I can't lie: my southern pride is beyond annoying. Aside from the obvious historical follies, there's just some luxuries of the south that you cannot escape. Fried chicken, southern hospitality from well groomed gentleman, warm weather, Beyonce, and butter is a condiment. I truly don't ever see myself leaving it.
I was recently doing some pointless pondering in the shower about how my own style was changing. I went from the girl struggling to find her sense of style in college since she was barricaded by dress codes from elementary to high school, to the girl actually finding her style by the end of college. Then for the past few years, I had been stuck in the "slim masculine gone feminine" look and outerwear. I was always in some sort of decorative pant, fitted blazer, and heels. This year, I found myself flocking towards more skirts and flirty dresses; all pieces far from masculine.
I then started to think about how fashion repeats itself. I thought about how slave women were cloaked with coercion in European wear, and how slaves eventually ended up wearing cotton because it was cheap. (And yes, if you are showering to Kendrick Lamar and Common in the background, then yes, you think about these things randomly.) Pictures of slave women popped up into my head and then on my computer screen after I finished my shower in my daily 3 am googling session.
The contrast between their radiant and smooth, chocolate skin and the white fabric was so beautiful to me. What was even more striking was their strength that shone through the photo, while incarcerated their adversaries' choice of clothing. I thought about how they suffered, mentally, physically, spiritually every day, but still had the power to illuminate beauty, and unbroken spirit through but a photo.
This allusion was what popped into my head when I spotted this dress on HouseOfChic.LA, one of my favorite black-owned store's websites. The high neck line and intricate woven pattern reminded me of my people's strength in those photos, and I just had to have it, aside from it being just a beautiful dress.
So you can imagine how excited I was to put on this dress to go out to dinner with my southern gentleman of 5 years. We went to a soul food restaurant, called Punk's Soul Food. The cotton knit design was breathable and perfect for the "warm breeze despite it being winter" that day. The relaxed waistline of this dress was perfect as I stuffed my face with fried chicken and waffles and loaded, fried deviled eggs. The fringed clutch/chain sling purse brings out my inner Texan spirit, but wasn't overkill, and it added some color to the outfit. Seeing the outfit together, I knew I had to recreate this look for y'all!
A black woman, shining through whatever she does, no matter what she wears: that was the goal. Inspiration can truly come from anywhere, and I'm grateful I come from a people full of muses.
Bag: Zara, not in season anymore (For similar purse, click here)
Shoes: Steve Madden, not in season anymore (For similar shoes, click here)
Rings: Aldo Accessories and Forever 21, not in season anymore
Sunglasses: American Eagle, not in season anymore (For similar pair, click here)
Photos by: Pharris Photography. Please check out Josh and Kariss Pharris's photography on their Instagram (@pharrisphotos), or at their website: http://www.pharrisphotos.com. They are a black, Christian family making great moves!