Dress: BCBGMAXZRIA | Mask: eBay | Shoes: Liliana | Brooch: Chanel
I’m going into 2019 with my roots showing. And my silver streak. It’s the Dorothy Hill in me. And maybe a little Cardi B. I used to be hyper about covering up every real or perceived flaw, but no more. I was even hyper about these outfit posts. So I took a break to find out how to be all right with them being imperfect. That’s why the ones you see in this post aren’t quite magazine worthy. But they’re me. And they may be my favorites so far. You can say what you want but you’ll never say I’m not REAL, which was my word for last year.
2018 took a bite out of me but I gave as hard as I got: new job, Beyoncé, NOLA Girls’ Trip, a documentary that I am SO SO SO proud of, rebounding after surgery, planning my class reunion, 40 pound weight loss, new skills, new friends and a new personal style (thank you Fashion Nova!). I have a new outlook on life, love, success, failure, community and most and best of all: renewed faith. I learned what happens when you give it all to God and allow Him and the best loved ones a woman could have to carry the rest.
My word for 2019? BEYOND. The new year is going to surpass anything I could’ve dreamed, hoped or prayed for. YES, I’m reading Becoming, YES: I believe a bigger life is ahead for me, and YES: I’m going for it.
Buckle up. 2019 is gonna be a ride. I’m in the driver’s seat. And I ain’t apologizing for how I’m about to move.
Thank you for sharing the journey,
I promised on Facebook that I’d second line if Bama beat LSU, so enjoy this modified version since I didn’t get a parade permit.
This special parasol was a gift that was made just for me, and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. Last night’s 29-0 win over the Tigers (the eighth time in a row) definitely qualifies! I do go a little bit overboard on Game Day, but it’s all in fun. I love having a parasol that celebrates my favorite football team (next to the New Orleans Saints) as well as my family’s heritage.
Cue up Rebirth Brass Band, because the Crimson Tide is rolling straight to the SEC Championship game!
Dress: Zara | Eyewear: Ray-Ban
I’m excited to report that leopard print is a major trend for fall fashion. Which is great for me since I wear it year-round and already have a lot of this pattern going in my closet. (What I DON’T have are these super cute ankle boots.)
I personally consider leopard a neutral. I wear it as often as I can, although never from head to toe. It makes me feel — well, fierce. And I haven’t really been feeling that way lately. But dressing the part helps. Why the unexpected pop of color? Red shoes are one of my signatures. I chose a very special pair of ruby slippers to remind me that I have all the intelligence, heart and courage needed to take me anywhere — and the power to ease on down the road and get myself safely back home. (Congratulations to The Wiz on its 40th Anniversary!)
Hat: Aviate | Blazer: Tuckernuck | Denim: J. Crew | Tank Top: Target | Scarf: Madewell
Have y’all missed me? I’ve missed you, and it’s so good to be back!
I’ve been working like mad (with the Birmingham Association of REALTORS and The 1987 Supply Co.) making a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act’s passage! I am SO happy I got to wear my “journalist” hat again, and have had an amazing experience talking to people who fought and worked for years so that we have the ability to live where we want. You can find out more HERE, and if you’re in the Birmingham area on October 12, I hope you’ll join us for the premiere in Railroad Park!
P.S. I hope my opinion on wearing white after Labor Day is clear: it’s a definite “DO,” with a few exceptions. Save your summer-weight fabrics for the warmer months and wear your more substantial fabrics when the temperature drops. White pumps? Yes. White nurses shoes? No ma’am!
T-shirt, skirt and bracelets: J. Crew | Eyewear: Aldo | Shoes: Steve Madden
This outfit is…well, it’s probably the one that best captures my love of color, pattern, sparkle, leopard print, comfort, vintage and whimsy all in one look. Those are all elements that make up my approach to getting dressed every day no matter what’s on my agenda, although I rarely wear all these elements at once. Most days, my outfits are a reflection of my personality.
This look is also a take on Carrie Bradshaw, the lovelorn writer-heroine of Sex and the City. Although Carrie and I differ in many ways, we essentially are people who are trying to tell stories and dress fabulously while living and loving fearlessly.
Fear. It’s one of the F-words that has shaken my world this year…along with another F-word: failure. At many turns I’ve felt deeply afraid, or as though no matter how hard I work or how hard I try, I’m failing someone or something, somewhere. What has helped me to readjust my thinking is learning to practice radical FAITH and FORGIVENESS to help me keep moving FORWARD. And those are the only F-words that count.
I loved posing for this shoot with Becca Bell of Birmingham’s 2b Photography. Talk about fearless: she runs a thriving creative business in addition to being a wife and mom. (Check out her work here.) She helped coax something out of me that’s been lying dormant, something fierce. (And there’s another positive F-word for you.)
I’ve had this outfit for almost two years. And when Becca Bell of 2 B Photography LLC and I partnered for this photo shoot, I knew its time had come. I love rompers, and as this one shows so much leg that I added a vintage beaded cardigan from No Carnations Vintage for more coverage up top to achieve a bit of balance. (I tried, Mom.) I love the monochromatic look and the pop of color Tuckernuck’s acrylic lemon clutch adds.
The inspiration for this outfit is the “vintage” tableau from Formation, where Beyoncé twirls a parasol among a clan of women clad in white lace dresses. That song and album get played at least once a week in my home, and that visual of old world refinery is one I wanted to recreate. But I also like to add a touch of the unexpected, so it’s a romper rather than a gown. Who says women over 30 can’t wear them? What would Beyonce do? She’d rock it.
Here’s a secret: I usually take my own photos. But it’s a TON of work. So it was a blast to relax and let a photographer with an “eye” for detail take the lead. I’m learning that I don’t have to do everything myself, that it is OK to release my Type A tendencies and accept someone else’s expertise…and that is a relief! Expect more collaborations from Becca and me in the future, and be sure to check her out online and on Instagram. (Or call her to schedule your own photo shoot!)
All photographs courtesy of 2B Photography LLC.
Dress: Premonition via T.J. Maxx
This past week I was reminded that sometimes the world wishes brown faces like mine, ambition like mine, energy like mine was less…visible.
But I don’t believe faces like mine, talent like mine, or ambition like mine is visible enough. That’s part of the problem. Shout out to Jeniese Hosey, to Erica Bunker, to Deidra K. Diaz, to Lynsey Weatherspoon, to Javacia Harris Bowser, to Selena Rogers Dickerson, to Kellie Clark, to Eunice Elliot, to Chanda Temple, to Ariel Worthy, to Dr. Kre Johnson, to Keicia Shanta, to Kim Colvin, to Drea Michelle, to Courtney Duff, to Jessica Coates, to Katrina Watson, to Chasiti Shepherd, to Kennedi Stone, to Abra Barnes, to Rashada LeRoy, to Tia Beville, to Aletta Williamson, to Sharon Ward, to Regan Liggins, to LaToya Ashford, to Tonya Lee, to Connie Collins, to TeLisa King-Mills, to Georgia Blair, to Samuetta Nesbitt, to Ebony Hall, to Tracie Banks, to Dalila Bass, to Gwendolyn Guster Welch, to Que Humphrey, to Maacah Davis, to Adrienne Mixon, to Camisha Rivers Hunter, to Tiffany Logan, to Portia Williams, to ALL the brown girls and women in Birmingham and beyond who are making it happen, with or without a follow or a mention.
I SEE YOU. AND PLEASE BELIEVE THEY SEE US.
Keep piping up on ’em, ladies.
Because I couldn’t get to Amy Sherald’s portrait of this Black woman, I carried myself to North Birmingham to this mural behind a Maxway grocery store.
There is no monologue in Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf for a lady in white. So while the little girl me might’ve closed her eyes and made a wish, the grown up me said a prayer and made a promise to herself.
I will not make myself small.
I will not make myself small.
I will not make myself small.
I hope you won’t, either.
P.S. This is a late post that I intended to put up on Sunday. I’m posing in white on purpose, in solidarity with Roni Leftwich and in support of Fibroid Awareness Month (July).
Sweater, pants, pumps and sunglasses, all J. Crew
I know wearing prints with prints may be a bit much, but so what? My favorite word is “lagniappe,” which means “a little something extra.” I love flowers and I love the color pink and from here on out I really don’t care about being extra.
Life is short. People will deal.
Color, pattern, and a certain amount of over-the-top flair are hallmarks of southern style, and I love it all. My mother’s opera-length pearls are the perfect accessory.
The details: Dress: aq/aq| Jacket: J.Crew| Shoes: Converse | Earrings: Forever 21
I was honored to serve on the Host Committee for this year’s Chucks and Tux, a fundraiser supporting Growing Kings — which is helping to prepare he next generation of young leaders in our community. I was really worried about finding the right Converse (since I don’t normally wear them) and the right outfit to go with them.
I ended up shopping my closet and deciding to be literal, so what you see is my version of Chucks and Tux. I’ve never worn an actual tuxedo, but I like this chic, feminine version. The dress appears to be two pieces in a feat of architectural design. The jacket adds color blocking and modesty when worn over the shoulder for a bit of casual glam. I layered my bling to take the look up a notch and pick up the rose quartz shoes.
My hair and makeup were kept to “Old Hollywood” glamour to complement the look.
More important than what I wore is the amount of fun I had. I haven’t been to a party in months, haven’t danced in months, haven’t had a reason to dress up and go out for months. So it felt good to get out, and I really appreciated having two of my best friends with me. I even took a selfie with the Mayor! (Find it here.)
Seeing myself smiling on a larger than life banner at the party reminded me: the best is yet to come, there will be some surprises along the way, and there is always a reason to dance. (Shout out to Growing King’s executive director Marcus Carson for letting me bring the banner home.)
No matter what happens in life, there is always something to celebrate. For me it was being asked to participate with Growing Kings, being named a 2018 Distinguished Survivor by the U.S. Attorneys Office and finishing Girl Trek’s “Harriet Hall of Fame Challenge,” in which I walked/ran 100 miles in two months. (I have that challenge to thank for my slimmed-down shape.)