Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Few Wardrobe Essentials

Study after study has shown, that people judge your character within seconds of meeting you, based solely on how you look and present yourself. We as black women must present ourselves well, in order to dispel many of the negative images and stereotypes we have been lumbered with.

You don't have to spend a fortune to look like an Audrey,  just pick the right essentials and add them to your wardrobe. Here are a few to get you started.

1.The LDB (Little Black Dress)
In 1926 Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, straight and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it "Chanel's Ford". The little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become "a sort of uniform for all women of taste". (Wikipedia)

And it did. The beauty of a well chosen, well fitted little black dress, is that it can fit almost every occasion. It is the perfect choice if you are unsure of what to wear to an event. It can be worn during the day, at night, dressed up with some chandelier diamond earrings, or worn simply with a pair of pearls.

I find the pencil silhouette to be the most flattering on a woman, it extenuates the hips and brings in the waist, complimenting women of all sizes.

2. A Red Peplum Dress.
Red has always been the colour of both passion and power. Mix those elements with a figure flattering peplum dress and you have a perfect combination of both understated sexiness and lady like elegance. The peplum trend entered the catwalk a few seasons ago and thankfully, it seems it's here to stay.

3.A Sexy Smoky Eye
Your eyes speak a language of their own and are often the first things we notice when we meet someone. Dark, smoky eyes are more appropriate for the evening, but come night time, make sure your eyes have an alluring mystic by learning how to properly apply a smoky eye.  Also make sure to invest in a good makeup brush set, to ensure your makeup goes on as smoothly as possible and doesn't look badly applied or caked on.

I buy all of my brushes from Sigma Beauty, they also offer good quality synthetic brushes for those that prefer not to use human hair brushes.

4. Perfectly Manicured Nails
Achieving perfectly coiffed fingernails has never been easier and you certainly don't have to splash out at the nail salon any-more.  Get yourself a good French manicure set and test your skills, the video below is the simplest tutorial I've found. Ideally, you should try to grow your nails and avoid acrylics at all costs, however if you're finding it difficult or you're short of time, stick on manicure nails are widely available for a very small price. Also, try and keep your nails a rounded shape, avoid the square shape or the much newer pointy trend, they both look too harsh.

If you find that you bite your nails, try this product by MAVALA. I used to be a chronic biter and after only a week I stopped having used this.

Buy MAVALA Stop Nail Treatment, 5ml Online at johnlewis.com

5.The Perfect Red Lip 
Nothing says 'kiss me' like a perfectly applied red lip. If you have an evening event and need to instantly glam up your look, instead of re-doing your whole face, just touch up your powder and slap on a sexy red lip. Check out this video I found in which the lovely Michelle Phan, demonstrates how to pull of the look. A little later in the video she demonstrates the look on a darker skinned model. 

6.A Simple Black Bag
Obviously the bag you carry will vary depending on the occasion, but a simple large tote is perfect for your day to day errands. Try and avoid bags (and clothing items in general) that have their designers logo splattered all over, it reeks of attention seeking. Even bigger labels like LV have got the memo and are now making items with simple matte colours and no logo print, but you don't have to spend £500 on a handbag. Learn the art of thrift shopping, bargain hunting or wait until the sales come on. You can get a very elegant looking bag that will last you a long time for less than £30 or so if you look hard enough.

7.Nude Pointy Pumps
Nude is defiantly the new black, one wonders why we didn't start rocking this trend sooner. I like the look of a pointy shoe rather than a round one, because I feel it looks more sophisticated.  Also remember not to wear heels that are too high, or that you have difficulty walking in, it will ruin your posture and hurt your feet. Monster platforms are best kept hidden under long evening gowns that may sweep the floor or be too long for your height.

I once saw a girl hobbling around during the day in 8 inch platforms, it just doesn't say 'lady' at all.

8.A Watch
Thanks to mobile phones, the watch is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I found that once I started wearing a watch, I was actually less inclined to start playing with my phone, because I wasn't pulling it out of my bag to frequently check the time.

9.A Pair Of Pearls (and don't forget the necklace)
Marilyn may have sung 'diamonds are a girls best friend , but I personally prefer pearls. Whereas diamonds (real of fake) should generally only be worn during the evening, pearls are a neutral form of jewellery that can be worn at any time and with pretty much anything. 

There's just something alluring about these little gleaming rocks that come from the sea. When wearing a pearl necklace try wearing either one stand, or multiple if you can style it correctly, but one strand is usually fine. Most fashion stores sell fake pearls that look just as good as the real thing.

Grace Kelly, Michelle Obama and Coco Chanel

10.A Double Breasted Trench Coat
There's something about a trench coat that adds a touch of mystery to your look, maybe it's because what's underneath can't be seen. They also tend to have a more trailered fit and I specifically like doubled breasted coats because of the button detail.

11.A Perfectly Scented Perfume
Call me picky, but I always feel a perfume should match the time of the day. I tend to stick to lighter, breezier scents during the day and hotter, exotic smells at night. A good alternative to perfumes however are Arab oils. My brother recently brought me back some from Dubai and they're my new addiction. The scent lasts far longer than a perfume and you only need a mere pinch of the product because the smells are so potent. Also, many of the oils are made with natural ingredients and not the hazardous toxins that go into many commercial perfumes and beauty products. 

12. A Flowing Maxi Dress
Now that the summer months are due to make a return,  it's time to bring out all those sweet flowy dresses. I love the way maxi dresses compliment most figure shapes and are great at covering up those lumps,bumps and love-handles. I also love the way they flow as you walk, just beautiful.


Thankyou for taking the time to read my beauties, I hope you found that helpful.

I'm setting a new posting schedule of every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, so you'll know exactly when to expect new articles from now on. 

All my love.
Glitter and Roses


  1. Thank you for the Mavala recommendation. I am a chronic nail biter and want to stop, so I will definitely give this a try.

    1. No problem, I used to start chomping whenever I got nervous about something, but Mavala will clear that up for you.

      :) x

  2. I appreciate that tips about watches and perfume oil. I mostly use my cell phone to keep track of time and it would be easier to fidget less with it if I have a watch. I mostly stick to inexpensive body sprays (e.g. Demeter Fragrances and The Body Shop) but The Body Shop also has fragrance oils and I could even add perfume oils from Coastal scents to some jojoba oil. Thanks so much I hadn't even thought of this!

    1. No problem :) Yes, having a watch just adds a touch of class to your look and we spend way too much time fidgeting with our phones.

      I stopped shopping at The Body Shop when L'oreal took it over, but last time I shopped there they did have some pretty nice oils.