair is what made it fall out in chunks to begin with. Now I’m blessed to have a headfirst of tender headed curls that require patient detangling and nurturing products.
It’s funny to me now when people who don’t realize the versatility of natural hair and are surprised to see me with shoulder-length locks.
Love me, love my hair.
My summer style obsession is this simple mix of color and pattern. I can’t decide if it reminds me of the beach, or just my parents’ collection of ginger jars. J. Crew’s striped shift has enough visual interest that I finally broke down and wore horiziontal stripes!
Simple and chic, no? InStyle definitely agrees, as they dressed July cover girl Zoe Saldana in it also!
I’ve spent the last year detoxing my career, my health, my emotions and even my hair…and I’m so, so close to being who and what I want to be. It’s more than a makeover, although I used to believe a new outfit, banging shoes or a fresh makeup palette could fix what was wrong. I’ve learned I had to clear out negativity, false friends, a limited mindset and stunted growth. I’ve shed so much figurative dead weight that I feel light enough fly.
While you may not see much of a difference in Alexis, I know I’m different.
I also know I’m not going back, and I’m not stopping.
To be continued…
“My standard of perfection often paralyzes me, or makes me terrified, or makes me feel ashamed. Instead, if I can make space for the idea that the goal is not to be perfect, but the goal is to be me, then I get to revel in the mixed bag of what it is to be a human. Some moments are good, some are bad. Some days are good, some days are bad. We live in a culture where people are constantly telling us how to get what we want, and within that message is, You need to be something other than you are. So my antidote to that has been, What if the goal is not to get what I want, but to discover who I am, be who I am, and accept that?” – Tracee Ellis Ross, in NY Mag
Image via MyColoures.com by way of Essence
Tee via Out of Print Clothing, cardigan and pencil skirt via J. Crew
Who says you can’t wear a t-shirt and look pulled together? I love one under a cardigan or even with a suit. The key is that the rest of your look needs to be turned up. Make sure there are no suggestive phrases or rips and holes before you try this style, and evaluate your workplace before you rock one on your 9 to 5. This may not fly in a more conservative environment.
I am in LOVE with this new line and lifestyle company, recently launched by Oscar winner and noted Southern girl Reese Witherspoon. Draper James is a salute and a celebration to the grace, charm, wit and ease that are hallmarks of this side of the United States.
In her own words, Reese says “I wanted to recapture and celebrate all that I love and remember about my grandparents and the South. That is why I created Draper James. With Draper James, our goal is to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live.”
From clothing to accessories, jewelry and home goods, the pieces are thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on quality. Nothing is ostentatious, and it is sentimental without being passe (an achievement we applaud).
Magnolias and peaches make tasteful appearances as motifs; here’s hoping a camellia will show up too! Here are my favorite pieces:
Boy, do I need a vacay! Since I can’t take one just yet (thanks, grad school!) I can fantasize about it….or I could shop for it via the Milly for DesigNation Collection at Kohls! Even better: available pieces are now half off!
Entertainment Tonight! correspondent Brooke Anderson picked her favorite look for us via Twitter (see above)! She chose the Striped Pleated dress (now $35).
And here are my favorite looks: